EATON — January has come and gone and it was a good month for self-care. Self-care leads us into our February theme of “love.” It’s more than the love you share with your partner, kids, or fur babies.
According to the ancient Greeks there are 8 different types of love
1. Eros – Romantic Love – the Greeks were actually fearful of this love because they thought that because human beings have an instinctual impulse to procreate, that this love was so powerful and it would result in a loss of control.
2. Philia – Affectionate Love – It’s the kind of love that you feel for your friends. The Greeks thought this type of love was better because it represented love between people who considered themselves equals.
3. Storge – Familiar Love – This type of love looks and feels like affectionate love between friends, but it’s more like a parent-child love.
4. Agape – Unconditional Love – The Greeks thought this was quite radical, perhaps because so few people seem capable of feeling it long-term. Some people would describe this type of love as a spiritual love. For Christians this would describe Jesus.
5. Ludus – Playful Love – A better way to describe it is the feeling of infatuation in the early days of romance. It’s the butterflies in the stomach, the giddiness you feel when you see your love walk through the door, and the feeling of never wanting to be without them. Studies have shown that our brains are acting the same as it would be if we were on cocaine.
6. Pragma – Enduring Love – It’s almost the opposite of sexual love. This love is love that has matured and developed over a long period of time. This is the type of love that some old married couples have had or people who are together for decades have for each other.
7. Philautia – Self-Love – Nowadays people sometimes associate this with being narcissistic, selfish, or stuck on themselves – BUT that is not true. This love is necessary to be able to give and receive love from other people, we cannot give to others what we don’t have. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we truly love others?
8. Mania – Obsessive Love – Many people who experience this type of love suffer from low self-esteem. They fear losing the object of their love, and this fear compels them to say or do some “crazy” things in order to keep them. If not kept under control, this love can be very destructive in some cases.
What are the benefits of love? I’m sure we all have our own answers and it can vary from person to person. According to WebMD, there are ten health benefits of love.
1. Fewer Doctor Visits
2. Less Depression & Substance Abuse
3. Lower Blood Pressure
4. Less Anxiety
5. Natural Pain Control
6. Better Stress Management
7. Fewer Colds
8. Faster Healing
9. Longer Life
10. Happier Life
The ancient Greeks weren’t the only ones to study love. A modern relationship therapist, Dr. Gary Chapman, identified five languages of love through his work with couples over a long period of time. His brook goes into greater detail, and in a nutshell, Chapman argues that each of us give and receive love differently, but they all fall into five categories. And they are as follows:
1. Words of Affirmation aka giving positive feedback
2. Acts of Service aka doing something nice for others
3. Receiving Gifts aka you measure love on how many gifts you receive
4. Quality Time aka together time
5. Physical Touch aka hand-holding, hugging, fist bump, cuddling, etc.
Why does this all matter? Not only does it help you understand yourself, but it can help you understand another person. We are all different and we show love in different ways. The only inappropriate way to show your love is when you are hurting another, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. That’s not showing love, it’s being cruel and creating harm for another. The problems of relationships, whether friendships, family, partner, co-workers, etc.; are often caused by not understanding each other fully – so the next time you may find yourself in this spot, remember to ‘try to’ understand the other person and their perspective. And by all means, share the love.
Resources: ‘Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner) by Dr. Carol Morgan;
WebMD at www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/health-benefits
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