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The Types of Love


Did you know there's more than one type of love? Whether you're currently a resident of one of our Bethesda Senior Living Communities or someone who is considering moving into one of our assisted living options, we hope you find that our staff expresses many types of love. We also hope you'll consider expressing some of these types of love in showing kindness for your neighbors throughout the community.

7 Types of Love

1. Eros

Eros is generally what you think of when it comes to romance and passion. And while people can have this type of deep passion (which is not the same thing as sexual desire) for non-romantic partners, our modern understanding of love typically limits eros to romance.

2. Philia

This is brotherly love, also referred to as Christian love by those of the faith. Typically, this is the type of love that we equate with friendship, but it really means bearing goodwill toward another person. Followers of Christ believe they should show philia to each other.

3. Agape

Agape is a universal love; it's a choice that we make to love everyone — even our enemies. This is the type of love that Christians are called to show to the entire world. It's different from philia, as it doesn't depend on the goodwill you might have for a friend or like-minded person. Agape love is a choice, regardless of feeling.

4. Storge

This is the type of love that is felt between family members, particularly parents and children. Storge is somewhat unconditional; it can be experienced by others but typically takes a long time to develop outside of a familial relationship. Seniors may feel storge with certain friends who they have known longer than almost anyone else.

5. Philautia

This is self-love. Some amount of love for self is important; it helps you preserve yourself, take care of your mind and body and be confident in yourself. It also helps you love others. However, too much self-love can be dangerous, as it can develop into a personality disorder. Christian seniors know that there is wisdom in being humble.

6. Ludas

This is a type of casual love. Modern individuals may not really call this love; it might appear more like a short-lived infatuation. However, it's easy for people of any age to mistake ludas for the more long-lasting eros, which is why so many people struggle with romantic relationships.

7. Pragma

Pragma love is practical. It's a love that comes about because duty, long-term relationships and interests combine to make the love appropriate and comfortable. Old adults may recognize that eros can become pragma over time, but that doesn't diminish the meaning or importance of the relationship. Even philia can become pragma, and the same holds true.

For seniors in an assisted living community, philia, agape and pragma are three types of love that may be healthy and appropriate to share with each other. Understanding the different types of love can help you understand various relationships in your life and how to navigate them appropriately over time.