What is love?The word “love” is yet another great example of how the English language fails us. 

You’ve probably heard the Inuit have over 50 words for “snow,” and even though snow can get pretty deep, love is way deeper. It’s a complex feeling experienced in different ways, and has a colossal impact on our lives. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to romantic love, many define it as a ‘can’t keep your hands off of each other’ feeling. When the initial lusty excitement inevitably wanes, some people mistakenly believe that means they’re falling out of love.   

The Greek language has 7 different words for love, 5 of which can be applied to the romantic type. It’s estimated that around 5% of the English language has Greek roots, and it’s a shame that the Greek descriptions of love—which cover many dimensions of this incredible experience—aren’t included. 

To ensure you don’t get ‘robbed’ of the chance to enjoy romantic love in all its forms, here’s a brief overview of the different ways you can open your heart and let love in.

  • Eros

Eros (erotic) love is the type that often gets classified as the only love partners experience in a romantic union. This is the passionate, full of desire type of love. 

It’s fueled by so many hormones—including dopamine—that people in this stage of their union often experience the new relationship like a drug, and that powerful “high” gets mistaken for true love.

As a relationship progresses, the initial passion and intensity tends to fade. 

However, it doesn’t need to. Couples who move on to experience the other types of love can still enjoy the eros experience—it may just take a little more than it did before to get started.

  • Philia

Philia - It’s affectionate, a bond is formed between two peopleThis type of love is built around the bond that gets formed as two people develop a fondness for one another. It’s affectionate. It’s cultivated through shared moments, and compounds as the couple gets to know one another on a deeper level. 

It’s the reason why when something happens, you can’t wait to share it with your partner because you know they’ll get a kick out of it too. 

  • Storge

Also referred to as familial love, this is a less flashy type of love. It’s deep and pure. This type of love is born through commitment, shared values, and understanding. It’s the type of love that bonds family members together.

  • Ludus

Ludus is carefree and somewhat non-committal. It’s characterized by flirting and indulging in light-hearted fun. It is pretty superficial on its own, yet when paired with the other types of love, it adds that sparkle—a dash of spontaneity, adventure, and fun—to the relationship. 

  • Agape

This is one of the highest forms of love. Often referred to as unconditional love, it is defined by an unwavering selfless and altruistic desire to love, without needing or expecting anything in return. 

Partners who share this incredible form of love have a deep respect and compassionate appreciation for one another. They genuinely care about each other. They’re empathetic and understanding, and are willing to make sacrifices and compromise.

Ideally, a healthy relationship should contain all these types of love. 

If you’re struggling or feeling disconnected from your partner, counseling could helpIf you’re struggling or feeling disconnected from your partner and are wondering how to get back on track, couples counseling could be exactly what you need. 

At the Relationship Therapy Center, we offer marriage counseling in Roseville and Fair Oaks, and have helped all sorts of couples navigate almost every challenge imaginable. 

We strengthen unions, provide the necessary tools and guidance to rediscover what’s been neglected or lost, and oftentimes this leads to a deeper, more fulfilling connection. 

If you think your relationship could benefit, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you and share more about how we can help. 

Begin Couples Counseling in the Sacramento Area:

If you are ready to learn how to deal with the problems in your relationship, the therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center in Fair Oaks, CA and Roseville, CA can help! Our therapists are ready to support you and your partner in your journey towards creating a healthy and happy relationship. To begin marriage counseling in Roseville, CA area, or marriage counseling in Fair Oaks, please follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact our counseling office to get more information about couples counseling and to schedule a free consultation.
  2. Make an appointment with one of our Gottman Method trained therapists.
  3. Find support and healing in your relationship!

Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

In addition to couples counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples counseling services include: Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, couples therapy retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, trauma therapy, teen therapy, therapy for children, codependency counseling, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. We also offer online counseling to California residents. Please contact our office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones.