According to the English dictionary, love is a profound and caring affection towards someone. There are different kinds of love, namely:
- Eros or erotic
- Philia or affectionate
- Storge or familiar
- Ludus or playful
- Mania or obsessive
- Pragma or longstanding
- Philautia or self love
- Agape or unconditional love
1. Eros or Erotic
Eros is the romantic love many of us are familiar with, the one that exists between two opposite sex. It represents the idea of sexual passion and desire, as it arouses romantic and sexual feelings. It is most of the time based on lust, because all it is concerned about is the sexual desire, nothing more. A study calls it ‘a primal and powerful fire that burns out quickly’. It doesn’t last, all it aims at is to satisfy sexual feelings. It doesn’t go beyond the physical body.
2. Philia or affectionate
Philia, unlike Eros, goes beyond the physical body; it is the love of the mind, sincere, and platonic. It exists between equals, so it can be termed ‘friendship love’. It doesn’t need to dwell on the ‘physical body’ to act. It is a committed and a chosen love.
3. Storge or familiar
This is the kind of love you will find between parents and children. It is as cool as philia, but not the same, because it isn’t mutual (not between equals). This kind of love is based on familiarity. You will find it amongst siblings and family members. This is probably why we say ‘blood is thicker than water’.
4. Ludus or playful
Like its name, this kind of love is playful. It’s all about flirting and teasing. No one really cares about making a deal out of this love, in most cases, unless if balanced with another kind of love. It has a bit of erotic in it, and can be seen mostly in early stages of an erotic kind of love.
5. Mania or obsessive love
An imbalance between Eros and Ludus can lead to an obsessive kind of love. This person desperately desires to love and be loved to find a sense of value, which is often as a result of low or poor self-esteem. It’s unhealthy.
6. Pragma or longstanding
Longstanding can also mean “enduring”. It develops over a period of time, and continually breeds understanding, compromise, and tolerance. It is often found between married couples or long-term friendships. It’s a little disturbing that this kind of love is not so common, because a lot of people do not know how to maintain love or even care about knowing at all. They just want to feel the love without knowing all it entails. Pragma stands the test of time and all circumstances.
7. Philautia or self love
To love other people, you have to learn to love yourself first. However, this could be two-sided; it can either be healthy or unhealthy. It is unhealthy when it is about self-obsession and only for personal fame or gain (usually leads to narcissism). On the other hand, it is healthy when you give truly give/show yourself the love; you are comfortable in your skin; you don’t detest who you are; you delight in the being you are made of. For you to extend love to others, you have to learn to love yourself first. It’ll make it much easier that way.
8. Agape or unconditional
This is the highest and most radical form of love. It is selfless and the love for humanity. You give out this kind of love without expecting anything in return; with no specific conditions attached. It helps us to connect with even strangers; you don’t need to know them before you show them that you care. Agape love forgives, accepts, and is interested in seeing something good come out from others. This isn’t moved by the physical body, or emotions, or the mind, or even memories. It is moved by the spirit, the willingness to love, no matter what.
How can teens show love?
First, you need to understand that love is a principal thing to bring everyone together and unite them as one. As a teenager, you aren’t left out of it. The erotic kind of love is common among teenagers, which doesn’t last and is also dangerous. You have to set your path straight to make your future right. Be a model to other teenagers and let them learn from you, instead of you falling into their traps. The majority isn’t always right, and this is where we get it all wrong.
You can choose to stand out and do what is right.
Of the kinds of love we have mentioned earlier, let’s term Eros, Ludus and Mania the unhealthy ones for you. Yes, the erotic love can wait till you have found your life partner. Why the rush?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I ever shown love to anyone without conditions?
- Am I focusing on someone’s physical body before showing how much I care?
- Am I driven by emotions or how the person feel, before determining if to love or not?
- How far do I extend my love? Is it just to close ones? How about strangers or that particular person who doesn’t deserve it at all?
Ways you can show love
Giving is a great way to show love. You can’t give generously if you don’t love. Help others in any way you think you can. Beyond material things (clothes, bags, shoes, and so on), you can give your time and help out with one or two things, you can give words of encouragement to someone who is down, you can share your food with someone.
Lending a hand to someone to grab unto will remind the person that he/she isn’t going through life alone. Someone else will also grab unto yours, and the chain continues that way. The change can begin from you!
Move out of your comfort zone, and spread the love as far as you can. Love doesn’t have an expiry date, neither does it finishes.
Teens Show Love is our theme for the month, February. We do hope you’ve learnt something, you can leave your questions or contributions in the comments below.