This month we’ve been talking a lot about the romance genre and romantic/sexual love. I didn’t really touch on the different types of love that we have in our life (like our love of Netflix). According to my research there are seven different types of love. They are: Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia. I know they’re all words at this point so let’s break them down:
- Eros: Eros is sexual or romantic love.
- Philia: Philia is friendship or goodwill towards others.
- Storge: Storge is love for family, especially between parents and their children.
- Agape: Agape is universal love. So when you have love for strangers, nature or God. Also known in a Christian sense as Charity.
- Ludus: Ludus is playful or uncommitted love. Think one-night stands, flirting, teasing or even dancing.
- Pragma: Pragma is practical love. It’s devoid of sexual attraction and has more to do with long term commitments and duty.
- Philautia: Philautia is self-love and of course can be negative or positive.
So those are the seven types of love as outlined by most psychology journals. There can be arguments made for four to eight types of love.
We’ve been focusing on Eros predominantly this month as it is the most common form of love that we can expect to see in a romance novel. Earlier this month, in my post about romance formulas, I mentioned having a different ending to the story where it wasn’t with our two main characters getting their happily ever after together. These different types of love could be reasons as to why they don’t end up together in the end. Different types of love can affect our relationships with our love interests.
The definition of romance according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
1a (1): a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2): a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3): a love story especially in the form of a novel b: a class of such literature
something (such as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact
an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity
capitalized: the Romance languages
Based on this definition of what a romance is historically, we can use any one of these types of love and create a romance story around it. For instance, we can have two friends go off on an adventure together and call it a romance story. The only problem is that by today’s definition we only classify a romance as a love affair. This again limits what romance is associated with. There have been numerous stories about these seven different types of love that will never be considered to be romantic in nature with the modern day definition of romance. Or we can be rebels and still classify our adventures with our loved ones as a romance.
Until next time.