According to Plato, the best form of philia can be found in the friendship lovers developed towards each other. In this case, the source of philia is eros, but it feeds back and enriches eros, changing it from basely lust to a mutual desire to develop a deeper knowledge of the self, the partner, and the world. To sum it up, philia has the power to alter the desire for possession into a desire for deeper philosophical understanding.
Ways to show Philia:
- Have an intimate conversation with a pal
- Be candid and trustable
- Support others on their bad days
- Show gratitude towards your loved ones
3. Storge — Familiar Love
Love catalyst: Memories
Storge (spelled as ‘store-gae’) represents familial love. It is a form of Philia and is the love experienced between parents and children. It differs from philia in the sense that Storge is unconditional affection and emotional attachment born from a place of dependency and familiarity, and is usually felt by young children, and contrary to philia, it doesn’t depend on personal traits. This type of love tends to affect one side more than the other; it is asymmetrical.
Couples often expect to feel the unconditional Storge love in their romantic relationship. But initially, they only experience Eros; only few lucky people reach the level of Philia. With time, Eros can grow into Storge, and if fortunate, even Philia and Pragma may be experienced.
Ways to show Storge:
- Compromise with personal pleasures
- Forgive wrong actions on their part
- Share cherished moments together
- Express your love with caring words
4. Agape — Universal Love
Love catalyst: Spirit
Agape is love for all or universal love. It encompasses the love we feel towards God, nature, and other human beings (strangers). Agape involves showing compassion towards others without expecting anything in return.
It is not dependent on familial bonds or familiarity with another person. Christian philosophers call this love charity. We can draw parallels between agape and the modern theory of altruism, which represents unselfish care for the wellbeing of other souls.
Modern research has found that there are a number of benefits associated with altruism. When we practice altruism, we are immediately filled with a sense of euphoria, which is popularly known as the “helper’s high”. Its long-term advantages include improved mental health and longevity.
It societal terms, Agape love is reflected in empathizing with others and performing charity. It signals the readiness to cooperate and form partnerships, exchange resources, and reciprocate through valuable presents and favors.
In short, Altruism is the foundation of the social and psychological framework that helps us grow. Considering the hatred and prejudice in our society, we should all focus on nurturing a little more Agape within ourselves.
Ways to show Agape:
- Try to improve the life of another person.
- Be conscious that your actions uphold the good of mankind.
- Feel charitable towards the needy.
5. Ludus — Playful Love
Love catalyst: Emotion
Ludus is playful, flirtatious love without any promises of commitment, and includes fun activities like dancing, teasing and seducing! Both the parties just focus on having fun and there are no strings attached. The modern generation seems to be taken with Ludus, where they just want some lighthearted enjoyment without getting attached. Ludus relationships are sans complications and demands but can last for a long time.
Ludus is also found in the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, and older couples strive to keep this playful love alive in their lives.
Ludus is best suited when both the people involved are self-sufficient, so there’s no dependency. Ludus can coexist peacefully with Philia.
Ways to show Ludus:
- Have quirky conversations and be flirtatious.
- Share fun moments filled with laughter.
- Engage in childish activities