Knowing the right word for something can make a tough concept easier to understand.

So when I learned about the range of words used by the ancient Greeks to describe different types of love, I was excited. It offered me a new way to think about the different relationships in my life and how they can morph over time.

I want to share three that I found particularly useful when reflecting on love in my life:

Eros 🔥 - This is meant to describe the intense physical feelings that can happen at the beginning of a relationship.

Philia 👭 - This was one of the most revered forms of love for the ancient Greeks. It is a deep love reserved for true friends and close family — and often, that eros passion can evolve into this deeper form of commitment.

Agape 🤗 - A truly altruistic form of love. This is a love we can have for all. It includes a love for those we don’t know, for those that might be suffering from a pain that is out of their control, or even for those that may have wronged us.

Each of these forms of love have their moments at different stages of our lives and require different levels of emotional capability to respond to them.

Personally, I found the words helpful when reflecting on the love I give and allow myself to receive — in the past, in the present and in the future.


Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. Bonus wisdom! When translated to Latin, agape becomes caritas, the root word for “charity” — the idea of giving to those in need.

P.P.S. We review these concepts and more in our exploration of the theme of Kinship and the Kinship Guide→.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Kinship.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.