You’re In Love…But Which Type?

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Over the years, through self-study and exploration, I’ve learned that there are three types of love: Eros, Philos and Agape. Understanding the three types of love has been enlightening for me and has improved the quality of my relationships.

[Dating & Love Tips]

Many people dream of meeting “the one,” getting married, and living happily ever after.  Especially as women, we dream of romance and falling in love with that special person. 

This type of love is known as Eros love, which is that emotional or romantic love that constitutes the feeling of being “in love.” Eros love is that intense sexual desire or overwhelming longing or craving for someone. 

However, there are other types of love that we need in our life, namely Philos love (friendship love) and Agape love (unconditional love).  To feel completely satisfied and fulfilled, we need all three loves to be present in our lives. 

However, too many of us only focus on romantic (Eros) love, and we look for someone to “complete” us. We just want to get married and “live happily ever after.”

Over the years, through self-study and exploration, I’ve learned that there are three types of love:  Eros, Philos and Agape.  Understanding the three types of love has been enlightening for me and has improved the quality of my relationships. Here’s a summary:

Eros Love: The English word “erotic” is derived from Eros, and it has to do with the sensual passions.  Eros love is also known as romantic or emotional love, and it constitutes the feeling of being “in love.” This love is best expressed through our senses—touch, sight, hearing, and so forth. Eros is similar to lust, which is that intense sexual desire or overwhelming longing or craving for someone. 

Eros or lust is generally hormonally driven. Estrogen and testosterone are the hormones that work like magnets to draw men and women together.  Eros love is good in a relationship if it is balanced with the other two loves because it allows for intimate sexual relations with someone and keeps the flame and spark in the relationship.

Philos Love: This type of love is the natural affection between people. Philos love is about companionship and connecting with people to share life’s journey. It is sometimes called “friendship love,” and friendship is the foundation of a successful relationship. This is true whether it is a marriage, or boyfriend-girlfriend, a relationship between family members, or a relationship with co-workers or friends.   

Agape Love: This type of love is from God, and it is an unconditional love. Agape love is above Philos and Eros love. It is a love that is totally selfless; like when a person gives love to another person even if this act does not benefit her or him in any way.

Whether the love given is returned or not, the person continues to love (even without any self-benefit).  This type of love provides the stability and binding commitment to a marriage. Agape love helps bind the marriage commitment because you vow to love your spouse as God loves―unconditionally.  Agape love is not helped by emotional infatuation or highs, but is as constant as God’s love. 

I encourage everyone to find balance in their love relationships, not by focusing just on a romantic (Eros) love, but also by creating Philos and Agape love relationships in their life. 

All three types of love are necessary in a marriage or committed relationship.  Agape love (unconditional love) helps make the marriage commitment last, Philos love (friendship love) will make it strong, and Eros love (emotional/erotic love) will make it sweet.  If your marriage or committed relationship has all three of these elements, you’re on your way to something very special and rare that you should treasure with all that is in you.


Black Star News columnist J.J. Smith is a Dating and Relationship Expert, Author, Radio Host, and Corporate Executive.  J.J. Smith is the author of  “Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating” (order at www.jjsmithonline.com/jjsmith-products.htm ).  

More information on J.J.’s dating advice can be found on her website at
www.jjsmithonline.com.  She is also the host of “Real Talk with JJ and The Fellas” which offers an intelligent, provocative discussion on dating, love, sex and relationships and airs on www.wsRadio.com.  J.J. may be contacted by email at info@jjsmithonline.com.

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