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Ancient Greeks Wisdom on Relationships

The ancient Greeks had a lot to say about love and relationships. They believed that love was a fundamental part of the human experience, and they developed a complex understanding of its different forms.

The ancient Greeks identified eight different types of love, each with its own unique characteristics and qualities. These are:

  • Eros: Passionate love, often associated with sexual desire. It is the most physical and intense form of love.
  • Philia: Friendship love, based on mutual respect and affection. It is a deep and lasting love that is not necessarily sexual.
  • Agape: Selfless love, based on compassion and understanding. It is the highest form of love, and it is often associated with love for God or for humanity as a whole.
  • Pragma: Practical love, based on commitment and shared values. It is a mature and enduring love that is not easily shaken by challenges.
  • Ludus: Playful love, based on fun and laughter. It is a light-hearted and carefree form of love that is not meant to be taken too seriously.
  • Mania: Obsessive love, characterized by intense jealousy and possessiveness. It is a destructive form of love that can be harmful to both partners.
  • Philautia: Self-love, which is essential for being able to love others. It is a healthy form of self-regard that does not lead to narcissism or egotism.
  • Storge: Familial love, based on natural affection and kinship. It is the love that we feel for our family members, and it is often the most unconditional form of love.
Greeks believed that all of these types of love are important in a healthy and fulfilling life. They also recognized that different people prioritize different types of love. The key is to find a balance that works for you and your partner.

Here are some of the ancient Greek wisdom on relationships:

  • Love is a choice: The Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that love is not something that just happens to us. It is a choice that we make to care for and be committed to another person.
  • Love is not about possession: The Greek poet Sappho wrote that "love is not about possession, but about sharing." This means that love is not about controlling or dominating another person. It is about giving and receiving freely.
  • Love is patient and kind: Love is not about demanding our own way. It is about being understanding and compassionate towards your partner.
  • Love is not jealous: The Greek philosopher Plato said that "love is not jealous." This means that love does not need to be possessive or insecure. It is confident in itself and does not need to compare itself to others.
  • Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth: Love is honest and truthful. It does not try to hide or deceive.
The ancient Greek understanding of love can still be relevant to us today. By understanding the different types of love, we can better understand our own relationships. Also learn to appreciate the different ways the relationships can change our lives.