The 3 Types of Love: Crazy Legit, or Total BullS^%?

The 3 Types of Love: Crazy Legit, or Total BullS^%?

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Brandon Amery
May 22, 2023 • 3 min read

The 3 Loves Theory is an intriguing idea suggesting that people typically experience three significant, impactful loves throughout their lives. This concept provides a profound lens through which we can examine our relationships, understand our emotional growth, and reflect on our personal narratives.

Wait, Do these 3 types of love refer to different people?

Here's where I explain the title of the article, because I feel like there are two ideas of "the three loves," one being legit and one being bullshit. Let's adress the latter: Does this mean that we have '3 people that we love" in our entire life? Mayyyybe, but the idea that any canned experience would fit the life path of many millions of people is kinda strange at best and bizarre at worst.

Now the "legit" in my book: Let's look at the 3 loves theory in the context of stages of love, rather than 3 people you will love who fit these characteristics, which, again, just sounds like something a marketer made up to me. I feel like this more spiritual way of looking at the 3 loves theory might be more in line with reality.

Enjoy All 3 Stages of Love

Don’t let go
Photo by Everton Vila / Unsplash

The first stage is often characterized by a passionate, intense love that's akin to the Greek notion of 'Eros.' Eros symbolizes passionate love, characterized by intense emotions and attraction. This love might be captivating, alarming, and exhilirating, but as many of us have realized firsthand it's often tumultuous and can lead to emotional upheaval. Such is romance. As the playwright Oscar Wilde aptly noted, "Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship" This quote (which I'm guessing Wilde meant to include anyone experiencing romantic love with any other human) reflects the intensity of this first love and the lessons it provides about grasping the importance self-love and individuality amongst the throngs of romantic passion.

In the second stage, we encounter 'Philia,' or love rooted in friendship. This love is based on mutual respect, values, and shared experiences. This is the stage where legit companionship takes center stage over intense passion, and the bond deepens over sharing time. Can it still include passion, desire, and intimacy? Hell yes. But this is love strengthened by time, forged by experience, emboldened by understanding.

As Aristotle once said, "In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” So is  the essence of 'Philia' – the love born from genuine friendship and mutual respect.

Lastly, we arrive at 'Agape,' the selfless love that seeks the good of the other above oneself. This love denotes a deep-seated commitment, understanding, and mutual respect that transcends superficial attributes. Agape is not sacrificing ones for another— it is truly understanding their sovereignty as a luminous being, another version "you" walking the earth.

This third love represents the ideal, the love that lasts and grows stronger with time. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend." This quote illustrates 'Agape' – the highest form of love that transforms relationships and lives.

It's important to note that the Three Loves Theory is not a prescriptive guide but rather a suggestive framework that describes a possible path of emotional growth and self-discovery.

Thus, the 3 Loves Theory does not suggest that everyone will neatly fall into these three categories or progress in a linear fashion. Rather, it's a lens through which to understand the ebbs and flows of love and the transformative power it holds in our lives.

Have fun and enjoy the ride! ✌🏻