Love is such an inportant emotion. It may be caused by chemicals in the brain, but it rules over our entire social life. Today I am grateful for the people in my life and those who have walked along my path for a while. I am grateful to my communities, my circles of friends and family. This gratitude made me ponder the concept of love, and its many forms.

Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. As it is historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words when used outside of their respective contexts, I am hesitant to put a definition on them, but it's interesting to speak of the different types of love we feel so I am going to do it, regardless.

Agápe (ἀγάπη)
This type of love is usually associated with the Gods. It can mean brotherly love, but is more often used in the context of the love of God for man and of man for God. Agape is a kind of love that does not respond to the antecedent value of its object but instead is thought to create value in the beloved; it has come through the Christian tradition to mean the sort of love God has for us persons as well as, by extension, our love for God and our love for humankind in general. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one's children and the feelings for a spouse, as this love is equally uncontitional. The translation of the word agape is love in the verb – form: it is the love demonstrated by your behavior towards another person. It is a committed and chosen love.

Éros (ἔρως)
This type of love refers mostly to sexual passion or the love to join two bodies as one through the joy of touch. Plato had his own definition: appreciation of the beauty within a person, or even appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, which is why we use the word 'platonic' to mean, 'without physical attraction'.

Philia (φιλία)
This type of love is often classified as friendship. It is the love between equals, often dispassionate, virtuous love. According to Aristotle it requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. This type of love can also be felt towards family members, business partners, and one's country at large. The translation of the word phileo is love in the noun – form: it is how you feel about someone. It is a committed and chosen love.

Storge (στοργή)
This type of love is related to family, usually. It's the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring. It is rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in 'loving' the tyrant.

You may hear about three other types if you delve into these terms (and then Philia is often left out): mania, pragma, and ludus. These are actually not ancient Hellenic concepts but part of a moder (1973) theory on love by John Lee. He identified six 'Love styles' and based them on the four ancient Hellenic ones. To give you a quick rundown of the three:

Ludus is used by those who see love as a desiring to want to have fun with each other, to do activities indoor and outdoor, tease indulge and play harmless pranks on each other. The acquisition of love and attention itself may be part of the game.

Pragma is based on the perceptions of practicality. People who prefer this style approach their relationship in a "business-like" fashion and look for partners with whom they can share common goals.

Mania usually flows out of a desire to hold one's partner in high esteem and wanting to love and be loved in this way seeing specialness in the interaction.