Six Styles of Love
Love Styles: A Brief Background
The six love styles was originally developed by John Lee (1973, 1988), he referred to these love styles as "colors of love", and also wrote a book on this theory. The six love styles are: Eros, Ludus, Storge, Pagma, Mania, and Agape. Later Clyde Hendrick and Susan Hendrick, expanded on this theory. They have found that men tend to be more ludic, whereas women tend to be storgic and pragmatic. Mania is often the first love style teenager’s display. Relationships based on similar love styles were found to last longer. People often look for people with the same love style as themselves for a relationship.
Eros Lovers: Beauty and Sexuality
. The erotic lover focuses more on beauty and physical attraction, sometimes to point where they exclude other qualities people may find more important and lasting. You could say that they live in a fantasy world. They often see marriage as a lasting honeymoon, and see sex as the ultimate aesthetic experience. The erotic lover also has an idealized image of beauty that cannot be attainable in reality. Consequently, the erotic lover often feels empty, and they are also sensitive to imperfections of their partner or the ones they love. An erotic lover can be perceived as a hopeless romantic. Those of other love styles may see erotic lovers as unrealistic, or trapped in a fantasy. The advantage of erotic love is the sentimentality of it. It is very relaxing to the person doing it. The disadvantage is the inevitableness of the decay in attraction, and the danger of living in a fantasy world. In its extreme, eros can resemble naïve
Ludus: Entertainment and Excitement
Ludic lovers are players. More interested in quantity than quality of relationships, they want to have as much fun as possible, choose their partners by playing the field, and quickly recover from break-ups. For them, love is not to be taken too seriously and emotions should be kept in check. Ludic lovers are also very self-controlled, they always find the need to manage love, rather than let love be in control. Perhaps because of this need to control love, some researchers have found that ludic lovers are linked to sexual aggression. The ludic lover will also only maintain a partner for as long as he/she is interesting or amusing. Research has shown that people who score high on ludic love are more likely to engage in "outside-the-couple" dating and sex than those who score low on ludus.
Storge Love: Peace and Slowness
Storge love lacks passion and intensity, Storgic lovers set out not to find a love, but to find a compatible relationship with someone they already know and share common interests. Storge love is gradual prossess of unfolding feelings and emotions. At times the storge love can move so slowly it is hard to define where relationship stands. Sex in storge love comes late, and when it does it usually assumes no great importance.
Pragma Lover: Practilality and Tradition
These lovers are practical and seek a relationship that will work. Pragma lovers want compatibility, and a relationship that will satisfy all their needs, desires and wants. They are more concerned with social qualities rather than personal ones; family and background are very important to pagma lovers, who don’t rely so much on feelings as on logic. They view love as a useful relationship, and as a way to make the rest of life easier. They ask questions when choosing a potential partner such as: "Will this person earn a good live?", "Can this person cook?", "Will my family like this person?". Their relationships hardly ever decay , because they choose their partners very carefully and emphasize similarities, they also have realistic romantic expectations.
Mania Lovers: Elation and Depression
Mania lovers are characterized as having extreme highs and extreme lows. The manic lover loves intensely, and at the time worries intensely about the loss of the love. For this, the manic lover may experience fear that prevents them from enjoying relationships. With little reason, they may also experience extreme jealously. Manic love is obsessive; the manic lover has to possess the beloved completely. In return, the manic lover wishes to be possessed, to be loved intensely. They tend to feel that their poor self esteem with only improve with intense love. Their sense of self-worth comes from being loved, rather than from inner satisfaction. Because love is so important, danger signs in a relationship are often ignored; the manic lover believes that if there is love, then nothing else matters.
Agape Lovers: Compassion and Selflessness
Agape (ah-guh-pay) is a compassionate, egoless, self-giving love. The agapic lover loves even people with whom he or she has no close ties. This lover loves the stranger on the road even though they will probably never meet again. Agape is a spiritual love, offered without concern for personal reward or gain. This lover loves without expecting that the love will be reciprocated. Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi practiced and preached this unqualified love. In one sense, agape is more a philosophical kind of love than a love that most people have the strength to achieve.
Hendrick and Hendrick (1986) developed a self-report questionnaire measure of Lee's love styles, known as the Love Attitudes Scale (LAS). A shortened version of the LAS, presumably for researchers trying to keep their surveys as concise as possible, was later published, and other variations appear to have been used by some researchers. Respondents indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with the LAS items, examples of which include "My partner and I have the right physical 'chemistry'" (Eros) and "Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship" (Storge).
Which Love Style are you?
After reading this hub and taking the self test, which love style do you fall under?
Find Out Which Love Style You Are
INSTRUCTIONS: Pull out a pen and paper and give it a try! Respond to each of the following statements with T if you believe the statement to be a generally accurate representation of your attitudes about love, or with F if you believe the statement does not adequately represent your attitudes about love.
- _____ My lover and I have the right physical “chemistry” between us.
- _____ I feel that my lover and I were meant for each other.
- _____ My lover and I really understand each other.
- _____ I believe that what my lover doesn’t know about me won’t hurt him/her.
- _____ My lover would get upset if he/she knew of some of the things I’ve done with other people.
- _____ When my lover gets too dependent on me, I want to back off a little.
- _____ I expect to always be friends with my lover.
- _____ Our love is really a deep friendship, not a mysterious, mystical emotion.
- _____ Our love relationship is the most satisfying because it developed from a good friendship.
- _____ In choosing my lover, I believed it was best to love someone with a similar background.
- _____ An important factor in choosing a partner is whether or not he/she would be a good parent.
- _____ One consideration in choosing my lover was how he/she would reflect on my career.
- _____ Sometimes I get so excited about being in love with my lover that I can’t sleep.
- _____ When my lover doesn’t pay attention to me, I feel sick all over.
- _____ I cannot relax if I suspect that my lover is with someone else.
- _____ I would rather suffer myself than let my lover suffer.
- _____ When my lover gets angry with me, I still love him/her fully and unconditionally.
- _____ I would endure all things for the sake of my lover.
HOW DID YOU DO? This scale is from Hendrick and Hendrick (1990) and is based on the work of Lee (1976), as is the text’s discussion of the six types of love. The statements refer to the six types of love described in the text: eros, ludus, storge, pragma, mania, and agape. Statements 1–3 are characteristic of the eros lover. If you answered “true” to these statements, you have a strong eros component to your love style; if you answered “false,” you have a weak eros component. Statements 4–6 refer to ludus love, 7–9 to storge love, 10–12 to pragma love, 13–15 to manic love, and 16–18 to agapic love.