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Understanding the Colors of Love

Updated on September 5, 2012

The Colors of Love

The colors of love is a theory of love that identifies six different styles of love. Learning about the way you love can provide much needed insight into your life, especially if you have the same failed relationship over and over. Naturally, your attitude toward love and method of loving someone will have an impact on the relationship. Likewise, your partner's style of love also has an effect on the romantic relationship. It takes two to tango, after all.

Colors of Love by Carolyn Nyugen

Don't worry if your partner has a different attitude toward love than you. You can still make the relationship succeed with work. The fact that you understand the differences is an advantage.

Love Colors by JacquiJax
Love Colors by JacquiJax

The Man Behind the Colors of Love

The Colors of Love is a book written by John Lee in 1973 that associates styles of love with the color wheel. According to John Lee, there are three primary styles of love: eros, ludos, and storge. John Lee also explained that the primary colors of love can form secondary colors of love when blended together.

Love styles are shaped by personality traits and flexible attitudes. This means that your love style is not set in stone. You have the power to change it.

Eros by Katie de Sousa
Eros by Katie de Sousa

Eros Love

In the Colors of Love, the Eros style of love consists of passion, intimacy, intensity, physical attraction, and beauty. Erotic lovers tend to fall in love at first sight or choose their partners by chemistry. Those of the eros love style may also use pet names and perceive marriage as an extended honeymoon. To the people on the outside looking in at an erotic relationship, they usually believe that the two are unrealistic and living in a fantasy world. In a way they are, because of how intense, passionate, and idealistic eros love is.

Due to the intensity of the idealistic views of the erotic lover, she has a harder time dealing with her partner's imperfections once the passion finally wears off. As a result of the desire for perfection, someone with an eros love style may feel empty, depressed, and unsatisfied.

Advice for the Erotic Lover

❤ Lower your expectations in a lover. This is easier said than done, as most things are.

❤ Slow down the progression of your relationship. For example, if you typically engage in sexual intercourse within the first month of dating, then make yourself wait three months.

❤ If you are attracted to someone, don't ask him/her out just yet. Get to know the person, first. There is nothing wrong with being an erotic lover, but if you allow yourself to be an extremist, you will face problems.

❤ Remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race. Slow it down. It's easy to forget this when you get caught up in the moment.

❤ Slow down how intimate you are. Erotic lovers love intensely in both a physical and emotional way. By slowing down how intimate you are, I mean to not tell your entire life story too soon. Keep as many things to yourself as possible. This is so that you do not become emotionally bonded or attached too soon. Share a little bit over the course of time.

Either take away, O Eros, a wish for love, or let me be loved! Take away all desire, or satisfy it. -- Lucillius

The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love
The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love

What does philosophy know of love? From Plato on, philosophers have struggled to pin love to the dissecting table and view it in the cold light of logic. Yet, as Arthur Danto writes in the foreword to this volume, "how incorrigibly stiff philosophy is when it undertakes to lay its icy fingers on the frilled and beating wings of the butterfly of love."

Love, elusive and philosophically intractable as it is, has long fascinated philosophers. In this collection of classic and modern writings on the topic of erotic love, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins have chosen excerpts from the great philosophical texts and combined them with the most exciting new work of philosophers writing today.

Player by Nabhan Abdullatif
Player by Nabhan Abdullatif

Ludus Love

According to the Colors of Love, ludus love consists of games, challenges, and fun. Ludic lovers are commonly referred to as players. This is because people who have a ludus love style tend to select partners by playing the field, have as much fun as possible, be more concerned with quantity of relationships over quality, view sex as mere fun and games, and recuperate from breakups quickly.

Generally, ludic lovers are opposed to the thought of being tied down. To them marriage is a trap. In addition, people who have a ludus love type cheat on their lovers more often than others. In extreme cases, ludic lovers can be sex addicts. More men than women have a ludus love style, but it's not impossible to come across a ludic woman.

An advantage to being a ludic lover is that you are never hurt, because you are so wary of allowing someone to become close to you. The downside is that you can never experience the great depth of feeling and love that an erotic lover undergos, because you are unwilling to take risks or bond with someone.

Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain. Once or twice was enough, and it was all in vain. Time starts to pass. Before you know it, you're frozen. -- Unknown

Advice for the Ludic Lover

❤ Remain loyal to one person at a time. Don't allow yourself to cheat on your boyfriend or girlfriend.

❤ Don't have sex too soon. You will find that the longer you can wait, the better the experience will be.

❤ Realize that taking a risk is part of finding true love. You may get hurt once or twice, maybe even more, but that's a risk you're willing to take to experience real love. And if you aren't willing, then continue on with your ways of guarding your heart.

Friendship by Daniel Ponce
Friendship by Daniel Ponce

Storge Love

John Lee's Colors of Love defines storge love as a friendship that evolved into a relationship. Unlike erotic lovers, storgic partners neither base the relationship on passion nor move too quickly. It is common for storgic lovers to be unable to recognize the moment their friendship turned into a romantic relationship. They are also known for valuing trust and commitment, respecting and understanding their partners, and regarding their significant others as best friends. In essence, storge love is a blending of friendship and love.

Sometimes, storgic lovers must face the lack of passion in their relationships. Fortunately, you can always ignite the flames of desire in a romantic relationship.

Advice for the Storgic Lover

❤ Read articles and/or books about maintaining a healthy sex life.

❤ Play a fun sexual game with your significant other.

❤ Come into touch with your own sexuality.

❤ On your own explore your pleasures.

❤ Learn more about your body.

It was an Arranged Marriage by AcidPopTart
It was an Arranged Marriage by AcidPopTart

Pragma Love

In the Colors of Love, pragma love is explained as a calculating, realistic, and logical approach to romantic relationships. Whereas the heart rules in erotic lovers, the head governs for pragmatic lovers. People with a pragmatic approach to love search for value in potential partners, maintain realistic and rational expectations, and crave to work with their significant others toward a common goal.

In societies where marriages are arranged, people tend to have a pragmatic love style, because neither passion nor friendship comes before the marriage. The beginning is the commitment. It is up to the couple to either take things further or maintain a partnership, in which they work toward the same goal as a team.

Examples of Questions Pragmatic Lovers Ask Themselves about Potential Partners

Will my family approve of this person?

What level of education does he have?

How much does he earn?

Can she cook?

How responsible is she?

Advice for the Pragmatic Lover

❤ Get to know your partner.

❤ Try to be friends.

❤ Do fun activities together.

❤ Explore your sexual pleasures on your own.

❤ Embrace your sexuality.

❤ Aim to do at least one romantic thing each week for your lover.

❤ Focus on the positives about your significant other.

Obsession by Complejo
Obsession by Complejo

Mania Love

The next type of love covered in the Colors of Love is mania love. Manic love is an obsessive type of love. Usually, manic lovers have low self esteem, believe that love will cure their self esteem issues, depend on others for happiness, perceive love as rescuing them, and think that they need their lovers.

Manic lovers are also inclined to speak of their significant others in superlatives and possessives, envision marriage as ownership instead of partnership, view children as competition or substitutes, and believe that sex is an affirmation of love.

Manic lovers love intensely, but experience severe lows due to extreme insecurity, jealousy, and anxiety.

In severe cases, manic lovers may commit crimes, such as rape, murder, stalking, and more. They may even commit suicide.

Advice for the Manic Lover

❤ Understand that happiness must come from within. You can't rely on other people to make you happy. You can find articles and books to assist you with learning how to feel happy on your own.

❤ Understand that your self esteem will not be improved by love. Manic lovers tend to have even worse self esteem after a relationship, because the breakup hits them so hard.

❤ Work on becoming happier and improving your self esteem. There are multifarious books and articles that can assist you.

❤ Don't try to get into contact with your partner too often. This means don't call or text them more than three times in a row.

❤ Consider therapy, especially if you are going through a breakup. Even if you are single, a therapist can help you overcome a manic love tendency.

The Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love
The Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love

When does love become an obsession? What are the warning signs? What does it take to guard against it and prevent it from taking over one's life? A psychotherapist who specializes in this condition and a survivor of obsessive love team up to answer these questions and many others in the most current and important book on this phenomenon. With fascinating and helpful advice drawn from real-life case studies and personal experience, this expert team discusses:

The difference between healthy love and obsessive love.

The psychological and societal causes of obsessive love.

Obsessive love from both the obsessor's and the obsessee's points of view.

Proven techniques to avoid falling into the obsessive love cycle.

Concrete steps to break the cycle.

Love by Jedoelrich
Love by Jedoelrich

Agape Love

Agape love is synonymous with selfless love. Agapic lovers are self-sacrificing, faithful, patient, and understanding. Agapic lovers are disposed to believe sex is very special, to identify their lovers as blessings, and to never expect personal gain or reward.

The downside of agape love is that you forget your own needs and wants. Psychologically, agape love is actually considered unhealthy for this reason. There is nothing wrong with giving to your partner without expecting anything in return, but when you take it to the extreme and allow yourself to be used it can become a problem. Even if you are not being walked all over, you may be suppressing certain needs for the sake of someone else. Philosophically and religiously, agape love may be considered admirable, because of the self-sacrificing nature of it.

Advice for the Agapic Lover

❤ Write down your needs in a relationship. Seriously think about them and how to get them in a relationship.

❤ Realize that a relationship is give and take. Neither partner should be giving or taking too much.

❤ Negotiate and communicate with your lover on important matters.

❤ Do at least one thing each week for yourself without feeling guilty.

❤ At least once a month, say no to your lover when you really want to say no.

❤ Write down what you want out of a relationship.

This is Love by Pamcakes
This is Love by Pamcakes

Love Attitudes Scale

The love attitudes scale (LAS) was developed by Hendrick and Hendrick. The aim of this test is to determine your love style.


For each statement listed below fill in the blank using the number that indicates how much you agree or disagree with that statement. The items refer to a specific love relationship.

Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current lover in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never been in love, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be.

For each statement score based on the following scale:

(1) Strongly Agree, (2) Moderately Agree, (3) Neutral- neither Agree or Disagree, (4) Moderately Disagree, and (5) Strongly Disagree

Eros Love Style

__ My partner and I were attracted to each other immediately after we first met.

__ My partner and I have the right physical chemistry between us.

__ Our lovemaking is intense and satisfying.

__ I feel that my partner and I were meant for each other.

__ My partner and I became emotionally involved rather quickly.

__ My partner and I really understand each other.

__ My partner fits my ideal standards for physical beauty/ handsomeness.

Ludus Love Style

__ I try to keep my partner a little uncertain about my commitment to him/her.

__ I believe that what my partner does not know about me wont hurt him/her.

__ I have sometimes had to keep my partner from finding out about other partners.

__ I could get over my affair with my partner pretty easily and quickly.

__ My partner would get upset if he/she knew some of things I've done with others.

__ When my partner gets too dependent on me, I want to back off a little.

__ I enjoy playing the game of love with my partner and a number of other partners.

Storge Love Style

__ It is hard for me to say exactly when our friendship turned into love.

__ To be genuine, our love first required caring for a while.

__ I expect to always be friends with my partner.

__ Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship.

__ Our friendship merged gradually into love over time.

__ 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.

Pragma Love Style

__ I considered what my partner was going to become in life before I committed myself to him/her.

__ I tried to plan my life carefully before choosing my partner.

__ In choosing my partner, I believe it was best to love someone with a similar background.

__ A main consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my family.

__ An important factor in choosing my partner was whether or not he/she would be a good parent.

__ One consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my career.

__ Before getting very involved with my partner, I tried to figure out how compatible his/her hereditary background would be with mine in case we ever had children.

Mania Love Style

__ When things are not right with my partner and me, my stomach gets upset.

__ If my partner and I broke up, I would get so depressed that I would even think of suicide.

__ Sometimes I get so excited about being in love with my partner that I cannot sleep.

__ When my partner does not pay attention to me, I feel sick all over.

__ Since I have been in love with my partner, I have had trouble concentrating on anything else.

__ I cannot relax if I suspect that partner is with someone else.

__ If my partner ignores me for a while, I sometimes do stupid things to try to get his/her attention back.

Agape Love Style

__ I try to always help my partner though difficult times.

__ I would rather suffer myself than let my partner suffer.

__ I cannot be happy unless I place my partners happiness before my own.

__ I am usually willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let my partner achieve his/hers.

__ Whatever I own is my partners to use as he/she chooses.

__ When my partner gets angry with me, I still love him/ her fully and unconditionally.

__ I would endure all things for the sake of my partner.

In order to know what type of love style you have, compare how many times you chose 1 for each category. For example, I said I strongly agree 4 times for eros, 0 times for ludus, 2 times for storge, 0 times for pragma, 1 time for mania, and 2 times for agape. Therefore, the love style that fits me most is eros. I strongly disagreed with all statements for ludus and pragma, so those are the styles I am most intensely opposed to. As for agape, I picked strongly agree 2 times and strongly disagree 5 times for agape. Just by comparing your answers with the different colors of love, you can learn about your thoughts toward love.

Have your partner take this test and compare his/her answers with your own. Are your styles of love compatible? If they're not, what can be done to sustain the relationship?

What is your love style?

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Did this information on types of love help you?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wow!!!! i am enjoyed read this. it was so interesting. the information is enough to what love style are you belong?it is good advice for the partner =)

    • sarahrk lm profile image

      sarahrk lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for an entertaining lens. I enjoyed reading, never heard these explainations before.

    • adrianaheep lm profile imageAUTHOR

      adrianaheep lm 

      6 years ago

      @lexxsweet: People with the same love style are considered most compatible, but that doesn't mean if you don't have the same love style that it won't work out. Most people want a lover who is similar to them. I am an exception, though. I tend to end up liking people who are very different from me. I know a few others who are the same way. I think any relationship can be great if both people want to make it work. =]

    • lexxsweet profile image


      6 years ago

      I like this lens, very interesting. I'm curious if there is any information on which types best match each other to create the best relationship dynamic and compliment each other's shortcomings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, I used to be a ludus lover but I slowly evolved into an eros lover through trial and error.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I just added this and your triangle of love lens to my valentine's day gift lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this is really great, appreciate what you've written here.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great page, very informative and i'd definitely recommend it

      I'm new to this but i have 2 pages up so i'd appreciate it if you could go onto the link, like and comment, and share the link if you like it. I hope you enjoy reading through my poetry.Thanks I wrote all the poetry myself so feel free to 'like' it if you enjoy the read :)

    • Inkhand profile image


      6 years ago

      A nice lens that paints love in different colours.

    • AlexandraHeep profile image


      6 years ago

      I could have used this info decades ago. lol.


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