Monday, August 2, 2010

John Lee's Love Styles

Since we took a look at the various types of love experiences, I thought it would be worth-while to look at individual love styles. While the last post took a look at the depth of certain qualities in an existing relationship (commitment, passion, and intimacy) it ignores the subject of individual preferences. After all, it is possible for the perspective of each partner to perceive the relationship quite differently depending on their love styles. Someone with lower standards of intimacy and passion might find Empty Love to be as fulfilling as Consummate Love while someone with higher standards might be quite depressed. Depending on their love style, they might even be unhappy with increased levels of certain traits. A Ludic Lover may not enjoy a relationship with increased commitment and intimacy after all.

So without further ado, John Lee’s six love styles are:

Eros. A passionate love style filled with an aesthetic enjoyment of the relationship. It is the Western ideal, also known as romantic love, and contains both sensual desire and longing. Partners are chosen based on an intuitive sense of connection commonly referred to as ‘chemistry’ and they are more willing to believe (and indulge) in the ‘love at first sight’ experience. Sex is considered the ultimate sensual experience and is a much desired aspect of the relationship. This love style is also quite sentimental and relaxing but the lovers might be naieve and may also not be able to cope with any decay in physical attraction. Their reliance on gut instinct sometimes means they overlook important personality clashes or clashes in beliefs that later cause problems.

Ludus. This is a belief that love is a game ... or a battlefield. The Ludic lovers are far more interested in quantity and are far more likely to put the metaphorical notches on the bed head. They are all about the fun of sex, the thrill of the chase, and can recover quite quickly from break-ups. They are often reticent about marriage, are more likely to cheat even if they do get married, and more likely to be promiscuous.

Storge. This love is held by those who desire a more friendly, affectionate sort of love. Storgic lovers require a firm foundation of friendship and are sometimes capable of helping the friendship endure past a breakup. They desire their significant other to also be their best friend and will be hurt by any signs that this isn’t the case. They are quite committed to the relationship and may consider both children and marriage as capable of cementing the bond. While they may be as sexually charged as the more passionate love styles, it is of lesser importance and these individuals may cope quite well with reduced passion and sex drive so long as the intimacy and friendship stays strong. Storgic lovers are happiest in relationships with high intimacy and commitment.

The Pragma love style is a practical one. Pragmatic lovers, true to their name, will be quite rational in their selection of partners and may even select them by comparison to a list of traits. Ultimately, they want a partner who will work with them toward common goals or who have the necessary resources required to assist the Pragmatic Lover towards their goal. Sex might be controlled as either a reward for good behavior or considered as simply a means of procreation. The Pragmatic lovers are often less demonstrative of their emotions.

Mania is a love style based off low self-esteem. The Manic Lover seems to derive much of their self-esteem through their relationships, feeling a need for their lover's presence, as the lover is thought to be rescuing them from a bad situation, or even reinforcing their value as a human being. “If I am loved, then I am worthwhile” is often their motto. They’re more possessive than those of the other Love Styles as they generally feel they have more to lose in a break-up, particularly if their partner is more confidant than them. Sex reassures them, marriage is ownership, and they can become quite jealous. These people also have an intensity of feeling that can be quite attractive to some.

Agape is a self-sacrificing and all-encompassing love. The Agapic lover is more often spiritual or religious and they find their loved ones to be blessings on their lives and thus desire to take care of them. They believe that love should be unconditional. They will avoid causing their partner pain, show a great deal of patience, and tend to view marriage and children as a sacred trust. Sex is considered to be a gift between the two lovers. They can be quite generous, sometimes to the point of martyring themselves, although they can induce feelings of guilt in their partner.

Remember, of course, that people are more complicated than these rules of thumb and circumstances can change. An Agapic Lover can be rude and controlling at times - even causing a great deal of pain to their lovers through their loud matyrdom. A Ludic Lover might remain a game player deep down but simply love a particular person so much that they don't need to play that game any more. A Storgic or Pragmatic Lover can also have very high sex drives which boosts the passion in their relationships - even if their method of choosing and sustaining relationships differs from the Erotic and Manic Lovers.

For those world builders out there, consider what sort of love style is considered the ideal and which is frowned upon or even pitied? Does that society encourage different love styles in men and women? Or in the upper and lower classes? In our society, for example, men are generally suspected of being Ludic lovers and women to be Agapic or Erotic lovers.

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