Styles of Love

What is love? Is love the same for everyone? There are many different ways of viewing love, but none of them “tell the whole story.” From one perspective, sociologist John Lee (1973,1988) described styles of love. People can use a combination of these styles. The style(s) used can change as the relationship changes. Lee categorized six basic styles.

-> Eros is named after the Greek god of love, the son of Aphrodite. (The Romans called him “Cupid”.) Erotic love is very sensual, tactile and immediate. Lovers are drawn towards the beauty of the partner. (However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder) They love to sense their partner through sight, sound, smell and touch. This style is suggested by couples that continually cling to each other or constantly touch. They are fascinated by every physical detail of their beloved. This style burns brightly, but it soon flickers and dies. On the other hand, it may change to another style of love.

-> Mania comes from the Greek word for “madness”. This style leaves lovers possessed. They have nights of sleeplessness and days filled with anxiety. It is like a roller coaster. When things are positive, manic lovers are “on top of the world”. But with the slightest sign of rejection, manic lovers are “down in the dumps.” Just as any act of attention leads to ecstasy, any oversight is interpreted as total rejection. Manic love is most likely to lead to possessiveness and jealousy.

-> Ludus is Latin for “play”. Ludic love is a game. It does not require deep emotional involvement. It is for fun and enjoyment. Encounters are cashual, carefree, and often careless. Ludic lovers may be concerned about “scoring” with partners or keeping a tally on how many partners they have had. “Nothing serious” is the motto of ludic lovers.

-> Storge (pronounced “STOR-gay”) It indicates the natural, affectionate love one might have for a friend. In Lee’s terms, it is “love without fever, tumult, or folly, a peaceful and enchanting affection”. It usually starts as a friendship that slowly develops into love. If the love ends, it is gradual. However, the friendship usually remains. In contrast to the hot flames of erotic love, storge lovers share the comfortable warmth of glowing embers.

-> Agape (pronounced “AH-gah-pay”) is from the Greek for “brotherly love.” Agapic love is charitable, selfless, patient, undemanding and chaste. Those who have it do not expect it to be returned. (some call it “Christian” love, but a more inclusive term would be “altruistic”.) Agape is best illustrated by those who anonymously help others. It is likely to be a strong component of love of parents for their children, teachers for their students or doctors for their clients. Although this love is admirable as an ideal, it is unrealistic. We all need some expression of appreciation for what we do.

taken from my teacher’s handouts

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~ by worthwhil on December 30, 2007.

One Response to “Styles of Love”

  1. Eros is to be cupid, right?
    Funny I somehow erased your comment on “lavish spending”

    wrong click, sorry

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