Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Within these types of relationships comes a romantic aspect that includes six different love styles: eros, ludus, storge, pragma, mania, and agape. These love styles were orginially developed by John Lee in 1973 and then further expanded by Clyde and Susan Hendrick of Texas Tech University throughout the mid 1980’s. All six love styles are significantly different but everyone has experienced atleast one throughout their life.
In my case, I’ve experienced all six at one point or another in my life. These models of how people love indicate the different ways of showing affection and or receiving it. Eros is the love style that you will most likely see in one of your favorite romantic movies. It is the style in which two people love eachother with such incredible passion and desire for eachother. The type of love that focuses on physical attractiveness aswell as emotional. It is intense and gratifying to the two indivuduals in so many ways. I experienced this love style with my first love.
The connection was immediate and the passion was clearly there. We gravitated towards eachother because we were both extremely physically attracted to eachother. When we were together, we were both in this state of bliss. Their was definitely chemistry and we understood eachother the way no one was able to understand us before. Ludus lovers tend to treat love more like a game. They like to make their partners question their commitment and give mixed signals. They engage in relationships because they see it as simply a challenge.
They aren’t fond of true commitments and believe that what the other person doesn’t know wont hurt them. I went through this stage in my life when my first love and I went through our breakup which was very tough on me. As a result, it made me resent relationships and made me view everything in a compeletly different light. I would play games and not let anyone truly in to prevent myself from getting hurt. I didn’t want to be tied down to one person because of the simple fact that I felt I couldn’t trust anyone.
So I played the game of love and lured differnet people in to simply forget about them the next day. Storge is the love style that bases their relationships on their friendships. Storge lovers usually want their partners to be their best friends at the same time. They want to know every aspect of that person before they are ready to ensue in a full-on comitted relationship. Intimacy isn’t a problem in this love style but what it lacks is true passion because of the friendship the relationship is based on.
I am actually going through something like this currently in my life. My best friend has recently admitted to being in love with me and viewing our relationship in a completely different light. At first I was completely taken aback, I told him I didn’t know how to take the news and that it was difficult for me to take him out of the “friend zone” that I was so comfortable seeing him in. His response to me was “The best relationships come out of long friendships,” this of course makes him the perfect example of this love style.
Pragma is the love style with a check list. Pragmatic lovers think rationally and feasable based on their over all needs in life. They consider all aspects from what the person is pursuing to become in life and how it will affect their own plans, their biological background in case they were to ever have children, how their families will react to the person if they were to take them home, and will they be a good parent if the situation arose. This style reminds me very much of one of my best friends.
She is the type of girl that will not let a guy in or even give him the time of day if he does not meet all of her expectations, which explains why she is usually alone. The persons goals, background, and overall attitude toward life all come into affect when deciding whether or not to even go out on a date with the person. I’m very much opposite to this kind of behavior, if there is an attraction there I tend to look past all the imperfections and atleast give it a chance. Mania is the love style very much like fatal attraction.
Manic lovers are extremely possesive and become almost obsessed with their partner. They usually tend to have extremely low self esteem which leads them to basing their life around that person. They feel as if without their partner, they are worthless. Manic lovers are often in need of therapy to help overcome this stage. I have a friend who is the epitome of a manic lover. She gets involved in a relationship and she becomes a different person. She gets extremely jealous about every little thing the person does (which comes from the insecurity) and feels that without that person there is no point to life.
Most of her partners end up cheating on or leaving her due to how intense she can really be. Thankfully we have a strong group of friends that have helped her come up from really dark times but it is the same way everytime she gets involved in a relationship. Agape is the love style of total commitment and self-sacrifice. Agape lovers give everything for their partners and often put their partners needs before their own. They would rather be truly unhappy then have their partner be unhappy. They give all of themselves and lose themselves along the way.
There is no “meet me halfway” in this love style, it is most definitely a one way street. I would know because I was an agape lover myself in my second serious relationship. I’m a sacrificing person in general but in a relationship I tend to give a lot more then usual even if I’m not getting anything back. My last relationship was just like this, I gave up my whole life style to be with him and see him happy. I am a very outgoing, spontaneous person that likes to go out and do fun things and I was with someone who was sort of the complete opposite.
His idea of a Friday night was staying in ordering pizza and watching a movie. So I changed my way of being and never saw the light of day, to please him. I wanted to see him happy, even though I knew he didn’t care about my happiness one bit. Being fully into any of these love styles isn’t good, just like too much of anything is bad for you. I think there should be a balance and every bad relationship will lead to a better one because you grow up, mature, and realize exactly what you want out of life and out of a relationship.
I’ve only had two serious relationships in my life and I can definitely say I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ve learned what my needs are in a relationship as well as to consider the other persons needs. So whether you believe yourself to be eros, ludus, storge, pragma, mania, or agape, I believe that as long as you love you will live a happy, long, healthy, and beautiful life. “Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence,” -Eric Fromm.