Love styles are models of how people love, originally developed by John Lee (1973, 1988). He identified six basic love theories -- also known as "colors" of love -- that people use in their interpersonal relationships:
Clyde Hendrick and Susan Hendrick of Texas Tech University expanded on this theory in the mid-1980s with their extensive research on what they called "love styles." 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 teenagers 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.
Akin to limerence, eros is literally the love of beauty. It is a highly sensual style of love. Erotic lovers choose their lovers by intuition or "chemistry." They are more likely to say they fell in love at first sight than those of other love styles.
Erotic lovers view marriage as an extended honeymoon, and sex as the ultimate aesthetic experience. They tend to address their lovers with pet names, such as "sweetheart" or "honey." 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 naivete.
Examples of eros in movies include:
Ludic lovers are players. More interested in quantity than quality of relationships, ludic lovers want to have as much fun as possible. Ludic lovers choose their partners by playing the field, and quickly recover from break-ups.
Ludic lovers generally view marriage as a trap, and are the most likely of the love styles to commit infidelity. They might view children as a sign of fertility, or, if male, a confirmation of their masculinity. They regard Sex as a conquest or a sport, and they engage in relationships because they see them as a challenge.
The advantage of ludic love is excellent sexual technique. The disadvantage is the likelihood of infidelity. In its extreme form, ludic love becomes promiscuity.
Examples of ludus in movies include:
Storgic lovers are friends first. Storgic love develops gradually out of friendship, and the friendship can endure beyond the breakup of the relationship. Storgic lovers choose their mates based on homogamy, and sometimes cannot pinpoint the moment that friendship turned to love. Storgic lovers want their significant others to also be their best friends.
Storgic lovers place much importance on commitment, and find their motivation to avoid committing infidelity is to preserve the trust between the partners. Children and marriage are seen as legitimate forms of their bond. Sex is of lesser importance than in some of the other love styles.
The advantage of storgic love is the level of intimacy between the partners. The disadvantage is boredom and lack of passion.
Examples of storge in movies include:
Pragmatic lovers are practical. Pragmatic lovers think rationally and realistically about their expectations in a partner, and select them via comparison shopping or shopping-list love. Pragmatic lovers want to find value in their partners, and ultimately want to work with their partner to reach a common goal.
Pragmatic lovers will avoid infidelity to avoid adverse consequences, and carefully weigh the costs and rewards of a relationship. Pragmatic lovers view sex as a reward or a means of procreation, and view marriage and children as potential liabilities and assets.
The advantage of pragmatic love is practicality and realism. The disadvantage is undemonstrativeness and lack of emotion. In its extreme form, pragma can become prostitution.
Examples of pragma in books and movies include:
Manic lovers often have low self-esteem, and place much importance on their relationship. Manic lovers speak of their partners in possessives and superlatives, and feel they "need" their partners. Love is a means of rescue, or a reinforcement of value. Manic lovers often discover their partners by haphazard means.
Manic lovers will avoid committing infidelity if they fear discovery. They view marriage as ownership, and children as either competition or a substitute for their lover. Sex is a reassurance of love. Manic lovers are often anxious or insecure, and can be extremely jealous. Manic lovers respond well to therapy, and often grow out of this style.
The advantage of manic love is intensity. The disadvantage is jealousy, obsessiveness, and insatiability. In its extreme, mania becomes addiction or codependency.
Extreme examples of mania in movies include:
Agapic love is self-sacrificing, all-encompassing love. Agapic lovers are often spiritual or religious people. Agapic lovers view their partners as blessings, and wish to take care of them.
Agapic lovers will remain faithful to their partners to avoid causing them pain, and will often wait patiently for their partners after a break-up. Marriage and children are sacred trusts, and sex is a gift between two people. Agapic love is unconditional.
The advantage of agapic love is its generosity. Examples of agape include:
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 (Hendrick, Hendrick, & Dicke, 1998), 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). Depending on the version of the LAS one administers, there are from 3-7 items for each of the six styles described above.
This article from the online journal, Current Research in Social Psychology, illustrates the use of the LAS.
In 2007, researchers from the University of Pavia led by Dr Enzo Emanuele have provided evidence of a genetic basis for individual variations in Lee's love styles, with Eros being linked to the dopamine system and Mania to the serotonin system
This article is based on "Love styles" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Love+styles&action=history