Romance Love Styles: 6 Basic Styles of Love

There are six basic love styles: Eros (passionate love), Ludus (game-playing love), Storge (friendship love), Pragma (logical love), Mania (possessive, dependent love), and Agape (all-giving selfless love).

How do I love thee? Let me count the six ways.

In 1976, researcher John Lee conducted extensive interviews with people to discover what the word “love” meant to them.

He learned, of course, that love means different things to different people. Lee concluded that humans think of love in six separate ways. He labeled these love forms with Greek nouns.

Eros Love: Eros refers to the romantic love that has tremendous passion, physical longing, deep intensity, and intimacy.

Ludas Love: Ludas is called game-playing love. It is like the love of a knight for a princess. There are playful interactions here but little intimacy or deep intensity.

Storge Love: Storge exemplifies friendship-based love. There is strong companionship and shared values here but little physical intimacy.

Pragma Love: Pragma, a combination of storge and ludus love, refers to practical or logical love in which someone actively searches for a partner with certain characteristics.

Mania Love: Mania is a combination of eros and ludus love. It is also known as the troubled love. This love has jealousy and dependence (often called co-dependency), great intensity, some intimacy, and many psychological symptoms related to the relationship.

Agape Love: Agape is also a blend of two other types of love, eros and storge. This is the love of altruism, of giving without asking anything in return, and of sacrificing oneself for one’s partner. Many would consider it to be the purest form of love.

All couples share some of each of these forms of love. However, some individuals and thus, couples, focus more on certain types of love styles.

How do male loves and females love? Probably not the way you think of love styles and gender.

Researchers discovered that men tend to view love more in terms of the romantic, intense eros love, or the game-playing love of ludas. Women often have a more logical outlook in the practical pragma love.

Texas Tech psychology professors Clyde Hendrick, PhD, and Susan Hendrick, PhD make the study of love and sexuality their life’s work. They emphasize that a blend of love and sexual styles exist within each individual, and these love styles can change during a relationship. Their research also shows that lovers with similar love styles tend to stay together more often than those with differing love styles.

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