We do a lot of talking about love; wanting it, finding it, and keeping it alive once we have it. Like everything else in life, our personalities, past experiences, habits and perspectives play a large part in how we love. Our evolution as a society is also causing a melding of our cultures, and the way we meet each other, (internet dating, speed dating etc.) also allows us to explore relationships with potential partners we'd never have met otherwise, even 20 years go. This combination of peoples' love styles can create a beautiful love-song, and exciting mash-up, or even something akin to emotional war. So how do you love?
The 6 styles of Love
1. Pragmatic: This style of love has its roots in past societal customs. Finding an "appropriate" partner is based on that person's fit with family, culture and status. Future roles to be filled like parenting are a main determining factor in choosing a mate for a Pragmatic partner. Could involve a list of pros and cons...
2. Physical/Aesthetic/Passionate: Usually the stereotype for Romantic love, there is instant chemistry in this type, and the physical attributes of the partners are an important factor in the attraction. Love-making is intense and satisfying. But what happens if the beauty fades? This style can have a higher burn-out rate than most...
3. Sport: This style of love is quite self-centred, and often doesn't have much to do with love at all. Keeping your partner off-guard so they never get too comfortable is part of this style, as is pulling back when they get too close, and also possibly having a secret life outside the relationship. This type of love is usually there to teach you a lesson of some kind...
4. Manic: This style of love is based on exaggerated emotional responses and insecurities, due to unresolved past issues. When things aren't perfect in this type of relationship, the manic lover feels sick, cannot concentrate on anything else, and resorts to child-like behavior as a coping mechanism. Life centres around your partner, and your identity gets tied up in them. You may want to seek some outside help if you find you're loving this way...
5. Altruistic: This style often mimics motherly love. It is unconditional, your partner's needs come first, and you sacrifice your own wants to satisfy theirs. It usually results in one partner being smothered however, and one being resentful...
6. Friendship evolving into Love: This style has the most chance of surviving, as it's based on a solid friendship, and getting to truly know each other before (or while) falling in love. This type of love is honest and has a solid foundation of trust, just as most friendships do.
Your style of loving may change from relationship to relationship, or it may even change during a relationship. Love styles also require a counterpart to keep them going, so your partner is getting an equal emotional pay-off from the experience, good or bad. Try to identify how you love, and if you're not pleased with the way you go about it, try to aim towards the way you want to be, and the type of partner it would take to help make that become a reality.
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