The 6 Love Styles & How To Understand Yours

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There’s no how-to manual when it comes to finding the one, but the 6 love styles can make the path to unconditional love a little less complicated. 

When people consider the most basic of human needs, common responses often include food, water, and shelter. But American Psychologist Abraham Maslow dictated that there are several other requirements for a human being to find happiness and fulfillment.

What is arguably the most important necessity for all human beings? Love.

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Yes, love. Love is our foundational longing. Despite this yearning, however, not everyone is a suitable partner for those seeking deep and committed love.

The dating process is often very light on "strategy" and very heavy on "hope." Most people typically pick potential dates based on surface things like looks, personality, sense of humor, socioeconomic status, and hope there is a connection that can bind them together for a head over heels bond.

The first step to finding lasting love and true compatibility is knowing yourself and what drives happiness and fulfillment for you in your relationships.

The hope-based approach to finding and showing love can be curbed in several ways. One of these ways is by gaining a more intimate understanding of your love style and the type of lover you are. Admittedly, love is a bit of a loaded word and looks or feels slightly different for everyone.

What is the Color Wheel Theory of Love?

The ancient Greeks had several different definitions for love, which accounted for the different ways one might love another person.

From these 6 love styles, Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee formed the color wheel theory of love. The styles involve 3 main primary styles (eros, ludus, and storge), and 3 secondary traits (mania, pragma, and agape). 

The color wheel theory of love frames some of the main styles of love we might experience in our life, within ourselves or through others.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Using this as a base, we can better navigate the type of lover we are.

It's important to keep in mind that this is not a fixed attribute and should be revisited from time to time. You might even find that your love style is a mixture of one or more of the primary and secondary styles. 

Which of the 6 love styles describes you best?

1. Eros

Eros lovers are often characterized as focused more on romantic love. They lean towards attributes like physical beauty and rank this human aspect highly within their relational needs. 

These lovers can be intense — they're the "love at first sight" types who become attached to new romances easily.

Because of their passionate nature, these individuals can feel a deep and urgent calling to take a relationship to "the next level" rather quickly. This deepening can fall on both the emotional or physical plain.

Eros is the kind of lover who plays the field. They're serial monogamists. This style of love can have a downside for ill-matched partners, however, as they thrive on the "honeymoon phase" of a love relationship and can end up moving on to a new partner rather quickly.

2. Ludus

Ludic individuals can be dangerous lovers for more sensitive types, as these folks tend to see love as a game — and they are playing to win. Ludus comes from the Latin word for "game."

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Because of the framework, Ludic lovers can be more comfortable and accepting of manipulation or deception within their relationships. Falling in line with these principles, a Ludic individual does not often value commitment and is characterized as being emotionally distant or unavailable.

They're what you might call a "player" who toys with the emotions of their lover. 

As these people tend to experience more short-term relationships, there is a higher value placed on physical attractiveness than compatibility. They tend to be bigger fans of hook-ups rather than monogamy. 

RELATED: How Do You Define Love? Here's How Love Feels At Every Stage In A Relationship

3. Storge

A Storge or familial lover is often deeply committed and steadfast in their relationships. Few characteristics outweigh trust, intimacy, or union for them.

Considering their proclivity toward closeness, these people can often find love blooming out of existing friendships.

As this love style is more family-oriented, these relationships tend to be stable and abiding. They may lack the intensity of Eros-type unions, but they make up for that in longevity and reliability.

4. Mania

Not to be confused with elevated arousal characterized by manic episodes, these lovers are often on the obsessive end of the love spectrum as they can be quite emotionally dependent and may require regular reassurance of the health of the relationship.

Similar to the more colloquial sense of mania, these lovers can display elevated levels of joy and deep trenches of melancholy.

Because of the obsessive nature of these partners, jealousy is often an issue that their mates will be confronted with. They do well with each other, however, due to the sincere sensitivity to each other’s need to feel secure.

5. Pragma

As Pragma is its root word, these lovers tend to be pragmatic or practical in their relational pursuits. Logic and reason are their most trusted allies; they are often wielded to determine the compatibility of potential partners. 

While this may seem cold and jarring to some, these folks are far from emotionless creatures, as this approach is utilized as a method for determining the sustainability and longevity of a romantic partnership.

Pragmatists are likely to evaluate a person’s acumen as it relates to finances, family orientation, social acuity, or even emotional intelligence.

6. Agape

Individuals who identify with the Agape style tend have selfless love in their pursuit, and willing to express unconditional love. These lovers are giving, caring, and focused more on their partner’s needs than their own. 

These folks tend to be highly accepting and — possibly because of their level of abiding — they are often characterized by having high levels of relationship satisfaction.

You should have a good idea of what love style resonates most with you. This is the first step in finding a compatible partner, no matter which type aligns with your values.

Accepting the significance of love in your life is step one; step two is knowing who you are in love. The more you know (about yourself), the easier it will be for you to manifest the relationship you dream of.

RELATED: How Your Relationship Attachment Style Affects Your Relationship

Rik Foote is the CEO and Founder of RelationshipDNA, which offers a personality assessment designed to help single adults determine romantic relationship compatibility.