Listed below are 6 different ways of loving, from the “Love Attitude Scale” created by Claude and Susan Hendrick. All are valid styles that reflect different attitudes about love, and you may have more than one style. Which styles fit you the best now, and which styles fit you the best earlier in your relationship or in your life?
- My partner and I were attracted to each other when we met.
- We have the right physical chemistry between us.
- Our love-making is intense and satisfying. We have a sensual and passionate love.
- My partner fits my ideal of physical attractiveness.
- I believe that what my partner doesn’t know about me won’t hurt him/her.
- I have sometimes had to keep my partner from finding out about others I’ve had.
- I keep my partner a little uncertain about my commitment to him/her.
- I could get over my relationship with my partner pretty easily if we broke up.
- Love is a game that does not have a great depth of feeling or a strong emotional intensity.
- Our love is really a deep friendship which emerged gradually.
- I expect my partner and I will always be friends.
- A main consideration for choosing my partner was what he or she would become in life. S/he had desirable attributes, including earning potential, being a good parent, fitting into my family and looking good.
- When my partner doesn’t pay attention to me, or when things aren’t right between us, I feel sick.
- Since I’ve been in love, I’ve had trouble sleeping or concentrating on anything else.
- If my partner ignores me for awhile, I try to do stupid things to get his or her attention back.
- I am possessive of my partner, as well as dependent and uncertain of myself in a relationship.
- I place my partner’s happiness before my own.
- I often sacrifice my own wishes to let my partner achieve his or hers.
- Even when my partner is angry at me, I still love him/her fully.
Probably the worst pairing is between one person who is a ludus choosing someone who fits the description of mania. Both are associated with poor relationship satisfaction over time. It is not uncommon for a couple who was once very passionate to wonder where all that passion went. They may still have a strong relationship, but it perhaps has shifted from eros to storge, which in my experience is pretty common. Also common is a shift to pragma and agape. (Agape is pronounced a-gaa-pay, and storge is pronounced stor-gay.) Eros and mania may define young love, whereas any of the others may define more mature love.
Has your love changed over time?