What is Love?
According to Google “What is love” was the most searched phrase on Google in 2012. So what is this Love that we search for in earnest ..does it mean the same thing to everyone or do people “do” love differently? How do we know if indeed it is Love or is it possible its just Lust?
Love Vs Lust … the temporary release of chemicals that drive passionate sexual desire (testosterone/oestrogen) are not as strong or long lasting as the chemicals that are released when attachment and bonding takes place (incl pheromones, dopamine, serotonin, oxcytocin)
We can equate the “Lust” in a relationship to the Love style known as EROS. Many think of Eros as the cute little cherub looking angel with a pointed arrow which has come to represent our impression of “Romantic Love” … if a relationship is then sustained and grows, despite trials and tribulations, then this can change into a longer lasting Pragma/Agape style of Love. There are other love styles including Storge, Philia (mainly from friendships) and Mania (obsession).
In today’s society of wanting everything now, people tend to focus on Eros as the expression of loving or of being loved. Eros is a highly sensual, intense, passionate and romantic style of love that many get “hooked on”. Erotic lovers choose their mates by intuition or chemistry and sex is the ultimate aesthetic experience. If the romance dies or the sex gets “same old” they may wake up suddenly thinking “I no longer love this person”. Eros by its very nature will burn out unless it can transform into a more permanent state thus driving Eros lovers to seek it again and again in different partners.
Ludos Love Style is on the increase in the UK with the acceptance of online dating into mainstream dating culture (1 in 4 couples now meet online). Other words for “Ludic” Lovers are “Players” “Playa’s” “Playettes”. This love style is more interested in quantity rather than quality, it’s all about having fun…they will do and say whatever it takes to perpetuate the fun. This is no longer the domain of just men, women are also actively participating in this love choice as it suits both in their busy work styles or at times to hide from the pain of previous Eros or Agape liaisons. The Ludos style allows quick recovery from break ups as immediate replacements are available.
Ludic lovers tend to 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 of the parent or of the masculinity of the father. They regard sex as a conquest or a sport, and they engage in relationships because they see them as a challenge. In its most extreme form, ludic love can become sexual addiction.
Pragma and Agape are the love styles that many of my clients say they are seeking either within their current or future relationship as they come to realise that the Eros and the Ludos styles are becoming an emotional and financial drain. Yet it is hard to break the cycle or to find someone who is seeking the style their soul is now craving.
Understanding your own love style and that of your current or prospective partner is key to understanding the expectations you both have for a relationship and possibly why your own expectations are not getting met.