acceptance of a lover's foibles. Human love relations involve very
complex dynamics. In this section, we will review several kinds of love,
some of which have been mention already (romantic, companionate,
and bargain-hunting non-romantics). Different kinds of lovers mean
different things when they say, "I love you." We all would like to think
we know the real thing, real love, but do we? We assume everyone
loves the way we do. That's not true. Also, we usually give love in the
way we want to be loved, not in the way the lover wants to be loved.
What kind of lover are you? What kind of love do you want from your
lover? What does your partner want?
There isn't any formula for loving. You learn to love... by paying attention and doing what one thereby
discovers has to be done.
A Canadian sociologist, John Lee, has described six kinds of lovers.
Two California sociologists, Thomas Lasswell and Terry Hatkoff, have
developed a Love Scale to measure several of these types (Lasswell &
Romantic love --this lover thinks constantly about the loved
one, is jealous, unrealistic, will tolerate anything, is sexually
attracted by physical appearance, needs repeated reassurance
he/she is loved in return. Typically lasts a few months or a few
years (some anthropologists say it lasts 4 years, i.e. until the
baby is through nursing and can walk and run. Then the love
bond releases the more powerful males to find another female
to impregnate with his genes.)
Best friend or companionate love --this lover enjoys the
companionship and intimacy of a close friendship. It is a
comfortable, slowly developing, trusting, committed
relationship, not intense excitement, desperation, or sexual
Unselfish love --the lover is devoted and self-sacrificing to the
loved one, gives without expecting anything in return, is gentle,
caring, and dutiful.
Logical love --the lover carefully selects the "right person"
logically, looking for someone with compatible interests, similar
education and religion, a harmonious personality, common
values, and long-term goals.
Game-playing love --this person may be charming but is
hardly a lover; he/she merely enjoys the dating game. He/she
relishes the meeting, the impressing, the seducing, the
challenge of a conquest but usually makes it clear there is little
or no long-term commitment to the other person.