The Colors of Love

How do I love thee? At least six are the ways.

There is no one type of love; there are many equally valid ways of loving. Researchers have consistently identified six attitudes or styles of love that, to one degree or another, encompass our conceptions of love and color our romantic relationships. They reflect both fixed personality traits and more malleable attitudes. Your relative standing on these dimensions may vary over time - being in love NOW will intensify your responses in some dimensions. Nevertheless, studies show that for most people, one dimension of love predominates.

Answering the questions below will help you identify your own love style, one of several important factors contributing to the satisfaction you feel in relationships. You may wish to rate yourself on a separate sheet of paper. There are no right or wrong answers, nor is there any scoring system. The test is designed to help you examine your own feelings and to help you understand your own romantic experiences.

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After you take the test, if you are currently in a relationship, you may want to ask your partner to take the test and then compare your responses. Better yet, try to predict your partner's love attitudes before giving the test to him or her.

Studies show that most partners are well-correlated in the areas of love, passion and intensity (Eros), companionate or friendship love (Storge), dependency (Mania), and all-giving or selfless love (Agape). If you and your partner aren't a perfect match, don't worry. Knowing your styles can help you manage your relationship.

Directions: Listed below are several statements that reflect different attitudes about love. For each statement, fill in the response on an answer sheet that indicates how much you agree or disagree with that statement. The items refer to a specific love relationship. Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind. If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind. If you have never been in love, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be.

FOR EACH STATEMENT:

A = Strongly agree with the statement

B = Moderately agree with the statement

C = Neutral, neither agree nor disagree

D = Moderately disagree with the statement

E = Strongly disagree with the statement

Eros

Measures passionate love as well as intimacy and commitment. It is directly and strongly correlated with satisfaction in a relationship, a major ingredient in relationship success. Eros gives fully, intensely, and takes risks in love; it requires substantial ego strength. Probably reflects secure attachment style.

1. My partner and I were attracted to each other immediately after we first met.

2. My partner and I have the right physical 'chemistry" between us.

3. Our lovemaking is very intense and satisfying.

4. I feel that my partner and I were meant for each other.

5. My partner and I became emotionally involved rather quickly.

6. My partner and I really understand each other.

7. My partner fits my ideal standards of physical beauty/handsomeness.

Ludus

Measures love as an interaction game to be played out with diverse partners. Relationships do not have great depth of feeling. Ludus is wary of emotional intensity from others. and has a manipulative or cynical quality to it. Ludus is negatively related to satisfaction in relationships. May reflect avoidant attachment style.

8. I try to keep my partner a little uncertain about my commitment to him/her.

9. I believe that what my partner doesn't know about me won't hurt him/her.

10. I have sometimes had to keep my partner from finding out about other partners.

11. I could get over my affair with my partner pretty easily and quickly.

12. My partner would get upset if he/she knew of some of the things I've done with other people.

13. When my partner gets too dependent on me, I want to back off a little.

14. I enjoy playing the "game of love" with my partner and a number of other partners.

Storge

Reflects an inclination to merge love and friendship. Storgic love is solid, down to earth, presumably enduring. It is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and may take time to develop. It is related to satisfaction in long-term relationships.

15. It is hard for me to say exactly when our friendship turned to love.

16. To be genuine, our love first required caring for awhile.

17. I expect to always be friends with my partner.

18. Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship.

19. Our friendship merged gradually into love over time.

20. Our love is really a deep friendship, not a mysterious, mystical emotion.

21. Our love relationship is the most satisfying because it developed from a good friendship.

Pragma

Reflects logical, "shopping list" love, rational calculation with a focus on desired attributes of a lover. Suited to computer-matched dating. Related to satisfaction in long-term relationships.

22. I considered what my partner was going to become in life before I committed myself to him/her.

23. I tried to plan my life carefully before choosing my partner.

24. In choosing my partner, I believed it was best to love someone with a similar background.

25. A main consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my family.

26. An important factor in choosing my partner was whether or not he/she would be a good parent.

27. One consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my career.

28. Before getting very involved with my partner, I tried to figure out how compatible his/her hereditary background would be with mine in case we ever had children.

Mania

Measures possessive, dependent love. Associated with high emotional expressiveness and disclosure, but low self-esteem; reflects uncertainty of self in the relationship. Negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. May reflect anxious/ambivalent attachment style.

29. When things aren't right with my partner and me, my stomach gets upset.

30. If my partner and I break up, I would get so depressed that I would even think of suicide.

31. Sometimes I get so excited about being in love with my partner that I can't sleep.

32. When my partner doesn't pay attention to me, I feel sick all over.

33. Since I've been in love with my partner, I've had trouble concentrating on anything else.

34. I cannot relax if I suspect that my partner is with someone else.

35. If my partner ignores me for a while, I sometimes do stupid things to try to get his/her attention back.

Agape

Reflects all-giving, selfless, nondemanding love. Associated with altruistic, committed, sexually idealistic love. Like Eros, tends to flare up with "being in love now.'

36. I try to always help my partner through difficult times.

37. I would rather suffer myself than let my partner suffer.

38. I cannot be happy unless I place my partner's happiness before my own.

39. I am usually willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let my partner achieve his/hers.

40. Whatever I won is my partner's to use as he/she chooses.

41. When my partner gets angry with me, I still love him/her fully and unconditionally.

42. I would endure all things for the sake of my partner.

Adapted from Hendrick, Love Attitudes Scale

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