“To love and be loved” – Is this the benchmark of our ultimate happiness? I am sure you will agree that we all strive for love, especially romantic love – no matter our call in life or how old we grow. Does that mean there is only one way of loving and be loved? I ask this question because we tend to judge other people’s relationship based on our own standards, or by what we believe society’s standard is of a “good” relationship (thanks to the media).
For instance, you might frown at the cougar who you believe is “robbing the cradle”, thinking, surely it must be all physical! Or you may mutter under your breath “get a room already!”over the puppy-love display of two teens sucking faces in public.
Well, according to relationship gurus Alex & Naomi Quenk, we all express love differently depending on our archetype. Love archetypes are like our personalities, IQs, or genes in that they are “inborn, natural patterns that influence our individual interpretation of our own and others behavior”.
In other words, this is the reason your girl gets so bent out of shape when you take off with the boys and forget to call; and why you are so uncomfortable with the idea of your wife going off on a vacation to Jamaica with her single girlfriends. Yet, there are some of us who welcome this “break” from each other, with no perceived threat to our relationship.
There are four archetypes of love called soul images. These inner monitors differentiate the way we express our love relationships. While we are not limited to one type, and can most certainly change due to experience, typically one dominant archetype will that we express naturally, comfortably, and regularly within a love relationship. Be clear there is no good or bad. The different archetypes basically identify the way a person relates to love relationships.
Here are the four archetypes and what they represent:
Value change and focus on personal accomplishments and their ability to independently solve life’s problems, and they expect that their own independence to be acknowledged and supported in the same way. They resist restriction on their freedom. Others may interpret this as lack of love and commitment to the relationship. Their focus is on falling in love and wants the passion of love to persist into the future. As a result, mercurial lovers may become easily discontented with the comfort and predictability of an established relationship, faults become more apparent, and they become critical and judgmental. Mercurial lovers are also more likely to energetically pursue many interests and have a wide variety of friends.
Value constancy, permanence, and completeness in their relationship, and tend to believe that “love conquers all”. Romantic lovers believe that if we love and respect each other, most if not all problems can be solved and differences resolved. As a result, they have difficulty accepting that people can place their individual desires above the needs of a relationship. They perceive separation from their love one as a diminishment of love; and separate and different interests are seen as potential threats to their love. They may be perceived as needy, dependent, or childish. Romantic lovers maintain a sense of individuality through a relationship at the risk of not having sense of self outside the relationship.
Relationship with their love confirms their sense of self. They find that the comfort and certainty of their relationship leads to change and growth, and value all of the ways they receive love and affirmation. Cherishing others and being cherished in return is important to them. As such, may be sensitive to signs of indifference and emotional distance. Often times may be erroneously seen as dependent, insecure, and clinging. Being loved is very important for the formation of a sense of self for the innocent lover. Love is strengthened and actualized by projecting the togetherness into the future through shared memories, experiences, projects, and plans. This is an important expression of love for them.
Value constancy and continuity. They place great value on individuality, and are concerned with how to differentiate themselves and how they can be unique and distinct from their interpersonal, social, and cultural environment. They accept their partners as separate, independent individuals and want that same kind of acceptance for themselves. They can appear somewhat detached and emotionally distant in a relationship. However, the steadfast lover focus on staying in love, and as such, faithfulness and constancy are highly valued.
Interesting huh? So which are you? Are you able to distinguish your partner’s archetype? What if you are both different? I have the answer for you coming up next week in part 2.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.