Love is far from a simple emotion. Relationship experts all around the world have been trying to reveal the secrets of that passionate feeling that makes us blush and smile from ear to ear.
Today, we know about different types of love and different love languages. And recently, we’re beginning to understand different behaviors we exhibit in a relationship.
Experts call these behaviors love styles. They define how you associate and relate to your romantic partner. The special thing about them is that they stem from our childhood experiences.
According to Dr. Milan and Kay Yerkovich, there are five distinct love styles. In today’s article we’ll tell you a little bit about each one, and how you can recognize the way your partner feels about love.
1. The Victim
If your partner’s love style is a Victim, there’s a chance they grew up in a dysfunctional family where they couldn’t voice their opinions.
In relationships, Victims usually suppress their anger, which then leads to passive-aggressive behaviors. Have you noticed those behaviors in your partner? They might be giving you silent treatments, use sarcastic remarks or avoid you completely if there’s a disagreement.
To make your relationship with the victim better, you should try acknowledging their feelings. When they try using passive-aggression against you, use kindness as a counterattack. Tell them something like “I see something is upsetting you. Would you like to tell me what’s going on? I’ll be happy to listen”. This way, they’ll feel like they’re voice is heard, and they will know they’re safe to express themselves in a healthy way.
2. The Pleaser
The pleaser grew up thinking they need to satisfy everyone else but themselves.
If your partner is a Pleaser, you might notice they’re always here to comfort you, any time of day or night. They barely ever argue with you and often let it be your way to avoid trouble and conflict. They might say phrases like “I don’t want to annoy you” or “I don’t want you to be angry”. They are visibly committed to your relationship, and maybe that’s why you got attracted to them in the first place!
But sometimes, that can backfire and they might start feeling stuck and unsupported. They might feel they have to mask their feelings and pretend nothing is ever wrong, just to keep the peace.
As their romantic partner, remind them that neither of you is perfect, and that’s okay. Let them know that you’re willing to listen to them, and encourage them to be open and honest about their worries.
So far, what do you think about these love styles? Do you think something about them sounds familiar? Each of these love styles is rooted deep into a person’s childhood, and is connected to something called the “attachment theory”. If you don’t know what it is and are curious to find out, check out this video of ours:
3. The Vacillator
Vacillator love style displays a person who really wants connection and is somewhat a hopeless romantic. They idealize new relationships hoping and longing for attention and love. Because they seek the type of love they see in the movies, sometimes they might feel unfulfilled.
That’s when they might say things like “I don’t feel heard, I don’t feel important to you, you don’t get me, I am done“. As a result, you could both feel frustrated and confused.
To have a healthy relationship with a Vacillator, you need to provide them with emotional support and be willing to listen. You want them to feel heard and appreciated. That way, even though they won’t get their fairytale relationship, they might stop questioning themselves so much and start enjoying your love.
4. The Avoider
Avoiders didn’t share their feelings and affection while they were growing up. As a result, in romantic relationships, they don’t know how to express their love verbally. Does that sound like your partner? Instead, they prefer showing it through their actions instead, which could be a bad thing if you’re someone who likes to be told you’re loved. Your partner might also be an Avoider if they have problems with physical intimacy. They might feel awkward cuddling, hugging or kissing, which could leave you touch starved.
If you want your relationship with an avoider to thrive, you need to be careful not to make them retreat even more. You can explain that every once in a while, you’d like them to be a bit more affectionate, but let them be the one to initiate it. Compromise is a key to feeling good with an Avoider. During conflicts, try to give them time to cool off, since they don’t really respond to emotions.
5. The Controller
A person with this love style learned to do things on their own at a young age. They grew up believing that being in control means that they are strong and capable. Today, when a controller is in a relationship, they tend to showcase their decisiveness and ability to take charge. With a Controller, you don’t have to spend 30 minutes deciding where to go out. They know what they want, right away.
At first, this may look like confidence. But in the long run, you may start to be afraid of their controlling behavior. They might try to control the way you dress, who you hang out with or who you talk to on your phone.
If you’re dating a controller, it’s important to put some emphasis on taking care of yourself first. Work on your self-esteem, learn how to set boundaries and practice assertive communication. Make them know you respect them, but they have to respect you too.
When your love style is being met, you feel loved and desired. However, if your love style is ignored or not understood, you may feel insecure, taken for granted, and bitter towards your partner. And in turn, your partner feels the same way.
This is what makes love styles so important! By openly communicating what you need, and listening to what your partner needs, you can develop a more fulfilling relationship.
What do you think, which love style describes your partner the best? Is that compatible with the way you love?
Let us know!
Kozlov, Y. (2022, January 5). How Couples Should Deal With Each Other’s Love Styles. Medium. https://stpetersburgwomen.medium.com/how-couples-should-deal-with-each-others-love-styles-ffccb8c0ef78
Savra, J. (n.d.-a). Attachment Theory – Your Love Style: Understanding Your Relationship Problems. Jousline Savra, LMFT. https://www.jouslinesavra.com/attachment-theory-your-love-style-understanding-your-relationship-problems/
Savra, J. (n.d.-b). Love Styles – Are You a Pleaser? Jousline Savra, LMFT. https://www.jouslinesavra.com/love-styles-are-you-a-pleaser/
Savra, J. (n.d.-c). Love Styles – Are You a Vacillator. Jousline Savra, LMFT. https://www.jouslinesavra.com/love-styles-are-you-a-vacillator/
Spot, C. (2022, June 23). How Your Childhood Affects Your Love Style – Hello, Love. Medium. https://medium.com/hello-love/how-your-childhood-affects-your-love-style-58b4d15bb10b
What is a Love Style? (n.d.). How We Love. https://howwelove.com/love-styles/