You teach people about the Love Styles. Can you share what the Love Styles are?
The four love styles, created by relationship coach, Chelli Pumphrey, help people understand attachment theory. In the first three years of life, we develop an attachment style from the interactions with our parents or main caregivers.
Example: If your mom fed you and nurtured you when you cried or were hungry, you learned you could depend on her to meet your needs. That sets the stage for all your future relationships.
Some parents can meet our needs consistently. Some have a harder time with it. They may be unavailable at times, like a mom with several kids. That child may have anxiety about getting his/her needs met later in life.
Or if a child’s needs are not met effectively at all, or a parent is uncomfortable being nurturing, these kids grow up being uncomfortable with intimacy and they pull away and become self-reliant.
The 4 Love Styles
1. Love connector: Has anxiety from early years, and brings anxiety to relationships.
2. Love stabilizer. Has a secure foundation.
3. Love resistor: Had distant parents. Is avoidant in relationships.
4. Love paralyzer: This is a person with disorganized attachment. Craves a relationship, but as soon as things get close, they pull away and don’t know how to move forward. For example, dad doesn’t like when baby cries, and mom loves her child, but is afraid of the dad’s reaction. Mom gets anxious and fearful of dad’s response, and even though she’s nurturing, the baby feels the tension and fear in the mom. As infants, we pick up on everything. Baby learns that he/she can reach out for love, but gets a strange reaction of fear.
How do we determine our Love Style or our partner’s Love Style?
Love connectors: They typically experience a lot of anxiety. They like a lot of connection. If their partner is not responding to text messages, a love connector might perceive that their partner is pulling away, even if they’re not. They might up the ante to pull a partner back in. They might threaten to leave, try to make a partner jealous, communicate excessively like calling over and over. The behavior says, I’m pushing you away even thought they want to pull them closer.
Know that whatever your love style is, you’re not crazy. You’re just trying to get your needs met. If you understand that, you can stop judging and start to work with it, and connect in healthier ways.
Love resistors: They are wired to disconnect. When things get intimate, they find ways to find fault in their partner. They focus on annoying habits. They may fantasize about the ‘one’, and no one is ever going to be good enough for them.
Love stabilizers: They are very secure in relationships. They stay in longer-term relationships and feel comfortable with intimacy and commitment. If you’re a love resistor or a love connector, look for a love stabilizer. They are the best people for you to be with.
Love paralyzers: They are confused in relationships. They can look like a love connector or a love resistor depending on who they’re with.
Look at your history of relationships and see which traits best define your patterns.
If any of this resonates and you want to learn more about how your love style can help you find a compatible partner, do research on attachment theory. Read the book Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. Once you begin to learn how much it affects you and your partners, you will be amazed. It’s liberating to understand that.
Chelli is currently offering an online course on the four love styles. Check it out here: course.chellipumphrey.com
This article originally appeared on Last First Date
Photo credit: Patrice CALATAYU/Flickr