Adaptive and Maladaptive Love Attitudes


  • Victor Karandashev


Multiple studies throughout recent years have investigated the theory of love that identified six love attitudes: Eros, Ludus, Storge, Mania, Pragma, and Agape. Research found that these love attitudes are associated with many aspects of romantic relationships, individual emotional characteristics, and personalities. However, there are few comprehensive reviews of those findings. This article reports meta-analysis and two empirical studies that explored emotional profiles of people with different love attitudes. Meta-analysis of multiple studies has demonstrated the prevalence of positive emotionality among individuals with Eros love attitudes and negative emotionality among individuals with Ludus and Mania love attitudes. Results of empirical studies showed that individuals with Ludus and Mania tend to experience more negative emotions, while those with Eros – more positive emotions. Pragma, Storge, and Agape love attitudes are characterized by infrequent and less intense positive and negative emotions. The love of individuals with Ludus and Mania types can be interpreted as defensive attitudes related to their experience of negative emotions. Generally, studies showed that Eros love attitude tends to promote an adaptive emotional experience. Individuals with Eros love have a better chance to be happy in their romantic relationships. On the other hand, Ludus and Mania are rather maladaptive love attitudes. Individuals with Ludus and Mania tend to be unhappy in relationship. Pragma, Storge, and Agape are neutral or moderately adaptive love attitudes without intense positive and negative emotions. Due to this, they do not show any salient defensive psychological mechanisms in their relationships.