Love Styles in the Context of Life History Theory

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The evolutionary function of love is to create a strong bond between the partners with reproduction in view. In order to achieve this goal, humans use various sexual/reproductive strategies, which have evolved due to specific reproductive benefits. The use of particular strategies depends on many factors but one of the most important is early childhood experiences, on which life history theory (LHT) focuses. John Lee (1973) identified 6 basic love styles: eros, ludus, storge, pragma, agape, and mania. Our goal was to check whether love styles may be treated as sexual/reproductive strategies in the context of LHT - slow or fast strategy. In our study (N = 177) we found that people who prefer the slow reproductive strategy are inclined to show passionate, pragmatic and friendly love, and those who prefer the fast strategy, treated love as a game. A low level of environmental stress in childhood results in preferring eros, storge and agape love styles, belonging to the slow strategy, and a high one results in preferring ludus, which belongs to the fast strategy. People representing eros, storge or pragma styles have restricted sociosexual orientation so they prefer long-term relationships, whereas those with the ludus style are people with unrestricted orientation, preferring short-term relationships. Besides, storge, agape and pragma seem to determine preferring qualities connected with parental effort in one’s partner, mania - with mating effort, and eros - with both kinds of effort. No correlation was found between the love style and the number of children.

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Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

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CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.258


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