Why him? Why her? provides a new way to understand relationships, whether you’re searching for one or eager to strengthen the one you have.
Play Mates, Help Mates, Mind Mates, Soul Mates
How does our basic biological nature color our search for ‘him’ or ‘her’? How does each type woo? And what kind of love is each type looking for in a mate?
The ancient Greeks had more than ten words to distinguish different type of love. Sociologist John Alan Lee reduced these overlapping categories to six.
Most celebrated is Eros–passionate, sexual, erotic, joyous, high-energy love for a very special person.
Mania is obsessive, jealous, irrational, possessive, dependent love.
Ludus derives from the Latin word for play; this love is playful, unserious and uncommitted.
Storge is an affectionate, brotherly or sisterly kind of love, a deep feeling of special friendship that lacks a display of emotion.
Gentle, unselfish, dutiful, all-giving, often spiritual love is known as Agape.
Last is Pragma, love based on compatibility and common sense, pragmatic love.
Everyone who falls intensely in love feels some degree of Eros and Mania.
(1) THE EXPLORER: Looking for a Play Mate
Explorers seek someone who will go adventuring with them, in conversation, in bed, around town or around the world–a ‘play mate’.
Explorers are highly sensitive to the world around them, particularly colors, lines, forms and textures. They like the pleasures of the senses, so they are inclined to take a date to all sorts of arts and cultural events–from museums and art galleries to food festivals, parades, wine tasting, sound and light shows, scary movies, poetry readings, design or fashion shows, arom bazaars or chocolate factories. Explorers are also more likely than other personality types to enjoy spicy, sour and crunchy foods, as well as foreign foods.
Explorers also gravitate to music that is intense and complicated, preferring classical, jazz and hard rock to movie sound tracks and other simpler tunes.
Most explorers have had a good deal of experience at dating. They have a tendency to play the field and seek as much freedm and variety as possible. So explorers can adapt to just about any courtship situation; they blend in.
Explorers are good at listening and talking. However, they find self-disclosure difficult.
They are the most sexual of the four types.
(2) THE BUILDER: Looking for a Help Mate
For Builders, courtship is serious business. They believe in good manners, old-fashioned courtersy, punctuality and well-arranged schedules. Builders are likely to open doors for women, cook for men, be on time and make concrete plans for the evening.
Builders tend to think concretely; they are literal; they like and trust facts. So on a date, a Builder is likely to engage in detailed factual conversations.
Builders don’t choose a partner impulsively. They are cautious.
Builders want to belong, and to take in social, business and community events in style and comfort. They are likely to invite a date to a charity ball, dinner party or business reception.
Builders like long engagements; this way they can meet their social obligations and think carefully about a possible marriage. Builders want romance to proceed as planned.
Despite peer pressure, Builders generally aren’t interested in casual sex. In fact, they are likely to be the least sexual of the four types.
(3) THE DIRECTOR: Looking for a Mind Mate
For the Director, dating is not entertainment, as with the Explorer, or a social activity, as with the Builder, but an expenditure of time and energy. Directors approach dating the same way they approach their other intterests, by rationally analyzing their hopes, needs and intentions.
Directors are rarely interested in pursuing several relationships at once; instead they want deep discussions on intellectual topics with a single partner.
Directors can be very romantic. Sentimental crooning, sending routine cards or flowers, even anniversaries mean little to them. But they are prepared to make a deep and genuine commitment to another person. And when they find the right individual, they will carefully engineer heartfelt activities to do with their beloved.
Directors also want to be needed, to help, to ‘fix’ your problems.
Directors have a high sex drive, a trait associated with testosterone. Most don’t enjoy ‘sleeping around’ while single. Once in a commited partnership, however.
Directors are forthright. They let you know what they want and how they wish to proceed; and they can be hypersensitive to even tiny signs of rejection.
(4) THE NEGOTIATOR: Looking for a Soul Mate
Negotiators seek their ideal partner–someone with whom they can make an intensely intimate, deeply meaningful, inspiring and spiritual connection: a ‘soul mate’. And when they find ‘him’ or ‘her’, they work tirelessly to promote harmony with this cherished companion, the love of their live.
Negotiators are popular with all types because they are flexible, appreciative, affectionate, good at reading others’ thoughts and feelings, empathetic, and superb at expressing their own ideas and emotions.
Negotiators prefer to go out with one person at a time and to explore the depths of this potential partnership. Most Negotiators prefer to avoid social events when getting to know someone.
Because Negotiators reveal their hearts to a potential partner, they can be deeply hurt by rejection. When they find ‘the one’, though, Negotiators are superb at generating and maintaining intimacy with this partner. Their emotional antennae are always quivering.
Negotiators are the most romantic of the four types.
Sex, for the Negotiator, is another essential part of a partnership. But sex must be mixed with romance, communication and emotional intimacy. Sex is not casual to Negotiators; if they engage in it, they expect a meaningful relationship to develop.
So where are we?
We all have personalities. Roughly 50 percent of the variations in your personality arise from your biology; these are your inherited traits of temperament. We each express a primary and secondary personality type. And your primary style of thinking and behaving guides you toward certain mates.
Explorers are initially drawn to other Explorers, and Builders tend to ‘click’ with other Builders. Directors, on the other hand, gravitate foremost to Negotiators, while Negotiators are drawn to Directors. Moreover, each type seeks different things in a partnership and courts in different ways.