This is not the first study on Love but perhaps the latest. So which category does your love fall into? I think mine is a combination of a few.
Tim Radford, science editor
Wednesday June 8, 2005
Next time you board the streetcar named desire, ask yourself: is this hedonistic love, or are you already in a role-bound relationship? If the first, your love will be gone with the wind. If the second, brace yourself for a brief encounter.
Simon Watts of Nottingham Trent University and Paul Stenner of University College London analysed the nature of modern love by asking 34 women and 16 men to agree or disagree with a set of 60 propositions. They identified nine varieties of love, reported in the British Journal of Social Psychology today. They are:
· A grown-up version that involves mutual trust, recognition and support
· The "Cupid's dart" variety, in which couples - think Antony and Cleopatra or even Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity - are swept away by blind passion
· Hedonistic love, concerned with personal and perhaps fleeting pleasure, the theme of much Hollywood film noir
· Love as the ultimate connection: an essentially romantic view
· Demythologised love that recognises the need for hard work, patience and compromise to make things work
· Love as transformative adventure: the emotional rollercoaster experience of a Bridget Jones figure
· From Cupid's arrow to a role-bound relationship dictated by society's expectations - the experience of the tortured couple in David Lean's film Brief Encounter
· From Cupid's arrow to the security of close friendship
· Dyadic partnership love, in which two people become a single unit (and tend to finish each other's sentences)
"I wanted to try and find a way of capturing people's experiences that went beyond asking them," said Mr Watts. "When you do ask them they are very rarely able - even if they wish to - to tell you the whole story, to get it into words. We want to map the cultural state of love. What is the climate of love at the current time?" he said.