Five love styles

Five love styles

Written by: Seada

Milan and Kay Yerkovich developed the five love styles. They outlined five primary love styles and explained how each shapes behaviors, beliefs, and expectations in marriage.

The Avoider:

The avoider grew up in a home that placed little attention in affection and a significant amount of value on independence and self-reliance. As a result, the avoider grew to depend on his own needs. During feelings of anxiety, the avoider learns to suppress their feelings and needs and thus creates an emotionally distant or unengaged presence in the relationship.

The Pleaser:

Pleasers are quite the opposite of the avoider. They grew up in a home where one or both parents were overprotective, angry, and critical. Pleasing-children will do anything to obtain and maintain the status quo “good child” to avoid troubling their parents. They learn to invest their energy into please others, comforting them, and being overly responsible. As a result, pleasers tend to monitor critical behavior of others which distracts them from understanding what it means to please themselves. This concept is foreign. Long-term pleasers develop resentment tendencies which lead to a breakdown from a relationship.

The Vacillator:

Vacillators grew up with an unpredictable parent. They learn that their needs are not a top priority. Without appropriate affection, they develop feelings of abandonment. Once the vacillator receives attention, they become too angry to be able to accept it because of prolonged deprivation. As adults, vacillators seek consistent love and care to accommodate for the loss in childhood. If a relationship is less than perfect, the vacillator will get tired of it.

The Controller:

Controllers need to control to protect themselves from negative feelings and rejections. The need for control expands to feelings of fear, humiliation, and helplessness. Anger is one emotion freely expressed without reservation. It does not appear vulnerable; rather it seems convincing. It is used for intimidation to maintain control. Controllers rarely understand the real reason for the need to be in control.

The Victim:

The victim attempts to stay out of chaos by making themselves seem invisible, or unimportant. They learn to escape into an ideal world to lessen feelings of pain from their angry, violent parents. Victims are known to lack a significant sense of self-worth and viewed as anxious and depressed. Unfortunately, victims tend to attract controllers in a relationship. They tend to inflict their suppressed anger on their children in the absence of their controlling partner.


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