Today’s guest blogger is Alexandra Heep. She is a talented and prolific freelance writer who blogs at A Heep of Everything. She is one of the ones who needed a tad of convincing to do a guest post. I will let her explain it to you. Grab a cuppa and pay attention.
It’s funny how life works. For years, I’ve been annoyed with many relationship articles, especially in regards to romantic advice, that I find online when doing research for projects. I’ve always wanted to do my own take, other than the audience-targeted topic pieces I’ve had to do for clients, but never made the time.
When Red asked me for a guest post and the subject turned out to be “relationships,” it was like the proverbial sign. Although, at first I hesitated because who can compete with her blog posts? Alas, if nothing else I might create new fodder for the Friday Follies. So, Red need not worry about coming back to an empty inbox after her well-deserved time off.
Writers are taught to evaluate resources carefully before using them as a basis for passing on information. However, with the advance of the Internet, suddenly everyone is an expert. We love to give advice to family members and friends; even co-workers are not immune. Technology has opened up a whole new platform to spread that advice, whether good, bad, or ugly; even further.
Intentions seem good, at least at first glance, but this well-meaning advice could be construed as crossing boundaries, especially when it is extended to someone who did not solicit it, or if the recipient is someone who does not see us as emotionally or intellectually qualified. Yet, we can’t help it, especially when it comes to giving advice in the relationship department.
Not only do we love to give advice to help out, but when things don’t go our way we often look around for words of wisdom, usually in our family or friendship circle.
Consider the Source
Would it not be nice if every piece of advice was attached with credentials? When you go online to obtain information, you can evaluate the source. You can see what kind of organization runs a particular website, and in the case of private bloggers you can check their biographies and credentials. If they are listed, that is. However, many “words of wisdom” online have no such credentials attached.
People on the other hand do not come with credentials attached to their foreheads, yet many of us tend to take advice at face value when it comes from someone we love or respect. In a perfect world, only people who have managed successful relationships should dispense relationship advice. Or should they?
Why Does Relationship Advice Fail?
When people give advice, unless they have studied the subject professionally, they tend to do so by using their own life experiences. It is much easier to give advice on subjects like finances and health, because they involve science and math. Emotions, however, are a different story, and even psychiatrists and psychologists can put their own interpretation on situations, depending on their course studies.
In addition, according to John Lee, there are three primary types of love as well as three secondary types. His distinctions were inspired by the color wheel, and he describes them in detail in his book “The Colors of Love.” The three primary types of love are eros, storge and ludus; and the secondary are pragma, agape and mania.
Just like the name suggests, erotic lovers thrive on passion, physical attraction and intensity. When someone says he or she believes in love at first sight, that is considered an eros lover. Since they have high romantic ideals and believe in chemistry, their relationship advice might advise you to end a relationship if you no longer feel passion or attraction to Mate.
Storgic lovers started out as friends and are sort of opposite from eros as they do not base their relationship on passion. These are the ones who claim that Mate is also their best friend, something that others might not be able to relate to. That is why advice from storgic lovers might be confusing as they find it hard to understand that other people have romantic relationships with people who aren’t necessarily their best friend.
If you’ve ever wondered how someone can move casually from relationship to relationship, it’s because they are ludic lovers. You also know them as “players.” Sex and love to them are fun and games, they view marriage as a trap, and ludic lovers are the ones most likely to cheat. To them, other relationships do not make sense, and they would not tolerate much from a partner before dumping him or her.
Ludic lovers may seem careless, but they protect themselves from getting hurt by not getting too serious and they recover well from breakups, unable to understand why others would have a hard time getting over someone.
If pragma sounds pragmatic to you, you are correct. Pragma lovers ask: What have you done for me lately? Pragma lovers approach relationships as logical partnerships, for example to accumulate financial security or to establish a solid family unit. They like Mate to work with them towards a common goal. A pragmatic lover’s advice might be logical, but also will most likely disregard the third party’s emotions.
If manic love makes you think of stalkers, you are correct. Of course not all manic lovers turn into stalkers, but when rejected, it’s the least that can happen. Manic lovers at their worst can even commit rape, murder or suicide in the name of love.
However, of course the majority of manic lovers don’t go to these extremes, but they suffer the most from break up, have low self-esteem, and are in general insecure. They tend to cling to Mate no matter what, and might suffer extreme anxiety when not in the same space. Mania love has nothing to do with poverty or poor education, you can find it in all walks of life.
Agapic lovers are the selfless, giving souls who have infinite patience and will endure whatever Mate dishes out. The do not seek any benefit or reward from the relationship and just to have a Mate is enough for agapic lovers. Often their relationship advice includes to work problems out at all cost, even if abuse is involved.
Take it With a Grain of Salt
Since people love differently, you can see how advice from a person with one love-style would sound at first completely confusing to others from another group, yet might make them question themselves and their relationship with Mate. Since everyone is shaped by character traits and attitudes, and loving someone is no different, you can adjust your style to better suit a Mate or towards attracting a different type of Mate.
However, questions for each individual that arise include how far to accommodate Mate and how to communicate with Mate to bridge these differences. Again, the answers might be shaped by the type of lover we are: An agapic individual might even endure abuse in order to save a relationship, while a ludus lover might use any difficulty in a relationship as an excuse to end it.
Additionally, people also tend to impose their own moral, religious and spiritual beliefs when dealing with situations. These beliefs, while comforting to the individual, might not be beneficial to someone else with different concepts, but that is another infinite discussion.
Which type of lover are you? Do you straddle the lines? Which one is Mate? Which one is best suited to you?
Many thanks to Alexandra for guest posting. Be sure to show your thanks for giving you a break from Red. See you in the comments!
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
Original post text (c) Alexandra Heep.
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