The primary goal of science is to quantify everything in nature. If something cannot be measured, it is beyond the realm of science. Most things that fall into this category are considered taboo in the scientific community. Ghosts would be the best example. Science has tried very hard to give everything a definition and a predictable outcome. Love is no exception. But when it comes to the topic of love, I believe science falls short. Though scientists have come up with neat little categories for types of lovers, the idea of love is still beyond all science. And to me, that is where it belongs.
As humans, we have a need to organize and groups things neatly. Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., at the University of Washington, is one of these people. Schwartz has developed classifications for the types of lovers in society. Schwartz says knowing your style "can keep your relationship healthy and happy." Schwartz has six groups that she says categorize each type of lover. I think, as many things in science are, this is completely bogus. But it is fun to think about.
The first type of lover is the "romantic." Schwartz describes this type of person as someone who "loves being in love." But Schwartz warns that this type of lover can set too high expectation. She says to remember "true love doesn't recede with his hairline, and romance doesn't have to fade as the relationship matures." To keep things going, Schwartz suggest "Planning dates, weekend getaways, or just-the-two-of-you vacations to rekindle the spark that ignited your relationship."
The second type of lover, according to Schwartz, is the "list-maker." In this situation, a person will "have criteria that are important, and you won't change them." Schwartz suggest doing away with any lists and simply worry about the important things, "companionship, love, a capacity for forgiveness."
The third category of lover is called the "obsessive." Schwartz describes this type of lover as someone who "wants to spend all their time with their partner, and constantly worries about their relationship, even when they've been together for years." This can lead to "partners being overbearing or having highs and lows that drive their significant other crazy." To avoid obsessive love, Schwartz suggest, "Realize that too much of a good thing can be too much. You may need to talk to a counselor who can help you understand why you feel so insecure and help you find ways to put your relationship in perspective."
The next category of lover is called the "giver." Schwartz describes this person as follows: "You're constantly working selflessly to meet your partner's needs, but you're not looking after you." While there may not be anything wrong with pleasing your partner, it is important to develop your own interest and still have your own life. The important thing to remember is always be faithful.
This leads us to the next type of lover, the "player." This type of lover is described as "easily bored in long-term relationships, and your eye may roam." It is hard to keep a steady relationship is you fit into this category. Schwartz says, "Take temptation out of your life. Instead of looking for excitement outside your relationship, try doing new things (salsa dancing, anyone?) with your partner, so you can see him or her in a fresh light."
And the last group of lovers are the "pals." Every romantic movie has one of these. This person is the type that will one day realize what they have missed out on. These types of people need to be adventurous and try a relationship with someone they see as a friend. See science has this all figured out. Happy Valentine's Day.