Psychology: 5 types of love that form during our childhood

Many of our behaviors and characteristics are shaped at least to some extent in our childhood — including our way of loving, many experts believe. You can read here the different styles of love and any early childhood experiences behind them.

How we manifest and communicate love, how we prioritize it in our lives, even how we feel love, if not entirely individual, is at least very different and diverse. For example, we know the five love languages, relationship roles such as proximity versus distance, dominance versus dependency, which should ideally complement each other in a partnership so that they balance each other out, and many other theories that can help us and understand our partners a little better. .

Couple therapists Milan and Kai Yerkovic have developed another interesting model. They differentiate five styles of love, each highly attributing to certain influences in early childhood. These five styles of love are:

  • The: delightful
  • the victim
  • Addict of control (“observer”)
  • Der: die selected (“The Vacillator”)
  • Der: die Avoider (“The Avoider”)

Let’s take a look at what is meant by a special love style and what childhood experiences Jerkowicz traces in detail.

5 styles of love and how they are formed in our childhood

1. Pleasant

During their childhood, the people who make them happy usually dealt with parents who are very critical but also overly protective. As children, they always tried to be good and “good”, to do everything right and not be a burden to their family.

Traits that may remain from this constellation into adulthood include an excessive fear of conflict, an inability to say no, or to stand up for their opinions and needs. In addition, delighters are generally very attentive to others, can read their fellow human beings very well and have a strong sense of their moods and feelings. And it is precisely these skills that they use to meet the needs of others – their partner in the first place.

On the other hand, if happy people feel that they are disappointing their loved ones or that they are not “good” enough, they may simply run away. In order to have healthy and stable relationships, it would be good for patients to learn to take their feelings seriously and share them with their partners, rather than always doing what is expected of them.

2. The victim

The Yerkowicz couple associate the victim with people who grew up in a particularly chaotic home and were sometimes at the mercy of aggressive or even violent parents. As children, they learned to act as inconspicuous as possible and, if necessary, withdraw into their dreams and fantasies.

Victims typically experience low self-esteem even in adulthood, and some live in a state of anxiety or depression. Paradoxically, according to Yerkovichs, they are often drawn to dominant personalities because they remind them of their parents—keyword “people always prefer the familiar over the strange, even when it involves pain.”

Victims are very passive in relationships and let things happen. If things go well for too long, they generate fears because they are always afraid that things will go wrong again soon. In order to be able to live a healthy and stable relationship, the experienced couple advise the victim to learn to love and stand up for herself instead of putting up with everything.

3. Controller

As children, the Controllers often felt neglected and barely protected. They had to learn early on to take care of themselves and be independent and tough.

Controllers try to avoid feelings such as fear, insecurity, and helplessness at all costs, even in adulthood, because they believe that this is the only way they can stay in control. Controllers don’t usually associate anger with weakness, but see it as a way to make them feel stronger. Controllers are extremely reluctant to leave their comfort zone because they then feel exposed and unprotected. They prefer to solve problems on their own and in their own way.

According to Yerkovichs, controllers act in a very dominant and controlling manner in relationships, and they may also try to control their partner. In order to be able to have a healthy partnership, it would be a good idea for the controllers to learn to trust, let go and manage their anger.

4. Oscillator

For the Vacillator, their parents were basically unpredictable. Basically, as children, the Vacillator did not have a feeling that they were important or even a priority for their parents, on the contrary, they lived in constant fear of being abandoned.

The wobbly ones usually develop a strong longing for love, and they want stability and reliability out of the relationship. And as adults, they tend to idealize love and partnership. That is why they have doubts and fears with the smallest struggles and difficulties. In addition, oscillators usually suffer from intense internal conflicts and experience a lot of emotional stress, because they are very sensitive and tend to attach great importance to small things.

In order to have stable and healthy partnerships, it is best for this type of love to learn how to stay calm and give the relationship time to develop naturally. It would be better for them to really get to know someone first and keep their expectations up, than to commit too quickly and end up disappointed with a high probability.

5. Avoider

As children, avoiders were taught by their parents that feelings make us vulnerable and that we should always strive for independence. They learn early on to be independent and put their own emotions and needs aside.

As adults, avoiders tend to alienate others, relying more on logic and rational arguments than on gut feeling. Nothing bothers them more than the mood swings of those around them.

In order to be able to have a healthy and stable relationship, couples recommend that the avoidant type learn to allow others to approach them and deal openly and honestly with their own feelings.

note: Of course, any model that divides people into five types is an oversimplification and generalization. Direct inferences from personality traits related to childhood and upbringing – or vice versa – should generally be viewed with caution, since people can react quite differently to external circumstances and conditions. However, models like the Yerkovichs can help us understand ourselves and our behavior better, at least in part, and alert us to patterns that might be worth breaking down in order to live a happier and freer life.

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