The most selfish thing you can do is have presuppositions of what love is or expectations of how it should be. Reciprocation is most appreciated when it is not expected. Be selfless.

Sternberg's Love as Story. Which Love Story is yours?

  • Love is…
  • 1. Addiction - strong, anxious, attachment. Clinging behavior. Anxiety at thought of losing partner.
  • Complementary roles: Addict & Co-dependent
  • 2. Art - Love of partner for physical attractiveness. Importance to person of partner's always looking good. Treating partner as a museum piece.
  • Complementary roles: Admirer of Art & "Work of art"
  • 3. Business - Relationships are a business proposition. Money is power. Each partner has (his/her) place.
  • Complementary roles: Partners in business or Proprietor & Customer
  • 4. Fantasy - Often expects to be saved by a knight in whinging armor or to marry a princess.
  • Complementary roles: Person in need of salvation & Imagined Savior
  • 5. Games and Sports - Love is a game
  • Complementary roles: Winner & Loser
  • 6. Gardening- Relationship needs to be continually nurtured and tended to. Relationships that are ignored will die.
  • Complementary roles: Gardener & Garden
  • 7. Government - Relationships are about power. In relationships. as in all else, there are those who control and those who are controlled.
  • Complementary roles: Governor & Governed
  • 8. Horror - Relationships become interesting when you terrorize (or are terrorized by) your partner.
  • Complementary roles: Terrorizer & Victim
  • 9. Mystery - Love is a mystery and you shouldn't let too much of yourself be known.
  • Complementary roles: Sleuth & Mystery Figure
  • 10. Police - You've got to keep close tabs on your partner to make sure he/she toes the line.
  • Complementary roles: Police Officer & Suspect
  • 11. Pornography - Love is dirty. To love is to degrade or be degraded.
  • Complementary roles: Pornography addict * Object
  • 12. Recovery - Survivor mentality. View that after past trauma, person can get through practically anything.
  • Complementary roles: Survivor 1 & Survivor 2
  • 13. Religion - Either views love as a religion, or love as a set of feelings and activities dictated by religion.
  • Complementary roles: Person in need of salvation & Savior
  • 14. Theater - Love is scripted, with predictable acts, scenes, and lines.
  • Complementary roles: Actor/Actress & Audience
  • 15. War - Love is a series of battles in a devastating war.
  • Complementary roles: Victim & Vanquished