Ludus | Play ful Love
Flirtatious Love | Narcissistic Love
The Greeks, oh what an interesting civilization. They have given us great advancements in science, math, literature, language and politics. According to linguists, they had over 30 words for explaining love and its different versions. Then, Canadian psychologist John Lee wrote a book called “The colors of love” where he chooses 6 of these words that best describe the different feelings of love, and gave each one of them a color. In this article we will make deep emphasis on Ludus, also known as playful love.
Ludus, or Playful love is assigned the color blue in Lee´s color wheel. It was described by the Greeks as the kind of love felt by young lovers or children. Ludus is defined as “sport or play” so this type of lover tends to view love as a game. They will take pride in having multiple conquests and will find it extremely hard to commit to one person, after all they’re all about the game and excitement that comes along with a new partner. According to Lee it has the potential to turn into Mania, which is characterized by addictive behaviors and dependency, or to Pragma, in which you choose a lover based on whether he or she is good for you or not.
People who enjoy love as Ludus get the most out of having fun with the partner (or partners) they are with, it’s not uncommon of them to play harmless pranks and to want to be together a lot, having many indoor or outdoor activities that include laughter, socializing and most of all, require attention.
Ludus lovers are fond of playful flirting and, as said above, need attention. A common way to practice Ludus is going to bar and flirting and dancing with strangers. As this will rarely lead to a meaningful relationship, especially if you are not looking for one. People who engage in Ludus find themselves always trying to outwit their partner and can be narcissistic liars, since they love nothing more than playing around with the other person’s feelings. They rarely get attached, but they pay extra attention to see if their partner is getting emotionally attached for 2 reasons, one it makes them feel good and feel a sense of accomplishment. And number 2, if they notice that their partner is getting emotionally attached, they can use this to their advantage, and thus ensure that they will not be the ones getting hurt. All this lying and deception, for people who experience love as Ludus, is just meant to always have the upper hand, even though they are normally cheaters and always like to date more than one person at once, they will feel very offended if they find out one of their interests is doing the same.
While it may seem like Ludus lovers are inconsiderate, it’s because narcissism is like that. It makes a person feel superior when they get away with whatever they are trying. But if they are the ones outsmarted, it will hurt them more deeply than the ones they are usually playing. This makes Ludus seekers very prone to mixing their love with mania.
Once they have mixed these two up, it will drive them crazy. If someone who experiences love as Ludus finds out one of their partners is seeking someone else, they will work extra hard for this person. This is the reason Ludus lovers are so careful when stepping into relationships, if they are the ones making the wrong moves it might make them start an obsessive behavior that could go as far as stalking, just to make sure that person does not abandon their side, and hurt their ego even more.
It does not however mean that the Ludus type are jealous, if they feel someone else is after their partner, it will even make them enjoy the fact that they are winning.
Luduspeople are, in the bottom of their heart, seeking the thrill of a new relationship. For this reason they have a wide range of physical tastes in partners, they are not very picky when it comes to picking out a new target for their game. Everyone experiences butterflies and excitement when they start seeing a different person, but Ludus type lovers need it to be able to enjoy a relationship, hence when it starts to evolve and they find themselves starting to get bored of the person they seek amusement elsewhere. This is what makes it especially hard for people to enjoy Ludus to be able to start a committed, long-term relationship.
Like sports, part of the excitement comes from the challenge, Ludus seekers are no exception. Another reason for them to always be out playing the field is that they want to prove to themselves that they can conquer whoever they want and whenever they want. This is why you can also relate Ludus with Eros, another type of love that is associated with passion. For them, everything is about flirting and gallantry, the more people they can do it with, the better.
Since Luduspeople will go out with many people during their sexual peak, it is very likely that they will acquire a lot of knowledge about themselves and what they want. So, every time they are going out with someone new, they will be able to notice what they like and what they don’t. Meeting all these people will also build them a huge network of acquaintances and friends. This means that once they move on from the Ludus type of love and are finally ready for a relationship it is very likely that it will be long lasting one (Pragma, or practical love), and it will probably be with someone with whom they started going out for fun.
Recognizable traits of someone who is embracing Ludus is that they are normally very guarded. Since they need to always be in control, only on rare occasions will they share deep, personal thoughts or so much as a lot of information about themselves. They are always on the prowl for new things and are not ready to commit or develop deep feelings for anyone.
If you notice you are going out with someone who is a Ludus type, you should know you are not irreplaceable and might as well just have fun too. Enjoy their company and live in the moment, because if you are expecting them to change for you, you are mistaken. Ludus lovers are not fond of expectations as just go with the flow, as soon as they start feeling they might be pressured into a relationship they are not seeking, they will leave and find someone else in a matter of days. Ludus types rarely find themselves crying over a relationship that is no more. “Nothing serious” is their motto.
According to John Lee (1973), a phrase that describes Ludus lovers is “when he’s not near the girl he loves, he loves the girl he’s near”. While he word “love” is not exactly what we normally associate with “romantic love” it could not be more fitting. While most types of relationships are normally associated with “monogamy” Ludus lovers find that having many partners will not diminish their feelings for one they truly love, and therefore are prone to cheat in a relationship.
This train of thought could be considered absurd to a lot of people, as they find that as an excuse to be able to hook up with other people while fooling their partners, this not need be true. It can happen that 2 Ludus lovers meet and form a deep bond, in which they recognize their love for each other and want nothing more than their company and well-being. But at the same time, they recognize that part of their nature is to want the thrill of new relationships, which can lead to them playing around with other people but knowing their love is reserved for that special one. They can live like this all their lives, or until they get it out their system and realize all they need is the comfort and strength of a well-founded relationship.
The opposite is also true, Ludus love can be associated with unhappiness in relationships. While the once who values Ludus over other types of love will want to be out having fun with other people, his or her counterpart will be saddened by the thought “I am not enough”. This makes them both unhappy, because in fact the Ludus lover does care for his partner very much and knows that their behavior will cause them unhappiness, and while they wish to not be the reason someone they care for is suffering, they will feel trapped by this person. This is one of the main reasons Ludus seekers pull out of relationships as soon as they are starting to form, they live for fun not for pain and suffering.
It takes very mature people to be able to sustain a relationship when one them, or both engaged in Ludus, being able to separate the past flings with the real partnership they are currently enjoying. They might think if the other knew their history with others, they might want to leave them. Ludus lovers have to understand that this is not their problem, and there is nothing wrong with having been with many people before they found the right one. And their partner has to understand that they are with them because they want to and not because they are forcing themselves to stick around.
Another trait for Ludus lovers, and perhaps that which identifies them, the grass is always greener. The fear of missing out is what spooks the life out of them. The more people they are with, the less they are missing out. Seems understandable right? Not necessarily! If you can identify yourself with Ludus lover stereotype you must also know that you are not always missing out, and you could be trading a beautiful person/relationship for another that could not be worth your while. Nature does not define you, ergo if you can tell that you won’t find another person that will be as good as the one you’re seeing now, don’t let them go.
Now, it also involves a lot of introspection. Just because they are right for you, does not mean you are right, so you will have to tap into the most self-less part of your soul and ask yourself if you are staying in a relationship for the right reasons. If you find yourself agreeing then you have matured and while Ludus seeking may exist within you, the logical side of you has accepted that you are ready to stay committed to a relationship that will benefit both of you, this is the final step for starting a Pragma relationship.
While society could frown at your behavior, this is your problem not theirs and you do not have to justify your actions to anyone. Every relationship needs a bit of Ludus, even if it includes you two going out and pretending you don’t know each other, or something along those lines. If you enjoy being a Ludus type lover, just try to be honest as possible (even though it might ruin your game a bit) it’s worth not hurting someone else’s feelings. You will find yourself being a person capable of much kinder love if you do so.
In the end, we can conclude that Ludus is a type of love that can be identified with immature people, that’s why young people are mostly associated with one. But it can blossom beautifully when handled correctly. It’s associated with having fun and going out with many different people, some of them at the same. Which we now know is just a consequence of our own issues. If you are dating a Ludus type, remember what they are like and do not chase what you cannot have, while if you are a Ludus type remember to not let the one you feel is right go, with the hope that something better will come along.
So get out there and find what you want, may it be fun for a while, or a friendship that could potentially blossom, remember to love yourself.