The 9 Archetypal Lovers You Are Attracted To

The 9 Archetypal Lovers You Are Attracted To

And Which One You Are

First off, I just want you to get comfortable. If you’re reading this on your phone, be prepared for a lot of scrolling. I’d suggest even getting up and reading this on a laptop or desktop, or even tablet. I really want you to get as much value from this as possible, so this article touches on a lot and goes as in depth as possible as a blogpost. And with that said:

I want you to think back to your childhood.

Think about your happiest moments. Who were you with? Who was taking care of you? What were they all doing?

Friends and family. How did they treat you?

"They treated me well enough and affectionately" is your probable response.

But this is subjective. Our toddler and adolescent days were when we forged our model for love and affection. It's how we added a meaning to the words "love" and "affection". Whatever we felt as children set the bar for how we want to be treated as adult. 

For example, our mother/caregivers took care of us to the best of their ability, shielding us from as many pains and struggles that life has to give.

Sound about right?

What that means is that we have a tendency to find an adult relationship with the same dynamics.

But isn't that a good thing? I made it through childhood with that kind of affection. Shouldn't I keep that definition of love?

No, not necessarily.

How we act as children is just that - childish. We can't let ourselves plateau and stagnate our maturity levels with those of elementary or highschool students. As we age, as we grow in responsibility and capability, we mustn't cling to our child-like tendencies for affection.

And to continue the above example, as we continue to look for partners who care for "us to the best of their ability, shielding us from as many pains and struggles that life has to give", we may continually look for people who take over our lives. There are negatives to every positive trait, and some in this example could include: overbearing control, micromanagement behaviours, patronizing comments, a grandiose self-image, arrogance and ego. Is this something you're willing to live with or can even handle?

To combat this, I want you to really understand your definition of love. Your feelings and byproducts and symptoms and associations and images of love. There are 7.4 billion definitions of love on this planet, and to really make the most of this life, you really just need to understand 1.

And to do this, let's look at the 9 types of people that seduce us with these feelings. 


The 9 Types Of People We're Attracted To

The Siren

The Rake

The Ideal Lover

The Dandy

The Natural

The Coquette

The Charmer

The Charismatic

The Star

Through the wisdom of Robert Greene, there are 9 types of people that spark our fancies. We may have attraction to multiple, but as you go through the following, you may find one that really sticks out and defines all your past relationships.

As well, the following are also descriptors for who we are as lovers ourselves. The way we attract people can be defined through the following types. You may show signs of multiple types, but again, you'll find one that sticks out to you and think "wow…this is me” 

But keep in mind that the point of categorizing people isn't to label them, but to gain a deeper understanding of who we love, how to best love, and when we should re-evaluate who we love.

 

1. The Siren

The Siren is of highly charged traditionally-feminine energy and tends to attract those of a completely opposite, traditionally-masculine energy. Now, whether or not you identify as male, female or neither, you'll tend to be attracted to a Siren when you show characters on the extremes of traditionally-male behaviour.

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*NOTE*

I absolutely hate using the words feminine and masculine because of the connotations behind each. When we think feminine, we think of the female sex, and when we think of masculine, we think of the male sex. However, feminine and masculine or just two ends of a behavioural spectrum, regardless of sex or gender. Just know that from now on, do not envision a traditional-female figure when I say feminine/female, and do not envision a traditional-male figure when I say masculine/male. Whatever you identify as, you hold both male and female behaviours and energy.

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For example, when you show rigidity, high responsibility, almost a coldness and the need for control in things, the Siren is your opposite. The Siren plays on society's oppression of your inner desire for personal pleasure and play, most notably through your senses.

Think Cleopatra and Marilyn Monroe. These Sirens were attractive because of their ability to bring out a heightened masculine feeling in those they came in contact with. Cleopatra brought exoticism and a sense of godly masculinity to both Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony (and probably many others), and Marilyn Monroe brought a sense of masculine danger and pleasure to Joe DiMaggio and John F Kennedy  (and probably many others).

 We're attracted to, and actively try to attract, Sirens when we secretly just want to let go. When society needs us to be a strong rock, an emotionless stoic with many a responsibility, the Siren attracts us with their lure of opposing behaviour we desperately long for.

Think back to your past crushes. Were you attracted to them because they made you feel extra masculine? Did they dangle a life of ease and little responsibility in your strict day-to-day affairs?

The trouble with Sirens is their ability to bring out laziness for short-term pleasure.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Siren:

  1. Do not let your character suffer.

  2. Keep an open understanding of what you plan to do with your life.

  3. Never forget your life plan and do not let yourself be distracted for minimal pleasure.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

  

2. The Rake

The Rake is characterized as the masculine Siren. Playing on society's roles that a female character must abide by, the Rake brings out the oppressed behaviours of a traditionally-femine figure. They bring out the excited feminine in us. Again, male, female, or neutral, we're attracted to Rakes when we've been too confined and comfortable - too restrained - too neutral and unenergized in our day-to-day lives. 

For example, when we've grown accustomed to the office banter, the politically correct and neutral acceptance of things and our banal schedules, the Rake stirs things up and makes us feel special. The Rake is guided by his enflamed passion for you at the expense of others, and gives you the thrill of hot romance. Like the Siren, they strive to help you let go of responsibilities in favour of in-the-moment pleasure. No talk of future responsibilities.

Where the Siren attracts with visual sensuality, the Rake attracts with linguistic sensuality. The Rake is a master of language, communicative influence, and poetic verbiage. Often times, we may know we aren't going anywhere mature with a Rake, but that's what makes them so attractive. They are the heat of the moment and give us some texture in our  dull lives. They could pull a casanova and hide in a closet until you're alone for the pleasurable taking. 

Think Don Juan (or JGL's Don Jon), Christian Grey, or Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. They'll say and do anything to get us to fall for them, and they're able to do so because we've been so bored. Again, the majority of their attractiveness comes from their words, but it is the colourful and dangerous imagery they paint in our minds that become our daydreams.

The trouble with Rakes is their tendency to over-exaggerate their love and insinuate improbable fantasies of lasting partnership.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Rake:

  1. Do not let your character suffer.

  2. Let them know of your life plans, and hold them accountable if they hold you back.

  3. Do not let yourself be hypnotized by their current words of pleasure. Keep track of their actions.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents. 

 

3. The Ideal Lover

 The Ideal Lover comes to us from our childhood dreams, or rather our lost dreams. They are the ones that bring a hopeless fantasy to life with their ability to mirror the ideals we once had as  innocent happy-go-lucky children, but have lost to grey world. They are highly astute at understanding our deepest desires and definitions of affection and bring them to fruition.

Whatever it may be, the Ideal Lover takes the time to fully understand you and empathize with you. They play the long game. They study you and question you while giving you a sense of affectionate attention. And then they'll play your deepest desires to their advantage, accentuating the ideals you long for. They either show your desired ideals in themselves, or they try to make those ideals appear in you. 

When this happens, we're hooked. We see a filling of a forgotten desire in them, with them, and through them. Often a chivalrous knight or a motherly damsel, or something completely different, they come to the rescue out of nowhere with a romanticized but real idea of love. 

Think Casanova, and John F Kennedy. Kennedy notably took the helm of a nation longing for lost ideals and future hope -- the epitome of the Ideal Lover. Tony Robbins does this with his clients, Gary Vaynerchuk with his entrepreneurial following, and Andy Warhol with his artistic subjects -- they were always painted in the most hopeful light. The trick of the Ideal Lover is their ability to know what "hope" looks like to different people. 

On the other hand, the trouble with Ideal Lovers is their grandiose self-image and lack of ability to operate within the realms of reality. Their high ideals are the culprit of this, and if left unchecked, can get too out of hand.


To tackle and grow maturely with an Ideal Lover:

  1. Allow for their hope and ideas of growth, but also keep a firm grounding on reality.

  2. Keep open communication for your life plans.

  3. Remember they are only human and are not godlike myths - be cautious with their proposals and plans.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 
 

  

4. The Dandy

The Dandy is the Siren or the Rake of the same sex. They attract the traditionally-male with psychologically masculine traits, and they attract the traditionally-female with psychologically feminine traits. They tear down the labels that society has put on sexuality and they play in all spaces. We're attracted to Dandies for their ambiguous and obscure personas, and their freedom to break prejudice sexual behavioural roles.

Since humans are a social creature, our societies will always tend towards a general acceptance of values in order to keep everyone in place. Dandies defy this and let themselves explore multiple perspectives, especially those perspectives that are not accepted by society. 

Often mysterious and unable to predict, Dandies spark our interest when we have repressed desires for freedom. Their lack of conformity to the masses is such an attractive characteristic that we all want a piece of. The fact that they easily flaunt it -- whether through their clothing, opinions, or overall behaviour -- is something to be jealous of in itself. Why not try to obtain this freedom for ourselves? 

Flamboyant males and rigid females are the popular images that come to mind. Think Rudolph Valentino and Lou Andreas-Salomé. The masculine Dandy and the feminine Dandy. They cast spells on the opposite gender using their same behaviours. Valentino had a very feminine-described etiquette and appearance, and Salomé had very rigid independent habits. They attracted their lovers by showing how free they were to act like their lovers.

As progressive as these types sound, their strong ability to relate to you could also lead to troubles. Power struggles may be an issue since you'd most likely be sharing similar fields of work or goals. Another is the inevitable case of unconditional acceptance -- we come to expect them to understand us fully without even speaking, and can only lead to miscommunication.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Dandy:

  1. Take inspiration from their free-spiritedness, but do not forget your responsibilities and the others you need.

  2. As you share similar fields of interest, do not deliberately try to outshine each other. It's not a competition.

  3. Do not let yourself be swayed by their indifference or unconcern for others. Always treat others respectfully.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 

5. The Natural

The Natural is a reflection of those golden years of comfort and innocent affection - childhood. They portray what both Kubrick and Freud would describe as 'uncanny'. Familiar yet strange. The Natural brings into their persona a sense of youthfulness in an adult body, drawing those that long for the times of no responsibilities, harmlessness, and naive spontaneity.  

We miss those times and the Natural brings it back to us. Their child-like mannerisms and kind of weakness is something that attracts us. They draw out sympathy in us through their subconscious actions of needing protection. They probably won't say it outright or explicitly ask you for motherly/fatherly-ness, but it's their openness for affection and protection that draws us so close and dear.

They represent a world we've all left behind, and to some, we see this as a doorway back to that playroom. The Natural mainly draws upon 4 characteristics that we are attracted to: innocence, blissful unawareness, spontaneous talent/skill, or openness. All 4 are key indicators of a Natural and can seem endearing to be around.

Think Charlie Chaplin, Paul McCartney, Lil Yachty, Ryan Reynolds. They all emit this aura of youth that falls on us with an almost intoxicating feeling. A self awareness and openness in their sincerity. They don't even try to act like the other adults. While everyone hits us with a seriousness and strict adulthood-ness, it's the Natural people that calm our senses and ease our anxieties of needing to be an overly cautious grownup. Because if they can succeed this far as a child, why can't we?

The common obstacle while dealing with Naturals is their tendency to be too childish. Their innocence and naiveté can easily turn into irritation as you start to feel too much like a parent. When you can't talk to them on an equal level and start to baby them, a sense of annoyance and irritability may start to arise.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Natural:

  1. Treat life with a light heart, but keep yourselves aware of your responsibilities as growing individuals.

  2. Do not take the role of mother/father and child. Set your boundaries and expectations for one another.

  3. Find "adult things" to do and enjoy together. Don't rely on childhood memories to bring joy.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

  

6. The Coquette

The Coquette is hot and cold. They touch and go. They attract you with hopeful words or sensual maneuvers and then step back and distance themselves from you. They entice you and frustrate you at the same time, and we're attracted to this because of our human nature to want what we can't have.

They tease us. This may seem like an obvious unattractive trait, but the reason they spark any sort of infatuation is because of their ability to plant a seed of desire in our minds that continues to grow without them needing to be there. Consciously or subconsciously, they've come to understand what we desire, and insinuate that they are the solution to our desires -- all without being present.

They are the ultimate tease because it is in their psychological enchantment that takes hold of our A) hoping for their surrender to us, and B) the thought that we can be just as independent. With the former, it is so common for both men and women to fawn over people they know they can't have or know they shouldn't have  -- the grass is always greener on the other side. With the latter, much like the Dandy, we want to be in the presence of someone just as carefree and unworried about the consequences of their actions -- and the Coquette does just that, showing little acknowledgement for us and giving hope that maybe we can have little worry for consequence as well.

Think Josephine de Beauharnais, John Mayer, Ginger from Casino, and every bachelor on The Bachelor. They dangle the love carrot on a stick in front of us, but never fully give it to us. They use the virtue of delayed satisfaction to their advantage. And this is exciting to us because we know how independent they are, but there's just that bit of hope that they could be dependent on us. And that satisfies both our human need for wanting what we can't have and our human need to feel significantly special. Coquettes are like a shadow we cannot grasp but are always lingering behind us.  

The obvious downside is their unreliability. They may show bouts of deep affection and loyalty to us (which gives us some of the biggest excitements and joys we can feel), but on the whole they are difficult to tame and keep within our needs.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Coquette:

  1. Set the expectations. Right from the start. If you're willing to play hot and cold, let them know and let yourself know.

  2. Do not fall for their words or small acts of compassion -- keep a general tally of how reliable they act

  3. Keep a firm grasp of your needs and never settle.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 

7. The Charmer

The Charmer has almost a devilish smile you're willing to swoon over. The word "charm" comes from the Latin "carmen" -- a song or a chant that is synonymous with a magic spell. To charm is to literally cast a spell on another. The way that they do this, and the reasons we fall for them, is because they understand 3 fundamental laws of human nature: The law of narcissism, the law of defensiveness, and the law of grandiosity. It's our egos that they stroke, our vanity emotional walls that they align with, and our self-esteem that they praise.

Similar to the Ideal Lover, they make us feel special by playing on our deepest emotions and bringing them into warm light. They make us feel like the center of attention, bring us personalized pleasure, diffuse any conflict, relax us from chaos while keeping themselves cool, and have the skills/resources to help us in other areas of our lives. They are the embodiment of a prince/princess charming.

Opposite the Ideal Lover, however, is that they actively try to repress any signs of sexuality or signs of overt romantic tension. They give us a bit of Coquette-like distance and confusion in terms of romance, while at the same time bringing Ideal Lover behaviour. This makes them seem extra valuable because we suspect that no others are able to hold them like we can. "Wow he/she makes me feel so special, and he's a little shy too. I think I can own him/her like no one else can."

Think Drake, George Clooney, the Obamas, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Amanda Seyfried, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt. Well put-together, witty and affectionate in their comments, obviously able to connect with higher-class individuals, and knows how to keep it G rated. The family man or woman that show hints of tackling danger.

The obstacle with Charmers is in their ability to hide or subdue the less-clean history of their character. Everyone has their dark sides, and it's when we forget this that makes us susceptible to assuming their holiness. Sure, they can have an excellent track record, but understand that we are all human and have the ability to make mistakes.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Charmer:

  1. Set expectations for what you two are looking for. Don't expect they'll be able to love you unconditionally.

  2. Do not fully rely on them for your complete happiness - they can only give so much and you need to keep self-reliance

  3. Thoughts of being "too good to be true" could lead you to suspicion, but don't let this hinder your ability to love

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 

8. The Charismatic

The Charismatic is the excitement in the room. They exude confidence and energy in all the right places. They are mesmerizing and we're attracted to them because of their sincere obsessions and opinions and actions. They glow a sense of charisma with their animated gestures and fiery persuasive voice. And if they fit our values, they're just a good time to be around. 

They have a definite purpose in life, and seem to spread their campaign in the most eloquent, magnetic and theatrical way. It's hard not to be attracted to such people because they give us a sense of purpose through osmosis. If we lose sight of a meaningful life, it's their charismatic energy that makes us believe in ourselves once again. They are the light in the dark.

And with this, it is easy to be swayed and influenced by them. They have such a strong belief in themselves its hard to find flaws in their plans or their character. Similar to the Charmer of hope, the Charismatic brings intensified energy to their own hopes and tends to make you believe in them as well - which leads us to being more reliant and believing in their cause/values.

Think Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, Will Smith, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Robin Williams, Jackie Chan. Their invigorating tone and influence gets to you. Plus they have a strong sense of awareness like the Charmer for cooling things down when need be. There's a lot of entrepreneurial bloggers and youtubers that praise charisma, and rightly so -- it does the job. But there are some obstacles that should be examined.

Such obstacles include their saviour-like attitude and prophetic fervour. We're attracted to them at first because of this, but in the long-term, this gallant behaviour leads to fatigue. Psychologists call this 'erotic fatigue', when the feelings of passion are asking for too much of our energy and eventually lead to feelings of resentment. Yes, too much love is exhausting. This leads us to irritability. It's our responsibility to control this.


To tackle and grow maturely with a Charismatic:

  1. Be open to their affectionate hope, but keep a firm grip of your own values.

  2. Understand that they are not superhumans and don't always have the right answers. Think carefully of their actions.

  3. Keep open communication when it comes to the amount of energy you need, you give, and that you must recharge.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 

9. The Star

The Star is almost (or completely is) of celebrity status. They, like the Natural, poses the powers of the uncanny -- specifically mixing reality and myth. The star is a dream come true. Physically present, but almost legendary and mythic in essence. They are almost too dream-like to picture in front of us. We imagine them too far out of our league, and that is what makes them so attractive.

They have a strong reputation as something surreal and superior to our understanding of day-to-day life. They attract us with their Hollywood-esque aura, but also with their down-to-earth ability to relate to us. They're up there with the stars, but close enough to come in contact with. Not too out of our reaches.

To most, having a crush on a star-like individual may seem natural and obvious. But digging deeper, we can attribute this attraction to our own seemingly-boring, too-natural, banal and too real of a life. Like all the other archetypal lovers, we're attracted to them because we lack what they have. And they have out-of-this-world type lives. Or at least portray it.

Think of any celebrity. Any performing musician. Any touring author. Any interviewed actor/actress. They have attention and adventure plastered all over their perceived schedules, and we want that. Especially in this Instagram / YouTube / Facebook / Netflix / Snapchat era of showing off. When we see their following on social media, we want a piece of that for ourselves, and that's what makes them so attractive to our plain lives.

Although the Star may have a clean and bright reputation, your dynamic with them will also include some overlooked setbacks. Like the Dandy, you may come to fight for attention. Like the Charismatic, you may come to exhaustion with their affection. Like the Coquette, you may feel frustrated with their independence. I can only imagine how frustrating an actual celebrity's family must get when they're bombarded with the paparazzi (though could also be invigorating from time to time).

We all have our crushes from the movies, but think deeply about what it must be like being their partner.

 

To tackle and grow maturely with a Star:

  1. Come up with clear expectations for each other's needs for affection.

  2. Understand that you both still have your own dedicated circle of friends/family and accept each other's growth with others.

  3. Stay supportive of each other's goals and remember that no one can bring support in the same way that you do for them.

  4. You have so much love to offer the world, do not stunt your talents.

 

In Conclusion: 

The 9 archetypal lovers we fall for:

The Siren

The Rake

The Ideal Lover

The Dandy

The Natural

The Coquette

The Charmer

The Charismatic

The Star


We fall for multiple, but we completely fall for one depending on our current life situation. As you scour through these types of people, always think back to your ultimate life goal. Do they fit? Will they fit? Are you willing to allow them into your plans?

Or are they just a reflection of how you felt love as a child and are you just settling for a familiar child-like love? If so, you need to think past this.

Each type has a specific purpose in our lives, and we can learn from each of them. Chances are, as you were reading, there was one that really stood out to you as someone you embody yourself. Are you the Dandy? The Star? The Ideal Lover?

And then think back to your past relationships and crushes. Do they all show patterns of the Rake? The Coquette? The Natural??

Everyone has their own personality type and will have an even more specified checklist of traits for their partners. The dynamic of your personal type and the type you're attracted to will not be the exact same for another couple with the same pairing.

At the end of the day, your life is how you choose to live it, and that includes the people you choose to let in. But always always always live with love and never stunt your talents.


P.S. - If you know anyone that could benefit from studying their relationships, please share this with them! The point of this post isn’t to label people, but to bring out patterns to explore within ourselves and others

P.P.S - I’d love to hear your stories about your interactions with these types of people. Leave a comment below!