The Lover is the archetype of emotion, feeling, idealism, and sensuality. Like the word “lover,” sensuality is often exclusively associated with sex but it inspires broader life application. To bring Carl Jung’s Archetypes into the 21st Century all you need to do is recognize actor Jeff Bridges (above) in his role as Dude in The Great Lebowski. His character is effectively The Lover at his fullest. He wants intimacy. He can’t stand to feel unwanted.
Because the Lover is so alive and sensual, he enjoys all of life’s pleasures, good food and drink, beautiful art, or gorgeous women. This is the archetype that spurs our appetites. But these hungers don’t exist only for pleasures like sex and food, but for a life of meaning and purpose. In his search to passionately pursue these, the Lover usually sees limits and rules as stifling.
Being sensual means opening up and using all senses in all areas of your life–touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing . . .experiencing as many dimensions of life as possible, and as often as possible.
A man who has fully developed the Lover archetype in his life reads people and social cues easily and accurately. He’s empathetic with others and understands how to get along, connecting with an array of people. Whatever the Lover is feeling, pain or joy, he feels it deeply. He’s a guy who goes overboard!
We can find the Lover archetype in myths and rituals that span culture and time. The Greek god Dionysus presents perhaps the greatest example. Each Spring a wild festival celebrated Dionysus, the god of wine, merriment, art, passion, and sex. In our era, “Spring Break” is a healthy dose of this wildness.
QUICK NOTES ON THE LOVER
- Core desire: intimacy and experience
- Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
- Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
- Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
- Weakness: fear of being alone and a desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
- Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment