Updated: May 30, 2022
Ahh, the lover. This archetype is one of my favorites. The character of the lover stirs intense affection. They look for ways to make others feel special which serves in getting their own desires for romanticism met.
The Lover desires close, intimate connections and are unabashed and unashamed in their expression. They do this through helping, giving gifts, writing poems, making grand romantic gestures, and quality spending time with their beloved. The lover can often serve as a heartthrob, enhanced by charming and/or beautiful looks.
The Lover Archetype Breakdown:
Goal: Build loving and committed relationships
Fear: Being unloved, rejected, or being strung along
Strategy: Often uses charm either knowingly or unknowingly to get what they want
Weakness: Easily wounded or prone to heartache. The lover archetype tends to feel more intensely than other characters
How other characters respond: The lover can be polarizing. Fans of the lover will often croon, or bend to the will of the one showering them with affection. Opponents of the lover may respond with ridicule for the way the lover behaves or jealousy of the attention the lover receives.
Explore: The Lover Explained
The Lover Type comes in several varieties
Just as there are several types of heroes and villains, the lover character has depth as well.
Hopeless romantic: This subtype holds an idealized version of love. They wear their heart on their sleeve, believing that there is only goodness in the object of their affection. No matter how many times their heart has been broken, they will continue to try to love. Their beloved may be a single person who continues to do treat them poorly, or throughout a series of failed relationships. The hopeless romantic is often willing to spare themself for their loved one. (Note: readers love to root for the hopeless romantic type.)
The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks, is an easily recognizable tale of the power of the romantic lover.
Desperate /obsessive lover: This is where things get scary. If you are writing about a romance gone wrong or a dark, twisted fantasy, then the obsessive lover is the way to go. They are often the subjects of a thriller. Think Gone Girl, the book and movie. If you haven't read it yet, seriously, do it now!
Lover bomber fireworks and fade type (a.k.a. "the player"): Think of the infamous Casanova. The grand stories of love are also the source of great heartache. The love bomber envelopes their target with love, blinding them, all while engaged in alternative motives.
Writing About the Lover - Tips
Be sure to include what the lover is drawn to when it comes to the object of their affection. Are they interested in appearance, a special talent, or love for the sake of itself?
How do others view this character and what emotional responses do the bring about? For example, are the other characters annoyed by their advances or flattered by the attention?
What kinds of passionate language or advances do they use? Do they write love poems? Do they lull with a guitar or other instrument? Do they cook well?
Think about someone in your life that has romantic traits. What do they get “right” about love? Do they give flowers and gifts? Are they often trying to play matchmaker? Use people you know for inspiration.
Can the lover stay faithful? Do they focus their attention on a single person or is their love equal opportunity for anyone that sparks their interest?