Archetypes: Lover

There is strength in intimacy; divinity in love, and no archetype wields this power more skillfully than the Lover: aptly named, often misunderstood.

This archetype brings to mind the great romances, playboys, and jilted lovers of the world’s story tapestry, but they are not limited to passionate affections. The Lover presides over all love: familial, religious, cultural, romantic, peaceful. The Lover desires their anima and animus to be united, in whatever form that might be.

As I have mentioned in prior posts in this series, this collection of posts deals with the archetypes first put forth by psychiatrist Carl Jung, and the use of these archetypes in fiction. Every post deals with the motivations, character profiles, and Shadows (or negatives) of each archetype. This week we are continuing the group known as the Soul types, which are defined by goals related to personal development, or agendas that serve to improve their spiritual, mental, or physical standing with the world. The Lover, driven by a need for soul-rendering bliss, is this week’s archetype. In addition to being a Soul type, it is often grouped with three other archetypes (Magician, Ruler, Warrior) to constitute what has been termed the Mature Masculine types. See my post on the Anima & Animus to learn more about the gender-denomination of the archetypes.



 The Lover

Sometimes known as the friend, partner, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, or team-builder, the Lover is all about creating lasting, meaningful relationships. They thrive in situations that bring them closer to the things they love.

The Lover performs best under mutually-beneficial arrangements. They are no stranger to dedication and commitment, will show appreciation and gratitude for others without being prompted, and are quickest to (excuse the cliches) wear their heart on their sleeve and view the world through rose-tinted glasses.

They are terrified of being alone. Getting excluded from the group, not having their passions reciprocated or even acknowledged are some of the greatest fears for the Lover, who usually has such a narrow, precise goal that anything less than bliss will leave them broken-hearted. The Lover rarely recovers from this sort of loss.

The Lover’s shadow can take many forms. As a chameleon, thy can risk losing their own self-identity in trying to remake themselves into the image their desired wishes, or can grow so bitter over their failure that they will obstruct the path of their scorning love, or naive people who remind them of their former, innocent passion. The shadow side of the Lover is also one of the most dangerous, as he can not be reasoned with. There is no life for the Lover after loss of love, and many times, they are willing to take many down with them in a final, fitting end. They can also have commitment problems, objectify their desire, and become addicts in the pursuit of recreating the instigating emotion.


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Recommended Reading:

Other Posts in this Series:


15 thoughts on “Archetypes: Lover

    1. Yes, I was pretty determined to bring examples to the table that didn’t automatically go into the romantic-love category. 🙂 I’m glad that it’s appreciated!

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    1. Yes, they’re really all heart, and all or nothing. Makes for some great character moments in black moments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is the first time I’ve caught your Archetypes series, Alex. And… Wow. Excellent job. I have to agree with Samwise Gamgee’s inclusion here. He’s a dedicated friend to Frodo, even as Frodo continues to fall to the Ring’s poisonous hold. Your GIF of him is one of my favorite Sam moments in the LOTR Trilogy. 🙂

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    1. Thanks very much, Sara! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 If you want to check out some of the others (sadly I’m already halfway through!) you can see them here:

      It’s one of my favorite moments, too. Especially since it’s one of the blackest moments in the entire series when Frodo tells Sam to go home. I still cry!

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      1. I’ll have to revisit those as time allows. Thanks!

        *lol* It’s OK. The LOTR films still make me cry, too. Especially when Gandalf falls in Fellowship, and the Grey Havens scene at the end of ROTK.


  2. The Lover is an archetype I’m frequently drawn to writing and developing–so much so because as you beautifully demonstrated, they are oftentimes stereotypically misunderstood. There’s so much complexity to this type and passion is marvelous motivation used to fill in that personality with rich character.
    A great post, Alex. You highlighted some oft-overlooked examples and I for one will remember to keep an eye out for the unusual archetype Lover. (don’t want to spurn them with a lack of love and attention)

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    1. Yeah, the Lover is definitely a fun archetype to write for. All that emotion, bottled up and needing direction. 🙂 I’m glad that there were some good examples for this one! I spent a few days reaching, haha. A few of the descriptions will need to be beefed up for the eventual book version of this series. 😛 *jumps the shark*


    1. Thanks so much, Deborah! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series and I really appreciate the share. 🙂


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