The Anatomy of Love – Charles Friedan and Max Planck

LIFESTYLE is not a single word, but a collection of diverse concepts and assumptions about how to live. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous article, The Case of Miss R. in 1930. He distinguished the LIFESTYLE concept from the notion of moral uprightness and suggested that it was a synonym for healthy family orientation.

LIFESTYLE and its components have undergone multiple transformations since its first introduction. The original thesis of Adler’s article asserted that most human behaviors are motivated by concrete wants and needs which can be satisfied through several tangible factors. Adler claimed that these factors, taken together, form a basic framework upon which human behavior is shaped and the way it progresses. These factors, however, may be taken in different degrees depending on the cultural and individual literatures in which they appear. Adler’s model posits the concept of LIFESTYLE as a dynamic process that begins when a person establishes a particular Lifestyle, which is then sustained through positive and negative social interactions, even within the framework of daily life.

This definition of LIFESTYLE contrasts significantly with common understandings of the term. The Lifestyle concept has since been refined and applied to other areas of life, including marriage, work, sport, and even politics. The word Lifestyle has even seeped into popular culture in the form of terms like hip, laid back, laid-back culture, and laid-back approach to life. Although the modern usage of the word Lifestyle has become more vague, the basic assumption underlying it – that people’s lives are shaped by concrete needs and desires – remains intact. In the eyes of the public at large, a person who fits this description is considered to be “put together” rather than self-sufficient. This broad definition of Lifestyle implies that it is possible for anyone to adopt a lifestyle, but that a person who puts together a set of behaviors associated with his/her chosen lifestyle will be considered more successful in life.

If you wish to adopt a Lifestyle, the first step on your journey towards adopting a lifestyle of your own is to define one. For some, this may involve defining traditional lifestyles such as the existence of a traditional family or a four-year old child who is still playing in the same school as older children who are now out of school. Another example would be adopting a more Western lifestyle, such as a retired couple who lives in a mansion overlooking the city. There are many definitions for a Lifestyle, but it basically boils down to following one’s passions and interests. In essence, it’s about finding your inner niche and making it your primary focus. To make your journey towards your own new love life more successful, you have to identify and determine your “niche.”

Adorno, Charles. The Anatomy of Love. New York: Basic Books, p. 5. 1970

Lifestyle changes are not isolated to one’s cultural identity and community. A Lifestyle can be adapted by an entire culture and even by an entire country, since any given person can begin by choosing a new lifestyle and attitude. Adorno, Charles. The Anatomy of Love. New York: Basic Books, p. 5. 1970