The triangular theory of love


Love is a result of intense attraction between two people and it’s been studied in psychology from defferent angles and views.Psychologist Robert Sternberg has developed a highly interesting theory for the elements that compose and form this feeling.The triangular theory of love.

This theory sees love as a combination of three ingredients: intimacy ,passion and commitment. Putting each word on the tops of an isosceles triangle. With the term «intimacy» we refer to the feeling of trust, warmth, understanding and care. With the term «passion» we refer to physical attraction, sexual desire and the innate desire to belong somewhere. With the term «commitment» we refer to the decision of being with someone in an early stage and on the obligation to stay with him for a long time.

The types or forms of love, that come from the combination of those three elements are seven as shown below:

Liking-Intimacy: In this type of relationship, there is warmth, trust and a sense of unity among people but without the passion and commitment features. This kind of relationship can be compared with deep friendship.

Infatuation-Passion: Love at first sight that contains only passion and often ends in disappointment if intimacy and obligation of love hasn’t been developed. These relationships are based on the idealization of the other and not on knowing the partner and they can’t cope with the challenges of life.

Empty love-Commitment: One or both members of the couple commit to continue the relationship without having passion or intimacy. Usually these relationships are in their final phase and they stay together to honor their commitment on conscious decisions regarding kids for example or/and economic reasons.

Romantic love-Passion + Intimacy: It’s the typical form of a great love story like those in litterature and cinema. Relationship with passion and intimacy that usually external factors hinder both members of the relationship in their future plans.

Companionate love-Intimacy + Commitment: This is one of those relationships that last long (eg. marriage) and have combined with intimacy and commitment when they saw that passion was slowly fading.

Fatuous love-Passion + Commitment: In this type of relationship, intense passion leads the members of the relationship and they deside to be commited without having intimacy or knowing each other. A typical example are marriages based on impulsive decisions of the moment. Such relationships are heading in time to an empty love or a violent ending.

Consummate love-Intimacy + Passion + Commitment:This is the absolute love that everyone dreams of. Difficult, but not impossible, to truly experience it and most of all to keep alive its features over time.

The most important of all the theories about love is to have the desire to love and be loved. Cause love is a fire that you never know if it will warm your heart or burn your house down.

The Key of Thought

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