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Love in all

By Raphael Peter Published 3 months ago 3 min read
Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

Love is a complex and universal human emotion that can be experienced in different ways. Some people may define love as a feeling of strong attachment, affection, and devotion to another person. Others may view love as a choice, a commitment, or an action. Love can also be expressed in various forms, such as friendship, romance, family, or altruism.

In this article, I will explore some of the psychological theories and research on love, and how they can help us understand and improve our relationships.

One of the most influential models of love is the triangular theory of love, proposed by psychologist Robert Sternberg. According to this theory, love consists of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy refers to the emotional closeness, warmth, and sharing that characterize a loving relationship. Passion involves the physical attraction, sexual desire, and excitement that fuel romantic love. Commitment is the decision to stay with and support the partner in the long term.

Depending on the presence or absence of these components, Sternberg identified seven types of love:

- Liking: This type of love is based on intimacy alone, without passion or commitment. It is similar to friendship or platonic love.

- Infatuation: This type of love is based on passion alone, without intimacy or commitment. It is often experienced as a crush or love at first sight.

- Empty love: This type of love is based on commitment alone, without intimacy or passion. It may occur in arranged marriages or fading relationships.

- Romantic love: This type of love is based on intimacy and passion, without commitment. It is characterized by intense feelings of attraction and affection, but may lack stability or future plans.

- Companionate love: This type of love is based on intimacy and commitment, without passion. It is often found in long-term relationships that have lost their spark, but still have mutual respect and care.

- Fatuous love: This type of love is based on passion and commitment, without intimacy. It may occur when people rush into marriage or cohabitation based on physical attraction, without knowing each other well.

- Consummate love: This type of love is based on intimacy, passion, and commitment. It is the ideal form of love that most people strive for, as it involves a balance of emotional, physical, and practical aspects of the relationship.

Sternberg's theory suggests that love can change over time, as the components of intimacy, passion, and commitment may increase or decrease in different stages of the relationship. For example, a couple may start with infatuation, then develop intimacy and commitment, and eventually achieve consummate love. Alternatively, a couple may start with romantic love, then lose passion, and end up with companionate love or empty love.

Sternberg's theory also implies that different types of love may be more or less compatible with each other, depending on the expectations and needs of the partners. For instance, a person who values intimacy and commitment may not be satisfied with a partner who only offers passion and excitement. Similarly, a person who desires passion and adventure may not be happy with a partner who only provides intimacy and stability.

Therefore, to maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship, it is important to communicate with the partner about the type of love that they want and need, and to work together to enhance the components of intimacy, passion, and commitment. By doing so, the couple can increase their chances of achieving consummate love, or at least a type of love that is satisfying for both of them.

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