Social Psychology - Passionate Love vs Compassionate Love

Topics: Love, Interpersonal relationship, Agape Pages: 4 (1269 words) Published: December 4, 2013
How can we distinguish between romantic (or passionate) love and companionate love? Discuss with reference to theory and research.

It is said that every human has the desire to affiliate with others and we are not stand-alone units. Despite we may get hurt during the affiliation with the other parties, we still desire to be loved and to avoid being isolated, this is mainly due to the social anxiety and loneliness in our daily lives. Research done by Schachter (1959) presented that, people who is under distressing experience will have the tendency to look for informal social support or attention of the other people, even if they are completely strangers with each other. Although humans have the strong urge to be loved, they often cannot distinguish between romantic (or passionate) loveand compassionate love. 1. Lee’s Typology of Love Theory

Therefore, there are a number of theories and research are developed by social psychologists in order to explain the difference between romanticlove and compassionate love. The first one is Lee’s Typology of Loveproposed by John Allan Lee. According to Gregory P. (2012), Lee opined that there are six types of interpersonal love comprised of three primary types and three secondary types. In Lee’s book with the title The Colours of Love,he gives explanation to each type of love and resembles each of them with acolour. Just like the colours of a rainbow that are made up of three primary colours - red, blue and yellow, he commented that this is the same to the types of love and by fusing these three primary types of loves, six styles will arise. Eros, Ludus and Storge are the three primary types of loves whereas Mania, Pragma and Agape are the three secondary types of loves after the combination between the primary styles in various ways. Firstly, Eros (Red) lovers are passionate and constantly searching for passionate lovers too. They view their mate in aesthetic way and this usually involves sensual and sexual...
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