Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love

Topics: Love, Triangular theory of love, Robert Sternberg Pages: 3 (1016 words) Published: February 28, 2013
San Jose, Pyar S. 1EMT
Philosophy II PHL IV

Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love

In 1986, a psychologist Robert Sternberg proposed the triangular theory of love. This theory explains the topic of love in an interpersonal relationship. The three components of love according to the theory are intimacy, passion, and commitment. Different stages and types of love can be explained as different combinations of these three elements develop.

Let’s define each of the components of love. Intimacy is the feeling of attachment, closeness, typified by sharing secrets, etc. Passion is the feeling of sexual and romantic attraction. Lastly, commitment is the willingness in the short-term to create and maintain a relationship and long-term plans to sustain the relationship. According to Robert Sternberg’s view, the perfect relationship contains all three of the components. Each combination of these components ends up with different kinds of characteristics and results.

There are eight possible combinations of these components. First, non-love, this refers to the absence of all three components of love. Next, is liking, it refers to the set of feelings one experiences in relationships that can truly be characterized as friendship. Thirdly, infatuated love, results from the experiencing of passionate arousal in the absence of intimacy and commitment. Fourthly, empty love, is characterized by commitment without intimacy or passion. Fifthly, romantic love, from a combination of the intimate and passionate components of love. Sixthly, is intimate, it is a non-passionate type of love that is stronger and deeper than friendship due to the long-term commitment. Secondly to the last is fatuous. It is characterized like a tornado or whirlwind of marriage and courting. Lastly and most sweetly, consummate love, it is considered as the best form of relationship. Consummate love...
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