Passion + Intimacy + Commitment = Consummate Love
Following are different stages of love and by judging the relative strength of your three components, you can determine how you love your partner. The three components of love, according to Robert Sternberg, are passion, intimacy and commitment. He says that love is like a triangle and the best kind of love is an equilateral triangle - one in which all three sides are of equal length.
Passion is defined as an intense emotion, extreme enthusiasm, devotion, love and sex drive. Intimacy is sharing, understanding, closeness while commitment is a pledge, a promise, dedication, vow or obligation.
There are eight different terms of affection:
1) NONLOVE- none of the three components of love are present.
This is the type of relationship we have with most people we interact with on a daily basis.
2) LIKING- when passion and commitment are weak but intimacy is high. This is most likely to describe our feeling for our close friends.
3)INFATUATION- motivates us to develop a relationship. Passion is high but intimacy and commitment are low.
4) EMPTY LOVE- this exists when commitment is high but passion and intimacy are low or absent. It is most likely to be found in couples who have been married for years and still together for the sake of their children or others won't tattle and blab about them.
5) ROMANTIC LOVE- is most common to couples whose relationship is relatively new. Their passion and intimacy are high but not together long enough or shared enough experience to develop strong commitment for each other.
6) COMPANIONATE LOVE- intimacy and commitment are strong but passion is low or their sexual attraction has faded.
7) FATUOUS LOVE- passion and commitment are high while intimacy is low. It describes couples who experience a powerful chemistry even if they do not really like each other very much.
8) CONSUMMATE LOVE- this is the ideal type of love in which all the three components are strong. As Sternberg suggests, this state maybe easier to achieve than to maintain.
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