There are two types of love experienced by most lovers, passionate love and companionate love.
Passionate love is romantic love or infatuation that involves intense feelings of great excitement and sexual desire for each other. Passionate love usually occurred at the beginning of the relationship in which lovers experience intense feelings of sexual attraction and overlook each other flaws.
This types of love does not last long because is mainly based on infatuation and sexual desire without getting to know the other person long enough which is the foundation for most long term relationships.
Companionate love involves affection, trust, and deep attachment for each other in which lovers have known each other for long time and understand each other flaws. Companionate love is less intense than passionate love because is mainly based on commitment and care for each other which last longer than passionate love.
Most relationship begins with passion and later transits into committed relationship when lovers decide and wants to achieve long term relationships. In some situation companionate love developed first in which lovers have known each other for long time and later transits into passion that involves romance and sexual attraction.
According to Sternberg, love has three components which include passion, intimacy, and commitment.
Passion is the motivational component that involves romance and sexual desire for each other. Intimacy is the emotional component that involves emotions and bonding with each other. Commitment is the thinking component that involves loving each other in good time or bad time and maintaining long term loving relationship.
The three components of love make up Sternberg’s love triangle in which different types of love variations may be experience in different relationships because the pattern of love changes overtime in existing relationship.
Variety of Love
According to Sternberg, the absences of all three components of love equal non-love. Friendship developed only when intimacy is present without passion and commitment. Infatuation developed only when passion is present without intimacy and commitment. Empty love developed only when commitment is present without passion and intimacy.
Romantic love developed with passion and intimacy but without commitment. Fatuous love developed with passion and commitment but without intimacy. Companionate love developed with intimacy and commitment but without passion. Consummate love developed with the present of passion, intimacy, and commitment which is the most difficult to achieve in loving relationships.
According to Sternberg, during the early stages of relationship
passion develops quickly and intensely which declines later on in
relationship. When passion decline many couples may experience intimacy
and commitment that develop into companionate love which can sustain
long term relationships as long as the couples are willing to work on
intimacy and commitment when passion fades away.
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