Love is the subject of research not only through experience and arts. Robert Sternberg Triangular theory of love (1986) defines which components are necessary to create deep and lasting partnership.
Three components are:
* intimacy (feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness),
* passion (romance, physical attraction, and sexual consummation)
* decision/commitment (short term decision that one loves another, and long term commitment to maintain that love).
Only intimacy without other components is liking and friendship. Just passion is and infatuation, not love. And only commitment is an "empty love", usually a matter of convenience than actual love.
Intimacy and commitment is a definition of partnership. Commitment and passion create feeling of burning, irrational fatuous attraction. Passion and intimacy create romance, and again - not love.
In different stages of the relationship we may experience different forms of feelings, and we can come to manifestation of all three love components from any angle - from commitment (as our great grandparents fell in love after years of arranged marriage), from passion (as in romantic era, or as today) or from liking/intimacy. All components affect all others. Unique balance of all of these components shapes love that is unique to this specific couple. Strengthening one component may strengthen others, and ignoring one component may harm others as well. Following research speaks of "balanced" triangles with all components more or less equally expressed, and "unbalanced", elongated triangles with just on component dominant.
I also would like to stress that "triangle" of each partner is unique to him or her, and if they are significantly mismatched (one partner focuses on great deeds, while another only thinks about bedroom - relationships weaken and dissipate over time. If both partners are similarly "unbalanced" (for example, both focus on great deeds) - they can be great partners ano to another.
So when did lately you talk about these things with your partner?
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling.
Original article: https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/1986-21992-001; construct validation study: http://vivanautics.com/pdf/Sternberg1997.pdf
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