Theory of love


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  • The Triangular Theory of Love was developed by Robert J. Sternberg, psychologist at Tufts University. According to his theory, the three elements encompass any given occurrence of an interpersonal relationship. From these three key elements we are able to create several different combination of how love can be shared in a relationship. Each type of love is a different formula for a different type of relationship to develop from. Robert Sternberg’s triangle of love is an evaluation of the way individuals love and it show what components can create the best type of love relationships. My presentation will show how these different types of love are connected and their common factors.
  • Robert Sternberg’s (1988) triangular theory of love recognizes these three dimensions as the major components of love. (Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships; Pg. 31)Passion is the motivational component of love and reflects attraction,romance, and sexual desire, which is driven by sexual attraction.Intimacy involves feelings of closeness, trust, and the sharing of one’s innermost thoughts, which can involve into a heightened level of trust between two people. Commitment is the decision to maintain a long-term caring relationship, which is a conscious effort to keep the love and connection in a relationship going.
  • Infatuation is the state of being completely “head over heals” in love with another person without substantial commitment or intimacy. People often have the sensation of being carried away by unreasoned passion or love; addictive love. Usually, one is inspired with an intense but almost instantly the love begins to short-lived passion or admiration for someone.Empathy love is compassionin all circumstances and is an emotional connection, which allows a person to relate to another without judgment or condition. It is a responsiveness to the feelings and the needs of others. Empathy love generally means being independent of lovable qualities or merit and exists regardless of circumstances.
  • Liking refers to the set of feelings one experiences in relationships that can truly be characterized as friendship an individual feels a sense of closeness or warmth towards another person, without intense passion or commitment.Infatuation occurs when an individual experiences a sense of passion and arousal without intimacy andcommitment. Romantic relationships often start out as infatuated love and become romantic love relationships as intimacy develops over time. Without developing intimacy or commitment infatuation love tends to fade quickly. Empty love is a commitment without intimacy or passion. A stronger love may deteriorate into empty love or on the other hand, for example in some arranged marriages, the relationship may begin as empty love but develop into another form, indicating 'how empty love need not be the terminal state of a long-term relationship but at time may be the beginning state of a love connection.
  • Secure attachment are generally able to get close to others without being concerned about becoming too dependent or fear of abandonment. These adult relationships generally tend to be more trusting, happier, than other types relationships. People in these types of relationships are also more accepting of their partner’s shortcomings and their relationships often last longerAvoidant attachment tends to be marked with emotional highs and lows. Partners are generally less invested in the commitment and usually are more likely to leave the relationship. Partners may also exhibit signs of emotional fear while others may be somewhat dismissive. They are also more likely to have brief sexual encounters without loveThese adults are generally less trusting but will demand giving of emotion in return for their partnership. They may also be very possessive and often are very jealous. Anxious adults may break up with the same partners repeatedly and can become highly emotional and angry when discussing differences. With anxious attachmentlove is often an obsession. (Hazan & Shaver, 1990).
  • A partner in an adult relationship that also has a secure attachment will find that it is relatively easy to get close to others and to their partner. They generally feel comfortable and trust that they are able to depend on their partner. In a secure attachment; people are able to have a significantly stronger bond. These individuals rarely feel a lack of an emotional connection to their partner and seldom worry that their partner may not truly be in love with them or will abandon the relationship. This is rarely an unhappy union and can evolve into a long lasting and committed relationship. (Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships; Pg. 24)
  • A partner in an adult relationship that is an Avoidant attachment will somewhat uncomfortable being close to their partner. They may find it somewhat difficult to depend and rely upon others. These individuals often feel nervous when anyone gets too close, and often love partners want them to be increasingly intimate. There is often a underlying a lack of trust and a slight level of doubt in the connection with their partner. (Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships; Pg. 24)
  • A partner in an adult relationship that also has anxious attachment will find that they are often more reluctant than others are to get as close to their partner, even if they want to have a stronger connection with their partner. These individuals often feel a lack of an emotional connection and worry that their partner may not truly be in love with them or has a desire to end the relationship. There is often a fear that trying to become very close to their significant other may scare them off. In addition, anxiously attached men are more likely to misread their partner’s feelings about the relationship. (Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships; Pg. 24)
  • Psychologist Robert Sternberg's description of how love development, also illustrates how consummate love is clearly the equivalent of secure attachment. The passion associated with physical closeness grows very quickly and initially dominates a relationship, but over time this passion may declines. Closeness and passion increase the need for give-and-take rapidly, (I.e. sharing and caring). This can prove to be a difficult transition for many relationships. A healthy love relationship usually takes a slower approach and intimacy can develop cover time . Commitment involves both short term decisions to be with someone, as well as the longer-term decision to maintain the relationship. The triangular theory of love allows couples and psychologists to gain a much more enlightened understanding of the many ways that individuals see their own relationships.
  • All connotations were from the text “Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships”
  • Theory of love

    1. 1. Attachment Style and Relationships Adreena R. Lind
    2. 2. Introduction to Love and Relationships
    3. 3. Robert Sternbergs theory of love Intimacy Passion Commitment
    4. 4. Slide Four Infatuation love empathy love
    5. 5. Slide FiveLikingInfatuationEmpty Love
    6. 6. Slide SixSecure attachmentsAvoidant attachmentsAnxious attachments
    7. 7. Slide sevenSecure attachment adult love relationships
    8. 8. Slide Eight Avoidant attachment Adult love relationships
    9. 9. Slide NineAnxious AttachmentAdult Love Relationships
    10. 10. ConclusionThe triangular love scale indicate how to preserve and strengthen a relationship.Three main factors of love: passion,commitment, and intimacy.The Six levels, which show how love is given in a relationship and stem from Robert Sternbergs triangle of Love.
    11. 11. References 7 Different Types of Love(2009) Love styles (2005) Psychology of Love: Sternberg’s Triangle (2011) triangular Attachment, Exploring Love, and Building Close Relationships