This theory suggests that love consists of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy refers to the feeling of being close to, fitting in with, and belonging to one’s partner, which is the affective component of love; passion refers to the strong desire to bond with one’s partner and the motivation to make the relationship romantically and externally appealing, i.e., sexually related motivational drives, which is the motivational component of love; and commitment consists of short-term and long-term components, the short-term component refers to the decision of the individual to love a person, while the long-term component is the enduring commitment to an intimate relationship between two people, which belongs to the cognitive component of love. Love with only emotion is a kind of infatuation, love with only commitment is a kind of “empty love”, love with only proximity is only liking, the combination of emotion and commitment is infatuation love, the combination of emotion and proximity is Romantic love, the combination of commitment and proximity is companionate love, and the combination of these three dimensions is the complete and perfect love. As we get to know each other over time and change the way we get along, the three components mentioned above will change, and the triangle of love will change in shape and size as the elements in it increase or decrease. The area of the triangle represents the quality and quantity of love. The larger the area, the bigger the triangle, the richer the love. Stenberg further suggests that there are eight different combinations of love relationships under the three components, which are:

Lovelessness: the absence of all three components;
Liking: only the intimate component;
Obsessive love: only the passionate component;
Empty love: only the commitment component;
Romantic love: combines intimacy and passion;
Friendship love: includes both intimacy and commitment;
Foolish love: passion plus commitment;
Perfect love: all three components are included in the relationship.

Categories: Fall in love


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