My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Love unravelled

PSYCHO TALK Finally an explanation for the unexplainable phenomenon of “falling in love”.


For all you have heard, read and talked about romantic relationships, you don’t know what a psychologist might have to say about it, do you? Thank your lucky stars now: you’re going to read about Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love!

Triangle of love

In 1986, the US psychologist, Robert J Sternberg, in his triangular theory of love, proposed that there are three basic components of love:

passion (sexual desire),

intimacy (confiding and sharing feelings), and

commitment (intention to maintain the relationship).

Different combinations of these three components yield eight basic types of love:

non-love (none of the three components present),

infatuation (passion only),

liking/friendship (intimacy only), empty love (commitment only), romantic love (passion and intimacy), compassionate love (intimacy and commitment), fatuous love (passion and commitment), and consummate love (passion, intimacy and commitment). The illustration here will help you understand, for example, that romantic love involves a high degree of passion and intimacy without substantial commitment.

‘Infatuation’ is passionate, obsessive love at first sight without intimacy or commitment. ‘Liking’ is true friendship with neither sexual desire, nor commitment. ‘Empty love’ is decision to love another person without intimacy or sexual desire. In ‘romantic love,’ lovers are physically and emotionally attracted to each other but without commitment. ‘Compassionate love’ is a long-term friendship in which there is no sexual desire. ‘Fatuous love’ is commitment based on sexual desire but without time for intimacy to develop. Only ‘consummate love,’ which is ideal and difficult to attain, is complete and satisfying with all the three components because it is likely to fulfil many of the needs of each partner.


Cultural factors have a strong influence on the value that people place on love. In North America and the United Kingdom, for example, the vast majority of people believe that they must love the person they marry. By contrast, in India and Pakistan, about half the people interviewed in a survey said they would marry someone they did not love if that person had other qualities that they desired (Levine et al., 1995).

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