science of love

On my regular hops across the net and specially Wikipedia, I come across some fine gems. They usually crack me up or set me thinking. In some cases, they astonish me. As was the case this morning.

Having done my share of pyschology classes and reading on Jung and such, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The emotion – Love – broken down into its various forms. Thought it made sense enough to post.

The Triangular Theory of Love.

The rubric is based on 3 factors:

1. Intimacy

2. Passion

3. Commitment.




The explanation of each: [source:wikipedia]

1. Nonlove is the absence of all three of Sternberg’s components of love.
2. Liking in this case is not used in a trivial sense. Sternberg says that this intimate liking characterizes true friendships, in which a person feels a bondedness, a warmth, and a closeness with another but not intense passion or long-term commitment.
3. Infatuated love is often what is felt as “love at first sight”. But without the intimacy and the commitment components of love, infatuated love may disappear suddenly.
4. Empty love: Sometimes, a stronger love deteriorates into empty love, in which the commitment remains, but the intimacy and passion have died. In cultures in which arranged marriages are common, relationships often begin as empty love and develop into one of the other forms with the passing of time.
5. Romantic love: Romantic lovers are bonded emotionally (as in liking) and physically through passionate arousal.
6. Companionate love is often found in marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship, but a deep affection and commitment remain. Companionate love is generally a personal relation you build with somebody you share your life with, but with no sexual or physical desire. It is stronger than friendship because of the extra element of commitment. The love ideally shared between family members is a form of companionate love, as is the love between deep friends or those who spend a lot of time together in any asexual but friendly relationship.
7. Fatuous love can be exemplified by a whirlwind courtship and marriage in which a commitment is motivated largely by passion, without the stabilizing influence of intimacy.
8. Consummate love is the complete form of love, representing the ideal relationship toward which many people strive. Sternberg cautions that maintaining a consummate love may be even harder than achieving it. He stresses the importance of translating the components of love into action. “Without expression,” he warns, “even the greatest of loves can die” (1987, p.341). Consummate love may not be permanent. For example, if passion is lost over time, it may change into companionate love.
Nice eh? Know where all you’ve been? Ive probably traipsed all over the Bermuda triangle, and sunk happily somewhere along the way.
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17 replies on “science of love”
  1. says: Lakshmi

    “Science of Love”, “In the mood for a kiss”, “In the mood for love”. Hmm.. someone sure is paving the way for Feb, huh? Are the hints making any kind of mark on the significant other at all?

  2. says: bApHoMEt

    COme to think about it, I think I was always in ‘Infatuated Love’ corner. Not that I regret anything, but it always was Infatuated love, with a bit of Fatuous Love thrown in.

    This traingle does make sense.

    “Ive probably traipsed all over the Bermuda triangle, and sunk happily somewhere along the way.”


  3. says: Praveen

    Interesting..have become a regular on ur blog now…do u go about “searching” in Wikipedia or u just stumble upon them..I wonder 🙂

    If this is the case: “Infatuated love is often what is felt as “love at first sight”. But without the intimacy and the commitment components of love, infatuated love may disappear suddenly”,

    I wonder, why is infactuation (crush right?) often dismissed as “mere infactuation” when it is possible to have an intimate relationship also leading to commitment if pursued.

    This also reminds me of some Arabic Literature which talks abt the 7 shades of love where love starts as infactuation and leads to commitment…which seems was depecited in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se.

    I am gonna try and read Sternberg’s book now..

  4. says: rads

    Pratap: That’s the all-roads-leading-to-one Hindu mythology kinda love :p

    Praveen: Hop on in, donno about the posts, but there’s banter here for sure 🙂 People are still coming in slowly after the holidays.

    wrt “mere” – that’s coz committed love is put on a pedestal and worshipped. It’s all or nothing. Folks out there are grappling with the concept of in-betweens and ephemerals. My 2 cents. Interesting note on Dil se 🙂

    Baph: Am glad you had a good laugh on my travails with the triangle 😛

    Lakshmi: One can only hope. Ask me on the 15th 😀

  5. Thanks for all that info, ma’am. I’m totally ‘genned’ up on the fascinating subject of love. No one can now accuse me of not being a romantic. Unless they know me, of course.

    Funny how women feel all these things instinctively while guys are basically just trying their hardest not to incite violence by saying something gross and insensitive.

    Like recently the old soulmate had candles lit and splashed on some perfume of substantial value. I happened to make some wise-ass remark as to how the more expensive perfumes use ambergris as a fixative and that the said ambergris is actually whale vomit. Did not go well at all, that bit of erudition, lemme tell you.

    I think I’ve been traipsing a bit (LOL about that!) myself, though in our delicate relationship, much depends on my being able to remember to take out the garbage first thing in the morning.

  6. says: rads

    Naren: You had me in splits 🙂

    At the stage you, I and a few others who read this blog are, rubric consists of dishes, garbage, and who has control of the remote. The triangles and such are for the newbies and singles with their head firmly in the clouds. Thought I’d entertain them a bit 🙂

  7. I’m off for a 2 day getaway with chick and child to a nearby arboreal paradise called matheran. I hope to come back with a lot of first hand knowledge of the said triangle. Cheers!

  8. says: rads

    naren: ooo, eager minds await to be filled in!

    Pavan: *swoons at the title* I didnt read anything after that…

    Zhu: hehe, it’s like BS. Anything can be brought down to a science. 😉

  9. says: chronicworrier

    Where were you all this while? (Rhetorical, that.) Greedily wolfing down your archives.

    Btw, where does let’s have the TV on so we don’t have to talk but we still love each other oh so much, fit in?

  10. This is more like the triangle for marriage-love … somehow cannot imagine commitment being an important characteristic of love (except of course in desi movies). Commitment usually comes from a desire to own …

  11. says: rads

    Silvara: I knew it would create some ripples 🙂

    Dufus: Been a while! commitment from a desire to own? You mean, to be owned? :

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