7 Types of Love according to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love

Love is an incredible feeling that has caused wars, suicides, and intrigues throughout history. Although some people do not believe in the existence of true love, this feeling, which is explained in Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, can make people do incredible things.

It is a subject that has been covered in thousands of movies, books, and songs so far outside of real life. It’s such a powerful emotion that once you fall in love, there is nothing you can’t do anymore. Best wishes and get well soon, my dear friend.

Is There Such Thing as Love?

People who don’t believe in love can often get this feeling after a negative experience. You may think there is such thing as love or not but scientifically speaking, there is this feeling called love.

Do not lose hope if you really want to find love but also do not change yourself to find it. Love comes and finds you when you least expect it.

How Do We Know That We’re In Love?

No worries, you will find it out instantly. When you see him/her and experience obvious changes in your mood and body such as excitement, sweating, trembling, you should be aware that love is knocking on your door. Sleepless nights are waiting for you.

Let’s talk about Robert Sternberg, a psychologist who has studied love, and his theory named Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love.

Who is Robert Sternberg?

Robert J. Sternberg is an American psychologist and psychometrician. He was born on December 8th, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey. He is Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and Honorary Professor of Psychology at Heidelberg University in Germany.

Sternberg is the author of over two dozens books that cover philosophy, love, humans and society. He is the creator of the Triangular Theory of Love as well as many other theories on intelligence, ethical reasoning, and thinking styles.

What is Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love?

It’s a theory created by psychologist Robert Sternberg to describe the dimensions of love with different combinations of intimacy, commitment, and passion. It helps you understand the type of love you are in and how you can improve your relationship.

What are the 3 Components in the Theory of Love?

  1. Intimacy: In this component, there is commitment but not too strict. Intimacy is at the level of friendship. There is intimacy and that’s all. It consists of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness.
  2. Passion: There is mutual attraction. Sexuality and romance are at the forefront. It does not include any responsibility. It is pleasure-oriented.
  3. Commitment: The relationship with features such as responsibility and planning has come to a state where it can be carried forward. It includes loyalty which leads a person to remain with the same person and go after common goals.

What are 7 Types of Love?

The first one is more like the inability to fall in love. The situation between you and those you see as friends. The others are the actual love that couldn’t empty, insane, romantic, stupid (you guessed it), and of course, perfect!

1. Liking or friendship

It is a situation that can be considered as a friendship. There is a closeness, but nothing much more. Intimacy or liking components might be present but the romantic feelings like passion or commitment are missing. However, it can lead it to other forms of love.

2. Infatuation (Insane) love

Infatuation love is the emotion that is dominated by physical attraction and hormonal situations that occur in our body, usually at first sight.

If feelings of intimacy and commitment begin to form over time, it turns into romantic love. Otherwise, it will end as fast as it started because there has not been enough time for developing intimacy or consummate love.

View this post on Instagram

A relationship always has its ups and downs and in the course of years, it will go through several phases involving deep emotions and feelings for each other involved in the growth of the said relationship. There are many theories about the “forms of love” and the feelings attached to it but according to one theory, there are three key components of love according to one theory. This theory is known as Sternberg’s triangular theory of love and was developed in the 80s and 90s by the psychologist and professor Robert Stenberg, PhD. This theory describes three major components of love: intimacy, passion and decision/commitment. Any of the three incorporates numerous feelings, culminating in what Sternberg calls full or consummate love. This theory is an excellent guide if you’re trying to find out the emotions behind your relationship, and also where it could fall short. Cortex is a community where you can talk openly about your mental health concerns and issues with our team of professionals and mental health advocates. Stay tuned for more updates! #love#lovepsychology#theoriesoflove#lovetriangle#triangulartheoryoflove#Positivepsychology#psychology#relationship#formsoflove#mentalhealthguide#mentalwellness#wellbeing#mindfulness#gratitude#mentalhealth#cortexcommunity#cortexapplication

A post shared by Cortex (@cortexapp) on

3. Empty love

Empty love is a kind of habit state in which physical attraction is not felt and hormonal changes are not experienced. We can include logical marriages in this group.

Even the most romantic love can turn into empty love over time. The opposite can occur as well. For instance, an arranged marriage without love may turn into other forms of love.

4. Romantic love

It emerges with the formation of attachment between partners who feel physically close. It connects people bonds emotionally with the help of intimacy and physical passion. The best way to figure out if you are in this type of love is to see if you can have deep conversations with your partner.

View this post on Instagram

As I traverse my twenties, I’m aware that I’m in that psychosocial development phase where I’m tasked with being in a relationship or not… to be intimate or to isolate is the question (some Erikson for all my nursing peeps 😂) A tool that I feel helps me is Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love that I drew right here. I learned about it in undergrad in my human sexuality class and it made me think about love from an academic perspective, I guess. I would imagine most of us want consummate love, a love that consists of intimacy, passion, and commitment. But anywho, I really like this Triangular Theory of Love because it honestly helps me piece out how I feel about people. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m in control of my feelings because I can put a label to them…or maybe I like it because it feels like I have some control over variables which will less likely lead me to being hurt. Anyways, being in your twenties and trying to figure out life is a trip 👽.

A post shared by Rie, RN 👩🏻‍⚕️ (@nurserierie) on

5. Companionate (friendly) love

Companionate love is a little more than friendship. There is no passion, but there is a high commitment. It’s intimate but not passionate. There could be sexual desire but it’s minimal.

Marriages often turn into companionate love. The couple doesn’t have passion but they continue having deep affection and a strong bond. The love between close friends and family members can be categorized as companionate love as well.

6. Fatuous (stupid) love

Fatuous love is a kind of unreasonable love. Commitment and passion are incredibly high but intimacy or liking is absent. It makes people make a lot of mistakes. Marriages that involve this kind of love generally don’t work out, unfortunately.

7. Consummate (perfect) love

Consummate love is the healthiest love model. It includes the elements of intimacy, commitment, and passion in the Triangular Theory of Love.

Couples who experience this form of love have great sex several years into their relationship and they do not believe that they can be ever happy with someone else. It is possible to come to this dimension in the relationship but it is more important to be able to sustain it.

Why is the Triangular Theory of Love Important?

It is important to understand this concept to be able to maintain a lasting love. All three components in Sternberg’s theory are required for an ideal romantic relationship. Their amount could be different based on person but they should exist. Understating these components make it easier to understand each other and build a perfect love.

Already in love and have kids? Check out Nuna Rava Car Seat to make your life with children easier!

About Ozan Siyah

Brought to you by Ozan, a blogger with superpowers

Read More