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Monday, November 20, 2017

Love - Many a splendid thing, in more ways than one

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Love. A plethora of thoughts probably will run through your head at the mention of that word.

The word is used for minor things such as "I love this song!" or the more serious "I love you" in a romance. You can feel it for your mom, your cat, your brother and your girlfriend, but does that mean it's all the same thing? Does time affect it? Can there really be love at first sight or can you not know real love until you've been together for 80 years. Love is a tricky concept indeed.

Love is even more complicated when relationship scientists try to define it and dissect what it means to be in love. Older views include attachment theories (love is based on the relationship you've had with your parents) and love styles (eros, storge, ludos, mania, pragma & agape). Currently, Robert Sternberg has been accredited by many psychologists with the most comprehensive view on love, his triangular theory.

The triangular theory is based on three facets, passion, intimacy and commitment. From those combinations we get all the different types of love: friendship, infatuation, empty, romantic, companionate, fatuous and consummate. For example, a relation is high in passion, without commitment or intimacy, is called infatuated love. It may seem like love at first sight and you may feel intense passionate emotions, but if it doesn't evolve it will usually end suddenly.

The ultimate combination of passion, intimacy and commitment is called consummate love. Obviously, this would apply more to "love" relationships and not family members or friends. This type is supposed to represent what people strive to achieve in their love lives, but is the most difficult to maintain. Although many may reach it, over time (like in marriage) the passion may die out and the love will change form, but that is not to say it can't change back again.

Of course many factors affect whether or not these dimensions come into play. Prior life experience, environment, biases, etc. affect everyone on an individual basis of what they like, who they like and how to respond to other people. Dissecting love may seem like an exercise in futility, but it provides some sort of a perspective on the crazy feelings love can provoke. Sternberg comments that even though consummate love may be extremely difficult to maintain, translating the love into actions may be one of the most important factors of all, "Without expression, even the greatest of loves can die."



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Alethea is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Love - Many a splendid thing, in more ways than one

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Noa on October 12, 2006 at 06:36 pm
That's such a cool article! I especially agree with the last line! :)
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Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Noa on October 12, 2006 at 06:36 pm
That's such a cool article! I especially agree with the last line! :)
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