Companionate love is characterized chiefly by intimacy and dating

companionate love is characterized chiefly by intimacy and dating

Yes we’ve all experienced it. It is the most universal emotion and the most powerful. It shapes, gives meaning to, and destroys lives. How much of us do we give when we love? Can one define and measure love? We have ways to measure aggression, prejudice, and attraction – but how do we measure love?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning posed a similar question: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Psychologist Robert Sternberg (1998) views love as a triangle, whose sides of varying lengths are passion, intimacy, and commitment. Sociologist John Alan Lee (1988) and psychologists Clyde and Susan Hendrick (1993) identify three primary love styles – eros (self-disclosing passion), ludus (uncommitted game playing), and storge (friendship) – which like primary colors, combine to form secondary love styles. Some love styles, notably eros and storge, predict high relationship satisfaction; others such as ludus, predict low satisfaction. (Meyers, 2002).

Passionate love is love most people can identify with. It is the most intense and the most exciting. If our love is reciprocated, we would feel ecstatic. But if not, it would devastate us. We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love – stated Freud. And it couldn’t be any truer. Passionate love preoccupies the lover with thoughts of the other – a habit we are all guilty of and sometimes affects our appetite and sleep patterns. Passionate love is what you feel when you not only love someone, you are in love with that person. It also has a lot to do with being sexually attracted to that person.

Falling passionately in love is an initation rite to a fulfilled life. It teaches us a lot of significant things and molds us into a mature individual. Only through loving someone and belonging in a passionate relationship can we feel the longest range of emotions: happiness, despair, satisfaction, jealousy, desire, hurt, betrayal, and so much more.

Although passionate love reaches high temperatures, it eventually cools down. The longer a relationship endures, the fewer its emotional ups and downs (Berscheid, 1989). This may be observed among married couples who have reached their 10th year anniversary. The novelty wears off and the thrill of the romance inevitably fades over the years. Spouses don’t feel the need to express affection as often as before. Some begin to feel dissatisfaction and look for that passionate love once again outside the marriage. Some couples divorce. The ones that endure will settle to a loyal, steady, affectionate kind of love which is the companionate love.

It may not be as wild as passionate love, but it is more comfortable. It is the feeling that you know you always have your spouse to depend on. No high lasts forever. With constancy and repetition, tolerance and familiarity develops. You can’t be head over heels crazy in love with someone even after years of seeing the person everyday. The common mistake most people make is they assume romantic love should be the driving force to make a marriage last. In my opinion, it should be friendship, because it is more reliable relationship and truly stands the test of time.

It is fitting to end this article with a quote from Mark Twain: No man or woman really knows what love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.

The triangular theory of love characterizes love in an interpersonal relationship on three different scales: intimacy , passion , and commitment . Different stages and types of love can be explained as different combinations of these three elements; for example, the relative emphasis of each component changes over time as an adult romantic relationship develops. According to the author of the theory, psychologist Robert Sternberg , a relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or more.



Companionate Love definition | Psychology Glossary.

The triangular theory of love characterizes love in an interpersonal relationship on three different scales: intimacy , passion , and commitment . Different stages and types of love can be explained as different combinations of these three elements; for example, the relative emphasis of each component changes over time as an adult romantic relationship develops. According to the author of the theory, psychologist Robert Sternberg , a relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or more.