Marni Feuerman is a psychotherapist in private exercise who has been help couples through marital problems for more than 27 years." data-inline-tooltip="true">Marni Feuerman, LCSW, LMFT


Love is necessary to our well-being. Though most have experienced the in their lives, defining love is challenging. Couple of researchers have put soon a viable theory on the concept of love. One exception is the triangular theory of love, developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Robert Sternberg. This theory suggests that world can have varying levels of intimacy, passion, and also commitment at any kind of one minute in time.

You are watching: The affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined is called

Three components of Love

In Dr. Sternberg"s theory, the ide of love is a triangle the is comprised of three components:

Intimacy, which involves feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondednessPassion, which involves feelings and also desires that cause physical attraction, romance, and sexual consummationDecision/commitment, which involves feelings that lead a human to continue to be with someone and also move toward common goals

Finding a balance between the physiological need for sex and the require for love is essential, and also the complete lack of every three components is categorized together non-love.

varieties of Love

The three materials of love communicate in a systemic manner.The presence of a component of love or a combination of two or an ext components create seven type of love experiences. These species of love might vary over the course of a relationship as well.


This form of love is as soon as the intimacy or liking ingredient is present, however feelings of passion or meeting in the romantic feeling are missing. Friendship love have the right to be the source of other creates of love.


Infatuation is defined by feelings of lust and physical enthusiasm without liking and commitment. There has actually not been sufficient time for a deeper sense of intimacy, romantic love, or consummate love come develop. These may ultimately arise ~ the infatuation phase. The early infatuation is often very powerful.

north Love

Empty love is characterized by commitment without passion or intimacy. At times, a strong love deteriorates right into empty love. The turning back may happen as well. For instance, one arranged marriage may begin out empty yet flourish right into another type of love over time.

Romantic Love

Romantic love bonds world emotionally through intimacy and also physical passion.Partners in this form of relationship have actually deep conversations that help them recognize intimate details around each other. They enjoy sexual passion and affection. This couples might be at the suggest where irreversible commitment or future plans space still undecided.

Companionate Love

Companionate love is one intimate, yet non-passionate sort of love. It contains the intimacy or liking component and also the commitment ingredient of the triangle. The is stronger than friendship, due to the fact that there is a permanent commitment, yet there is minimal or no sexual desire. 

This form of love is often uncovered in marriages where the passion has actually died, however the pair continues to have deep affection or a strong bond together. This may likewise be perceived as the love between very close friends and family members.

Fatuous Love

In this type of love, commitment and passion room present while intimacy or liking is absent. Fatuous love is typified by a whirlwind courtship in which passion urges a commitment there is no the stabilizing influence of intimacy. Often, evil this leaves others confused around how the couple could it is in so impulsive. Unfortunately, such marriages regularly don't job-related out. When they do, countless chalk the success up to luck.

Consummate Love

Consummate love is comprised of all three components and is the total kind of love. That represents suitable relationship. Couples who suffer this kind of love have good sex number of years into their relationship. They can not imagine themselves v anyone else. They additionally cannot watch themselves truly happy without their partners. They manage to get rid of differences and also face stressors together.

According to Dr. Sternberg, consummate love may be more difficult to maintain than the is to achieve, as the components of love should be put right into action. Without behavior and expression, passion is lost and also love may revert ago to the companionate type.

Your relationship Is unique

According come Dr. Sternberg, the prestige of every component of love may differ from person to human and pair to couple. All three materials are compelled for the appropriate romantic relationship, yet the quantity of every component compelled will different from one partnership to another, or also over time in ~ a relationship. Knowing just how the components interact may aid highlight locations that might need improvement.

Verywell Mind supplies only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the truth within our articles. Review our editorial process to learn an ext about exactly how we fact-check and keep our contents accurate, reliable, and also trustworthy.
The provides that show up in this table room from partnerships from which Verywell mental receives compensation.

See more: 12Th National Walk For Epilepsy 2017 National Walk For Epilepsy

Verywell Mind"s content is because that informational and educational objectives only. Our website is no intended to it is in a instead of for experienced medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.