Psychology of Love

Psychology of Love
February 14, 2022 No Comments Self Development emmahjoy

In the pursuit of seeking fulfillment in life, love and intimacy appear among the core factors that are considered. For instance, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs places love and intimacy as the third level of need, a human being desires to fulfil in their life time. However, what is never clear is what love really means. Here are psychological definitions and analysis that try to explain about Love.

Love exists in three forms according to the psychological theory by Zick Rubin.

  1. Intimacy; having a connection through sharing personal details such as desires, thoughts and feelings.
  2. Attachment; the need to be cared for by another person and be in contact with them.
  3. Caring; putting value in the other person’s life.

The theory also differentiates between love and liking. Rubin states that liking someone would mean that you want to spend a lot of time with this specific individual because you enjoy their company. However, that does not equate to love. Love is expressed when you deeply care for the other person and you feel a desire for physical intimacy.

Triangular Theory of Love

A psychologist by the name Robert Sternberg developed what he referred to as the Triangular theory of love stating that;

Love has three components in it;

  1. Passion; defines the physical attraction one feels towards another person.
  2. Intimacy; focuses on the psychological closeness that develops progressively through sharing one’s emotions, feelings, thoughts and desires.
  3. Commitment; the absolute decision to stay with the other person.

Colors of love

In trying to explain the idea of Love, psychologist John Lee compares it to the color wheel. He states that there are three primary styles of love just like the primary colors are three.

The three primary styles of love include;

Storge; It is often referred as the natural affection. It is the affection that exists between people who are related for example siblings, parent to child and extended family relations.

Eros; Originally translated from a Greek word that means passion. Therefore, it is a type of love that is focused on the physical and emotional passion.

Ludo; also originates from a Greek word that means “game”. It is playful, fun and not serious. The individuals engaging in this form of love are not ready for commitment.

The primary colors of love can further combine to form secondary styles of love which include;

Agape; the selfless form of love.

Pragma; Focuses on the practical aspects of love.

Mania; exhibited in forms of obsession, insecurity and possessiveness.

What are the types of love?

Infatuation; According to Sternberg, infatuation can refer to love at first sight. It is often intense and immediate. A person under infatuation thinks of nothing else other than the person they have feelings for. They also keep replaying their encounters over and over and often exhibit constant states of arousal. The feeling however, tends to be short lived.

Fatuous Love; This is when the couple experiences passion and commitment. It is formed when the couple hurries into making a premature commitment to each other. There is no intimacy and the couple barely share ideas seriously. The major focus is getting the other partner into a committed relationship. The rush often stems from a point of insecurity.

Summary of Types of love

Empty Love; This is the form of love that was formed with the focus of meeting a given need. There are no feelings or romance in whatsoever given context. For example parents who have separated but choose to stay together for the sake of the children.

Romantic love; Often comprises of passion and intimacy however, there is no commitment involved. In most cases the couple feel close to each other but fear that commitment might ruin the intimacy and affection that they have. Therefore, they do not engage in the commitment an ideal relationship requires.

Companionate love; It is marked with intimacy and commitment. The couple in this form are committed to one another. However, there might not be an attraction tying them together. Often found among couples who have been together for a long while.

Consummate Love; It is defined as the ideal type of love comprising of intimacy, commitment and passion. There is attraction and closeness, the couple feel like best friends and they are committed to staying together.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *