Triangular theory of love - Wikipedia
Attachment theory suggests that people's intimate relationships are related to their relationships with their attachment figure. This attachment figure is a primary . The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by Robert Sternberg, a member of In the context of interpersonal relationships, "the three components of love, according to the triangular theory, are an intimacy component, a passion . No matter how you shake it or bake it, relationships take effort, but when done right, they're amazing, and worth the sacrifices. The key is communication.
The following discussion begins with Paradigm I views of relationships common in individualistic cultures, continues with Paradigm II views common in collectivistic cultures, and explores the possibilities of a Paradigm III view for all cultures.
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Figure 1 illustrates the Paradigm I: Individual Selves Loosely Connected view of relationships. Self and Other are viewed as separate units loosely coupled by a fragile relational thread. This view is the most common view of relationships in the individualistic culture of the United States. It is not an accident that the circle for Self is larger than the circle for Other. Individualistic cultures emphasize individual achievement and initiative Gudykunst and Kimand view the Self as an independent, self-contained, and causative force guiding events Harre Gudykunst and Kim note that individualistic cultures favor individual goals over group goals, look out for themselves and their immediate family only, are guided by many specific in-groups that individually exert minimal influence on behavior, and place a high value on materialism, success, work and activity, progress, and rationality.
Wilmot notes that the Paradigm I view "emphasizes the self, de-emphasizes the other, and reduces the relationships to a fragile connecting mechanism" p. This view of relationships is consistent with Social Exchange Roloff models of relationships e. The social exchange metaphor conjures up images of costs, rewards, profit margin, mergers and acquisitions, where the relationship is viewed as something exterior to the Self.
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If profits are not high enough, restructure your portfolio, change your investment, file for bankruptcy, but save yourself. In this view self-satisfaction is the prime value, not relationship enhancement. There is of course, considerable debate about the applicability of Social Exchange theories to more intimate relations such as marriage and family.
Elaine Hatfield, Mary Utne, and Jane Traupmann provide an excellent review of the research most of the research was conducted in the United States and conclude that equitable relations appear more stable than non-equitable relations and that the theory is useful for understanding the dynamics of these more intimate relations.
Despite the unsavory taste that this view of relationships leaves in the mouths of many lay people and scholars alike, the cultural imperative of individualism has a significant impact on communication in these relationships. Blame is seen as a problem of individuals, not the relational process. Of course, if both partners are blaming the other, the fragile thread of the relationship is more likely to be cut. We now turn to Paradigm II views of relationships, which emphasize connectedness between Self and Other.
Figure 2 illustrates the Paradigm II: The Embedded Self view of relationships. This paradigm makes a fundamental shift in its conceptualization of Self. Within this paradigm, Self cannot be seen as a separate identity, but must always be examined within the context of Relationship.
Thus, the Self is not an independent, findable entity, and we begin to see people forming and reforming their selves within each unique relational context.
In this view, the relationship itself is treated as a separate entity: Relationship has identity Hecht Paradigm II views focus on interconnections and interdependencies that have created the Self. In other words, we only have Self because we have Others who support that view. Our very definition of Self is cast within a broader framework of family, friends, lovers, work, and the broader culture. Paradigm II views of relationships are more common in collectivistic cultures.
Gudykunst and Kim note that groups i. In contrast to individualistic cultures, collectivistic cultures have fewer in-groups but these in-groups have a strong influence on individual behavior across situations. Thus, these collectivistic views are more in line with Paradigm II views of relationships that emphasize the Other and give the relationship itself pre-eminent status. It has been clearly demonstrated that females do value and monitor their relationships more than males.
Therefore, males might note the "suffocating" or "constricting" nature of a particular relationship and complain about the possibilities of making independent choices, while females might argue for more relationship rejuvenation work per se because they are more likely to hold a Paradigm II view of relationships.
That is, females are more likely to treat the relationship as having a definable essence of its own that transcends the two individuals. The theoretical perspective of dialectics is reflective of Paradigm II views of relationships.
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The dialectical approach to relationships stresses that phenomena that appear to be opposites are actually bound together, and that there is a dynamic interplay between such opposites Baxter People raised in individualistic cultures are often not sensitized to thinking in terms of the dialectics of opposites.
An individualistic cultural frame promotes the view that elements are opposite and not connected, rather than seeing the dialectical interrelation of opposites. A dialectical perspective emphasizes process and contradiction and lets us focus on the swings now close, now far that are present in all relationships.
Figure 2A illustrates how the dialectic perspective aids our understanding of these relational swings within a Paradigm II view of relationships.
These include Eros, Ludos, and Storge. Most importantly within his theory, he concludes that these three primary styles, like the making of complementary colors, can be combined to make secondary forms of love. Sternberg also described three models of love, including the Spearmanian, Thomsonian, and Thurstonian models.
According to the Spearmanian model, love is a single bundle of positive feelings. In the Thomsonian model, love is a mixture of multiple feeling that, when brought together, produce the feeling. The Spearmanian model is the closest to the triangular theory of love, and dictates that love is made up of equal parts that are more easily understood on their own than as a whole. In this model, the various factors are equal in their contribution to the feeling, and could be disconnected from each other.
Passionate love and companionate love are different kinds of love but are connected in relationships. Passionate love is associated with strong feelings of love and desire for a specific person. This love is full of excitement and newness.
Passionate love is important in the beginning of the relationship and typically lasts for about a year. There is a chemical component to passionate love.
Those experiencing passionate love are also experiencing increased neurotransmitters, specifically phenylethylamine. Companionate love follows passionate love. Companionate love is also known as affectionate love. When a couple reaches this level of love, they feel mutual understanding and care for each other. This love is important for the survival of the relationship. Sternberg created his triangle next. The triangle's points are intimacy, passion, and commitment.
Intimate love is the corner of the triangle that encompasses the close bonds of loving relationships. Intimate love felt between two people means that they each feel a sense of high regard for each other.
They wish to make each other happy, share with each other, be in communication with each other, help when one is in need. A couple with intimate love deeply values each other. Sternberg's prediction of this love was that it would diminish as the relationship became less interrupted, thus increasing predictability. Couples in passionate love feel physically attracted to each other.
Sexual desire is typically a component of passionate love. Passionate love is not limited to sexual attraction, however.
It is a way for couples to express feelings of nurture, dominance, submission, self-actualization, etc. Sternberg believed that passionate love will diminish as the positive force of the relationship is taken over by opposite forces.
This idea comes from Solomon's opponent-force theory. Something to note about commitment, however, is that one can be committed to someone without feeling love for him or her, and one can feel love for someone without being committed to him or her.