Sternberg’s Theory: Intimacy Passion and Commitment

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Updated: Jun 14, 2022
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Robert Sternberg created a theory that has been studied by a various amount of people. His idea was questioned in the minds of many, for he chose to broke down the variables of love. He referred to as it the triangular idea of love, because the theory is satisfactory explained in a shape of a triangle, but it is better known as the Sternberg’s Theory of Love. In the thought of relationships, there are three components of love: an intimacy , a passion, and commitment.

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The first issue talks about intimacy. According to the principle, it is The feeling and dreaming of acceptance from a lover. intimacy is the glue in a relationships because it keeps the attention of your partner. “Couples who cannot share their secret thoughts or behaviors risk the loss of their intimacy. Their bond weakens, and they are more likely to act without considering the outcome. For instance, one partner may have started a non-flirtatious relationship with a co-worker, then found it slowly becoming more intimate over time. Were the other partner to know, he or she would feel exposed, threatened, or embarrassed. The initially innocent partner now cannot share how far it has gone without fearing incrimination or loss.” (Gunther,

The second is the passion, the overwhelming feeling that can overtake ones actions when they truly love somebody. Passion within a relationships is quite complex. The question of whether a lack of passion can end a relationship or not can be answered with yes. The confusing part however, is the fact that being over passionate can diffuse a relationship as well. Being overly passionate is appropriate in the Bering stages of a relationship. After, it can suck the energy out of a relationship and move cannot be expressed in an effective way at a certain point. Commitment is also complex. Some relationships are open and allow another partners as long as the love can be reciprocated. Other relationships view commitment as an exclusive relationship, and the fluctuating thoughts in that context can greatly affect the outcome of a relationship.

There are three forms of love. There are different types however, that are classified under these classes of love. The first is nonlove, which of course is the absence of love itself. The next is friendships, where a platonic connection is established. This doesn’t include the same passion or commitment that a normal relationship will have. The next is the infatuation stage. Crushes and nervous acts of affection fall under this category. Sexual relationships and early stages of romantic love are forms of infatuation as well. Empty love, is another archetype of love. As aforementioned, this can be due to the lack of commitment or being overly passionate in a relationship. Companionate love is the feeling of someone completing you. Although passions may not flare in this sense, life companions are always due for a long term relationship. Fatuous love is is a combination of commitment and passion without the needed affection. Lastly is consummate love, that is the center of all according to Sternberg. It is where all the necessary forms of love are available, and that makes the relationship thrive. It is hard to maintain this balance, but, the right two can do this.

Couples struggling in their relationships should educate themselves on Sternberg’s theory in order to maintain order within their own respective relationships. Jesse Lewis has opened up a community in which most can speak about their interpersonal issues. This is mostly for children to grow and be able to express their emotions and project love onto others. This is important and much needed in our community in order to maintain a balance within our society. The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement Initiative states, “The Choose Love Awareness Month brings attention to our Choose Love message and the importance of teaching children core competencies and skills, beyond academics, that can help them thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. These skills are not just for students either! We need them as adults, as well.” ( Another great program in this regard is This teaches about love more within the form of self. “Loving Awareness guides you to recognize the Love Light within you. It begs you to look more deeply into yourSelf, into your heart, your soul…with LOVE, Pure Love.” Self love, is too important. All of Sterberg’s classifications of love can be applied to ones self.

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Sternberg's Theory: Intimacy Passion and Commitment. (2021, Oct 20). Retrieved from