What is Love?

21 Sep

There are many different kinds of love, familial, romantic, friendly and self-love. But how to you define that indescribable feeling?

Cropped shot of a young girl forming a love heart shape with her hands

LOVE. It is easy to say the word. But what does it really mean?

Saying the L-word is a milestone in a romantic relationship. As we go through different stages of romance, we all seem to have a different idea of what love actually is, and how to show it. Over time, many people have tried to define it. Both scientists and philosophers struggled to simplify the greatness of love, to make a universal statement to define that indescribable feeling.

Modern-day psychologist, Robert Sternberg has also tried to come up with a new definition of love. In his definition, there are different types of romantic love. Sternberg presents “The Sternberg’s pillars of love”, which states that the type of love is based on the presence or absence of three different categories: Commitment, passion, and intimacy. According to Sternberg’s pillars, when a romantic relationship possesses these three elements, it can be said to be the ultimate form of love.

So what do these categories actually signify? According to Sternberg, they are divided up like this. Commitment refers to the ultimate act of devotion and compromise. Passion refers to not only sex and lust but the ongoing chemistry between one another. Lastly, intimacy refers to the foundation of friendship, which allows each other to be open and vulnerable.

Sternberg’s pillars can help define all the different types of romantic relationships that exist today. Think of the different scenarios: an arranged marriage where love grows over time, will have commitment but might not have intimacy or passion yet. Friends with benefits, on the other hand, clearly have the passion and maybe intimacy but are lacking in the commitment. All of these situations are a symbol of some kind of love but differentiate based on which pillars are present. The more pillars that are added, the more strength the relationship will have.

Maybe you can compare your own relationship to these pillars. Where does your relationship stand? Is there anything within these categories that we need to work on? Get in touch today for further consultation and see how Maclynn International can help.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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