Which type of love do you have in your life? Even more importantly, which types of love do your characters have in theirs?
The three components of love, according to the Triangular Theory of Love, are an intimacy component, a passion component, and a commitment component. This model was developed by psychologist, Robert Sternberg to show the types of love people share.
The theory is based on three components your relationship can possess, namely:
- Intimacy: This includes feelings of attachment, closeness, trust, and connectedness. Your partner could feel like your best friend. Do you laugh and have fun together?
- Passion: This includes the sexual attraction or the physical connection between two people.
- Commitment: This includes the decision to stay together, no matter what, and to make plans for the future together.
Eight Kinds Of Love
“The three components generate eight possible kinds of love when considered in combination:
- Nonlove refers to the absence of all three components of love.
- Liking results when one experiences only the intimacy component of love in the absence of the passion and commitment components.
- Infatuated love results from the experiencing of the passion component in the absence of the other components of love.
- Empty love emanates from the decision that one loves another and is committed to that love in the absence of both the intimacy and passion components of love.
- Romantic love derives from a combination of the intimacy and passion components.
- Companionate love derives from a combination of the intimacy and commitment components of love.
- Fatuous love results from the combination of the passion and commitment components in the absence of the intimacy component.
- Consummate, or complete love, results from the full combination of all three components.”
In Your Writing
Use this model to develop your characters into complicated creatures. Once you know their weaknesses and strengths, you can manipulate them. A relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or three elements.
These relationships can change as people grow and their needs and environments change. Consider what conflict and crisis will do to your characters.
Which romantic relationships do your characters share?
[Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.]
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