How to Have the “Perfect” Relationship (Triangle Theory of Love)

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How to Have the “Perfect” Relationship With Your Partner

Does the perfect loving relationship exist? Not only does it exist; It is measurable and attainable. Robert Sternberg, who is a Psychology Professor at Cornell University came up with his own theory of what composes a “Consummate” loving relationship. According to Sternberg, a consummate love relationship is composed of three different aspects. These aspects are Passion, Intimacy and Commitment.

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Intimacy

is the feeling of closeness and connectedness you have with your partner. If this area is at a high level then your partner feels like your best friend. You feel as if you can be completely yourself around them and they feel the same. In some ways intimacy cannot be improved. Sometimes your values, interests and personality just do not match up with someone else. However, intimacy can be improved by creating new common activities to engage in together, sharing intimate details about yourself or by fully accepting them for who they are Increased intimacy will positively correlate with an increased desire to keep that person in your life.

Commitment

is what this desire is defined as. It is your ability to see you with your partner in the future. This manifests behaviorally through such things as; making future plans, talking about your relationship in a future context and actively trying to keep the relationship intact when it is threatened. A person’s attempt to “fight” for the relationship is heavily influenced by their attachment style.

The last component of a consummate love relationship is Passion! A passionate love relationship is one in which both people have a strong physical attraction for the other person. This attraction is expressed by the person’s desire for; physical closeness, sex and an increased release of oxytocin when the person with their partner. Passion is known to be the first thing to diminish in a relationship with your partner. Their are biological reasons as to why this is. However, there are ways to create and maintain passion in your relationship.

Consummate Love

is considered the Pinnacle of all loving relationships. Dr. Sternberg states that it is harder to maintain than create. Couples can fluctuate between the 7 types of loving relationships over the course of their history. I went into more detail about these different subtypes and what they mean in the video down below. If you want to learn more about these love styles check out Dr. Sternberg’s book on the theory. You can also take a quiz to see which type of love you and your partner have.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
Pablo Neruda