What is Love?
As the most beautiful emotion we can have, sometimes can be the most painful thing we can experience.
But before thinking in such negative way, love can bring us to a world where nothing bad can happen to us since it makes us feel more secure and positive as if butterflies comes to our stomach and as we daydream most of the time. Pounding hearth and being more energized when we meet that person are as common as daydreaming and butterflies.
But the question still remains. Why do we fall in love? There are different views like philosophy, biology, psychology and so on, that tries to answer the question, but what I am presenting is a topic that we don’t talk much about it, that is self-expansion.
Self-expansion is all about the human needs for opportunities to gather new knowledge, human growth and experience. When it comes to a relationship, your partner can help on your own growth and vice-versa. It predicts how new relationships are sustained and develop over time, for example you engage in new kinds of activities because in the beginning of a relationship you always discover new things about the person you are interested in.
It also explains why we get interested in another person ( probably she/he might giver new opportunities for self-expansion) and also why some couples breaks up (can may be of boredom when there’s no more self-expansion), why break-up hurts and how we cope with it ( as an opportunity for self-expansion).
This is only one of many theories of love. Let’s take a look of another one.
The image above is the triangular theory of love developed by the psychologist Robert Sternberg. According with the psychologist there are three components of love: intimacy, passion and commitment. It represents a stage of the relationship.
Intimacy (Liking) is in which a person feels a bondedness or closeness with another, is like a true friendship.
Passion is basically the sexual attraction and romance.
Commitment is what sustains the relationship in which includes decisions, experiences, judgments; is basically the ‘history’ of the relationship.
Usually the first stage of love is passion which develops very fast then gradually fades away. Intimacy tends to increase quickly at first then it slows down and finally commitment that always starts from zero increases over time as far as the relationship goes.
The sides of the triangle seems equal at the picture but is unusual to be that way. Depending on what the person feels the shape and size can change. For example, at the beginning of a relationship the passion component side of the triangle is usually longer than the two other component’s sides.
As we can also see from the picture, the tree components can produce 8 types of love.
Liking/friendship in which intimacy is the only component that is present on the relationship
Infatuation is like love at a first sight but it may disappear suddenly.
Empty love in which the commitment of the relationship remains but the intimacy and passion is gone. In certain cultures where the marriage is arrange the couple often begin their relationship as empty love.
Romantic love is when the couple are together physically and emotionally bonded but without any commitment
Companionate love is found in long-term marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship, but a deep affection and commitment remain. This love is normally shared with family members and close friends with a platonic but strong friendship.
Fatuous love or fantasy love when passion and commitment is present but not intimacy. Is when the couple wants to be in love but they have almost nothing in common
Complete or Consummate Love where all sides of the triangle are present. Is the ideal relationship that everyone would like to achieve.
Non-love absence of three components of love
Couples in consummate Love stage continues to share deep desires on all levels even after many years together. But Sternberg also says that maintaining consummates love is even harder than achieving it in the first place, therefore is important to put all the components into action because without expressing it, He says that “even the greatest of loves can die”
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Depression is a constant feeling of sadness. For some people it just can pass after a few days while for others it last for years. The exact cause of depression is not known, but there are a lot a factor that increases the chances of having it such as life events, family history, personality, serious medical illness, drug and alcohol use.
Depression makes you feel worthless, empty, like you don’t belong anywhere….
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