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Triangular Theory of Love

Definition

The triangular theory of love characterizes love in terms of three underlying components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. People love each other to the extent they show these three components, and different combinations of the components yield different kinds of love.

The Three Components

The three components of love are each different in nature. Intimacy is characterized by feelings of caring, concern, understanding, trust, and closeness between two partners. Intimate partners are good friends and support each other in times of need. Intimacy is primarily emotional in nature. Passion is characterized by intense desire, feelings of longing, need of the partner, and joy at the thought of seeing the partner (and anxiety or worry at the thought of separation). Passionate partners crave each other's presence, much as do ...

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