Love throughout the ages and in modern history has been romanticised, there’s no doubt about it. Even though love has a universal meaning, the concept of love between romantic partners takes on a whole new perspective. Love occurs when two people connect in mind, body, and soul and develop the desire to form a bond. Bonds can be developed between friends and family, and with, and between, animals. Love is something we all know exists, because we feel it for our families and friends and yes, even our pets. But for love to be maintained between two entities over a period of time, certain elements must be contributed by those who participate in the act of love.
We reciprocate to those we love because of the common bond and desire to dedicate ourselves to those who mirror our cause in life. But love does not always run smoothly, and often things go wrong in relationships, a broken heart cries out “what is love, what does it mean?” The question is, do we strive too hard in love?
Are we driven by too many ideals about what love should be?
Is the way we were raised having an impact on how we understand love? People often enter relationships not knowing what it really takes to maintain a lasting and loving relationship. All we need to do is learn until we get it right.
Robert J, Stenberg’s theory of love takes the mystery out of ‘the meaning of love’. Love in actual fact is a simple concept – it’s just that we tend to complicate it. Stenberg’s triangular theory of love points out three simple elements that form the act of real love.
- Passion – the drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, sexual consummation, and related phenomena.
- Intimacy – closeness, connectedness, and bonding.
- Commitment – Ongoing Intimacy and passion lead to the commitment to maintain love.
Of course there are always dire circumstances which prevent us from being with those who we truly love, like sickness or war.
Eight kinds of love
…non-love, liking, infatuation, empty love, romantic love, compassionate love, fatuous love, and consummate love.
Consummate love is the only love that holds all three elements which makes love a true success over time. The other seven only hold one or two of the three key elements of love. For example, fatuous love may hold passion and commitment, but no real intimacy.
Commitment cannot take place if intimacy and passion are weak on one side of the partnership, such as a casual sexual relationship. The lack of intimacy and passion for the other person causes a lot of relationship breakdowns, and the commitment levels are not constantly maintained and the foundations of love become rocky and not easy to repair. After the damage has been done, intimacy and passion are affected and commitment is much more difficult to reach. For example if you are in love with a married man, the level of intimacy and passion are affected dramatically and over time, commitment can become almost too difficult to obtain. The road to love is ultimately painful, and sometimes unsuccessful.
Reciprocation in relationship is important. To compensate in relationships, some women who are strong givers unconsciously may pick a man who lacks giving skills. But if your energy in giving and waiting for a man outweighs that which you receive, then you may be contributing to a lot of your own relationship breakdowns. Aristotle said, “the good life is the balanced life” so balance out your giving and take more when you should. The point is people in relationships need to give and take, to keep it functioning in a healthy way. Next time you aim to fall in love, keep in mind the points below…
Many women in society struggle with finding love and commitment, and often wonder why. What needs to be understood is that women are often socialised and raised to be giving and nurturing and it often affects our expectations and goals in achieving in achieving a balanced relationship. If we learn to recognise these things then we can work hard on balancing our personalities so that we can mirror any soul potential that comes into our lives without too much drama. Self-awareness is the key. But the real key to finding love is to develop a sense of genuine self love. This means really caring for the human being inside. Not conceited or vain. To be able to love yourself first, hold yourself in the highest regard and have a passion for yourself as a person, this will lead to a sense of your own commitment to become a whole and centred person who doesn’t have to work for love, but attracts it without effort.
Love is a choice, between two people who have developed a determined sense of reciprocity, and a mirrored cause.