The Triangular Theory of Love

What is love made of?

The subject of love had always baffled us since time immemorial.

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Love encompasses a range of a wide variety of strong emotions.  The answer to why we are attracted to someone, and the ingredients of a fruitful relationship had always eluded us.

According to Sigmund Freud love is a search for an “ego ideal”, the image of the person that one wants to become which is patterned after those whom one holds in good respect.

Abraham Maslow, the humanistic psychologist, believed love is possible only when one has reached self-actualization.

When theories about love moved from being clinically based to being socially and personally based, they become focused on types of love, as opposed to being able to love.


The Triangular Theory of Love or The Love Triad

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Robert Sternberg came up with a new theory of love, called The Triangular Theory of Love which is made up of 3 components:

  • Intimacy
  • Passion and
  • commitment.
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Each component stands as a generic combination of feelings that give rise to different types of love.

Although everyone‘s thoughts on what makes them drawn to another person are different. However the attachment that we feel towards another person is common to all.

This attachment that we feel towards another person is based on physical and emotional connection. This connection is difficult to explain since there are a number of factors that may influence.

1. Intimacy:

Intimacy refers to feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness in loving relationships. It thus includes within its purview those feelings that give rise, essentially, to the experience of warmth in a loving relationship.

In intimacy there is a sense of high regard for each other .There is a  definite wish to make each other happy , communicate with each other and help each other in need.

Sternberg’s prediction of this love was that it would diminish as the relationship became less interrupted, thus increasing predictability.


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Paromita Mitra Bhaumik
CONSULTING PSYCHOLOGIST / AUTHOR / LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT COACH / EDUCATIONIST Paromita Mitra Bhaumik is a committed, knowledgeable and capable psychology expert working on psychological wellbeing, essential skills building, Coaching and writing for awareness for the last 25 years. She is the Founder Director of Anubhav Positive Psychology Clinic at Kolkata, India. A registered psychologist with the Rehabilitation Council Of India, ( R.C.I.) and a Life Associate Member with the Indian Psychiatric Society (I.P.S), Paromita has been trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (C.B.T) and Stress Management under professor Stephen Palmer at the Institute of Stress Management in London. She has also received an extensive training in Neuropsychology from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangaluru , India. Apart from being a certified coach for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (N.L.P), she is a qualified coach for Directive Communication Psychology (D.C trainer) trained by Arthur Carmazzi, for skills building. As a renowned coach, Paromita Mitra Bhaumik has the experience of having conducted over 300 workshops and training programmes in India and abroad. Her paper on the mental health of the senior citizens in India was well appreciated at the Shippensburg University U.S.A.Paromita Mitra Bhaumik has edited and contributed to the international editions of books on psychology and education by Pearson Global. She is also a Resource Person with Pearson Education for the last decade. She is a prolific writer and orator who draws inspiration from her subject, psychology and the life around. She is a writer at ( Palette by Paromita mitra Bhaumik) and at The Minds Journal.
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