Robert Sternberg, a famous psychologist by profession, developed the triangular love theory that explains love in interpersonal relationships. His theory classifies love based on the three aspects that include passion, intimacy, and commitment. He emphasizes that, if a relationship relies on one of the elements, it stays for a longer time than if a couple concentrates on the two or all the elements. From the three love aspects, Sternberg classifies love into eight types in a form of a triangle that determines the relationships. One of the styles is non-love, which shows that none of the components of love exists in a relationship. It explains personal relationships that are about the normal interactions we have with other people.
Another type of love is developing likes; this refers to the feelings that people build up towards each other as friends. This type of love enhances closeness, warmth, and a significant bond, but it does not involve passion and commitment. There is also the infatuated kind of love, in which the people involved experience passion towards each other. The couple does not engage in making decisions and engaging intimately. Romantic relationships always begin from this level and become strong when a couple develops intimacy towards each other. Infatuated love tends to fade when there is no development in commitment. Empty love exists between people who show commitment to each other, but they lack passion in their relationship. When love is strong, it tends to weaken to this point, and in planned marriages, love begin as empty and develops to a strong one (Sternberg, 1988).
The romantic love involves both the intimacy and passion aspects of love. The lovers attract each other in a close manner in which they develop strong bond and emotions, but they do not sustain commitment to each other. Companionate love is another type that involves intimacy and is more than friendship because of its commitment that takes a long time, but it lacks passion. It is common in marriages that exist for a long period, but, in such cases, the couple maintains deep affection and long-term trust.
The family members experience this love; it also applies to friends in platonic and strong relationships. Fatuous love is another type categorized by a relationship in courtship that leads to marriage. The love is fatuous in a way that it involves commitment that generates passion without concentrating on intimacy. The last in this list is the consummate love, which defines love in a complete form. It represents the type of love that all couples wish to have in their marriage relationships. This type of love associates with the kind of love that exists in a perfect relationship.
Based on Sternberg’s perspective, people in such relationships engage in sex for over fifteen years without getting bored. The partners tend to be so much devoted to each other that happiness ceases when they indulge in other relationships that separate them from their fiancés. Sternberg warns that achieving this kind of life is easy, but maintaining it is hard. He stresses on the importance of revealing actions rather than using of empty words (Bender, 1996). This type of love may not last forever; it turns to companionate love if passion fades. The following ways reveal the kind of love that exists in different famous couples.
Michelle and Barack Obama (President and First Lady)
The love relationship between the two individuals is both romantic and consummate love. It is one of the perfect relationships although, at some points, they have trouble in their relationships. They rekindle their relationship by finding time for each other despite their busy schedules. Michelle and Barack met in 1989 at a law firm and fell in love with each other. They later walked down the aisle in 1992 and got blessed with two daughters Natasha and Ann Obama. Their love is admirable as they manage to find time for their families even though they work most of their time. Michelle and Barack’s love life rekindle every day because of the passion they maintained in the family.
Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare characters)
Romeo and Juliet started their love at their tender age, but it became doomed at the end. Their love is romantic in a way that the duo gets attracted to each other through the revealing of feelings that express the passion between them. Through their courtship, Shakespeare reveals how the two fail to follow the correct procedure when Juliet does not stay calm to test the sincerity of Romeo. They skip the courtship part that allows them to know each other well. The two move on to marriage decisions after being familiar to each other for a single night they meet. Romeo and Juliet share a passionate love that they achieve in marriage, which makes the audience sympathize with them. Their love is romantic because the two engage intimately, but it fades a long way when they fantasize it as a dark happening. Juliet use Romeo to compare love to death when they both die because of love.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana (Current/Historical figures)
Prince Charles and his fiancé princes Diana fell in love when they first met at Diana’s home in 1997. The two started as friends before entering a romantic relationship. When Charles became attracted to Diana, she objected the idea claiming that Charles did not love her. Later in 1981, the two proposed to each other and, within five years of their marriage, they started facing problems, which resulted in their divorce. This happened because Diana developed an attitude towards Camilla Shand, Charles’s ex-girlfriend, and they divorced in August 1996.
Lucy and Ricky Ricardo (TV show, I Love Lucy)
Lucy is 28 years old and she works as a contractor while Ricky is 23 and works as a bandleader in a club. The two fall in love and get married in six months time. In their family life, Lucy miscarries three times before she delivers Lucy junior thinking that the baby would unite her family. Ricardo had so much passion for Lucy despite the fact that Lucy kept insulting him in public about his acting in plays. Their love started fading from this level, and eventually, the two breaks up; none of them gets over it easily. This type of love is romantic at first but, it becomes empty when they start having issues and ends.
June and Johnny Cash (Country Singers)
This is a real love story in which June and Cash met after their previous marriage relationships. They develop a strong bond towards each other by acting and travelling together. The two stick to each other even in difficult times; they propose to each other on stage during a performance. This relationship involves commitment when compared to consummate type of love because their relationship is perfect.
Dharma and Greg (TV Show, Dharma and Greg)
Their love story begins in a subway when the two stare at each other with passion. Dharma and Greg get married on the same day and engage intimately; this reveals romantic love because it does not involve courtship. They feel indecent in front of the relatives but finally plan for a wedding to please their families. Their love faces problems at some point when parents develop different views towards their relationship. At long run, they stick to each other but what worries them is how their different backgrounds may affect them as parents.
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis (Actors)
The two meet during a film premiere and get married in 1987 because of the romance they had towards each other. In their marriage life, they bear three daughters; their relationship does not take a long period as the couple divorced in 2000. They do not deliver a compelling reason for their breakup, but Willis claimed to be irresponsible in the family. He later gets married to Emma Heming with whom he had a daughter. This type of love is romantic at first, but it fades when the couple lacks passion that results in their divorce.