Intimacy, passion and commitment: different ingredients for perfect love
Falling in love is not just a set of emotions, sensations, perceptions, and impulses as it appears from neurophysiological studies, but a complex process in which two individuals enter into a relationship, transform and create a new life project. The theory developed by Robert Sternberg,defines complete love as the result of three components that sit at the vertices of a hypothetical triangle: intimacy, passion and decision/commitment. It also identifies 7 possible configurations of love with the and combinations between these three components that. Sympathy (intimacy only):there is confidence and a sense of togetherness between the partners but without the characteristics of passion and commitment, comparable to a true friendship. Infatuation (passion only): it is based on idealization of the other rather than real knowledge of the other, until it collides with reality.
Empty love (decision/commitment only): is typical of relationships in which the partners are together only to keep a commitment they have made, for practical reasons, economic reasons, children, or the difficulty of coping with a separation. Romantic love (intimacy and passion): this is the typical form of the great literary and cinematic love stories. In reality, romantic-only love is an immature love. Love – friendship (intimacy and decision/commitment): this is the case with those relationships established in terms of intimacy, where the couple works, but passion has slowly faded (e.g. white marriages).
Fatuous love (passion and decision/commitment):Commitment is the result of passion alone without the support of intimacy and mutual knowledge. These relationships run the risk of breaking up as soon as they come to terms with an unfeeling commitment. “Perfect” love (intimacy, passion and decision/commitment): it is the complete love that everyone dreams of, difficult to achieve, but not impossible.
In fact, it lasts by nurturing the same three components. At different times in the romance, one component may prevail over the others, so one can rely on the stronger ones to reinforce the temporarily more fragile aspects, trying to regain a balance. Keeping perfect love in place is not a task that has a beginning and an end, but it is a constant work , which must be operated jointly by the members of the couple.