What is Steinberg's Love Triangle?


wiseGEEK Writing Contest

Steinberg's Love Triangle is a theory regarding the various facets of love between any two persons, postulated by Robert Steinberg. It can be used to study inter-gender relationships.According to Steinberg, there are three factors in the love triangle model - intimacy, passion and commitment. Intimacy exists when thoughts and feelings are shared. Passion is the physical desire to want a person. Commitment is the value placed on the relationship. When a person is intimate, without being passionate or committed, there is a good friendship; when a person is passionate without being intimate or committed, he or she is a flirt. Thirdly,with only commitment, there is only a 'dead' relationship. Intimacy and Passion together make up romance - the stuff all lovers are made of. Passion and Commitment without intimacy is seen in adolescent love,or in cases of superficial love in early days of love when passion rules. Commitment and Intimacy without passion happens when two people are either best friends or when there is no 'spark' in a marriage. All three together - Commitment, Intimacy and Passion - make up absolute love. A successful marriage is one in which all three factors coexist together over a long time. Interestingly, absence or neglect of one of the three factors often puts a strain on the other two.

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submitted by Understanding relationships