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Love

 

Explanations > Theories > Love

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

Love is a massive motivator and can lead people to perform all kinds of self-sacrificial acts. 

In the ninteenth century, the French writer Stendhal described the stages of the 'crystallization' of love as:

  • Admiration: Marvelling at the qualities of the other person.
  • Acknowledgement: Realizing the pleasure of gaining their attention.
  • Hope: Imagining having the love reciprocated.
  • Delight: Happiness with the inflated view of the other person's beauty and merit.

More recently, Sternberg describes three styles of love:

  • Intimacy: Closeness to, and liking of, the other person.
  • Passion: Intense longing and physiological arousal. Ecstasy on reciprocation, despair on rejection.
  • Commitment: The readiness to do anything for the sake of the love.

These combine to create seven styles:

  • Liking: Intimacy alone
  • Infatuation: Passion alone
  • Empty love: Commitment alone
  • Romantic love: Passion + Intimacy.
  • Companionate love: Intimacy + Commitment
  • Fatuous love: Passion + Commitment
  • Consummate love: Intimacy + Passion + Commitment

The games of love are played on six different stages, and individuals will have preferred modes (Lee):

  • Eros: Passionate and physical. Looks are important.
  • Ludus: love as a non-serious game. Harm is not intended but often happens.
  • Storge: slow-growing, evolving out of friendship and affection. Similarity is important.
  • Pragma: Commonsense and pragmatic. Known conditions must be met.
  • Mania: An emotional roller-coaster. Stereotyped romantic love.
  • Agape: Unselfish and giving. Spiritual and other-focused.

Peterson and Seligman reduce love to three prototypical forms:

  • Romantic love
  • A child’s love for a parent
  • A parent’s love for a child

Love can be viewed as a form of transference whereby one person puts a part of themself into another person and then feeling lost without that part, and subsequently feeling whole again when they relate to that person.

Example

Many romantic mismatches occur when partners both state their love for one another, but each is talking about a different style of love. Maybe you have experience of this? 

So what?

Using it

If you want blind followers, look good and build a passionate image. Otherwise find the history of love of the other person and play to their needs.

Great sales people know that the true secret is to love both their products and their customers. They also know that true love binds, and devious trickery is out of the question.

Defending

If you dive into love heart first, pause first and ask whether the other person is truly committed. Beware of blind love. Love can be the best thing ever, but also know that love hurts, especially when betrayed.

See also

Attachment Style, Friendship, Law of Attraction, Matching Hypothesis

References

Hendrick and Hendrick (1986, 1992), Lee (1973, 1988), Sternberg and Barnes (1988), Peterson and Seligman (2004), Stendhal (1822)

 

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