The Triangle of Love: Intimacy, Passion, Commitment

Robert J. Sternberg, Author
Robert J. Sternberg, Author Basic Books $18.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-465-08746-4
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
According to this Yale psychology professor's ``triangular theory of love,'' every love relationship has three componentsintimacy, passion, commitmentand how these elements match up and change determines a couple's closeness and longevity. Here is a handy geometrical explanation for fatuous love (passion + commitment), companionable twosomes (commitment + intimacy), stagnant duos that go on for years with commitment but no passion, and the rare, consummate romance which combines all elements of the triangle. Sternberg, author of The Triarchic Mind , often daunts the general reader with love scales, lists, diagrams and tedious summaries of scientific research on love. His own investigations yielded surprising conclusions: passion and sex increase rather than decrease in importance over the first few years of a marriage; whether a person comes from a loving family is a poor predictor of how much she or he will love you. (Oct.)
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