Cupid's Arrow: The Course of Love Through Time

Robert J. Sternberg, Author Cambridge University Press $75 (226p) ISBN 978-0-521-47320-0
Love intoxicates, complicates, sustains, blinds: you name it, love does it. An eminent professor of psychology and education at Yale, Sternberg sifts through love's many vicissitudes in search of a few general tendencies. He elaborates upon three components of love (intimacy, passion and commitment) that combine in different ways to configure how we fall in and out of love. Opening with a review of Sternberg's social psychological research, the book in general reads as self-help with a strong scientific twist. Clinical vignettes illustrate how love's three components are present in varying amounts in most heterosexual relationships. For example, when lovers report strong feelings of intimacy and passion but lack a sense of commitment, they have ""romantic love."" Romantic love figures at an early point in a couple's courtship but wanes as passion yields to commitment, and is influenced by cultural and developmental constraints: some cultures celebrate romantic love; others deride it. Sternberg's statistically derived theory turns love into a set of love phenomena: our need for interpersonal attachment; cognitive tasks adults employ to appraise their love life; trends regarding attraction, relationship satisfaction and how relationships change. So, on viewing love's components in perspective, even such distinct phenomena as the frisson of romance and the anguish of a ""loveless marriage"" become predictable--not so mysterious or unforeseeable after all. An energetic chapter on ""love through literature"" further renders love's heartache oddly routine. Readers who translate psychological factoids into tools for introspection will likely find Cupid's Arrow interesting and helpful. Wrestlers and poets may prefer to struggle: ""Stella!"" (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.