25 December 2008
Posted in Relationship Theories
Naturally since love is such a deep rooted emotion all over the world and since time unknown in all cultures, a lot of theories sprout on love as an emotion. Probably the most important theory about love is the love motivational theory, as this theory explains love as an emotion and also how to manipulate it.
The theory states that love is a very powerful motivator. It can make people do all sort of acts including self-sacrificing ones. Robert J. Sternberg was one of America’s noted psychologists. Sternberg conducted an extensive research on the emotion of love. He came up with the styles of love. He divided the styles into three categories intimacy, passion and commitment. Intimacy was explained as to like being close to someone. Passion was defined as an intensive liking and getting aroused on the physiological level. If the partner responds with an equal or greater feeling of passion, there is ecstasy between the two. However lack of expected response leads to a feeling of being denied or rejected. The third category is commitment. This can be explained by the typical phrase, ‘I can even die for my love’! Stenberg went further and explained that usually more often than not there tends to be a combination of the above three styles. He researched further into the matter and came up with seven styles as a combination of the above three categories in various proportion changing from each individual and the respective partner in subject. These are: Like, infatuation, empty-love, romantic-love, compassion love, fatuous love and lastly consummate love.
At this stage the theory of love comes into picture. The theory is divided into 6 stages called the games of love. These stages are defined from only passion to total unselfish, giving love. The first one is Eros. This type of love is all about passion and physical love interactions. Here the actual appearance and the look matter. The next is Ludus. This stage is where the love actually starts. However, it is just the beginning and is also responsible for heart breaks. The next growth is Storge. At this stage the love starts happening. It may be growing out friendship, but the feelings starts increasing. The next is Pragma. This is also called the practical relationship. Here there is clear thinking about the situation, not from the heart, but from the brain. The individuals are aware about their personal needs and wants and look to getting desired satisfaction from the relationship. The next stage can be understood by its name itself. It’s called Mania. This is an all out emotional relationship where the individuals are totally committed and totally into each other. It is a time of roller coaster emotions. It is the kind of relationship we read in romantic novels. The last stage defined is agape. At this stage the love the individuals have is selfless and giving. They think about each other. There is faith and lot of trust. One difference from mania is the emotional turbulence.
Lastly, the theory defines love as a sort of a transfer, wherein one makes himself a part of the other and vice versa. And after this, one of the above stages takes place.