Different Types of Love

11 May

Today in Human Sexuality class we talked about love and classifying different types of love.  There were two theories we focused on but I’m just going to blog on Sternberg’s triangular theory of love (at least for now.)  There are 8 different types of “love” depending on whether you have high or low: intimacy, passion, and commitment.  I made some images in paint for the visual people out there.  First here are the 8 triangles in general.


Now to go through each one and give you a quick sum up and/or example.

non love

Non love- low intimacy, low commitment, and low passion.  Relationships that would be an example could be acquaintances, co-workers, or teacher/student.


Liking- high intimacy, low commitment, low passion.  Relationships that would be an example is friendships.


Infatuation- low intimacy, low commitment, high passion.  Examples would be lust or a crush.

empty love

Empty Love- low intimacy, high commitment, low passion.  Examples would be the beginning of an arranged marriage or falling out of love like staying together for the kids.

fatuous love

Fatuous Love- low intimacy, high commitment, high passion.  Examples would be “silly stupid love”  “I’ hot, you’re hot, lets get married.”

romantic love

Romantic love- high intimacy, low commitment, high passion.  Usually the beginning of a relationship.  Getting to know each other, some chemistry or passion, but no real commitment yet.

consummate love

Consummate love- high intimacy, high commitment, high passion.  Usually the second stage in a relationship but can’t be maintained for long periods of time, because often passion fades.  Also known as the “Honeymoon Period.”  Most people think this would be the most ideal love to be in, but it is intense and because of that intensity it can’t sustain for long periods of time.

comapnionate love

Companionate Love- high intimacy, high commitment, low passion.  Usually how many marriages are after the “honeymoon period” wears off.  The most sustainable.  Can be found in relationships other than traditional marriages.


Looking at these 8 different theories of love most my relationships are Non love.  Even my friendships (except few) are low in intimacy.  I have a couple Empty Love relationships, mostly family.  And two Companionate love.  I’m not sure I have ever felt Consummate love, maybe with PK.  I don’t get infatuated or fall into “stupid crazy love.”  And as strange as it sounds I don’t think I’ve ever been in a Romantic love relationship.   PK was liking–> Consummate.  Ex-fiance was Empty Love.  The guy that I had sex with to try to turn myself straight was probably non-love.  And my ex-girlfriend was maybe Fatuous love and I only say that because the “commitment” aspect moved a lot faster than I was comfortable even though it might be normal for others.  I think the ideal is Companionate love.

5 Responses to “Different Types of Love”

  1. Shannon Born May 11, 2015 at 10:20 PM #

    Interesting theory. Other work to check out would be Helen Fisher and Arthur Aron’s work on sex drive, romantic drive and attachment

    • mm172001 May 12, 2015 at 7:22 PM #

      Thanks I’ll have to look into that.

  2. ebitogu May 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM #

    Reblogged this on togusstage.

  3. manyofus1980 May 12, 2015 at 7:30 PM #

    Very interesting Marcie! I always learn so much from you. X

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