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Old 05-25-2010, 05:49 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
But we see this term "romantic love" tossed around all the time.

And am I maybe the only one who doesn't have a real good grasp on what that means ?

How would you - or anyone define that in a way it could be identified - especially in contrast to..... say...platonic love ?
Romantic love = boyfriend/girlfriend

Platonic love = friends/parents/siblings

The "Triangular Theory of Love" explains the various forms of love very well (I just copied the relevant bits, see the article for all 7 forms of love):

Originally Posted by Wikipedia

The triangular theory of love is a theory of love developed by psychologist Robert Sternberg. The theory characterizes love within the context of interpersonal relationships by three different components:
  • Intimacy – Which encompasses feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness.
  • Passion – Which encompasses drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, and sexual consummation.
  • Commitment – Which encompasses, in the short term, the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, the shared achievements and plans made with that other.

Romantic love bonds individuals emotionally through intimacy and physically through passionate arousal.

Companionate love is an intimate, non-passionate type of love that is stronger than friendship because of the element of long-term commitment. Sexual desire is not an element of companionate love. This type of love is often found in marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship but a deep affection and commitment remain. The love ideally shared between family members is a form of companionate love, as is the love between close friends who have a platonic but strong friendship.

Consummate love is the complete form of love, representing an ideal relationship toward which people strive. Of the seven varieties of love, consummate love is theorized to be that love associated with the “perfect couple”. According to Sternberg, such couples will continue to have great sex fifteen years or more into the relationship, they can not imagine themselves happy over the long-term with anyone else, they overcome their few difficulties gracefully, and each delight in the relationship with one other.[1] However, Sternberg cautions that maintaining a consummate love may be even harder than achieving it. He stresses the importance of translating the components of love into action. "Without expression," he warns, "even the greatest of loves can die" (1987, p. 341). Thus, consummate love may not be permanent. If passion is lost over time, it may change into companionate love.
Note, clearly this was written from a monogamous perspective, as polyamorists reject the idea that "they can not imagine themselves happy over the long-term with anyone else"... but the rest of it makes perfect sense to me, capturing the elements that are present in various kinds of love, and what makes different kinds of love..well, different.

As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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