There are 7 different types of love that psychologist Sternberg has proposed. I believe these 7 forms of love theory to be true.
There are 3 components in these types of love-
Passion- physical attraction and physiological arousal
Intimacy- feelings of emotional closeness, attachment, and familiarity
Commitment- dedication and loyalty to each other
I’ll have to use these 3 components to explain the love types. I’ll explain each type of love in detail below so it doesn’t get confusing.
1.) Consummate love
This is the ideal, perfect form of love. This type includes the 3 major elements: passion, intimacy, and commitment to the relationship.
This means that this type of love has physical attraction and physiological arousal, feelings of love and closeness to each other, and commitment to the relationship.
So people with this love are physically attracted to each other, they care and feel for each other, and they are dedicated to their relationship.
This type of love can be used to describe some boyfriends/girlfriends and some married couples who truly love each other.
Consummate love is the ideal type of love that we all wish to have.
2.) Companionate love
This is like consummate love but it only consists of feelings of intimacy and commitment. There’s no passion (physical attraction) here.
There are feelings of care and closeness and there’s a dedication to the relationship, but nothing to do with physical looks and there are no exciting physiological feelings.
This is the type of love that we have for family members, siblings, friends, relatives, and maybe for some couples who don’t care for looks.
This type of love is more commonly found in those non-romantic relationships. It’s rare to find romantic couples having this love since physical attraction is the main part of romantic love.
If a guy and girl are close friends without having romantic feelings, they still do have companionate love for each other. (Feelings of care, closeness, and commitment to their platonic friendship).
3.) Romantic (or passionate) love
This type of love has a passion (physical attraction and arousal) and intimacy (feelings of care and closeness) in it.
There’s no commitment though. I guess this kind of love can be there for people who like to have casual flings.
It can also be the type of love we feel in crushes, or if we feel both physically attracted to and feel for someone without dating them.
This type of love involves only feelings of intimacy (closeness and connectedness).
There is no physical attraction or commitment involved. As the name suggests, this is the type of love when we have a crush on someone and feel for them.
What makes this type of love different from romantic love is there is no physical attraction here. So when you like someone, but don’t like their looks and don’t date them, it’s liking.
Infatuation is when there is only passion or physical attraction. There are no feelings of closeness or attachment. And there’s no commitment.
In simple words, infatuation is liking someone without commitment or any close familial feelings.
6.) Fatuous love
This type of love involves both physical attraction and commitment. But there’s no intimacy (feelings of closeness and connectedness.)
So this is liking someone with commitment. So suppose someone dated someone for a long time because they find their partner attractive, but they don’t feel close or have any bond, it’s fatuous love.
7.) Empty love
This is the last form of love. It consists of only commitment. There are no feelings of closeness and there’s no physical attraction or physiological arousal.
This type of love is what you’ll see in couples that have grown distant or in abusive relationships. Sometimes you will find married couples who stay together for financial reasons, but they don’t feel for each other or get physically attracted to each other. That’s empty love.