The 7 Different Types Of Love- Sternberg Love Theory

The 7 Different Types Of Love- Sternberg Love Theory

Types Of Love

The American psychologist Robert J. Sternberg has studied many facets of the human being, including love. Sternberg differentiates 7 types of love based on three factors (Intimacy, Commitment and Passion ).

Depending on the three factors indicated and their combinations. The 7 different types of love of which the theory speaks.

Triangular Theory Of Love From Sternberg. Three Factors And Types Of Love

If we place in each of the vertices of an equilateral triangle each of the components. The result would be the following:

types of love

As you can see, the 7 types of love depend on the combinations of the 3 factors with each other. Sternberg understands these factors as follows:


This factor refers to the connection between the couple, the bond that takes place between them. The affection and communication of their feelings, the desire to give and receive from the other.


By commitment means the choice to remain with the couple in good and bad times. The willingness to maintain the relationship over time.


By passion he understands the intense desire for physical and emotional union with the other.

Types Of Love

The 7 different types of love that result from the combination of the three factors at the vertices of the triangle would be the following:

Relationship Of Love

The only component is intimacy. This type of relationship is characterized by the existence of a strong bond between the two people. Such as a good friendship, but free of passion and long-term commitment.


The only component is passion. So there is no emotional bond or commitment to stay in the relationship. It could thus consider a purely physical lightning relationship.

Empty Love

The only component is commitment. In this relationship there would be no intimate bond or passion. The relationship is based on the pillars of mutual respect and reciprocity. A love of this kind is that between two people matched by family interests, for example.

Sociable Love

In this relationship there is intimacy and commitment, but there is no passion. It is a company relationship in which there is strong love between the parties. Such a relationship may be that between family members. Or a couple who has been together for many years and the passion has disappeared.

Fatuous Love

Composed of passion and commitment, this relationship is characterized by the absence of an intimate bond.

Read more: Couple Therapy

These couples are committed to the passion that unites them but they have not established an emotional connection. An example would be couples who rush into marriage influenced by the passion that exists between them.

Romantic Love

Couples who have romantic love are united by passion and a strong emotional bond. But there is no commitment to continue in the future. An example of this kind of love could be a short relationship.

Consumed Love

For Sternberg, with intimacy, passion and commitment, consummate love is the most complete form of love. The balance between the three factors is found in the "ideal couples". However, the author states that this balance can be (and usually is) temporary.

Since if a factor loses intensity in favor of others. It would incline to one of the above. As we have indicated above in the case of couples who They have been together for many years.

This is how Sternberg understands love and its many forms. What is yours? Would you like to change your type of relationships?


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