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According to Hani Henry, chair and associate professor of psychology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology at AUC, Robert Sternberg's psychological theory covers the most common reasons why we fall in love, namely: intimacy, passion and commitment.
Falling in love for intimate reasons can be described as having a basic friendship; it lacks commitment and passion. Henry explained that intimacy isn't just about developing a close bond with someone. Sometimes it is self-serving. Everyone needs to feel loved, cared for, and respected. Women desire to feel their femininity and men desire to feel their masculinity.
Adele's song Hello is a perfect example of how intimacy is captured. Adele, in the chorus of the song, calls her ex-boyfriend to vent her grief about their relationship. She says that she hasn’t been able to heal herself after so many years. "Her lyrics speak for many people who are looking to make an emotional connection, whether it's with someone they know or in a relationship that lasts a few months," he explained.
Letting ourselves fall in love because of desire or strong feelings for a person is normal. Passionate love can be developed from feelings that result in sexual attraction, romance and physical interest. Henry explained, "When you meet someone you like you become captivated by that person." Henry explained that physical attraction can be described as a fascination with hair, eyes, and the body.
In the absence of intimacy and commitment, infatuation is developed with the person you love. People are attracted to one another and develop a sense of lust. Some people become obsessed with a person and view them as an object. He said, "You can be in love with someone for years but not feel that there is any commonality between you two."
Complete love requires commitment. "People who want commitment are seeking stability and a healthy partnership," he stated. "People who seek only commitment can be unable to find basic friendship and sexual attraction.
Henry said that in modern times young adults are more interested than ever in objects and relationships. "The objectification comes from consumerism," he explained. "The more consumeristic the culture becomes, the less interest people have in commitments. Some youth are more focused on impressing people than they care about. Therefore, it is important to eat everything and have good relationships with others.
Love Outside of the Triangular Theory
Sternberg's theory of love is universal. However, every person has their own reasons to fall in love. Your reason for falling madly in love does not necessarily have to be explained by science. Henry said that personal needs include loneliness, fear, peer pressure, satisfaction, and religious values.
Despite what psychology has to say about love, the type of love we choose defines who we are. Each of us has our own ways of understanding what makes our lives happy and meets our human needs. "Some people are caught with a need that meets each dimension of the triangle and they can't give up on two because of the different needs they get. Love can be complex.
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