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Triangular Love - Passion, Intimacy and Commitment

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In collectivist cultures such as India, Pakistan, Philippines, or Thailand, we can see that the superiority of group or collective goals over individual and personal aspirations is emphasized. In those cultures, the main purpose of marriage is rather a union of families than the union of two individuals. Marriage is considered to be good if it leads to a mutually beneficial union of two families. Therefore, marriages in collectivist cultures are mainly and primarily based on the needs of families rather than on individual feelings. This is not the case in individualistic cultures, represented by countries such as USA, Australia, England and the European Brazil. In such cultures, individual goals take precedence over group interests. The basis for marriage in individualistic cultures tends to be the needs and desires of individuals who marry, not the interests of their relatives or other social groups. Not surprisingly, the idea of how love is important in the marriage is not the same for those two types of cultures. In individualist cultures, compared to collectivist love more often seen as the basis of marriage.

According to Sternberg, there are three major characteristics of love: intimacy, passion and commitment.

Passion is a motivational component of love, a kind of "fuel" for the romantic feelings, physical attraction and sexual interest. Passion feeds the strong desire to merge with the loved one. In some sense, passion is like a drug, providing stimulus, and a source of pleasure; it can cause insatiable love hunger.

Intimacy is emotional component of love which includes a sense of spiritual union with the beloved person. Intimacy also implies the feeling of warmth, involvement, emotional intimacy, the desire to help the loved one, and willingness to share them with innermost thoughts and feelings.

Commitment is thinking, or cognitive aspect of love which is associated with a conscious decision to love each other and maintain a relationship with the partner despite the difficulties.

Each of the components described above is an important parameter of love relationship. However, different pairs of these components are presented in different combinations. In addition, they may change over the time within the same relationship. According to Sternberg, different combinations of these components can result in different types, if not love, then at least the differences in the experience of love to different people. For example, the absence of all three components is characterized by relationships that Sternberg calls the "non-love" (that we normally have for a casual acquaintance). If there is only intimacy that is present we can talk about friendship or sympathy. If there is only passion and no intimacy or sense of duty is involved - it means that a person experiences a passion. A sense of duty, without passion and intimacy leads to an empty love (this kind may



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