Have you ever wondered why you do or don’t have romantic love in your life? What is your definition of romantic love? Have you ever been in love? Have you ever fallen out of love? Before you continue to read, try to define romantic love as you have experienced it. What is your love theory?
Many psychologists have researched this topic and proposed different theories of romantic love. For instance, psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy. Attachment is the need to receive care, approval, and physical contact with the other person. Caring involves valuing the other person’s needs and happiness as much as your own. Intimacy refers to the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with the other person.
According to psychologist Elaine Hatfield and her colleagues, there are two basic types of love: compassionate love and passionate love. Compassionate love is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection, and trust while Passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection.
Psychologist Robert Sternberg proposed a triangular theory of love that suggests that there are three components of love: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Different combinations of these three components result in different types of love. For example, a combination of intimacy and commitment results in compassionate love, while a combination of passion and intimacy leads to passionate love.
Regardless of your theory of romantic love, do you feel in control of whether you have romantic love in your life or not? I have noticed many people are waiting for romantic love to “find” them. I have also noticed that these people generally wait a long time. My clients often ask: “How can I find love?”
I believe having romantic love in your life is a choice you make on a conscious or subconscious level. If you already have romantic love in your life, you might not remember the exact day you made a choice to love this person but I’m certain you have done it. I think hoping to find love is to some extent a fantasy since it essentially means you are allowing the envionment or circumstances outside you to determine your destiny.
If you want to have romantic love in your life, what are you doing to create it? And even more importantly, are you willing to choose to love?
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