Broken relationships can be prevented (2023)

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? I am definitely alivememoryMy first experience. It's both exciting and exhausting. That didn't end well either.

The experience of falling in love is formally known in psychological literature as romantic or passionate love. It is characterized by intensesixPassion, raw thrill and excitement, compulsive need to connect and unrealistic or exaggerated stories andImaginationAbout your new partner.

Broken relationships can be prevented (1)

The author of the photo of the loving couple Natasha Ferreira Pixie and Pixel

Izvor: Todd W. Gaffaney

This description of romantic love naturally leads to the key question of this article:Is it romantic? Does love fade with time? If so, is there anything we can do to prolong the healthy version of it? our relationship?

What does the love triangle theory tell us about the nature of passion?

Perhaps Robert Sternberg's (1986, 2006) love triangle theory and the extensive cross-cultural research that has resulted from it have provided the most direct and focused research on the question of our passions. while other theories of love (privitakmodels) are also of great value (Hazen and Shaver, 1987), do not directly focus on the issue of passion and are therefore not the focus of this study.

Before we continue, let's take a few minutes to outline the main idea of ​​Sternberg's model and show how it can be applied to our passion problem.

Sternberg's theoretical and research models claim that everythingrelationshipIt can be divided into the presence or absence of three factors: passion, intimacy and commitment.

  1. Passion is physical, sexual and emotionalattractivenessYour partner. Feelings can be positive (e.g. sexual desire) or negative (e.g.jealous).
  2. Intimacy is about warmth and concern for your partner's well-being. It involves mutual and open sharing between partners. At its core is depthfriendshipkind of love.
  3. Commitment means staying in a relationship despite the obstacles and difficulties that are inevitable in any long-term relationship.

Our goal is to explore and compare romantic love and partner love to see if these different types of love can shed light on this important issue of passion.

If passion is the key word of romantic love, security and family attachment are the key words of companionate love. Romantic love has elements of passion and intimacy, but not commitment, while partner love has elements of intimacy and commitment, but not passion.

Romantic love predicts further relationships, while partner love predicts lasting long-term relationships.

In everyday life there are many possible combinations of these forms of love, but the weight and direction of these three factors are constant.

Passion is short-lived, and its effects and attractions are swift. However, over time it can develop into a mixture of romance and companionship. If this evolution takes place, then there are many forms of attachment and certain levels of arousal that can ebb and flow over the course of a relationship (Sternberg, 2006).

Does passion fade or develop over time?

In order to get a clearer picture of the problem of passion, I will examine it from a psychological and biological perspective to see if there is a common overlap in terms of extinguishing passion.

psychological point of view: Sternberg's triangle theory (2006) predicts that intimacy and commitment factors develop slowly and gradually over time, while passion rises and falls quickly and strongly. The explanation for these different indicators is that getting to know your partner takes time, so intimacy and commitment develop at different and slower speeds than passion. Passion can be blind, its rise and fall can be swift. At this point, we don't know much about the person we're dating; as a result, fantasies and positive idealization often grow at the expense of reality.


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Research also suggests that while passion can fade quickly, the romantic phase has the opportunity to develop into a hybrid of romance and companionship.

In other words, more complex mixtures of moderate passion and soul touches and connections are possible.

biological point of view: There is biological evidence to support Sternberg's predictions and claims. For example, cortisol and adrenaline, the two most importantHORMONERelated to romance, also partpressureAnswer system.

Unfortunately, these stress hormones are imbalanced at high and chronic levels without effectnerve systemand other body systems. However, over time the body corrects itself.

When these toxic hormones weaken and become milder and easier to regulate, other hormones such as vasopressin andOxytocinLevels begin to rise gradually. More modulated forms of passion may exist during a developing relationship (Fisher et al., 2011).

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Vasopressin and oxytocin play a role not only in the regulation of sexual attraction, but also in forms of connection and rapprochement in partner love (Fisher et al., 2011). This complicates the issue of passion and may suggest that psychological factors may play a role in keeping passion moderate, even in long-term relationships.

Is there evidence that psychological factors can affect the level of passion?

Acevedo and Aron (2009) found that if we can isolate and reduce the more persuasive features of romantic love, sexual attraction and connection can to some extent persist or form in long-term relationships.

Although this finding is intriguing, the study did not clearly define obsessive-compulsive traits, and corroborating evidence is needed to support this claim.

In addition, O'Leary et al. (2012) study of long-term marriages found that more than 50% of respondents said they were still passionately in love with their spouses. These results raise the question to what extent the reduction in passion can be attributed to biological factors and to what extent it can be explained by psychological factors. Both can contribute to constant excitement and affection. These results are far from final, but at the same time encouraging.

However, this extensive research was informative and provocative, but left some open questions, including whether the study participants were selectively biased and over-reported. Additionally, the researchers did not ask respondents to define what the term "falling in love" meant. In addition, the researchers did not specify exactly what, if any, psychological factors play a role. These factors are assumed, but not specified and defined.

last thoughts to remember

This gap in understanding the interplay between hypothesized psychological factors and biological processes calls for further culturally based empirical research. Today's answers are contradictory, confusing and unnecessarily complicated.

Sometimes the best answer is that we don't know at this point what role, if any, psychological factors may play in maintaining passion. we knowconfidenceModerate passion can exist in long relationships.


Acevedo, B.P. and Aron, A. (2009). Do long-term relationships kill romantic love?overview of general psychology, 100(6). 1079-1094 (view, other).

Hazen, C. and Shaver, R. Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 511-522.

Fisher R et al. etc. Emotional conflict in interpersonal communication. Neuroimaging, 54 (2).

O'Leary, K., Acevedo. BP & Aron, A. Is long-lasting love more than a rare phenomenon? Social psychology and personality sciences, 3(2), 244-249.

R. Sternberg (1986). The love triangle theory. Psychological review, 93, 119-135.

Sternberg R. (2006) A Dual Theory of Love. In R. Sternberg & K. Weis (Eds.). A new psychology of love. (pp. 184-199). New Haven, Connecticut. Yale University Press.


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