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What is true love?

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Quick Answer

Psychologists have suggested that true love is a three-part connection that entails attraction, connection and commitment. Since "love" does not have a universal definition, however, true love is subjective.

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Full Answer

The idea of the three components of true love was originally posited by psychologist Robert Sternberg. Sternberg imagined love as a triangle where all three points had to be connected in order for the feeling to be complete. When intimacy and commitment connect, they result is companionship. When passion and commitment connect, they result in what is commonly referred to as "blind love." When passion and intimacy connect, they result in romance.

Furthermore, Sternberg asserted that people experience the phases of love in a specific order. He believed that infatuation is the first hint of love that everyone feels. Infatuation, however, is primarily physical and cannot alone produce or sustain true love. It is necessary to connect with the other person in order to create a bond that extends beyond the physical. Intimacy is also how people establish trust with one another. As two people establish solid physical and emotional bonds that withstand trials as well as the test of time, they commit themselves to each other. Only when two people are committed to each other can they be truly in love.

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