Years ago a psychologist by the name of Robert Sternberg came up with a pretty good explanation that is difficult to improve on. What Sternberg did was to break down true love into three parts. I will try to share them so that you can easily apply them to your situation in a simple way. These three parts will help you to determine if what you have in your relationship is true love!
Part 1: Passion
This part includes physical and sexual attraction. It is like “Wow!”… You might hear angels and music…… . You initially cannot get over this person. The attraction is overwhelming. Pheromones abound. Electricity and chemistry are constantly zapping and bubbling in and around you. You feel an obsessive need to have your feelings reciprocated. For most persons, this is the first part of feeling attraction.
Part 2: Intimacy
Intimacy leads to attachment. It creates closeness and connectedness. We call this process becoming bonded with another person. Intimacy grows first by spending much time with another person. Then it grows deeper by sharing with one another every aspect of our lives. Intimacy is built on trust and safety. If you cannot trust and feel safe with a person then intimacy disappears and will degenerate into distrust and suspicion.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 May 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
López De Victoria, S. (2012). True Love: How Do You Know?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/24/true-love-how-do-you-know/