How is a passionate person

Passionate love and comradely love

At the beginning of a relationship, we are passionately drawn to each other. We only think of our "object of desire", we feel in ecstasy and fulfilled when love is reciprocated. In short: we are in love and we are on cloud nine! But does passionate love endure at all or is it perhaps better to build love on a friendly foundation? Psychologists Elaine Hatfield and Megan Forbes know more about it.

Passionate love and sexual desire

Passionate love has always existed, but different cultures influence how people view love and the value they place on sexual desire. In the West, and probably in other parts of the world, passionate love is closely tied to sexual desire. So when someone is in love, they almost always feel a sexual desire for the person they are in love with. On the other hand, someone doesn't have to be in love to have a sexual desire at a one-night stand, for example.

Passion as an addiction

The psychologist and psychometrician Robert Sternberg compares passion with an addiction: First of all, lovers are flooded with intense feelings of happiness at every encounter. You are constantly looking for that "high" state. But over time, the encounters can lead to habituation and this intense feeling can no longer be brought about so easily. After a certain period of time, the passion settles at a lower level, below the initial maximum. Another aspect that suggests passion is an addiction is that if you lose the person you are adoring you can lead to withdrawal symptoms. It takes a while to get over the withdrawal symptoms.

The triangle of love

Sternberg emphasizes in his "triangle of love" that passion is only one component of love. Passion means excitement, enthusiasm, energy and the feeling of being magically attracted to your partner. But love also consists of intimacy and commitment. Intimacy does not automatically mean physical intimacy, but trust, compassion, communication, care, empathy, understanding and a feeling of connectedness. Commitment, on the other hand, includes the decision to enter into a (long) relationship.

Passionate love forever?

According to Elaine Hatfield and Megan Forbes, passionate love is apparently only a fleeting feeling - a feeling of elation that diminishes shortly after the wedding. Sounds sad, doesn't it? One can assume, however, that passionate love gives way to comradely love. Comradely love is a less stormy, but all the more gentle feeling of deep affection. The partners feel a pleasant closeness and solidarity. Some researchers even assume that companionable love grows as soon as passionate love subsides. But comradely love can also decrease. In the end, neither passionate love nor comradely love guarantee a secure future as a happy couple.

So much for the scientific consideration ... What do you think: Are passionate and comradely love mutually exclusive? And what do you think is important for a happy future together? We look forward to your comments!

Hatfield, Elaine / Forbes, Megan (2013): Passionate Love Forever? In: Bormans, Leo (ed.): Love. The World Book of Love. The secret of love. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne
Sternberg, Robert (2013): What does “I love you” mean? In: Bormans, Leo (ed.): Love. The World Book of Love. The secret of love. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne

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