I’m re-posting this with an edit/commentary:
A new friend pointed out that, aside from Consummate Love, this model uses terms that are value-laden, and many are negative and dismissive in tone.
I agree, and am eager to do a more relationship-friendly edit. Heck, a bit on “Infatuation vs Love” was one of the first things I deleted from the materials I was bequeathed with my job; I found the term patronizing and dismissive to teens, with an unintended effect of putting a lot of pressure on young people to get into “real” relationships and prove that they were experiencing “real love”.
Consummate-type Love is amazing, no doubt. But other types can also be amazing in different ways, they certainly have value, and they can change over time.
As a personal example, I recently arranged an evening with someone I’d call a “fuck buddy”. Long ago, I used to obsessively love this person….though I wouldn’t describe my feeling for them as love now; our relationship is acquaintance-level. However, I do know them, and trust them because of history, and that alone is far more appealing to me than a hook-up with a total stranger.
Then, I’ve had what’s considered a largely FWB relationship with my now-platonic-partner…but you’ll notice in the term that “friend” comes first (haha); that relationship is also long-lasting and deeply meaningful to me (hence that person still being my partner). There’s a lot of passion, intimacy, and commitment there. But I can’t dismiss the significance of the Fuck Buddy when I really needed a, well, a fuck buddy.
And then I’ve met a couple people this past year who give me tingly, distracting, whooshing feelings, and All The Cuddles, which is something that I can’t get from the Fuck Buddy, and am not in that phase with my platonic partner. Honestly, even with all that ORE and drop-your-pants-this-instant sexiness, we’ve never been particularly “romantic” with each other.
So who can deny the importance of NRE and All The Cuddles?!
And in each of those relationships, trying to make it a style it is not/can’t be would just be disappointing and frustrating for everyone, and take away from the benefits as they are.
Or, as the new friend put it, “I want to avoid a hierarchy of types of relationships and allow each to be what the participants mutually agree it should be. “
The Triangular Theory of Love, by Sternberg. I like this one because it’s prettier than my old black-and-white handouts.
It’s a handy way to think of relationships and observe changes, even in our own.
professor-polyamory, below, has some interesting applications to how we think about sexual orientation (I think the Klein grid is also nifty for that).
One thing about life and education, is that the furhter you go in your studies, the more your studies narrow. Hence, most of us leave the broad based liberal arts by our 20’s… and for me that as a very long time ago.
I even taught into to Psych years ago, but this was not yet part of the curriculum, though I think it is now.
I do like this model and would say I would largely support it, though I must say I’ve not read his books on the topic.
Here is my thought. The proponents of the Mono-Sexual view of human sexuality seem to imply (though they don’t ought-right say so), that humans are (or should be) mono-armory as well. In the discussion of gay marriage, there has been the near complete substitution of the concept of love for the idea of sexual desire. Thus, the argument is about love leads marriage, not sexual desire leads to marriage.
So, in theory, there is no need for sexual desire to lead to marriage. Of course that is not a new idea. Would anyone say two 90 year olds should not get married unless they can prove they are capable of sex. Or should a guy who has had penile cancer not be allowed to marry? Of course not.
So I propose, that if we use this model of love and the LBGT’s disaggregation of love and sex that the incidence of being truly mono-sexual (only loving or sexually desiring people of one gender) would be close to zero.