Thursday, December 2, 2010

empty love.

I have finals next week. Hence the dearth of posts of late.

My professor went on at some length last week about the importance of finding one's particular "studying style" (quotation marks his) and then sticking to it.

I am proud to announce that, as of this evening, I have discovered my "studying style". Here it is:

1) turn on the toaster oven (it's cold in my house and this is my main source of heat).

2) make and eat sequential toast (so as not to feel wasteful for running the toaster oven).

3) lounge in a hot, glittery bath with a wineglass of red cranberry juice (it looks like wine so I feel decadent, but does not make me drowsy or intoxicated, neither of which work for my particular "studying style").

4) have a box of flashcards in the general proximity of the bath.

5) from the bath, between sips of cranberry juice, organize a party for the post-bath evening.

I really like my "studying style". I'll let you know how I do on my finals.

That said, I wanted to share with you this rather interesting chart of Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love. This is based on longterm studies of healthy relationships (according to whom? why, white western men with psychology degrees of course, so naturally it's universal). The basic theory is that there are only three essential components to a healthy love relationship. And here they are:

Having lived most of my twenties in the "Empty Love" scenario---commitment for commitment's sake--I suppose it is not surprising that I now find myself in a "Romantic Love" scenario: physical and emotional attraction sans commitment, ot the other two points of the triangle. Prior to my marriage I was involved in a "Fatuous Love" scenario, in which the object of my affection and I had committed blindly to each other without giving ourselves the time to form any true intimacy. My marriage was, essentially, a rebound from that one. Fatuous love: I don't recommend it.

Of course, none of these three situations is ideal. Studies show that companionate love (a long term relationship based on friendship and commitment, and the model followed by countries in which marriage is arranged) and the infrequently attained ultimate (consummate love, in which passion, intimacy, and commitment unite) are the only two models that predict long term health and happiness.

What do you think? Does this fit your understanding of love?

As for me---- I'm just memorizing the stuff. I'll form opinions after the final!


  1. You know what happened. I am such a blah, blah, dork that when I told MY partner about it and said don't we have all three, don't we? (Almost jumping up and down) - he said, he never listens to anything that starts with "Always", "It's totally proven", "Or you just need these three things". NOT the right thing to say to your wife, when she asks for support to her opinion that you have a great relationship.
    Proves we don't. WAAAH!

  2. That's intimacy right there. Sharing your honest opinions even when they don't match. Proves you do!

    Ah well, there goes my one day of him liking me.

  3. You realize, this is highly political - it's a LOVE TRIANGLE!