Cover image for The triangle of love : intimacy, passion, commitment
The triangle of love : intimacy, passion, commitment
Sternberg, Robert J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [1988]

Physical Description:
xi, 319 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.L8 S78 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Love-- the stuff of poetry and song-- is here analyzed beneath the psychological microscope. Although author Sternberg's use of jargon is sometimes distracting, and his illustrative vignettes are mostly pasteboard, the book's central theory about the three-part structure of love seems plausible. In this theory, love is not fundamentally one thing but three: the close emotional sharing of intimacy, the fire of physical passion, and the enduring bond of commitment. Drawing from his own survey research and from the findings of colleagues, Sternberg sketches the way these three emotional elements fit together in infatuation, friendship, and romance. Of particular value for nonspecialists is the author's analysis of how loving relationships decay and what couples can do to prevent such unraveling. The book is no replacement for Petrarch, and many readers will be frustrated by its failure to define the historical and cultural context for the waning of commitment in modern America. But it is one of the author's virtues that he cheerfully acknowledges the limitations of his work. Notes; to be indexed. BJC.

Publisher's Weekly Review

According to this Yale psychology professor's ``triangular theory of love,'' every love relationship has three componentsintimacy, passion, commitmentand how these elements match up and change determines a couple's closeness and longevity. Here is a handy geometrical explanation for fatuous love (passion + commitment), companionable twosomes (commitment + intimacy), stagnant duos that go on for years with commitment but no passion, and the rare, consummate romance which combines all elements of the triangle. Sternberg, author of The Triarchic Mind , often daunts the general reader with love scales, lists, diagrams and tedious summaries of scientific research on love. His own investigations yielded surprising conclusions: passion and sex increase rather than decrease in importance over the first few years of a marriage; whether a person comes from a loving family is a poor predictor of how much she or he will love you. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Yale psychologist Sternberg provides an intelligible overview of theory and research on the psychology of heterosexual love. Growing out of his own and others' empirical investigations, Sternberg's ``triangular'' concept of love comprises three key componentsintimacy, passion, and commitment. Sternberg gives guidelines for analyzing these components, whose strength vary over time, and for enhancing relationships. Without jargon or condescension he uses pithy anecdotes to explain the implications of key discoveries from the new field of love research to refute common myths about love. An illuminating book, highly recommended for general collections. Cynthia Widmer, Williamstown, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.