Monthly Archives: October 2016
Didn’t we say that the one word ‘love’ has been used in the English language to describe the many feelings of the heart? Interestingly, the modern English language still lacks what the Greek language had even during the ancient times. Yes, the Greeks addressed love with four different words, depending upon how the feeling was induced. These are: Éros (intimate love/sexual passion), Agápe (unconditional love/charity for all), Philia (love for friends/between equals), and Storge (love for parents and children). Related to these Greek descriptions, Canadian psychologist, John Alan Lee, developed the theory of six types of love, in his book ‘The Colors of Love’ published in 1973. These six basic love styles are explained as under.
Eros is the kind of love that is ruled by an uncontrolled passion and desire for the other. The passion is mostly sexual in nature. Here, a person falls in love with the outer beauty of the person and is smitten by him/her. Named after the Greek god of fertility, Éros, this is what we call the love that has a sense of illogical craze for the other person. The perfect example would be the case of Romeo and Juliet.
Agape is the love marked by altruism and self-sacrifice. It is the union in which a partner isn’t someone who comes in one’s life to make things better, rather, he/she is considered as a gift, a responsibility, a blessing that needs to be cherished and taken care of, even if it costs one his/her own comfort and needs. The happiness of the other person comes before one’s own happiness. A wonderful example of this would be the beautiful story written by O. Henry, ‘The Gift of the Magi’.
Love isn’t always all fun and games, but this statement doesn’t apply to the ludus lovers! The couple isn’t serious about the longevity of the relationship, rather, the whole concept is taken as a game. Here, a breakup isn’t a major heartbreak as one tends to find a new replacement quite instantly. Also, the ludus type of lover isn’t someone you could bank on when it comes to commitment and loyalty. This relationship could be somewhat like the movie, ‘Dangerous Liaisons’.
This relationship is pretty much the ‘marry your best friend’ kinda union. One tends to develop that much-needed understanding and acceptance after knowing each other for quite a long time, and gradually, love blooms. Alternately, a storgic love can also be defined as familial, the kind that flourishes between you and your parents, siblings, and other family members. A good example of this union would be the classic movie, When Harry Met Sally.
Maybe in some cases, love is all about emotions, but there are couples who come close to each other with a practical approach! Yes, they use logic more than madness. The pros and cons of whether to be or not to be with each other are weighed. As the name suggests, the mindset is totally pragmatic when it comes to choosing a partner for life. An example for this relationship would be the engagement of Rose and Cal in the movie ‘Titanic’.
Mania is the love that takes an unfortunate shape of obsessiveness, psychopathy, dependency, and extreme form of possessiveness and concern. In this union, the partner becomes one’s reason to live, like a full-time job. The relationship can turn out to be potentially dangerous, as the partner may also become extremely violent and mentally unstable. If you have seen the movie Fatal Attraction, you would know what we’re talking about!
Forms of Love Based on the Triangular Theory of Love
Another popular theory, known as the ‘Triangular Theory of Love’ was developed by American psychologist Robert Sternberg. According to him, the three components that define a love relationship are Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment. It is one, or a combination of two of these three components that form a specific kind of love style. The diagram below explains the same.
Intimacy is placed at the top corner of the triangle, and is marked by the presence of care, connection, bonding, and attachment. This is when you end up liking a person. Next comes passion, where you feel sexually attracted to the other due to his/her beauty. This is where infatuation takes place. The third crucial component is commitment, which is the decision to stick to the other through thick and thin. The presence of only commitment results in empty love―the one that lacks passion and intimacy.
Based on the combinations of these three components, Sternberg came up with seven different kinds of love experiences. Although, an eighth kind is also existent, known as ‘nonlove’ where neither of the components are present. The following points explain these eight variants of the triangular theory of love. Have a look.
‘Nonlove’ is when there is absence of intimacy, passion, and commitment. There is absolutely no sense of attachment, attraction, or the need to stick around with the other person. Such relationships are the ones that are casual in nature, such as those with acquaintances.
Genuine liking towards each other is something that paves way for friendship. Here, there isn’t any sort of passion or the need to commit to each other, but the presence of intense intimacy―warmth, comfort, understanding, commonalities, etc.―is more than enough to keep this lovely bond going strong.
A romantic relationship mostly starts with a strong infatuation towards the other. It is a state which is marked by intense passion and desire, without any intimacy or plans of committing to each other. This initial arousal towards the other is what often paves way for the couple to develop intimacy, and decide if they are ready to commit their loyalty and time to one another.
Empty love is when two people are with each other, without the presence of intimacy or passion. In some cases, couples reach this stage after the infatuation and romance is over with time; while on the other hand, some people start off their relationship from this stage, and move forward into a passionate and intimate romantic bond, such as in case of arranged marriages.
When the passionate attraction combines with intimacy, a relationship that blooms with the sonnets of romance is formed. When in a romantic relationship, the lovers are enchanted by both the physical and emotional appeal of the other. The question of commitment isn’t emphasized at this stage, as both focus on diving deep into the realms of knowing each other, both in body and mind.
Companionate love has a great deal of intimacy and commitment, but lacks the passion and sexual desire. This kind of relationship is usually seen among long-term friends, family members, and some long-term couples, where the passion has faded away with time, but there still remains a strong sense of commitment and emotional need for each other.
This love style is ruled by passion, which is the reason for commitment towards each other. Basically, there is total absence of intimacy and any other logical thought. The emotional connection and understanding is practically insufficient, but the sex is what keeps them together.
This is the ideal love relationship and should be the goal of each and every couple. Here, all the three essential components of love―intimacy, passion, and commitment―are present. A couple that achieves this state is the ‘happiest couple’ on Earth! To be with someone who understands you, satisfies you both physically and emotionally, and is loyal and committed to you, is a blessing in itself.
We all hope to find that perfect love, don’t we? Where problems will be solved without much ado, where there wouldn’t be a single moment spent in loneliness and wishful thinking, where the world will seem complete …. Alas, that happens only in fantasy world. Reality, as we now understand, is far from this “ideal perception” that most of us tend to have of love.
Love is to work constantly with each other, to overcome differences with grace and understanding, to ensure that no one is taken for granted by the other, to be sure that the spark that brought us together is always around. And to do this, it is imperative to let practicality take over some emotional decisions.
An example for the same would be this: Most people fantasize about meeting a stranger who takes away the monotony of their lives and fills it with newness, thrill, and excitement. However, the reality is, as per research, that most people who come together in a relationship, do so based on familiarity, similarity, and proximity. Meaning, the closer, similar, and familiar the other person seems to be, the more are the chances of you two being together in a love relationship. Convenience and practicality rule this “emotional” decision.
While there are no universal rules when it comes to being in love, we sure hope that your love enters your proximity soon enough. Cheers!
Character Matters Most
When you choose someone to date, make sure you judge the person on character, and not on the way he/she looks or rather anything related to physical appearance. Focus more on how the person makes you feel, and not on how you feel about him/her. Infatuations are common at this age, a bit too common actually, so make sure you’re actually in love with the person you’re planning to date. Look out for someone who is understanding and compassionate rather than looking out for someone who is beautiful/handsome or ‘in demand’ by other people. Yes, there is always that race you want to win, isn’t it?
Right from the time you get into a relationship, think of making it last forever. Think that there is just no way you can let all this fall apart. Don’t even bother thinking about break-ups and heartbreaks. The moment you give these things a thought, there is inception of that thought and it’ll always stay there. Learn to look at the good things in the relationship and focus only on those. Yes, every relationship goes through bad times but even in these, don’t thinking about separating. Decide that, no matter what happens, breaking up is not an option. College days are times when couples take relationships very casually and end up regretting later, after losing someone special.
Along with keeping at it, you also need to understand that you have to be receptive to change. At this age, we are still forming our thoughts, our opinions and our respective ways of life. College days are in fact the start of forming of one’s outlook towards everything in life. Due to this, there might be times when you might feel something is right today and the same thing is wrong tomorrow. So, be receptive to change and welcome it, if it comes for the good. If your girlfriend wants to go party every weekend, let her, and similarly, if your boyfriend has a habit of smoking, let him. Don’t let these issues come in between your relationship and wait for the right time to talk it out. This will help you get rid of all the insecurities in a relationship in no time. What is good for you might not necessarily be good for someone else and vice-versa.
Now patience matters in more cases than just one, right from getting into a relationship. It might happen that all your friends are dating and you aren’t, but that doesn’t mean you start dating just because you have to. It’s perfectly fine to not date if you haven’t found the one. If you have already started dating, and find all the other couples spending more time together and having more fun, don’t let it affect you as there is a time for everything. Again, if there are certain things that you just can’t understand, be patient and let time pass, eventually you will. Patience is the answer to most troubling questions and has always been. Give all problems time and they’ll sort out on their own.
Element of Friendship
The element of friendship is very important when you start dating in college days as that requirement of having fun with friends is as much as spending time with your loved one. There are lot of things that we all want to do with our friends but we can’t, because of the time we need to give our respective relationships. At such times, it’s important you understand this need and do all those things with your partner, let it be watching movies, adventure sports, travel or maybe just checking out the new store that has opened recently.
Not too Slow, Not too Fast
Another tip for a special relationship bond is to not try too hard and at times, not try at all. Let the relationship run its natural course, and let things be as they are. Relationship tips for college students won’t be complete if I don’t mention how you need to understand that everything cannot be planned, and that there might be times when the relationship might surprise you. Take these surprises as they come and tackle them accordingly, instead of wasting a lot of time right now when you can invest that time in making things better from good.
The Art of Listening
You have to learn to be a patient listener and this will help solve most of your problems every single time you have one. Sometimes, in the hurry of reaching to a conclusion, we don’t tend to actually listen but just hear and make our point. All the times you’ve tried doing that, your partner has understood it, and has not felt good about it. When you’re dating someone, it’s very important you listen to her. If you don’t, she’ll eventually stop telling you what’s in her mind which will in turn lead to no sharing of thoughts and feelings. The substance from your relationship will eventually fade away.
The Consciousness of Thought
Being the man in the relationship, you have to time and again see if your girlfriend is alright. It’s your duty to protect her from all the problems in her life to the best of your capability. If you fail to understand a problem and help her out, the least you have to be careful about is not being a reason for problems. You need to consciously think about her well-being and her safety in terms of emotional disasters. Always ask her if she’s doing fine, and if there is anything that she needs. Such simple gestures will show her that you really love her.
The Need of Change
Every relationship needs a small quota of change every now and then, and this has to be done from both sides. However, girls are known to be shy and there is no harm if you initiate. Take her out for a drive once in a while, the drive being just a small one mile stretch to her favorite ice cream parlor. Do stuff together and try to be her companion rather than being a boyfriend who does what he should. Try to focus more on strengthening the bond between you two, than just doing something cliched. Go out for a vacation once every few months. As humans, we all get bored of the same surroundings and the same people. We all love our homes but we need to step out every now and then, don’t we?
The Freedom of Expression
One of the most important relationship tips for men, this has a dual meaning that you need to understand. First, you need to be comfortable in expressing what you feel and what you want you think. If you’re not comfortable, you need to work on it and maybe even talk it out to her. Before doing one of these, you cannot hold her responsible for not understanding you. Second, just like you may not be comfortable to talk about a few things, your partner might feel the same about certain things. In that case, you need to tell her that she can come and discuss anything with you and that you won’t judge her wrong.
The Place of Comfort
Girls take a very long time to call a relationship their comfort zone. For this reason, you need to go out of your way to make her feel uncomfortable. A little bit of understanding and little bit of compassion can make this happen. It’s just a matter of time till she comes and tells you how comfortable you make her feel. Discomfort in a relationship is like losing the very basis of a relationship so make sure that doesn’t happen in your case.
So, the first date is over. It went well, there was a chemistry, click, and everything else that you need to make the first date awesome. It ended on a great note. You said you will call him/her. So what should be your next step? Where do you invite him/her to meet? What should you say? Before we get down to answering those questions, first you need to ask yourself one question, what does a second date mean? Do you see yourself dating that person? Is it just a way to get closer to the other person or do you wish to know him/her better? If this date is a way to know the person better and develop a better understanding with each other, then the following date ideas should work out for you.
This idea has universal applicability. Set up a cozy candlelight dinner at one of her favorite cuisine restaurants. Pick her up from her house, right from her door. Order a good meal, of her choice. You could either go for a drive or a walk post dinner. A movie is quite a cliched idea, so try to steer clear of that, unless she really wants to watch one. Roses and wine are an inherent part of a romantic date. So you could try that out, as well.
This idea is for all those who are still unsure of their feelings about the person. Set up a casual yet classy coffee date. Ask her to meet you at the cafe, but, if she asks to be picked up, you could do that, as well. For a coffee date, the best bet would be a cozy coffee house, that is not very noisy. As the aim of this date is to know each other, a nice quiet coffee house is the element of requirement. This idea is great to get comfortable with each other.
Outdoor Fun Date
This idea is a great way to spend quality time with each other. You could go trekking or skiing together or even try out bungee jumping. These ideas for a fun date are great. On such a date you will develop an understanding of each other, that will make you really good friends, if not lovers. You need to make sure that even she is willing to try out these activities. More so, the adrenaline rush of these activities is enough to get you closer to each other.
Tips and Ideas for a Second Date
- Pick her up from her door. In case you meet any of her family members or roommates, be courteous and greet them.
- Do not try to rush her into intimacy. It will put a solid doubt in her mind, about your intentions.
- Treat her with respect, whether you wish to meet her again or not.
- Remember, women love chivalry, not chauvinism. So, act accordingly.