In the field of psychology Sternberg, a renowned psychologist, has developed what is called the Triangular Theory and believes that there are 7-types of love. These 7-types of love are founded on the Three Components of Love:
- Intimacy, which involves feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bonded-ness
- Passion, which involves feelings and desires that lead to physical attraction, romance, and sexual consummation
- Decision/Commitment, which involves feelings that lead a person to remain with someone and move toward shared goals
These three components make up the different sides of a triangle.
In my experience with love I have learnt so much about loving others. With the ever so intensified expectation that I love myself in the process. There is a massive amount of sociological pressure on the need to “find” love. What I realized for myself, was that something that looks like love isn’t so hard to find. I like to call this the McDonald’s version of love, kind of nourishing, convenient, food like substance that in the long run leads to a plethora of issues bigger than the hunger or desires you are currently facing. So, how do we stop ourselves from indulging in this super sized version of love? How do we recognize convenience and societal pressure over authenticity? We must first understand what nourishes us. Much like understanding each of our individualized nutritional needs, this can take time, a bit of intolerance, trial and error but most importantly, honesty.
This last year I took the deepest dive and did the bravest thing I could have done: I chose to be single. I chose to sit back, flirt, watch what I like to do on my own, listen to what I think is interesting, masturbate, be alone, be together without expectation, say no to people who made me feel unnerved, set better boundaries, sink deeper into who I am, this list really doesn’t end… Essentially, I chose me. Over and over and over again. This choice sucked at times; mostly because it held me accountable to my own happiness. Some days do suck, others I am flying higher then I ever have, but what I can say for certain is that the instability is mine. I have recognized my own patterns and my own capacities: for love, silence, desire, intimacy, emotional regulation, self sufficiency, connection and so much more.
In taking the time to do this my eyes have become wide open and it has been visceral. I am open to the amount of “junk food love” that people are indulging in, at this moment. The emptiness they are feeling and uncertainty as to why is draining and apparent. Running in circles holding onto something or someone that is ultimately toxic for your being. I see the look in the eyes of many men who do not know me at all, but look at me with the longing of a lover. Compatibility, non existent. Desire to get to know me, nah. This is about the reality that we have become masters at filling voids. Love is no exception to this rule.
So, I took the last year to become nourishing to myself. I now understand the nutrients I need to feel full. I understand the ingredients to the recipes of my moods and desires. I know what flavors and combinations are palatable and which cause my indigestion. Most importantly I am really starting to understand the idea of sustainability in love. The need to find something that is healthy in the long term. The reality is, is that love is not food, and we cannot just go to the market and buy something healthier with a little extra time. We must be patient and wait for true and lasting sustainability. Love is the most ever evolving gift and during this month, while it is in the fore front of your mind, I hope you take the time to reflect on how nourishing your current love life is.
Here we are in the month of love and for some who are searching for that intimacy, that connection, that love it can be a month that brings a lot of triggers, frustration and confusion. As I reflect where I have come in a year I realize some huge lessons I was able to step into and will share with you. I am a hopeless romantic at my core; I was always yearning for that one relationship, that fairy tale that we have been fed since we were little. I was not finding it like the movies, my friends or my family.
Going into my 40’s I started to think that maybe I was just not going to find a love like that in this lifetime, maybe I’m not lovable, and I was actually starting to feel and accept that in my heart. BUT then something happened…. I met myself. About 2 years ago I stepped into a personal growth journey or deep spiritual awakening that has not plateaued. As I have been falling in love with myself for the first time in what seems like my whole life I also found myself in a partner. I have realized that for some this can come quickly but for others it can take a lifetime or a series of relationships before you get there. As the great Ether Perel says “You have to take risks, Im not talking about danger, I’m talking about vulnerability of exposure and exploration that heightens trust.” Trust in yourself, be vulnerable, look at personal growth and have the courage to step into it without any expectations. Most importantly love yourself authentically and unapologetically, be the star in your life.