Attachment Styles and Relationships

PSY 220: Positive Psychology
Professor Govan-Brown
Attachment Styles and Relationships: Part One

The three dimensions of love are intimacy, passion, and commitment. These three components interrelate with one another, forming different and unique types of loving relationships.   Intimacy refers to a mutual understanding and genuine concern for a person’s welfare between two people. Passion is used to define the emotional connection and physiological arousal tied to sexual attraction and desire within a relationship. Commitment is the conscious and willful decision to stay in and maintain a relationship.   These three dimensions are the pieces of a relationship that make it thrive.
When all three dimensions are present, it is a consummate love relationship; this is the type of relationship or the type of love that most everyone desires, but it is also extremely difficult to sustain. Romantic love is a form of love in which only intimacy and passion are present. These relationships typically have an expiration date, such as a summer romance.   Companionate love is the mixture of intimacy and commitment; this form lacks passion. This form develops gradually and over time, and is often the basis for a long-lasting and successful relationship when filled with affection and friendship. Couples who have been happily married for decades, for instance, often fall under this category. The passion may have escaped their relationship, yet they are still intimate with one another and are still fully committed to maintaining the relationship. Fatuous love is the type of love you often see described as whirlwind romances in movies and on television. The commitment to the relationship relies solely upon their passion, and intimacy is not a factor whatsoever. Infatuated love is a love based on passion alone, such as one-night stands. Those in an infatuated love relationship have no intention or possibility of developing a stable or long-term relationship. Empty love...