How To Achieve Consummate Love?

How To Achieve Consummate Love?

Do you have consummate love in your marriage? Most everyone is in love or has been in love once before.

One problem, though, is many of us don't know what true love is.

Also, there is no actual set-in-stone definition of what love is.

However, one psychologist, Robert Sternberg, has a theory about love known as the triangle of love or three components of love.

Love can occur in various interpersonal relationships; it is not always associated with sexual experiences and flowers.

Let's explore the three facets of love, the additional types you can experience, and what consummate love entails.

Marriages & Couples Therapists in Colorado

Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

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Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

(719) 345-2424
Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Hailey Gloden, MA, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

(720) 449-4121
Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

(719) 345-2424

What Are the Three Components of Love?

According to Sternberg's theory, which states there are three components of love, including:

  • Intimacy
  • Passion
  • Commitment


Intimacy is simply being able to tell each other about your day.

Eager to get home and change clothes so you can lay on the couch with your significant other, watch a movie and just "be." 

Intimacy involves telling the other person about your innermost fears, hopes, or dreams and knowing that they will not judge you but love you no matter what.


Chemistry, butterflies, and the irresistible urge to be "together" are the sparks of passion. 

Passion includes physical attraction.

You might not be able to shake this person from your mind. 

However, passion can be fleeting at times. 

Consider yourself fortunate if you are still passionate about each other years later.


Being faithful and not cheating on each other are just two aspects of commitment.

When you commit, you are devoted to the other person.

It entails having an honest and open relationship with your partner. 

Another type of commitment is mutual respect for one another.

What Are the Different Types of Love?

The three aspects of love interact to varying degrees.

Therefore, any combination of the three characteristics of love is possible. 

These combinations represent various love experiences.

According to Steinberg, they are seven different styles of love that include:

  • Infatuation: has only passion. You may have intense lust, but it is too soon to have anything deeper—puppy-dog love.
  • Empty love: has commitment only. When a strong marriage has lost passion or intimacy and is— just existing together —this is an example of empty love.
  • Friendship: has intimacy only. No passion or commitment, but it could be a strong foundation for more later.
  • Romantic love: has passion and intimacy. This is—flowers, cards, and candy—and passionate sex. It can happen early in the relationship.
  • Companionate love: has intimacy and commitment—no passion in the relationship but strong affection and commitment, lifelong friends.
  • Fatuous love: has passion and commitment. " Love at first sight" but without a chance to genuinely know the other person's ins and outs.
  • Consummate love: has intimacy, commitment, and passion. These couples overcome every obstacle life throws at them and can't imagine being with anyone else.

What Is Consummate Love?

If you have experienced consummate love, then you know the highest possible feeling of love that you can ever feel. 

Because consummate love has all three components—intimacy, passion, and commitment—the most favorable marriages will have all the components of love.

So often, though, people only get two of these things right. For example, many couples don't seem to get commitment right.

Or maybe you're committed, but the marriage has no spark left?

If you find someone, though, and you feel all three components of love, you have indeed found something magical and should never let this person go.

What To Do if You Lose One Aspect of Consummate Love?

Suppose you want to improve the relationship but feel like one element is missing. 

Then, couples therapy is a great way to determine whether you can save a relationship. 

Giving and receiving in a marriage involves open communication about needs and wants.

Unfortunately, life frequently interferes with relationships—families, careers, hobbies—and couples lose some essential elements of love. 

However, there is still hope if both parties are willing to work to repair the relationship. Love can always rekindle and bear fruit.

Couples frequently struggle with commitment. We must remember that infidelity is a sign of a deeper issue in the relationship.

If there is an affair, therapy is a great tool to help keep the connection alive.

You can heal the other aspects that may have contributed to the cheating in the first place by simply talking about it and other related issues with a qualified therapist.

Communication is essential in an ideal love relationship.

Therapy can also help couples who are having trouble communicating.

Can a Relationship Thrive Without Having Consummate Love?

A relationship can succeed even if only one aspect of love is present. 

For example, let's say you have had a friendship with someone for a long time. It's as if the other person is your mirror. 

They are aware of every important aspect of your life. 

You may not remain committed to one another and lack passion, but you are always intimate.

This type of love still represents deep love.

Another illustration is a young couple who marries while experiencing a fatuous love that is passionate and committed.

However, before they genuinely get to know one another. 

Once they are aware of some of their differences, it is challenging to make it work, but they persevere and eventually manage to have all three aspects of love.


Consummate love encompasses every aspect of love: intimacy, commitment, and passion. 

Of course, there are many different forms of love, but consummate love is the type of love that endures long-term. 

With it, you can face anything in your marriage together.

So, even if you have one aspect of love, if this person is essential to you, it will be worth the work to add other elements of love to the equation.


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May 18th, 2024

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