Proceedings of The 2nd World Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities
Love as Caring Maturity: A Criticism of the Love Triangle Theory and Presenting a New Approach to Love in Couple’s Relationships
The need for love is one of the vital needs of the mankind and one of the most important motivations for the family formation and its continuity. However, as mentioned by the experts, along with other factors, a misunderstanding of the concept of “love” has put family at risk. The main goal of the present study is to provide an analytical overview of the concept of “love” in couple relationships, particularly by emphasizing on Sternberg’s theory of “love triangle” (1986) as a common approach among Iranian psychologists and counselors. The method of the present qualitative research is interpretive and critical, and the extracted data from the documents are thematically analyzed. The fundamental distinction between the “love as a caring maturity” approach and the earlier ones, which either describe love in the struggle with reason, or call one of the two as slaves to the other, is that “true love” is the product of rationality with all three cognitive, emotional, and voluntary capacities. Although, it is influenced by unconscious schemes, but it is multifaceted, selective, and under the authority of “adult ego state”. In this study, we will distinguish between “love” and “pseudo love” and propose the “Love Pyramid” approach with “Caring Maturity” vertex. In this approach, we will provide a more complete picture of the meaning of true love in couples’ relationship. This love is transformative in nature and nourishes itself at every stage of family life with the knowledge to remain firm and vibrant.
Keywords: love, love triangle theory, caring maturity, love pyramid.