Types of Love and Adult Attachment Styles

Typesof Love and Adult Attachment Styles


Typesof Love and Adult Attachment Styles

Sternbergdescribes three pillars of love. The three pillars include intimacy,passion and commitment (Sternberg, 1986). He then came up with seventypes of love, where one type is a no love nature, and the next threehas one component of the three pillars. The last three types of lovehave two elements of the three pillars of love. On the other hand,Baumeister and Bushman described types of adult attachments. Theadult attachments include secure attachment, preoccupied attachment,dismissing attachment and lastly a fearful attachment (Bartholomew &ampHorowitz, 1991). There are connections between the two schools ofthoughts in that some forms of attachments relates to some of thelove types as described by Sternberg. The situation of developing ano love relation would be equivalent to the fearful attachment asthere is no feeling of closeness in the relationship. Someone mayjust like other people but would feel uncomfortable in developing anyclose relation with other persons. Intimacy love relates to secureattachment where there is a close relationship with trust, and bothparties may have trust on one another. Dismissing and preoccupiedattachments would be referring to passion and commitment type of loverespectively.

Someparticular types of love relate to specific attachments that adultsform. For example, a compassionate kind of love that there are bothintimacy and commitment, the parties in the relationship are drawnphysically to each other, feel like best friends and enjoy spendingtime together. They are therefore equivalent to people that havedeveloped a secure attachment. As there is a commitment in bothcases, and there is the feeling of being comfortable next to otherpeople with a close relationship. The next type of love thatspecifically relates to another dismissing or preoccupied attachmentis the fatuous love that is made up of passion and commitment.Fatuous love also refers to as fantasy love there is no bondformation between the parties. There is love that with fear gettingtoo close with one another.

Thereare scholars that have conducted different research on theconnections between the adults’ attachments and the type of lovethat people form. In the analysis of the correlation of theRelational Questionnaire (RQ), a considerable research that examinedthe association of attachment styles in children (Fraley &amp Davis,1997). However, the focus of the current article is on adultattachment styles. There are less developed than the childhoodliterature, and the Relational Questionnaire has several significantcorrelations between self-related and other related outcomes.Children with a secure attachment would develop a trusting andhealthy relationships than those that form a fearful attachment thatforms distrustful relationships with small intimacy. The scholarsfurther indicated that those with dismissing kind of attachment willhave little self-confidence and would therefore hardly fully trustother people around them.

Apsychological professional may use the findings on the four adultattachments styles and the types of love from the triangular theoryof love to prepare people for a successful relation. The preparationwould be through counseling. The expert would advise her clients thatfor a successful relationship, they would need to develop trust oneach other that would enable them have a secure attachment thateventually makes a compassionate relationship. Most relationshipsthat are guided by intimacy and compassion would be successful in thelong run. In a secure attachment, couples would feel comfortable tobe together or far from one another as they will trust one another.Trust is essential for a successful association.


Bartholomew,K., &amp Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among youngadults: a test of a four-category model. Journal of personality andsocial psychology, 61(2), 226.

Fraley,R. C., &amp Davis, K. E. (1997). Attachment formation and transferin young adults’ close friendships and romantic relationships.Personal relationships, 4(2), 131-144.

Sternberg,R. J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological review,93(2), 119.