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Passionate versus Compassionate Love

This paper focuses on two major types of love namely the passionate and compassionate love. After definitions, it goes further to look at individual aspects of each type of love where it contrasts each aspect on the on the basis of their differentiating characteristics. At the end of the discussion, the paper looks at the significance of the theories that exhibits themselves in these two forms of love. Introduction Love has different definitions in different contexts. In this case, according to the theory of passionate love, love is a feeling of intense attraction towards one another associated with intense emotions and sexual feelings.

Theory of compassionate love, otherwise known as companionate describes love as a long and enduring love experienced by people after a long time of being together at proximity. Both passionate and compassionate love is kind of similar though there are explicit differences as explained as follows. Passionate love is fueled by Eros a situation by which a person’s erotic factor interplays with proximity and attraction. It requires appreciation, affection and attention between two people. Sensual or strong desire to get sexually intimate is a characteristic of this kind of love.

Compassionate love on the other hand develops with time which requires initial attraction towards one another. In this kind of love, friendship is basic (Fiske, Gilbert & Lindzen, 2010). This means that, two people passionately attracted to each other have to become friends first. It nurtures mutual dependence between two people in love. While compassionate love is strong and long lasting, it is possible that passionate love is weak and short-lived as it is just propelled by eroticism.

Passionate love is common in people from the different sexes attracted to each other while compassionate love is common in marriage and a foundation of long lasting marital relationship. Passionate love can be described as love at first sight while compassionate love occurs in stages. Compassionate love is mostly characterized by respect, trust, affection, attachment, and mutual understanding. The pleasure factor drives people attracted to each other passionately while complacency and complement, multi-faceted aspects of love characterize compassionate love.

Passionate love usually is concerned with satisfaction at that particular moment while compassionate love is far reaching and looks at love and relationship even to the future. The According to Clough love has three major components. They include attachment, intimacy and care. For both the passionate and compassionate love, these underlie and they are pillars of a well flourishing love affair. The physical presence or proximity is another determining factor in the extent of love exchange and the level to which a couple will propel their love affair, either passionate or compassionate (Clough, 2006).

Romance in both kinds of love is of essence if the relationship is meaningful and is driven towards a common interest. Both passion and compassion kinds of love are related to relationship satisfaction and commitment. In both the relationships, satisfaction is of paramount importance without which feelings of inadequacy and despondence take toll in the affected parties. Therefore one expects to be fulfilled in whatever relationship she/he is in whether passionately or mutually. This brings a feeling of wholeness and a sense of self-worth. According to the two factor theory of emotion, human feeling is characterized by two components.

These include physiological trigger components (arousal) as well as recognition of the fact that there is kind of an attraction between people of the opposite sex. This means that attraction is both physical and in the mind (cognitive). It is possible that one interprets a certain move by another person in trying to understand the meaning in relationship to sexual signal to him or her. Love at first sight is usually associated with physical arousal. This is something in one’s psychology, which is processed in the mind first before it can be revealed in terms of actions and reactions (Mendelssohn, 2007).

External stimuli trigger one’s mind to think towards a particular direction and in response reacts in a certain manner after information has been processed in the brain. This can be explained in other word as seeing and then reacting towards a certain trigger. The reaction towards such is a platform for emotions after a process of assessing and reassessing the pros and cons of extending the emotions towards a second party. They express themselves physically first through reacting, then they attribute their reactions to an intense emotion.

Emotion is something that is intrinsic in people’s minds and can only be revealed through what people do as a reaction towards a certain prompt. Psychology being the study of the human mind, it endeavors to give explanations to things which seem to require some. Therefore, these three theories come into play to explain why human beings behave the way they do in matters of love and relationship. They explain reactions elicited through emotions and why people get to be together. Why some relationships do not mature and why others are satisfactorily in existence.

They bring into light why people attracted towards each other behave in a particular manner and the reasons behind certain behavioral responses such as anger, despair or excitement. References Clough, W. (2006). To Be Loved and to Love. Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 34, p. 4-6 Fiske, S. T. , Gilbert, D. T. , & Lindzey, G. (Eds. ) (2010). Handbook of Social Psychology (5th ed. Vol. 1). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0470137482. Mendelssohn, E. (2007). Analytic love: Possibilities and Limitations. Psychoanalytic Inquiry. Vol. 27, p. 12-14

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