True love develops an everlasting bond between the individuals it unites. Benedict Carey’s article, “The Brain in Love,” observes several scientific studies examining the role biology plays in attraction and love. A leading psychologist, R.J. Sternberg, created the “Typology of Love Relationships” chart, which classifies components of love into three main categories: intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment. In order for love to qualify as true, or consummate, certain criteria must be met. These categories each contain a rating of either low, medium, or high, which provide the visual evolution of a love continuum. For true love to exist, all three components must maintain a “high” rating. Intimacy in a relationship involves an “emotional bond, connection, or closeness two people feel for each other.” Passion is the “physical attraction and sexual chemistry that two people experience,” and the final component is decision/commitment, which “refers to the conscious decision people make when they realize they love someone or when they decide to commit to one person” (Carey 404).
In Bell Hook’s essay, “Baba and Daddy Gus,” the author reflects on becoming aware of the genuine love her grandparents shared especially after the passing of Daddy Gus. “After his death it was easier to see the ways that they complemented and completed each other. For suddenly, without him as a backdrop, Baba’s spirit was diminished. Something in her was forever lonely and couldn’t not find solace” (377). Her account suggests an intimate bond between the two that may have not been outwardly apparent based on their physical interactions alone, but was obvious once the union was severed. Growing up, Hook’s saw that Baba and Daddy Gus were committed to each other by the way she described their eccentric relationship:
“Together Baba and Daddy Gus generated a hot heat. He was a man of few words, deeply committed to silence – so much so that it was like a religion to him. When he spoke you could hear what he said. Baba was just the opposite. Smoking an abundance of cigarettes a day, she talked endlessly. She preached. She yelled. She fussed. Often her vitriolic rage would heap itself on Daddy Gus, who would site calmly in his chair by the stove, as calm and still as the Buddha sits. And when he had enough of her words, he would reach for his hat and walk.” (373)
Daddy Gus’s quiet patience and passive behavior suggests an effort to overlook the seemingly negative aspects of the relationship, which is an element of decision/commitment to another. While the author was too young to witness their passion, which at one time existed between her grandparents, it is inferred since it is a requisite for the steadfast love they shared. The relationship between Baba and Daddy Gus supports the assumption that true love is forever.
David Sedaris wrote a humorous article describing the experience he had watching The End of the Affair with his partner of over ten years. He examines the daily...