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Companionate Versus Passionate Love Essay

1320 words - 6 pages

Love is many things; it has not one description that can be pin pointed. Love can be described as the openness of a relationship, the sexual attraction between partners, or can be seen as pure attraction to each other’s personalities. In Jonathon Haidt’s book, The Happiness Hypothesis, he writes about the types of love there are and which he believes is the most important. There are two main types of love, companionate and passionate love. Haidt defines true love as companionate love, having more importance in a relationship than that of passionate love. Companionate love is perceived as a stronger love than Passionate love, because of a better understanding in companionship and passionate love will not be everlasting. The idea of companionate over passionate makes sense, but media has formed a different outlook on love that has warped the genuine imagery of love.
All relationships have the stage of new love, but the companionate stage is what allows the relationship to last. The passion in a relationship starts and can affect what the relationship could turn into. Haidt quotes Ellen Berscheid and Elaine Walster, two social psychologists, as they explain passionate love as a “wildly emotional state in which tender and sexual feelings, elation and pain, anxiety and relief, altruism and jealousy coexist in a confusion of feelings” (124), while companionate love was also described by Berscheid and Walster as “affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined” (125). The main difference between the two types of love is, passionate love can, and most likely will, fade overtime; it does not evolve into companionate love. Passionate and companionate are two bases of love that develop at their own pace with no real relation to each other in terms of where one starts or plateaus. Companionate love progresses and toughens over time and is made on a foundation of respect and trust. However, one could argue passionate love is stronger than companionate love at the start of a new relationship because passion primarily comes from the feelings of sexual attraction as shown in media.
A common argument in opposition of Haidt’s definition of true love could relate to how the media has molded how love should look like. Media has had an influence on society’s beliefs, values, and culture thanks to the rapid development of technology created in our time. As the change in technology has rapidly progressed throughout the past few decades we, as the younger generation, have become reliant to it as well as made it a necessity in our daily lives. Certain types of mass media have shown the world an unrealistic view of love such as romantic movies and television series. In the movie series Twilight, directed by Bill Condon and multiple others, there are multiple scenes throughout resembling passionate love. These movies were to illustrate many examples of eternal love. The main characters, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, have fallen for each other and...

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