Is Your Relationship Built to Last

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Have you ever been in a relationship that you enjoyed, but just didn’t know how to define it? Have you wondered if it was really worth your time or if it would last?

This feeling is okay and it’s perfectly normal. We have all felt this way at one time or another.

One of the best ways to determine the type of relationship you have is to consider three potential relationship characteristics: intimacy, passion, and commitment.

We hear these terms all the time, but it is important to define them because a relationship based on only one of these elements does not have a very good chance at survival.

  • Intimacy is the ability to be open and vulnerable with your partner. It means that the two of you are emotionally connected
  • Passion can be referred to as sexual attraction.
  • Commitment is the conscious decision to stay with someone even when times are tough.


Type of Love






The way you feel about people that you have no connection with



Friends who Facebook and get together

Infatuated Love


Someone you hook up with at a party due to mutual attraction

Empty Love


Couple that stays married for the kids

Romantic Love



Couple that dates regularly but has no future plans

Companionate Love



Loving couple that feels no sexual interest in each other

Fatuous Love



A couple that moves in with each other after just meeting

Consummate Love




An emotionally close, sexually exciting, long-term relationship

Sternberg’s Types of Love (Mossler, 2013)


Having 2 or 3 of these components increase your chances for a successful, long-term relationship. For example, when you first meet someone, you may feel passion, but will not have developed the intimacy necessary to foster a committed relationship.

On the other hand, when passion can be turned into intimacy, a couple has the best opportunity for a committed relationship. All three characteristics make up consummate love. This kind is ideal because it means you are dedicated to working through the tough times together.

Ultimately, it is up to you to see if what you have measures up to what you want. Is your relationship built to last? Do you have Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?


Mossler, A. (2013). Adult Development and Learning. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


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