An early theory of love sought to distinguish it from “mere” liking. This likng versus lovingapproach studied the ratings people gave their best friends and their lovers on a variety of qualities. Results of this work suggested that liking and loving are both attitudes that involve different dimensions. Liking consists of feelings of affection and respect, and perceptions that the other person is trustworthy and similar to oneself. Loving consists of attachment, intimacy and caring. Most of the time these attitudes are intermeshed: we like the people we love, and we somewhat love the people we like. An important finding was that the future of a relationship depends more on likeing than loving. People who love each other but do no like each other are not likely to stay together. This suggests that friendship is the most solid foundation for any more intimate relationship.
Finally, an interesting theory of love is Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of love. In Sternberg’s theory, the three dimensions of love are passion, intimacy, and commitment.Different combinations of these three dimensions make up different kinds of love, like empty love, infatuation and consummate love.