Skip to content

Consummate Love in Dating: What true love really means

consummate love Consummate love

In the world of dating, you might have come across a variety of relationships. Among these, consummate love is often considered the ultimate goal. This form of love is a balanced mix of intimacy, passion, and commitment, creating an ideal connection between two people. Understanding this concept can help you better navigate your own romantic journey and relationships.

When you dive deeper into consummate love, you’ll find that it represents more than just a fleeting infatuation (*cough* hookup phase). It’s the kind of bond that develops over time, where both partners feel a strong emotional connection, burning passion, and unwavering dedication to each other. As your relationship evolves, working towards this ideal can strengthen your bond and help you build a lasting and fulfilling partnership.

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that relationships can fluctuate, and the presence of intimacy, passion, and commitment may vary. As you aim for consummate love, be open to embrace these changes and nurture the growth of your relationship. In doing so, you’ll not only deepen your connection, but also move closer to that ideal form of love that many strive to achieve.

The Triangular Theory of Love

You heard people said relationship triangle, triangle relationship, triangle love, this is it.

According to psychologist Robert Sternberg, love can be understood and defined through three key elements: intimacy, passion, and decision or commitment. This is known as the Triangular Theory of Love. In this section, you’ll explore each of these elements and learn how they form the basis of different types of love in romantic relationships.


Intimacy refers to the closeness, emotional connection, and bond that a couple shares with each other. This element of love involves trust, sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings, and truly understanding your partner. When a relationship has high levels of intimacy, it is marked by a strong emotional connection, support, and communication. It is important to nurture intimacy in your relationship by spending quality time together, listening to your partner, and being emotionally open and honest with them.


Passion is the intense physical and emotional attraction between two people in a relationship. It’s what often starts a romantic connection and fuels the desire for sexual intimacy, excitement, and energy. Passion can fluctuate and change over time, but it is a vital component of love that helps keep a relationship dynamic, exciting, and fulfilling. To maintain passion in your relationship, you can try new experiences together, express your physical desires, and keep the element of surprise alive.


Commitment pertains to the decision to maintain and care for your love and relationship, both in the short-term and long-term. This includes being faithful, trustworthy, and dedicated to one another. The presence of commitment ensures stability and continuity in a relationship, even when the passion or intimacy may fluctuate at times. Building commitment in your relationship can involve setting shared goals, discussing your future together, and actively working on your partnership.

When each of these elements is present in your relationship, you are more likely to experience consummate love – a complete and ideal form of love. Moreover, the Triangular Theory of Love can also help you better understand and navigate the different facets of love as your relationship evolves. So, keep in mind the importance of intimacy, passion, and commitment in your dating journey, and strive to nurture and balance these aspects of love in your relationship with your partner.

Types of Love

In the realm of relationships and dating, understanding the various types of love can help you navigate and appreciate your connections with others. Let’s explore the seven types of love based on Sternberg’s Triangular Theory, with an emphasis on Consummate Love—the ultimate goal.


Non-love is the absence of any significant levels of intimacy, passion, or commitment in a relationship. In this case, you may interact with someone but don’t experience any deeper emotional connection or feelings of attraction.

This is your acquaintance level in the nutshell.


In relationships characterized by liking, you experience intimacy without the passion or commitment. These connections often manifest as friendships, where you enjoy each other’s company, share experiences, and provide emotional support.

Infatuated Love

Infatuated love is driven solely by passion. It’s responsible for the wildly beating heart, the flip-flops in the stomach, and that feeling of love at first sight. However, without the presence of intimacy and commitment, this type of love can be short-lived and unstable.

This is the initial physical attraction phase of two people who first see each other for a few times.

Empty Love

Empty love is marked by commitment without strong feelings of intimacy or passion. It often occurs in long-term relationships where the original spark has faded, but you remain dedicated to your partner simply for the sake of commitment.

This is the end phase of a marriage, typically. When a marriage couple no longer love each other, but they are tied into multiple “investments” such as kids, house, work, benefits,…

Romantic Love

Romantic love is a combination of intimacy and passion. In this type of relationship, you share a deep emotional connection with your partner, along with a strong physical attraction. However, romantic love might lack the long-term stability and commitment that other forms of love have.

This is after you and your partner increase the intimacy levels and sleep together. This can last from weeks to a few months (FWB type) if there isn’t any commitment.

Companionate Love

Companionate love is characterized by intimacy and commitment but lacks the element of passion. In this type of relationship, you truly care for the well-being of your partner and cherish the bond formed over time. It can often be seen in long-standing friendships or familial relationships.

Fatuous Love

Fatuous love is a relationship driven by passion and commitment but with minimal intimacy. This type of love can lead to hasty decisions, such as a whirlwind romance or a spur-of-the-moment marriage source. Proceed with caution when it comes to fatuous love, as it might not provide the emotional depth required for a lasting partnership.

This is your favorite co-worker friend or your best friend from primary school. You guys have been together for years and have enough passion to continue it for many more but there is little physical attraction towards each other.

Consummate Love

Finally, we reach Consummate Love—the pinnacle of love where intimacy, passion, and commitment are all present. This form of love represents the ideal relationship, where you have a deep emotional connection and desire for your partner, as well as a solid commitment to stand side-by-side through life’s challenges and milestones. Striving for Consummate Love can lead to a satisfying and fulfilling relationship with your partner.

Achieving Consummate Love

Developing Intimacy

To achieve consummate love in your relationship, it’s essential to develop intimacy. To do this, focus on building trust, opening up about your feelings, and sharing your innermost thoughts and emotions with each other. As you and your partner connect on a deeper level, you create a strong foundation for emotional support, mutual support, and affection. Here are some ways to enhance intimacy in your relationship:

  • Engage in meaningful conversations
  • Share your personal goals and dreams
  • Offer genuine compliments and appreciation
  • Encourage each other’s well-being
  • Make each other laugh

Make sure to be complete honest of what you want, otherwise you will waste each other’s time. Honesty is the best policy!

Fostering Passion

Passion plays a crucial role in consummate love, bringing excitement, joy, and attraction to the mix. Fostering passion involves maintaining physical touch, offering attention to your partner, and engaging in activities that bring you both pleasure and exhilaration. Remember, passion can be nurtured in both grand gestures and small everyday moments. Some suggestions for keeping the spark alive include:

  • Surprise your partner with thoughtful gestures
  • Take part in new and exciting activities together (long distance relationship? Check out our guide here and here)
  • Maintain an element of mystery and playfulness, keeping the relationship fresh and exciting

Cultivating Commitment

Commitment is the glue that binds intimacy and passion together, creating a sense of devotion and security in your relationship. This means prioritizing your partner’s needs and dedicating time and energy to building a strong foundation for your future together. Focus on clear communication, solving problems as a team, and upholding shared values. Here are a few ways to nurture commitment in your relationship:

  • Set relationship goals together
  • Communicate openly and honestly about your feelings
  • Develop a strong foundation of trust and respect
  • Embrace cognitive reappraisal, adapting and shifting as you both grow and evolve

By actively working on developing intimacy, fostering passion, and cultivating commitment, you can achieve consummate love in your dating life and enjoy a richer, more fulfilling relationship with your partner.

Maintaining Consummate Love

Effective Communication

One key to maintaining consummate love in your relationship is practicing effective communication. It’s important to openly express your feelings and thoughts to your partner, while also actively listening to their perspective. This process helps in fostering relationship satisfaction and promoting a lasting attachment between the both of you. Don’t be afraid to share your positive and negative emotions, as it enables you to understand each other better and strengthen your connection.

Shared Experiences

Another aspect that contributes to maintaining consummate love is creating shared experiences with your partner. Engaging in activities or hobbies you both enjoy not only brings you closer together, but also enhances the satisfaction you derive from your relationship. These shared moments can reignite the spark in your love life and contribute to lasting love. Additionally, engaging in new experiences together helps foster positive affect, which can bolster the emotional intimacy in your relationship.

Personal Growth

Lastly, pursuing personal growth together is crucial to preserving consummate love. When you and your partner grow together, you build a stronger bond and deepen compassionate love. Encourage and support each other’s individual goals, as well as the growth of your relationship. Embrace changes and new challenges as opportunities to evolve together. This promotes mutual satisfaction, and helps your love evolve over time.

By focusing on effective communication, shared experiences, and personal growth, you’ll be able to cultivate and maintain consummate love in your relationship. Remember to always nurture your emotional attachment and keep the flame burning.

Challenges and Consequences

Overcoming Obstacles

When it comes to consummate love in dating, you may face several obstacles that can affect the overall quality of your relationship. One common obstacle is maintaining a balance between passion, intimacy, and commitment, as these are the key components of consummate love according to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love. To overcome this, ensure that you and your partner engage in open communication, share your feelings, and make an effort to understand each other’s needs.

Another obstacle you might encounter is dealing with external factors, such as work, family, or social pressures. These factors can take a toll on your time, energy, and emotional capacity. To maintain a healthy relationship, remember to prioritize your partnership and take necessary steps to create a balance between personal and professional life.

Dealing with Heartbreak

Unfortunately, there are instances when relationships fail, which may lead to heartbreak and negative emotions. It’s essential for you to cope with these emotions and heal from the experience, as carrying the pain can have detrimental effects on your future relationships.

Here are some tips on how to deal with heartbreak:

  • Allow yourself to grieve: Give yourself time and space to process your emotions.
  • Reach out for support: Lean on friends, family, or a therapist to provide understanding and a safe space to talk about your feelings.
  • Engage in self-care: Focus on your emotional and physical well-being; participate in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Reflect on the relationship: Analyze what went wrong and what you can learn from the experience, as this can help you grow and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
  • Look forward: Remember that healing takes time, and eventually, you will find the opportunity to build a new and healthier relationship.

It’s crucial to remember that heartbreak can be a natural part of the dating process, and by learning from these experiences, you can develop greater insight into yourself and what you want from future relationships.

Practical Applications

Consummate love: the practical guide

Expressions of Love

In order to nurture consummate love in your dating life, it’s essential to understand different ways to express love, including behaviors and maintaining a physical relationship.

Behavior: It’s important to display affection in your actions, gestures, and communication. Small acts of kindness, gestures of appreciation, and regular heartfelt conversations can go a long way in nurturing a loving relationship.

Physical Relationship: A healthy physical relationship can contribute significantly to consummate love. It’s essential to communicate openly about your desires and maintain a strong physical connection that goes beyond just the initial infatuated phase.

While infatuated love can be an intense experience, it’s not a sustainable basis for a lasting, long-term romantic connection. Consummate love combines the elements of infatuated love, companionate love, and commitment.

  • Infatuated Love: This phase usually involves intense feelings of passion and excitement, and it’s typically what’s experienced during the early stages of a romantic relationship.
  • Companionate Love: As your relationship progresses, it’s important to develop a deeper emotional connection and build a strong friendship. Incorporating aspects of companionate love, such as trust, support, and understanding, will help your relationship transition from infatuated love to consummate love.
  • Commitment: In order to move towards consummate love, you need to invest time, effort, and dedication to maintain the relationship. While it may not always be easy, a strong commitment is a crucial element of consummate love for long-term happiness.

Another potential pitfall in the efforts to establish consummate love arises when distractions, like an affair, interrupt your relationship. Maintaining open communication and addressing any issues or concerns in your relationship is essential in working through distractions and focusing on building a stronger, more resilient bond.

Finally, working towards consummate love requires you to prioritize the relationship’s longevity rather than focusing only on immediate desires, like reproduction. While reproduction might initially be a factor, pursuing consummate love means maintaining a strong, lasting love that will both support the creation of a family and endure the challenges that come with it.

Your pen pal,


1 thought on “Consummate Love in Dating: What true love really means”

  1. Pingback: Exploring the Intricate Relationship Between Distance and Physical Intimacy | Willorei Blog

Comments are closed.