People have been trying to find an answer to this question for many years. For example, Erich Fromm said that love is an answer to a human’s life.

According to transactional analysis based on Eric Berne’s conception, personality structure is characterized by the presence of three ego-states: “Parent”, “Child”, and “Adult.” Ego-state is not the role a person plays, but some phenomenological reality and behavioral stereotypes, which are provoked by a situation. In terms of transactional analysis love is possible only when an “Adult” loses cautiousness and a “Parent” becomes unaware, leading to a relationship that can be characterized as “Child-Child”.

According to Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love, there are three main components of love — a passion component, an intimacy component, and a commitment component. These components base three different types of love: based on passion, intimacy, and commitment.

There are many other theories about love that consider love to be a gift from God; the theory of biological basis of love; theories that consider love to be based on people’s genes and pheromones; cultural perspective of love, etc.

If we analyze all the theories, we can come to a conclusion that love is a feeling that forms makes one person act differently with another person. When we fall in love we change our usual behavior. We show uncommon features and act unpredictably. We are not pretending. This is just how we feel. If our behavior changes, the way we perceive information about the other person also changes. That is why when the romance phase of love is finished and we begin to see everything differently. Little things about our partner start to annoy us. We can see that the person we are with now is completely different from the one we fell in love with.

In the course of a relationship, our partner’s behavior and character change. Of course, it is great if we still love our partner more and more, but unfortunately the opposite usually happens. When we start to see some negative sides of our partner, our image of an ideal is destroyed.

The same happens with us. With time our behavior becomes usual and we show our real selves. We might hear our partner complain about us. This is when we get very disappointed in ourselves, our partner, and relationship as a whole. Feelings are gone and we stay one-on-one with our pain and psychological trauma.

Can We Build Healthy Relationship?

To see things as they really are is the key thing to avoid disappointments in life. If we all could do that, we all would have been happy. We need to learn to be objective from the very beginning of a relationship.

Objective evaluation of us, a potential partner, and relationship itself would help us make the right decision and be prepared for the difficulties that may arise. This will let us build a long-lasting and loving relationship.

Learning more about our own self-conception and a self-conception of our partner is the right direction for building healthy relationship. When we know about each other’s values, beliefs, hobbies, etc. we can objectively see perspectives of our future relationship. Only after understanding all components of self-conception we can move towards building harmonic relationship.