According to psychologist Robert Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love, purely passionate love is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety, and affection. When a person feels a powerful longing for someone, it can be classified as passionate love. This type of love can be exhilarating but also tumultuous and is often characterized by a high degree of physical attraction and obsession.
Sternberg's theory suggests that passionate love will diminish as the positive force of the relationship is taken over by companionate love, which is characterized by long-term commitment, deep intimacy and mutual understanding. However, it's important to note that these types of love do not have to be mutually exclusive. A healthy relationship often includes elements of both passionate and companionate love.
In summary, according to Sternberg, purely passionate love is an intense and often volatile form of love that is characterized by physical attraction and obsession.