Since its inception, though, Sternberg also became interested in how love actually develops, as opposed to focusing on what love is. This led to his theory of love as a story. “Different stories lead to different patterns of love in the triangular theory,” he says.
The combos people could have according to the triangular theory of love gave rise to Sternberg’s idea of love as a story, or “the idea is that we all have a set of stories of love.” According to him, these ideas we have of love tell us what we think a relationship should be and thus govern how our relationships play out. “Examples of stories are the fairy-tale story, the business story, the travel story, [etc.],” he notes. “Each story has two predefined roles. For example, the roles in the fairy-tale story are a prince and a princess, and in a business story are two business partners.”