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Romantic relationships have been defined in countless ways, by writers, philosophers, religions, scientists, and in the modern day, relationship counselors.
Two popular definitions of love are Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love and Fisher's theory of love.
Sternberg defines love in terms of intimacy, passion, and commitment, which he claims exist in varying levels in different romantic relationships.
Fisher defines love as composed of three stages: attraction, romantic love, and attachment.
In ancient times, parent-child relationships were often marked by fear, either of rebellion or abandonment, resulting in the strict filial roles in, for example, ancient Rome and China.
Freud conceived of the Oedipal complex, the supposed obsession that young boys have towards their mother and the accompanying fear and rivalry with their father, and the Electra complex, in which the young girl feels that her mother has castrated her and therefore becomes obsessed with her father.
Romantic relationships may exist between two people of any gender, or among a group of people (see polyamory).
Early adolescent relationships are characterized by companionship, reciprocity, and sexual experiences.The strain of 'internalized homo-negativity' and of presenting themselves in line with socially acceptable gender norms can reduce the satisfaction and emotional and health benefits they experience in their relationships.It is also still considered by many to occupy a place of greater importance among family and social structures.Although proximity and contact usually decreases over time, sibling bonds continue to affect people throughout their lives.Sibling relationships are affected by parent-child relationships, such that sibling relationships in childhood often reflect the positive or negative aspects of children's relationships with their parents.