In the film Circle of Friends there are many different types of relationships that occur throughout the movie involving Sternberg’s eight types of love. Firstly, Nan and Simon have a relationship that is based on infatuation and physical arousal. Simon displays no concrete form of commitment and he demonstrates this when he states that he would only marry a wealthy woman. Simon impregnates Nan, and when she tells him that she is pregnant he responds immediately by saying “it’s awful, it’s terrible”. Simon then tells Nan that she should get an abortion in England. Nan also has a relationship in the movie with her parents. The love displayed by Nan’s parents is ultimately agape love, but her father, who also gives Nan money for school, heavily favours her. The actual relationship between Nan’s mother and father seems weak, because they are always arguing. The love demonstrated between the couple is empty love since there is no intimacy or passion, and they are staying together for family commitment reasons. In the beginning of the movie we are introduced to three girls named Nan, Eve, and Benny who are all friends.
These three have a relationship based on agape love and liking up until the end of the movie. When Eve and Benny find out the truth about what Nan has tried to do to Jake, and to her best friend Benny, there is a strong sense of non-love present. The healthiest relationship throughout the movie is that of Eve, who was an orphan, and Benny Hogan. Agape love is illustrated between these two women along with their strong liking for one another. Their openness and loyalty to one another is unmatched by anyone else in the movie. Another relationship in the movie is between Benny and Shaun. There is a strong feeling of non-love expressed by Benny several times towards Shaun, who works for her father. Narcissistic love can be seen in Shaun’s character, because he is very selfish and he further proves this by stealing money from the Hogan’s store. Benny and her parents also have an active relationship in the movie. These three individuals are friendly and cooperative with each other for the most part.
~1~ 2 Benny does, however, feel like she can never decide things for herself, because her parents are always telling her what to do in her life. The love present in this relationship between parents and child is compassion and agape love since there is intimacy and commitment. Finally, the last relationship is Benny and Jake. The initial love between these two people is eros. Physically they are both attracted to one another when they first meet, and their first kiss occurs at the college ball. After Jake is honest enough to tell Benny about Nan and himself, Benny and Jake start over and compassionate and agape love is revealed. At the very end of the movie consummate love is demonstrated when Benny and Jake go to Eve’s cottage and engage in sexual intercourse.
Love as Eros is mostly concerned with the physical attractions between two people. Eros is demonstrated in the film when Jake invites all three of Nan, Eve and Benny to the college ball because he thinks they are all beautiful and can not choose just one. Jake, however, concludes that Benny is the girl he likes best and they eventually kiss during the evening. Eros is illustrated through Nan and Simon when they make love in Eve’s cottage. Eros is conveyed at Eve’s party when Eve and a man engage in sexual foreplay, and when Nan and Jake have sex. Love as Agape is mostly concerned with the idea of ‘brotherly love’ and that it is unselfish love for another; unconditional love. Agape love is conveyed through Eve and Benny, because they are both very loyal to one another, and always look out for each other’s best interests. Mr. and Mrs. Hogan also display agape love towards Benny, although some of their actions are not what Benny wants, they try to do their best for Benny so that she will live a happy life. Jake demonstrates agape love when he decides to be open with Benny, and when he accepts whatever risks may be present when he and Benny start things over.
Love as Philia deals with a relationship between two people that develops out of something external and leads to companionship. It is love based on friendship and has 3 nothing to do with erotic love. A form of Philia is seen in Eve who shares many of the same interests that Benny does, and this helps them become closer friends and heightens their inner growth. Jake and Benny demonstrate Philia love when both of them are forced to learn about each other all over again, making them more intelligent and closer than they were previously. Narcissistic love deals with self-centered love and is very destructive, because it promotes selfishness. Nan conveys narcissistic love when she seduces Jake and they have sex. Nan is only thinking of herself when she commits her actions, and does not consider how others will feel by the false news that Jake is the father of her baby. Narcissistic love is also illustrated when Shaun wishes to marry Benny so that he can receive more of the Hogan’s family money, on top of what he has already stolen. Shaun is deceitful and actually smiles when he sees Mr. Hogan, Benny’s father, die in the street.
In the film there are two main friendships. The first is Benny and Eve. Throughout the film these two women were the only individuals who could always depend on one another no matter what the circumstances were. All four characteristics of true friends are covered. The women’s identities were fine-tuned, both accept one another inside and out, there is a strong loyalty present and they are both unselfish towards one another. The second friendship is Benny and Jake. In the case of this couple both learn a lot from one another. This turns out to be a true friendship in the end, but there are many obstacles in the way that threatens the two throughout the movie. In the end the four characteristics are met by both Benny and Jake; true friendship affects their identities, they know each other inside and out and still love each other, loyalty is present and sacrifices are made for one another.
Fornication is sexual intercourse between two unmarried people where they should be using abstinence before marriage. This can be seen in the film when Nan and 4 Simon have sex, and when Benny and Jake have sex. Chastity means to stay pure and modest, and to not give into temptations every time they make themselves available. In the film this is conveyed when Eve does not have sex at the party, and when Benny waits to have sex with Jake until she is ready. Lust can be described as sensual or passionate desires that should be countered with self discipline, but most often leading to sexual actions. This is demonstrated when Nan and Simon are in the car coming home from the party, and when Benny and Jake are coming home from the party. Abstinence is not engaging in sexual intercourse until you are married. In the film this can be seen when Eve states that she will find the right man one day.
The first risk concerned with specific teenage sexual activity is AIDS and or STD’s. Any person who engages in sexual activity risks being infected or infecting another person. The second is pregnancy. No contraceptive method has a perfect effect. Thirdly is pregnancy panic. A sexually active teenager lives with the fear and anxiety of being a parent, and this can harm a teen emotionally and psychologically. The fourth is loss of reputation. A teen that becomes sexually active is putting his/her reputation on the line. The fifth risk is a ruined relationship or break up. Premarital sex can destroy relationships rather than bond them together. The sixth is conflicts with parents. Sexually active teens turn to lies, deception, and disobedience that damage the relationships they have with their parents. The seventh is sin, guilt, and shame.
No matter what their religion sexually active teens are taught sex before marriage is wrong, so those that do have sex run the risk of transferring feelings of guilt into future marriages. The eighth risk is a weakened relationship with God. A sexually active teen senses God’s displeasure and feel hypocritical about prayer and religious beliefs. The ninth is emotional upheaval. Teenage sex can cause a rollercoaster of highs and lows that can become psychologically dangerous, and can lead to drugs. The tenth risk is regret, depression 5 and suicide. The despair that follows breakups is the leading cause of teen suicide, and teen’s emotions are at extremely high levels at this point. The eleventh is preoccupation and distraction.
Sexually active teens often neglect many things in their lives, and this can ruin future plans. The twelfth is the loss of self-respect and moral standards. Teens who repeatedly act in a way contrary to their own values seriously diminish themselves. The thirteenth is the foreclosure on adolescence. Teens lose the freedom of being a ‘normal’ teen and can find themselves facing decisions they are not prepared to make. The fourteenth risk is devaluing of sexual experience. Someone who engages in casual sex all the time losses the ability to see sexual intercourse as a sign of love and commitment. The final risk is jeopardy to future married happiness. It is more likely that people who engage in premarital sex will have less successful marriages, because they are more likely to be discontented and unfaithful.