Here’s a question: Why do we feel an overwhelming emotion that makes us act like a complete fool?
Some might say they fell in love because they felt a connection or some sort of similarity; while some might also say they felt somewhat comfortable being with a specific person.
While falling and being in love with someone makes us feel warm and fuzzy, it also has its downsides. If so, why do people still fall in love?
Michelle Fraley, MA, WPCC
Certified Life Coach | Relationship Expert | Founder, Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching, LLC
The key factor to falling in love is compatibility
Love can feel complicated and many factors contribute to “falling in love”. Things like physical chemistry, sexual attraction and shared interests may fuel that initial spark, but in my personal and professional experience, I have found that the key factor to both falling (and staying) in love is compatibility!
Compatibility is an often misunderstood concept. Compatibility does not refer to physical attraction, chemistry or even similarity. It is the ease with which two people communicate and relate to each other. I like to think of compatibility as to how two people’s energy or vibes combine and naturally flow. This ease of relating is the vital component of falling in love!
Most of my clients are looking for partners who can understand them, validate their feelings and meet them at their level. Falling in love for these clients comes down to the relationship and connection feeling easy, natural and organic, hence they are searching for the ease of compatibility over anything else.
Coach, Dating Scout
You have gotten to know them more
How long before you fall in love with someone? Unlike what movies suggest, falling in love doesn’t come at first sight.
To truly fall for someone means that you have spent time to get to know them. You don’t have to know every part of their lives, but knowing enough can make you really like someone. There’s a reason why dating is a stage for “getting to know each other”.
They complement your personality
As cheesy as this may sound, you fall in love with the person that completes you. When their personality brings out the best in you and vice versa, that bond is something you just can’t ignore. People naturally want to be with partners who make them a better person.
Because their flaws don’t matter anymore
All relationships undergo the “honeymoon” stage. This is the part where everything seems so perfect, and no challenge can bring you and your partner’s relationship down. But after the honeymoon stage, what happens? Different problems arise and you come to see your partner’s true colors — the flaws, shortcomings, and everything undesirable.
But even after all of these, you still find yourself back into our partner’s arms. You choose to fight by his or her side. You fall in love with him or her (and sometimes, even more) because no matter how imperfect he or she is, you know that you can accept all those imperfections as long as you have each other.
Child & Adult Psychiatrist
There are two different processes:
Rapidly falling in love
It happens because we project onto another person something we admire in ourselves, even if we don’t know yet if the other person actually has these attributes –- generosity, intelligence, kindness, good work ethic, etc.
We immediately put the other person on a pedestal and think of them as an ideal. This projecting gives both people a feeling of security and intense positive feelings for each other, long before you know what the other person is really like. This situation has highly spectacular emotional, and also usually sexual, fireworks. It is a very emotional approach, not a thoughtful one. This usually results in short-term relationships with frequent breakups.
Slowly falling in love
This leads to the slow formation of a bond based on mutual admiration and creates a true bond by discovering the other person has admirable qualities you hold in high regard. This love is specific for the other person and cannot be transferred to another person. This is a very thoughtful approach, not an emotional one and is more likely to produce an enduring love relationship.
Michael Alcee, Ph.D.
We fall in love with the enigma and solution of ourselves
We fall in love with someone both familiar and strange. They call to our deepest wishes of what we thought we could never have and fulfill that which we only hazily realize we already knew (like Robert Frost’s take on poetry: “Poetry makes you remember what you didn’t know you knew.”).
They complement us and show us an avenue to a part of our selves we didn’t know existed. They provide a solution to some spell we never imagined could be broken, and then ironically, provide us with a new riddle to solve that we too never imagined.
They feel like home in all the ways that are somehow right and yes, somewhat wrong, but they keep us striving to understand who we are and who they are, together and alone. We fall in love with the enigma and solution of ourselves.
Author | President, Evan Money Inc.
The simple truth is, LOVE is an action word. What makes falling in love so exciting, is we secretly wonder to ourselves: “is this the one?” Falsely thinking that if it is, this feeling will last forever.
However, the “In Love” feeling lasts from 4 months to 2 years maximum, according to marriage expert Dr. Gary Chapman.
What women and men really want is a love that lasts a lifetime. It’s not about finding the one, it’s about taking constant action to demonstrate your love. One way my bride and I do that is to get remarried every year in a different state or country and that includes the honeymoon. We just keep re-falling in love with each other every year.
Katie Ziskind, LMFT
People fall in love because they love each other’s company
People fall in love for a number of reasons. First, people fall in love because of physical attraction. However, if your relationship is only based on physical attraction, you may feel empty after a few months.
True love is about commitment, being there through sickness and in health, and creating a meaningful friendship underneath the romantic elements. Some people fall in love because their partner is someone they can laugh with and cry with.
When you fall in love, it takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight. Love takes nurturing and time to grow and evolve. People fall in love because both parties are putting in the effort and work on a daily basis. People fall in love because they love each other’s company and want to stay committed to each other.
Tzlil Hertzberg, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MyTherapist NYC
Humans are wired to look for a connection
Falling in love is a complicated human ability, including conscious and subconscious forces at work. Although we can chalk up falling in love with chemistry and attraction (pheromones, biology and such), there are much deeper reasons for why humans strive to attain love. Humans are wired to look for connection- it is a way for us to make sense of our lives, to share our lives with others and enrich our existence.
Falling in love is one of many ways to connect with another person, but we hope that developing love through that connection will provide an intensely satisfying, prolonged and lifelong experience. Through it, we can feel validated, which really means, adding meaning to our lives. Falling in love is one of the ultimate expressions of meaning-making and without meaning, what is life?