Here’s a question: Why do we feel an overwhelming emotion that makes us act like a complete fool?
People fall in love because they felt a connection or some sort of similarity; while some might 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?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of love?
Love comes in many forms, and there are different types of love we can experience.
Romantic love is the love we feel for our partner or spouse. It’s a passionate and intense feeling that involves a deep emotional and physical connection.
Familial love is the love we feel for our family members, including parents, siblings, and children. It’s a strong bond that can withstand the test of time.
Platonic love is the love we feel for our friends. It’s a deep affection and connection that doesn’t include a romantic or sexual component.
Self-love which is the love we feel for ourselves. It’s essential to have a positive relationship with ourselves and to practice self-care to maintain our emotional and mental well-being.
Can love be one-sided?
Yes, it’s possible to have a one-sided love. One-sided love is when one person has feelings for another, but the other person does not reciprocate those feelings.
This can be a painful and challenging experience for someone with unrequited love. In such situations, it’s important to remember that we cannot control the other person’s feelings and that respecting their decision is essential.
It’s important to focus on self-care and seek the support of friends and family to help cope with the pain.
Can love overcome all obstacles?
While love is a powerful emotion, it’s not always enough to overcome all obstacles. Relationships can face many challenges, such as distance, cultural differences, communication issues, and differing values.
It’s important to communicate openly and honestly and work together to find solutions to these challenges. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to accept that the relationship isn’t healthy or fulfilling and move on.
Can love change over time?
Yes, love can change over time. Love isn’t static and can evolve and deepen or subside over time. The initial rush of emotion that comes with being in love can subside throughout the relationship, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A love that lasts over a more extended period of time is often more profound and meaningful than the initial feeling of falling in love.
Can we control who we fall in love with?
Falling in love is an involuntary process, and we cannot control who we fall in love with. However, we can decide whether or not to act on our feelings. While it’s essential to follow our heart, it’s also crucial to consider other factors such as compatibility, timing, and mutual feelings.
It’s important to take the time to get to know someone and determine whether the relationship is healthy and fulfilling for both parties.
Can love be rekindled?
Yes, it’s possible to rekindle love in a relationship. Relationships can go through ups and downs, and sometimes the connection between partners can become strained.
However, with some effort and commitment, it’s possible to rekindle the love and connection in the relationship. It’s important that you talk openly and honestly about your feelings and work together to find solutions to the issues that are affecting the relationship.
Taking time to reconnect and spend quality time together can also help rekindle the spark in the relationship.
What is the difference between love and infatuation?
Love and infatuation are often confused, but the two have distinct differences.
Infatuation is a temporary and intense feeling of attraction to a person. It’s often based on physical or superficial characteristics and is common in the early stages of a relationship. Infatuation may fade over time or develop into love as the relationship progresses.
Conversely, love is a deep and enduring feeling of affection and connection toward someone. It involves a deeper emotional and physical connection and often includes a sense of commitment and mutual respect.
Can love be measured?
Love is an abstract emotion that cannot be measured objectively. However, there are ways to measure a relationship’s degree of love and connection.
• Assess the emotional and physical intimacy level between partners. Strong emotional and physical connections are indicators of a deep and meaningful relationship.
• Another way to measure love is the commitment and effort level in the relationship. Partners who are committed to each other and willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work are more likely to have a lasting and fulfilling relationship.
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