Our mind triggers the emotion of love in order to motivate us to move closer to people or things that have the potential to make us happy.
The only way we can gain rewards from a potential source of rewards is by engaging with it. Why do you think someone says, ‘I want to be with you’ to a person they love? Can’t you just love someone without ‘being’ with them? No that would be weird because it defeats the very purpose of this emotion called love.
Take a look at the following scenario…
In the above scenario, love is the force that made Sami move in the direction of books. Books were important for Sami because they were a source of happiness. Why were they a source of happiness? Because they satisfied an important need of his which was to become more knowledgeable.
|As opposed to love, hatred is an emotion that motivates us to avoid interacting with the person or object of our hate.|
Some needs such as survival and reproduction are more or less universal while other needs vary from person to person.
Different people love different things because they have different needs. They have different needs because they’ve gone through different past experiences which shaped their individual needs. When we find that something can satisfy our important need, we fall in love with it.
What about falling in love with a person?
Being physically attracted to someone is, without a doubt, an important ingredient but following are the main psychological reasons why you could fall in love with someone…
They satisfy your emotional needs
Mike never understood why he fell in love with assertive and outspoken women. Since he was very reserved and shy, he had developed a need for assertiveness that he unconsciously satisfied by being with an assertive woman.
Julie was raised by parents who did everything for her. Consequently, she developed a need to become self-reliant because she’d come to dislike the over-pampering of her parents. With this psychological background in mind, we can safely assume that Julie is likely to fall in love with a boy who’s self-reliant and independent.
So it can be said that we fall in love with those who have what we need. To be more precise, we tend to fall in love with those who have the personality traits that we lack but crave for and with those who have the traits that we desire more in ourselves. The latter explains why we seek our positive traits in our partners too.
Most people aren’t aware of this list because it gets formed on an unconscious level but those who’ve raised their level of awareness are usually quite aware of it. When we come across a person who has the most (if not all) of these traits, we fall in love with that person.
For instance, Jack has the following items in his unconscious list of traits that he’s looking for in an ideal partner:
- She must be beautiful
- She needs to be slim
- She should be kind
- She should be intelligent
- She shouldn’t be over-sensitive
- She shouldn’t be possessive
If he meets a woman who is beautiful, slim, kind and intelligent then there’s a huge possibility that he’ll fall in love with her.
They resemble someone you loved in the past
Actually, the reason given above is the biggest reason why we fall in love with someone. The fact that that we tend to fall in love with those whom we loved in the past is the consequence of a weird way in which our subconscious mind works.
This is the reason why people usually fall in love with those who resemble their previous crushes. This resemblance may be anything ranging from their facial features to the way they dress, talk or walk.
Since the person we loved in the past had most of the qualities that we were looking for in an ideal partner (otherwise we wouldn’t have fallen in love with them in the first place), we unconsciously think that the person whom we’re in love with now must also have those qualities (because we think they’re both the same).
There’s nothing mysterious or otherworldly about love
Evolutionary theory posits that love is an emotion that allows a couple to form a bond strong enough that can survive the trials of parenthood and maximize resources for child-rearing.
Because no other emotion can lead to such bonding and attachment as love, people rationalize and make sense of this by thinking that love is something mysterious that transcends this world and defies explanation.
This belief also tricks them into thinking that they’re among the blessed few if they fall in love, further bolstering the otherworldly quality of love thereby making people crave falling in love.
At the end of the day, it’s just evolution doing what it does best- facilitating successful reproduction.
The truth is that love is just another emotion, a scientific fact of life. If you know what factors are at play, you can make someone fall in love with you and you can make someone fall out of love with you.
Hanan Parvez (M.B.A., M.A. Psychology) has written 300+ articles at www.psychmechanics.com, a blog with over 3 million views and 100k monthly visitors. His work has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur.