Why do we fall in love?

“It is better to have loft and lost than to never have loft in the slightest.” — Groucho Marx

Falling in love is a magical experience that occurs between two individuals. Professor Arthur Aron from State University of New York at Stonybrook has been exploring the dynamics of what occurs when two people are falling in love:

Q: What inspires individuals to seek out love?

A: Our main motivation as human beings is to increase our effectiveness and our skills and to expand the self. One of the ways we achieve this really is through our relationships with others. We have learned in our research that it’s important to believe you have the ability to be a successful person, particularly in our relationships.

Q: How does this theory of self-growth explain the process of falling in love?

A: Generally, we fall in love with a man that we find appealing and appropriate for us, but also someone who demonstrates they are attracted to us. This creates a situation where a great opportunity is open to us for self-expansion. The fact that they are brought to us offers a substantial opportunity — when this is perceived by us, we feel a surge of exhilaration!

Q: Does it always work this way?

A: No, a fascinating exception to this occurs if we feel badly about ourselves. The process gets thrown off if we can not believe that another individuals finds us attractive — like the Groucho Marx joke where we don’t want to belong to a club that would have us for a member. We have a tendency to lose out on opportunities if we do not feel good for falling in love,.

Q: What conditions are best for falling in love and meeting with someone?

A: I have a tendency to believe that we come to link the arousal of the situation with this individual and our own self-growth.

Q:When do we fall in love?

A: Individuals only report falling in love fast about 1/3 to 40 percent of the time. Falling in love happens otherwise between cultures but it does occur in most cultures.

Q: How does our appearance variable of falling in love into the equation?

A: This is intriguing; we’ve found that in case you are really unattractive, you can damage a lot in forming intimate relationships. Nevertheless, being attractive does not help much.

Q: How can you clarify that?

A: We’ve found that two important characteristics, kindness and wisdom, are extremely important in the process of falling in love. And attractiveness is not connected to these things. Both of these attributes are things that people learn about someone from knowing them over time. Intelligence is important in all aspects of life, especially in love. But kindness is the most powerful indicator for a successful long term relationship.