On Falling in Love


I just opened an email I received from a friend, one of these “pass it along” emails (that occasionally provide something worthy of thought, but often are, well, massive time-wasters), and this one began this way:

“No one falls in love by choice; it is a chance.”

It then went on to say,

No one stays in love by chance; it is by WORK.
And no one falls out of love by chance; it is by CHOICE.

I happen to agree with the final two phrases, but I vehemently disagree with the first one, the idea that falling in love (and isn’t that odd terminology that we use?) is not a choice we make but something that happens to us, in effect, randomly. I think that’s utter and complete nonsense, don’t you?

Talk amongst yourselves…


  1. Derlin on September 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I think we can fall into liking someone, but for that to turn into love requires work by all involved parties.

    I tend to agree with the second and third points as well.

    • Byron on September 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      @Derlin: Glad somebody’s paying attention, Derlin. Yeah, I suppose we can maybe “fall into” liking someone, but even there, I make a set of choices that determines the type of people that I “like”, so in that sense, I’m not sure that that’s really as random as it might sound. There are people I will not like, no matter what, because their personalities grate on me; there are people that I’m predisposed to like, at the same time, because I find their personalities pleasing. I may not have quantified exactly what all those personality traits are, but I will “know ’em when I see ’em”. The way the thing is phrased, that we “fall in love by chance”, seems to suggest that such things are entirely random, and I submit that they are not. Overtly arrogant people; loudmouth know-it-alls; “posers”; shallow liberals (pardon the redundancy): these are people that I do not find myself drawn to, and while I may patiently tolerate such folks, I doubt it very much that I’ll “fall into” anything with them.

  2. Laurie on September 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I think there are different ways to “fall in love”; one is when you like someone and it gradually develops into love as you get to know THEM better; another is based on physical attraction, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether you like the person or not, sad to say. It’s more about how they make YOU feel.

    I think the second type is what is generally being referred to when the phrase “falling in love” is used and spoken of as happening “by chance”.

    Unfortunately many people do not decide ahead of time what kind of person they want to get involved with, so their feelings dictate this. And because their feelings are the determining factor of whether or not they are “in love”, once that feeling fades they move on looking for someone else to “fall in love” with.

    • Byron on September 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

      @Laurie: As usual, Laurie, I agree with everything you say (he said, giving ammunition for those who think “Laurie” is my alter ego). But in both cases you cite, a person has made an a priori determination, conscious or unconscious, of what it is they find attractive in another person, whether physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, what have you. The chance of me “falling in love” with someone who represents the opposite of my criteria is nil–and thus, I submit, not a matter of mere “chance” at all.

  3. Derlin on September 8, 2009 at 1:36 am

    A book I’m reading describes “falling in love” as “involuntary infatuation”. For describing the concept as it is usually meant (that is, not real love), that description works pretty well. The author goes on to say that “falling in love” is self-focused, while true love is others-focused.

  4. Laurie on September 9, 2009 at 10:23 am

    “Involuntary infatuation” is a good description, and I agree it’s self-focused. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s being taken to a new low with all these so-called “reality” shows where a gaggle of men or women are brought in to compete for the love of whatever celebrity is “looking for love”.

    In just a few weeks, the celebrity expects to find true love with one of these contestants, not knowing whether the “feelings” generated by intimate situations are “real” or just manipulated by people looking for their 15 min. of fame, money, or the thrill of competition.

    These shows would not have audiences unless people believe in the concept of “falling in love” as defined by “involuntary infatuation”. I really think there are people who even prefer infatuation over real love as we understand it because they’re in it for the “fun”, not the work. As long as the person they’re with is making it fun, it’s all good.

    One definition of infatuation is “foolish, all-absorbing passion”. Sadly, it seems that’s what passes for love these days.

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