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Why Do We Love Someone?

Updated on June 11, 2014

Most of us will at one point in their life engage in a mutual exclusive relationship with someone they develop strong feelings for. And although every bond is unique, they all follow the same general steps.

In order to develop a relationship with someone, there has to be the possibility for interacting. And though the internet is no substitute for a physical relationship, it does allow people to develop a strong psychologically close connection.


Second, we need to signal our interest. Both humans and primates follow a sequential pattern of 3 different types of behavior. First, behavior that draws our interest's attention to us. Second, we pull that attention to our gender. Women wear skirts and makeup, show their figure, or start to giggle in a high voice. Men stand taller, pull in their bellies and lower their voice. Showing our gender can be done in many ways. Lastly, we need to show our interest and availability. One example of how we do this is synchronizing our behavior.

This often even happens without our knowledge. We'll find we're raising our hand at the same time, cough at the same time, mirror the way they stand, etc... We'll suddenly be interested in whatever it is they are interested in. "Soccer? Sure! I -love- soccer! Watch it allll the time! ... That's the game with the ball, right?" or "Your son? Oh yes, I adore children. Do show me every picture you have. He said what? That's SO hilarious!"


Next step in the development, we start revealing parts of ourselves. Not physically, of course... At least, not usually. We tell them about ourselves, our lives, our hobbies. This can go pretty fast in the beginning, but there seems to be an implicit consensus about the dosage of revealment. It's important that both partners reciprocate this self-revealing!

Lastly, we develop our commitment to the other. We go out together, gradually change our lives to incorporate them, we talk openly about a relationship. We say "I love you" for the first time. We move in together, buy a house, have a child together.

Slowly but surely, it becomes not just an interest, but our life.

How long have you been together?

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What Is Your Experience?

I have talked about the theoretical development of relationships according to scientific theories of psychology. But people are incredibly complex, and every relationship is unique! Did your relationship follow a different path?

Perhaps you already knew each other. Or maybe you met in an unusual way. Did you ask your partner out, or they you? How did you signal your interest, and how did you know it was mutual?

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

Quotes On Love...

I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
- Marilyn Monroe

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
- Dr. Seuss

We accept the love we think we deserve.
- Stephen Chbosky

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
- William Shakespeare

You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.
- Jodi Picoult


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