Why We Fall In Love
Excerpted from Are You the One for Me? Knowing Who's Right and Avoiding Who's Wrong
By Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D.
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Ask most people why they fell in love with their partners, past or present, and you'll probably hear answers like this:
"I met Kathy at the gym where I work out. Something about the way she got so into that aerobics class and gave it so much energy really appealed to me."
"Donna was a bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding. She looked so beautiful in this pink strapless dress - I knew on the spot I was going to fall in love with her."
"Jo Anne and I knew each other since we were kids. Everyone always said we'd probably get married when we grew up, and I guess I never even questioned it - it seemed like the right thing to do."
"Alex and I were assigned to work together on a project in our office. I think it was watching him problem-solve - he is so creative - that attracted me to him."
"I've always been a sucker for music, so when I heard Fred play the guitar at a friend's house, I knew he was the one for me."
"This sounds terrible, but I always had this fantasy of a tall, dark-haired man with a mustache. Dennis looked exactly like that, and nothing else really mattered."
"My ex-husband was so selfish and controlling. After my divorce, I think I was attracted to Stan because he was such a nice guy. He always seemed so sweet and considerate."
These may seem like good reasons to start a relationship, but they are NOT:
All Kathy's boyfriend knows about her is that she has a lot of physical energy.
All Donna's boyfriend knows about her is that she looks good in pink chiffon.
Jo Anne's husband has been so influenced by what his friends and family think that he doesn't even know why he loves her.
Alex's girlfriend is enthralled with his business skills but has no idea what his emotional skills are.
Fred's partner has fallen under a musical spell - she knows nothing about him except for the romantic personality she assumes all guitar players have.
Dennis's girlfriend likes the way he looks - she is attracted to a fantasy, but doesn't know anything about the person underneath.
And all Stan's wife knows is that Stan is definitely different from her ex-husband. But whether he is what she wants and needs is a different story.
None of these people thought they were making the wrong decision. They all sincerely believed that they were making intelligent, sensible choices in their partners. But the frightening truth is that many of them will discover in a month, or six months, or six years that they are in a relationship with die wrong person.
Most people put more time and effort into deciding what kind of car or video player to buy than they do into deciding whom to have a relationship with.
Is it any wonder, then, that our relationships don't turn out the way we want them to, that our hopes and dreams turn into heartache, disappointment, and despair?
Test Your Love IQ
Part of the reason why so many people choose to be in a relationship with the wrong person is that they have what I call a low "Love IQ." Your Love IQ is based on how much you know about creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with another person. Therefore, whether your Love IQ is high or low determines how good or how bad your choice in partner will be. If you have a high Love IQ and are "Love Smart," you will probably still make some mistakes in love, but not as many as if you have a low Love IQ. Then you are "Love Stupid."
Here is a quiz to help you determine your Love IQ. It contains ten statements about love. Grade yourself according to how much each statement describes the way you have felt about love, now or in the past, and how often this belief has affected your life.