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Chapter 3: Falling in Love



“Falling in love is easy….” What happens when we fall in love? Why do we choose the partners we have? This chapter explores the theory of falling in love, and points us towards what is helpful for staying in love.  Below is a summary of Chapter 3:


Chapter 3: Falling in Love: Love Blinds us to the WoundsWhen young adults leave their family of origin, they leave with both positive and negative characteristics, attributes and patterns of love imprinted in their heart and innermost being. Most people will then go on to seek a person to love and begin their own family of creation. We all seek to love and to be loved, to know another and to be known. Loving, communicating and parenting are among the most important, yet difficult tasks done by human beings, and these are tasks for which we probably never took a course in high school or university. Sometimes we need couple counselling or marriage therapy to really learn to bring my ways of loving and communicating on the same page as my partner. There are several theories about falling in love. In this chapter, two such theories are examined; 1) the bio-chemical view of love, here called the cocktail of love theory; and 2) the unconscious dance of wounds here called the needs satisfaction theory.
We fall in love. Put in a rather crass way, falling in love is life’s way to suck us into procreation. In time, the falling in love feeling begins to diminish and the real work of marriage needs to begin, which he calls the discipline of love. As such, falling in love can have as much to do with chemistry and arousal, proximity, needs satisfaction or good old true love. Many factors and situation variables can enhance or facilitate the falling in love process. These include the power of proximity, the role played by arousal, the traits of the beloved and the role of beauty and character.  Similarity seems to play a major role in a couple’s initial attraction.
It is theorized that people, when falling in love, choose a partner who is at the same level of differentiation. Differentiation here can best be described as emotional maturity and/or immaturity. Another way to word this is to say that we marry a partner of equal woundedness. Our partner is of equal maturity as ourselves. Childhood wounds or attachment injuries or unfinished business can hinder our ability to love. Depression, anxiety, or childhood trauma makes love more difficult. The need for anger management often shows up in love relationships. Counselling services or psychotherapy can help.There can be confusion between the initial experience of ‘falling’ in love and the longer lasting stage of ‘being’ in love or as some might better say, ‘standing’ in love. Love is not about losing oneself in the other but of standing and preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality. Love is not a passive falling for but an active standing with. The reasons why we fall in love will not necessarily be the reasons why we stay in love with our partner.  Talking with your partner in couples counselling can help both partners recreate a larger love story about their relationship.