An age-old question, why do you love someone, has many answers. Some reasons good, some bad. In the end, as humans we need love in our lives.
Scientists, sociologists, and just about every other field of science attempt to answer the question, why do you love someone. They’ve researched what makes someone’s heart go pitter patter, and there are theories of attraction and likability factors, but the answer remains a mystery.
There are different types of love, from affectionate to platonic to sexual and everywhere in between. The reason? Love is not a word clearly defined since we all experience it differently. There are no rules to love, which makes figuring out why you love someone so curious and unpredictable. [Read: The 10 kinds of love all of us experience in a lifetime]
Why do you love someone?
There are times we fall madly in love simultaneously. Other times, when only one of us falls in love, or when love is shared between two people but creates nothing but misery and destruction. The reasons why we love someone are vast and wide. But in general, why do you love someone? It is because they forever imprint themselves in our heart either by filling a space that we needed in the past, present, or future.
That is why it is so hard to get over love. It isn’t like other emotions that come and go. You can hate, dislike, be enraged, and wish someone would walk out of your life and still be in love. You can get kicked by them over and over and still find love in your heart.
In reverse, the love of a good person makes you a better person. There are both good and bad reasons to love someone. Learning the difference is the key to a harmonious life.
When you love someone for good reasons
#1 You share a forever binding experience. When you share a bonding experience like a child or being siblings, you hate them sometimes, but something binds you together. No matter how much you argue or fight or are just bad for each other, there is the deep-rooted bond that just can’t be broken.
#2 They make you feel safe, loved, and supported. You should ideally love someone because you find stability, comfort, and safety in them. They should be your “emergency contact” that you feel safe telling your deepest, darkest fears to.
#3 You know that no matter what happens, they will be there. You love someone because no matter what happens in your life, you want to be there for them and they want to be there for you.
You never stop and think about whether they would be by your side if you get hurt, something bad happens, or you just need a shoulder to cry on. They are the staple in your life that holds you up when your own legs give out.
#4 They care about you more often than you care for yourself. You love people because they care about you. The ideal *with exceptions* is that you love someone because you know they have your best interest at heart and love you unconditionally, no matter what you do.
It isn’t that they forgive all your idiosyncrasies or failures, they help you to get through them because they care.
#6 You see a quality in them that you want in your life. You love someone because without them there would be a hole. You don’t need them. But you want them in your life because they challenge, support, and encourage you to be all that they know you are capable of. In fact, they see in you what other people might underestimate and work to bring the best out.
When you love someone for bad reasons
#1 You feel hopeless without them. Sometimes we love people for the wrong reasons. There are times when loving someone comes at our own detriment. Obsessive love or needing someone out of fear of being alone, might not be love at all.
It might be just that, fear of being alone. It becomes difficult to discern real love from fear. So, if you think it is love, but it doesn’t feel loving, there is something else underneath keeping you there. [Read: The 14 signs of obsessive love you can’t ignore]
#2 Obligation. There are also times when we think we love people because we should. Either because we committed to love, honor, and cherish, or we have familial ties.
Even if you made an obligation to be with someone and love them, you can’t force yourself to be in love with someone who makes you feel awful, out of obligation. That isn’t love and somewhere inside you know that.
#3 They manipulate you. There are times when partners can be highly manipulative. They make their significant other feel as if they will be lost without them, that they are a bad person, or that they aren’t loving enough to keep them subordinate.
Love doesn’t come in the form of manipulation tactics, being bottomed out, or feeling as if your world falls apart if you let go. You should want the person in your life, not need them. Love is NOT based on need.
#4 Codependence. Sometimes people think they are in love with one another, but they are codependent on one another instead. It is like being with someone who feels like they are your yin to their yang. Neither of you is happy, stable, or mentally well.
#5 Addiction. There are times when you can be addicted to love. Love is a rush like any other drug. There are some people that we think we love when that may not be the case. Some people are wholly addicted to love indiscriminately.
If you jump from one love to the next, fall in “love” frequently, or just can’t seem to leave someone’s side no matter how they treat you, it likely isn’t “true love.” Rather, it is an addiction.
Love is a word we throw around a lot with no clear definition, and no two people experience it in the same way. There are various types of love, but to label it love, it must be beneficial and healthy.
In the end, love is just a word. The proof is in how they make you feel and what they do to return that love. Understanding why do you love someone is a highly complex answer to a basic human need that can both destroy us or save us.
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