How Love Actually Works


In modern society, love is a billion dollar industry -- or more specifically, the search for love is an industry. Self-help books, magazines, life coaches, horoscopes, modern day matchmakers, speed-dating and online dating websites all promise to help you find your “true love” in return for the almighty dollar.

Yes, they will all guide you down the right path to your “soul mate” or your “counterpart,” while steadily thinning your wallet along the way. The trouble is, the person you do actually find isn’t really any of the romantic adjectives they’ve conned you into believing.  They’ve also conned you into thinking you actually need their “professional” help, making you less confident in your ability to find someone on your own.

Everyone, man or woman, has a friend or loved one who seems to be intensely neurotic about their love lives. Whether they are single or in a relationship, their negative attitude about love never ceases, they are always singing some pathetic swan song about how they can’t find love. More often than not they ponder woefully why they can’t find this elusive creature known as the “soul mate” while everyone else has. Well, the truth is “soul mates” don’t exist and the other people they are so pathetically preoccupied with haven’t found a “soul mate” either.

Love isn’t as rare or complicated as it may seem. In fact, finding love could be very simple and broken down in an equation. Equations can be used to explain a phenomenon in a broken down logical way. The equation of geometric logarithmic spirals can be found miraculously within nature, such as nautilus shells, and can also be viewed in other galaxies we observe. Of course an equation for love wouldn’t be as complicated as the equation I mentioned, but similarly it is just as observable.

There's around 7 billion people on this earth and to state the obvious, it’s very hard to believe that there is only one person out there that is strictly for you. Given the way people have taken to serial monogamy in our society, it would be more logical to assume that there is more than one person out there that you could form a relationship with. There is no such thing as a “soul mate,” but there is such a thing as chemistry.

Chemistry is the first part of the equation. The truth is that there are people in the world that simply get along better with a few certain people while not with others. Nature has programmed us to be attracted to more than just one person, so we will be able to pass on our DNA into another generation. There is no magic or destiny about it. There is at least one person out there for everyone. And to all those romantic hopefuls out there, if that doesn’t make you feel better I don’t know what will.

So now that we know that there are people out there who will love us, the next step is finding them. Timing and availability are the next steps in the equation. The difficulty of this is something I can understand. Again, with a population of 7 billion people, there is a chance that the specific group of people you would click with may not ever cross your path. In this situation, here is where the dating websites are actually genius.

On these websites you give a long list of personal preferences you want in a mate. This is no problem as there is usually a good amount of people on the website with the same preferences. Then you are matched to others with your same preferences, completing the first part of the equation.

Then the people whom match your preferences are cataloged and presented to you in the most convenient way possible, completing the second part of the equation. With this mind it’s no wonder that online dating is so popular. Maybe they too have figured out there is a more logical path to love than we had thought.

I’m not advocating that everyone run out and make an account on Plenty of Fish. In fact, I’m advocating the opposite. People need to understand that the love they seek isn’t an existential goal they need help finding, nor is it impossible to find. Love isn’t about luck, chance, coincidence or destiny. Love is practical and you certainly won’t find it sitting around envying a love you think other people have.

Samantha Nelson Photo Credit: The Paper Wall