Is Falling In Love A Choice? No — But Staying In Love With One Person Is
Everyone has different beliefs, especially when it comes to something as complicated as love. Some people feel that falling in love is all about timing — that it's possible to meet the right person at the wrong time, the wrong person in the right place, or, of course, the right person in the right place at the right time. Others think it comes down to luck, and that you really don't have any say in the matter. Ultimately, though, is falling in love a choice?
It may not sound quite as romantic as the other theories, but living happily ever after isn't magic. It doesn't just happen. Realistically, long-lasting love is hard work. You may not choose to fall in love; maybe you don't have any control over who you are drawn to or who gravitates toward you. But to stay in love, to keep growing together and as individuals, to continue nurturing your relationship, you have to put in effort. Real love requires real work. Every day, you are choosing to love this person — whether or not it's a conscious decision.
There's a quote floating around the internet that goes: "No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice." Here's why that rings true.
As the Bachelor franchise proves, finding a love that lasts can take more than one opportunity. You can fall in love with two, three, or half a dozen people in your lifetime, but it's very likely that you will eventually choose to stay in love with just one. By making the choice to pursue one relationship for the rest of your life, you are working to maintain the love you fell into by chance.
This concept is similar to the theory that happiness is a choice, meaning you can actively choose to be happy. "If you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, it's more likely that you will experience feelings of unhappiness," Danielle Forshee, LLC, doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker, told Elite Daily. "You need to make the conscious decision to reframe that negative self-talk into positive self-talk, which will, in turn, be more likely to help you feel happy." If happiness is a self-fulfilling prophecy, then why can't love be, too? In life, some things happen to you, like falling in love. It's how you choose to deal with these chance events that truly defines your fate.
Interestingly enough, a common criticism of dating apps is that they provide millennials with too many choices. Some say that knowing how many other potential options are out there, just a swipe away, makes it more tempting not to fully commit to one person. The argument is that even if you do choose to exclusively date just one of your matches, it's very likely that you have a few other individuals waiting on the back burner in case you break up.
This view only further proves my point that staying in love — rather than falling in love — is the real choice. With so many dating options literally at your fingertips, picking one partner to share your life with has become a rare path to take — and therefore, a much more valuable journey.