Do We Find Love Or Decide To Love?

Woman and man as couple

Love can be both a noun and a verb, but is one way of falling in love better than another?

When enmeshed in the search for love, it can be difficult to determine whether it should be something we find or something that we decide to do. Many people experience the romantic love story. But a lot of couples find love to be something more learned and practiced. For people who are still hunting, it's difficult to decide whether to view it as a noun or a verb.

Louise Rafkin has been interviewing couples and telling their love stories in a weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle for the past couple years. As someone who is still searching for the one, she pondered the question of love and how to attain it in the Modern Love column in the New York Times.

"In the years I've had this job I've gone from dating, to seeing someone, to seeing no one, to dating again. Yet I continue to ask, notebook in hand: How do people know with such certainty that their person is the one? Or do they not know and just decide?"

Rafkin's research has introduced her to a range of couples. Some have met when seated next to each other on a plane or when entangled in a minor car accident. These couples experienced the love-at-first-sight story. One marriage stemmed from immigration issues and while it began without love, it has since grown in their union. They seem to be just as happy and "in love," as the more romantic couples. Rafkin found that both ways of attaining love do exist. Watch: 4 Steps To Finding Love

What this means for singles is unclear. While the romantic love story sounds great, it may never happen. At what point do you decide to take love into your own hands? Should you spend a lifetime with a partner who doesn't trigger lightning bolts but makes you happier than you were when single?

It's good to know that for many couples out there, both paths can lead to love.