10 Things That Must Happen For Two People Fall In Love

Photo: shipfactory / Shutterstock
a loving couple embrace against a vividly colorful background

By Paige Ahearn

Love often finds us at the most unexpected of times, and we wonder why we develop a strong attachment to another person. While it could be fate or being in the right time/right place, there are actually a number of scientifically based factors to falling in love and finding the perfect person for you.

According to a presentation by Elizabeth Phillips, a Ph.D. student at the University of Central Florida, psychologists have identified ten factors that draw people together. Dr. Phillips was looking at how human relationships with technology are formed and the role attachment plays in human relationships with technology. Dr. Phillips had to begin with attachment theory in human relationships and then pieced together how humans form mature relationships with other adults before making the leap to love and technology.

Interestingly, the leap of love from human to robot requires us to understand that the human process involved in falling in love is a lot more complex than you would have ever thought.

RELATED: If You Haven't Experienced These 7 Things It Isn't Really Love — Yet

If you're curious about what makes people fall in love, this is how it apparently works.

Why do people fall in love?

1. Similarity

They say opposites attract, but surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) we're more likely to end up with someone similar to ourselves because they're more inclined to like us back. Oh, the irony!

2. Reciprocated feelings

Obviously, you're not going to end up in a committed relationship with someone who doesn't feel the same way as you. That's not to say you can't still fall in love with them. However, science says that feeling wanted by another can be enough to tip the scale between friends and lovers.

3. Attraction

Desirable characteristics in a partner differ greatly for everyone. For some, personality ticks all the boxes, while for others, appearance is the most valued thing. Regardless, Phillips says we all have aspects of personality or physical attractiveness that gets our heart fluttering.

So, if you don't find anything about your date attractive, including their killer 8-pack abs, chances are you're not going to find love with them. But you already knew that, didn't you?

4. Social influences

According to Phillips, social influences are what we establish as being acceptable. This includes age, background and culture. So, if you're 25 and aren't attracted to older men, it's unlikely you're going to be open to finding love with someone who's 45.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Fall In Love Slowly And Intentionally — Don't Rush It!

5. Danger factor

If you're looking to find love, go bungee jumping or sky diving. Seriously, there are no puns intended here. Apparently, being in an adrenalin-induced situation with another person is a bonding experience that's associated with falling in love.

6. Fulfillment

Whether it's a cuddle or an ego boost, the people we fall in love with generally meet some type of need in our life. This doesn't necessarily happen consciously, either. Apparently, on some subconscious level, we look for a lover who's capable of patching up a hole in our life — depressing much?

7. The X-factor

Just like the TV show implies, falling in love means finding someone who has the X-factor — a person with something special that makes you go WOW! Similar to attraction, it could be a wicked sense of humor, a gorgeous grin, or a kind, loving heart.

8. Relationship readiness

This one doesn't seem to apply to women as much as it does men, because generally speaking, even when a woman says she's not ready for a relationship, she'll find a way to work one in if the right opportunity presents itself. According to Phillips, however, someone has to be psychologically at a point where they would welcome a relationship.

9. Alone time

Basically, if you don't spend some quality alone time with someone then you're doomed to remain in the friendship zone. Exclusiveness is essential for falling in love because one-on-one time gives you the opportunity to get to know someone properly.

10. Mystery

Isn't it bizarre that the people we can't quite figure out are the ones we're attracted to the most? Thankfully, science now proves we're not self-destructive for doing so... well, sort of.

According to Phillips, the mystery factor explains why some women fall in love with inmates. It's all in the intrigue, baby!

So, there it is, the science of what makes people fall in love. Now that you have the knowledge, what will you do with it?

RELATED: How Long It Takes To Fall In Love With Someone, As Explained By 24 Women & Men

Paige Ahern is a writer and actress who looks great in hats, loves Game Of Thrones and is always up-to-date on the latest and greatest news.

This article was originally published at She Said. Reprinted with permission from the author.