Researchers asked people the stories they had of falling in love and not surprisingly, there were some commonalities. Below are some of the most common things that helped love come about.
This one is common sense, but proximity is very helpful in making someone fall for you. It is important that you get to spend time together. In a study many years ago, most marriages started out with the people living within 16 blocks of one another, a large portion under five blacks apart. As the distance increased, so did the number of couples who married. Think of it in friendship terms. In college, those you are most likely to become friends with are those nearby. While this is in part because you have to actually meet to fall in love, repeated exposure helps as well.
Repeated exposure increases our liking for almost everything from decorating to the type of foods we enjoy. Granted, repeated exposure amplifies what is already there, so if someone is annoying, repeated meetings can make this unbearable. Love at first sight only happens in a bit over 10% of people and is more common for men. By the same token, first impressions are very important because that impression will be amplified with more exposure. If you are looking for love, think of the places you frequent and if those are the type of people you want to date. If your time is always spent at home and work, your dating options are going to be extremely limited.
Having a strong sense of who you are paired with self-confidence is a strong predictor of whether you are going to fall in love with someone. Those with a high frequency of experience in love tend to have the highest self-confidence and lower levels of defensiveness. This is because insecure people who do not have a strong sense of self tend to play games when it comes to love. This creates low levels of intimacy and high conflict. The key take away is to get your inside straight and your outside will follow.
When people choose lovers and marriage partners, they are more likely to choose someone with similar characteristics. The more similar people are in both personality and background, the more compatible they feel and usually experience greater satisfaction. This means over time, those with similar attitudes, temperament, and behavior are more likely to stay together long term.
In any situation in which emotions are increased, there is a chance of falling in love. Even during stormy periods of life, new relationships can develop because of heightened emotional sensitivity. This is often why people find love on the rebound, get Stockholm syndrome, or even fall in love with musicians. These are all emotion filled occurrences. This is because arousal of any type reinforces the natural response. While an action movie alone is not enough to cause love, it is an intensifier.
While being attractive helps you fall in love, as does making yourself look good, guys may not be doing enough. Women enjoy physical attractiveness as much as men, even if it is not as socially acceptable to admit it.