To think that actually, you can help who you fall in love with?

(32 Posts)
U2HasTheEdge Thu 05-Nov-15 21:17:37

This popped up in the cousin thread and I always thought that line was a bit of a silly one. This is not about the two cousins because I couldn't care less what consenting adults do if they are happy and not hurting anyone, I just read that line a few times in that thread and it always makes me cringe.

I don't think you can help who you are attracted to, but fall in love with? Surely you have control over that?

Mermaidhair Thu 05-Nov-15 21:20:38

I think you can CONTROL what you do with that love. Just because you fall in love doesn't mean that you need to act on it.

flightywoman Thu 05-Nov-15 21:23:18

I don't necessarily agree about controlling how you feel, but you can control what you do about it.

There's nothing that says one HAS to act upon one's feelings. I have genuinely hated someone and not actually killed them, equally I have had intense attraction to someone and done nothing about it. It is possible to not be a slave to emotion...

flightywoman Thu 05-Nov-15 21:23:43

X-post Mermaid!

Arfarfanarf Thu 05-Nov-15 21:24:57

I don't think you can. It's a feeling. I want you to choose to fall in love with me. Go on. I'm wonderful. grin I want you to no longer love someone you love right now.
I don't think people generally have that sort of control over emotions.

Your control is in your actions. You choose how to behave. Whether to act on your feelings. Eventually your choice to control and not act can result in the feelings not affecting you and sometimes they fade or change over time.
But I don't think you can choose to not feel an emotion.

AnnaMarlowe Thu 05-Nov-15 21:29:38

I'm not sure I believe in love at first sight. You can be very attracted to someone, and have great chemistry pretty quickly but real love takes time to grow.

If you find yourself with an initial attraction to someone unsuitable for whatever reason (married etc) I think it's disingenuous to say you couldn't help yourself.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Thu 05-Nov-15 21:29:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 05-Nov-15 21:31:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

U2HasTheEdge Thu 05-Nov-15 21:33:37

I fell in love with DH very quickly but only because I nurtured our relationship and went out of the way to get to know him better.

Arfarfanarf Thu 05-Nov-15 21:34:24

But surely that suggests falling in love is something you decide to do so you should decide not to.

I think what more likely happens is that you like someone, get close, have a friendship and one day realise that you love them.
Which isn't to say it's not a choice as to what you do I just think it's not normally possible to think ok I may possibly fall in love with this person so I will not do so.

Ineedtimeoff Thu 05-Nov-15 21:43:00

You can control who you spend time with and you can control your actions. Falling in love is a process that starts with that initial spark of attraction. At any point in the process the people involved can stop or interrupt the process.

It's really silly to say you can't help who you fall in love with and untrue. It's like saying you can't help acting on your impulses. Humans have evolved over the years to do exactly that, modify our behaviour and not act on impulse depending on societal and moral rules and codes of conduct.

CainInThePunting Thu 05-Nov-15 21:46:39

I don't think you can. But you can decide how you act on it.
I met a man when I was 15 and he was older, I fell in love. I said nothing about it but we were good friends.
He met a woman, they dated for a few years then split up. We almost got together but then his ex discovered she was pregnant and I turned him down.
He is still with her 20 years later and I'm still friends with him.
As much as I wonder how life would have been if I'd had those 20 years with him I have to accept it wasn't the way it worked out.
I made my choice.
People do that in life but if there are no obstacles why would you?

expatinscotland Thu 05-Nov-15 21:50:54

YANBU. There's no such thing as 'falling'. It's a conscious decision. People use 'fall' to abdicate responsibility for themselves and their choices.

MascaraAndConverse89 Thu 05-Nov-15 21:53:59

You can't control your feelings but you can control your actions, as said above.
I remember the first time I saw one of my friends. That feeling of "wow" when I first saw him and we both looked at each other- I'll never forget that moment. We have always had great chemistry but our own circumstances have made it impossible for us to be anything more than friends. That all sounds like something from a romantic novel I know.

BluePancakes Thu 05-Nov-15 21:56:52

YANBU. I don't think you can help who you're attracted to, but love is a choice because it is an action not an emotion. You choose who you show love to and how you show that love. Equally as PPs have said, you can be attracted to someone and choose not to act on it.

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 05-Nov-15 21:57:53

I think falling in love with someone is an active choice as is falling out of love and usually the "you can't help it"line is mostly used by people who choose to fall in love with people who are not availible or worth it

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 05-Nov-15 22:09:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sniv Thu 05-Nov-15 22:10:27

Like everyone else has said, falling in love isn't always optional, but you're master of what you do with those feelings.

I didn't really believe in 'falling in love' until it happened to me, but it did, and it was ridiculous. It wasn't a workable relationship and I didn't pursue it.

Still think of her every now and then, though I know it was the right decision to let it go.

JeffsanArsehole Thu 05-Nov-15 22:12:29

Love is an action, not a feeling. The feeling is attraction/desire/infatuation/kindliness.

There's no 'falling' among adults. Just a removal of barriers that stop you caring and wanting the best for them.

People who talk about 'falling' generally just want to fuck someone they probably shouldn't. hmm

There's no 'kismet' , no 'fate', no 'destined to be together'.

Onthepigsback Thu 05-Nov-15 22:26:30

Falling in love is all very cheesy and not really in my vocabulary but I did feel a powerful sense that my dh was the right person for me. Before I knew anything about him even. Luckily all the things about him amount to my perfect man on paper too but I didn't know that when I first met him and told my sister, while totally mortified at the cheesiness, that I had met the person I would marry. I think however I would have chosen not to love him if a bunch of things had turned our to be part of his character that I didn't like. But that doesn't matter because everything about him was exactly as I would have wanted. So in answer to OP, I think you CAN help who you fall in love with but you can't help who your soul mate is. I'm not even sure that makes sense.

UptownFunk00 Thu 05-Nov-15 22:27:44

No, you can't chose who you fall in love with.

You can chose whether you act on it or not though.

TheStoic Thu 05-Nov-15 22:28:55

I think the 'love is an action' idea is a cliche that has become popular recently, but doesn't really make sense.

What does it mean? Is love...having sex? Buying gifts? Cooking meals? Looking after someone when they're sick? Getting married? Etc etc...All of those things can be performed by someone without love being involved.

What makes them different when you perform them for a 'loved one' vs a stranger is the feeling and motivation behind them.

And of course you can love someone without doing ANY of those examples.

So what does 'love is an action' really mean?

Arfarfanarf Thu 05-Nov-15 22:30:46

I don't think love itself is an action. You show love through your actions but love itself is a feeling, an emotion, surely?

EnthusiasmDisturbed Thu 05-Nov-15 22:33:32

no I do not think so

but you can choose to act on it

and love grows but many people are in love and their feelings are kept hidden, unrequited love and many people the love of their life is not someone they had a long relationship with or who they have ended up building a life together with

attraction, emotions and love are very complex

DurhamDurham Thu 05-Nov-15 22:35:38

It all seems a bit Barbara Cartland to claim you can't help who you fall in love with, we aren't really ruled by our hearts. I usually hear that comment when it's someone who is having an affair, I don't believe it just happened to them and they were helpless to stop their feelings. Load of tosh!

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