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FluffyChicken's avatar

Is love a choice?

Asked by FluffyChicken (5508points) July 17th, 2011

Can you choose to love someone? Can you choose the specific way in which you love them? I think the initial opening up the door and allowing yourself to love is a choice, but I don’t think you can choose the way in which you love that person. What do you think? Can you choose not to love someone once that door has been opened?

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23 Answers

unused_bagels's avatar

I think you can choose to not love someone, but as far as positively loving someone, it starts out as a chemical reaction in your brain, then nurtures and grows if the connection continues, or fizzles on its own if the subject of your attraction gives you cause to feel that way.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I think it is a choice not in the traditional sense where you can just say…” I choose you and now I love you” but you can definitely take actions and make decisions regarding your mindset which will impact what you feel for someone and how much you allow yourself to feel for someone.

You have to be open to loving in order to love someone and that is the choice.

choreplay's avatar

Yes, every minute

Cruiser's avatar

Love like all the other emotions can be fleeting or everlasting….it is all up to you how long they last.

FluffyChicken's avatar

@Cruiser If it was up to me how long it lasts, I’d be over it already.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you can choose to love. Except that certain things like pheromones and your underlying dinosaur brain may prevent you from feeling romantic love for someone.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think you can choose to love or not love someone. Both are responses to outside stimuli beyond one’s control. But I believe on can choose to be in denial of either, yes.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, love is a decision, one you sometimes make every few mintues. But we’re talking here about “behavioral love,” the behavior which demonstrates the presence of agape love.

Jellie's avatar

No it is not a choice. We may feel like we are control of our emotions but sometimes they are in control of us and make us act in ways we wouldn’t otherwise.

It may contradict biology but I have experiences otherwise,

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it is a choice, after the initial hit of the ‘meet, mate, procreate’ brain chemistry cocktail fades.

A certain level of ‘attachment’ is necessary to bond in a loving way, but, most of what people call ‘love’ is an addiction to feeling they NEED that person to complete them and lend security in a way that cannot be done by a human being.

One must think with their head equally, as with their heart.
This is where the big dysfunctions come into to the ‘love’ situation. Far too many people stay in unhealthy relationships due to their emotional addiction, fears and insecurities than anything, even remotely, about true ‘love.’

True love is knowing when to let go as much as when to hang on.

You can’t claim to love someone if you are beating the psychic crap out of them if they choose to move on or you are attempting to ‘secure’ love by any means of control, jealousy or emotional manipulations.

‘Feelings’ are the least of it, contrary to what most people think.

cockswain's avatar

I think lust isn’t a choice. True, long-lasting love in a healthy relationship is as much work as it is choice.

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t think you can choose to love someone (as in the concept of picking out a particular, suitable person) but what you do after you fall in love is absolutely a choice.

If the other person loves you back, in the same way, then you can decide whether or not the other circumstances in your life make it worth it to you to engage in a relationship with this person. But just because you love that person and he/she loves you back in the same manner, doesn’t mean that that is the only criterion for entering into a relationship.

Other things matter too. Like whether or not that person is single. Or whether that person is legally of age. Or whether or not that person is a kind, decent, stable person. So just because you fall in love (which is not a choice) you have all the choice in the world as to whether or not to persue a relationship with that person. And everybody, no matter how much they love someone, has the ability to walk away from someone who is not a suitable match.

There are people all over Fluther that actively choose to persue relationships with people that they love, even though the other person doesn’t love them back, or is married to someone else, or has been abusive toward them. Then they try to justify that action by saying that “I have no power to leave” or “the rest of you just don’t understand.” I’ve grown weary of those types of statements. They don’t leave, because they choose not to leave, no matter how much damage they leave in their wake.

Zaku's avatar

I think love is mainly more of a thing that is.

There are actions referred to as love, which you can choose to do or not, and which can layer bad feelings over love, but that just covers over the love.

ddude1116's avatar

It depends how strong willed you are.

kateums's avatar

I think you can choose to fall in love with anyone. I also think you can choose to keeping loving a person or not. Love is deep and emotional at its roots, but it requires work. I also think that people fall out of love with spouses/partners/life mates (ha) because they choose to not work at it anymore.

However, attraction is less of a choice. I believe it is more of an instinctual part of relating to others.


Sometimes. Other times you just can’t help but fall in love, like I did. For me, true love is the result of fate.

QueenOfNowhere's avatar

I was just thinking about this because one guy told me he choose to love his girlfriend. I completely disagree. You fall in love without trying to. I always have a guard when I meet a guy and lose them if they attract me… In love, the direction is not on your hands. You lead through the spell.

Coloma's avatar


That’s the difference between love and lust and infatuation.
People don’t fall in love, they fall in lust and infatuation with the other that mirrors back to them their idealized version of themselves. Real love comes AFTER the lust and infatuation, when the mirrors reflection is not always admiring anymore. When the flaws show up, when the magical thinking that the other is some sort of god or godess is replaced with realism.
True love only happens between two really clear and conscious people that are relatively free of extreme neurosis and able to see themselves and the other clearly, without illusion, delusion, or impossible expectations.

There is a saying I like, ” immature love is hot, mature love is warm.’

This is why it is often said that the hotter the fire burns the quicker it burns out.

snowberry's avatar

There are different kinds or definitions of love, and I’m not listing them all. There is brotherly love (love between friends) There is sexual love. There is the love between parent and child.

Then there is the kind of love where it’s as much of a commitment as anything. You see it in the story of the Fiddler on the Roof, where the man and woman were united in an arranged marriage. Neither of them knew the other, but they stayed committed to each other through a lifetime. Eventually love came, but first came the choice to stay together.

QueenOfNowhere's avatar

@Coloma That is another step of love but it is still not a “choice”.

Cruiser's avatar

@FluffyChicken Hmmm….I don’t understand? Why would it not be up to you and why then would you not be over it??

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FluffyChicken's avatar

@Cruiser I don’t think I understand your question. If I could choose not to love, I would just choose to stop loving the person who broke my heart. Then it wouldn’t hurt any more.

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