The 11 Factors Involved in Falling in Love, According to a Psychologist

Brilliance | Dec. 18, 2017

Love is like a box of chocolates; there are a LOT of ingredients. Surely we're not blowing your minds when we tell you that more is at play in the game of love than just physical attraction or a shared passion for "Game of Thrones" and pizza rolls. According to one psychologist, there are 11 distinct factors that can leave you smitten. Despite what we said earlier, nothing about chocolate appears on the list.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count 11 Ways

Ayala Malach Pines, a faculty member at the School of Management at Ben Gurion University in Israel, is a clinical psychologist who studies couples. Pines authored around 60 research papers in her career, and a handful of relationship books, one of which is "Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose." In this book, Pines breaks love down into 11 factors. So, why do we gravitate toward those certain charming weirdos we can't help but love? Here's what'll do it, according to Pines:

Feeling single and salty? Don't worry; we're here for you, too. You can use the above points to track down a love interest, too. Because geographic proximity is a huge factor, for instance, hang out regularly in places where a potential date might also want to chill. And just keep going there. Repeated exposure increases our liking for basically everything, whether that be music, exotic foods, or certain people. It's a start. (Or just head to the best states for love.) Check out more of Pines' book here.

Must Be Love On The Brain

If you're not sure whether or not you can check off each item on that list, just hop in an MRI. Good ol' science here to save the day again. A 2015 study provided the "first empirical evidence of love-related alterations in brain functional architecture," meaning you could actually tell if someone is in love based on what their brain scan looks like. Romantic, isn't it?

Want to learn even more about love? Listen to our conversation with Dr. Eli Finkel, relationship expert, about the past, present, and future of dating on the Curiosity Podcast. Stream or download the episode using the player below, or find it everywhere podcasts are found, including iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Gretta.

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