Falling in love can feel exciting, emotional, and intense. Science shows that love is an emotion that releases “happy chemicals” in our brains, like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. These initial releases can cause the feeling of infatuation and obsession over a partner. When combined with physical affection, romantic ideas of love, and insecure attachment, it could feel like you fall in love quickly without thinking.
You might have heard the term “falling in love at first sight.” Although you might not fully get to know someone when you first meet them, scientists show that falling in love chemically can happen in a fifth of a second. The same study indicated that love could feel more powerful than the chemical dependency experienced with some substances for some individuals. Other studies show that love can become addictive.
If you feel this way often with many relationships, you might be experiencing the “love at first sight” phenomenon. It could also be a sign of an underlying issue with attachment, connection, or dependency on love.
Reasons You Might Fall In Love Quickly
There are several reasons you might fall in love quickly or intensely, including the following.
You Feel Dependent On The Chemical Release
The feeling of falling in love can be addictive, according to studies. The rush of dopamine and other neurotransmitters to the brain can feel like a physical high and might reduce blood pressure and decrease pain signals in your body. Although love can have physical and mental health benefits, frequently searching for the feeling to the point of harming yourself or your relationships might be unhealthy.
Many individuals who feel dependent on love might have short-term intense romances, break up and make up with exes, or leave a relationship when it gets serious. Or, they might feel urges to partake in infidelity or seek reassurance and love from multiple people. For some, this results in risky physical behaviors like sex. Those who consider love and sex connected might feel loved when they partake in multiple sexual encounters, which may be casual to others but meaningful to them.
You Have An Insecure Attachment Style
Attachment styles are the way you connect with others in close relationships based on how your needs were met as an infant or child by your primary caregiver. Many individuals who feel that they fall in love quickly and often may have an insecure attachment style, such as the following:
- Anxious attachment style: Feeling a need to reach out for love and affection often, feeling anxious without reassurance, pushing others to offer love when they are distant, feeling a fear of abandonment often, craving intense love, and going to many lengths to achieve it
- Avoidant attachment style: Feeling afraid of love but still initially craving it, pushing back against the attempts of others to connect, fearing vulnerability, experiencing many short-term or casual relationships but fearing commitment
- Disorganized attachment style: Switching back and forth between fear of connection and fear of abandonment. It may be considered a mixture of avoidant and anxious attachment
Although insecure attachment can cause conflicts and challenges in relationships, studies show that it is possible to change your attachment style.
You Have Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem may be an underlying factor in why you crave love. If you do not feel lovable or struggle to care for yourself, you might seek that care from another individual.
You Are Not Setting Boundaries
If you do not limit your time, space, love, and attention, you might allow others into your life even when they’re not acting in healthy ways. If you do not set boundaries, you could feel that you fall in love with everyone, including those who are potentially unhealthy.
How To Stop Falling In Love Quickly
There are several ways to target concerns with falling in love quickly, including the following.
Check For “Red Flags” And Set Boundaries
Even if you feel an initial “spark” with someone, you may want to check for relationship “red flags” before continuing your connection. Red flags can include:
- Controlling behaviors or messages
- A lack of growth
- Discussing their ex-partners often
- Talking about intense subjects early on in the relationship
- Moving quickly (wanting to get married within a few days, etc.)
- A lack of communication
- Unkindness to service workers
Those with a secure attachment style may be able to tell when someone could be unhealthy, unkind, or abusive.* If you are falling in love early on without getting to know someone, you might be missing red flags or disregarding them altogether. If you notice a potential red flag, it could be a sign to end the relationship before it begins or set a boundary with the individual to respect your space, body, time, or energy.
*If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
Practice Healthy Attachment
Practice secure attachment behaviors like the following:
- Go on several dates before committing to a relationship with someone
- Be open about your emotions and look for others to be open about theirs
- Take space when you crave it
- End a relationship if you feel it is getting unhealthy
- Stick to your word; don’t break up and get back together
- Send one or two messages and wait for a response before responding again
- Try to understand if someone is busy or can’t talk at all times
- Consider giving the relationship some time before committing to marriage, moving in together, or having children
- Create a pros and cons chart if you’re unsure about the healthiness of a situation
Although you may not have a secure attachment style, practicing it could be a step in developing one.
Fall In Love With Yourself
For those who feel they fall in love often due to low self-esteem, it could be beneficial to work on the relationship you have with yourself before falling in love with someone else.
While single, consider spending quality time with yourself doing the activities you might do with a partner. For example, you could go to dinner alone, take yourself on a “self-date,” practice self-care, or travel alone.
Studies show that journaling can also improve your mental health. Consider keeping a journal to track your progress as you work to love yourself. If you need further support, a counselor may be beneficial.
Prioritize Other Relationships
Although romantic relationships can feel exciting and meaningful, you may neglect other relationships when in love. Consider spending more time with your friends, family, and acquaintances. You might also join a social group or meet new people to form platonic connections with. As you strengthen the bonds with others in your life, you may feel less of a need to fall in love with someone romantically.
Speak To A Counselor
If you continue to struggle with falling in love, attachment, or other concerns, consider speaking to a counselor. Therapists are trained to offer professional and therapeutic advice in a number of areas, including love, relationships, and attachment. You might also discuss any traumas or past experiences that caused you to feel dependent on romantic or sexual relationships.
If you feel embarrassed about meeting with an in-person counselor or prefer a casual type of therapy, consider reaching out to an online therapist. Online therapy lets you choose whether to attend video, phone, or live chat sessions with a licensed professional. You can also get couples therapy if you’re in a relationship already. Studies show that internet-based counseling is often effective in treating loneliness, isolation, and low self-esteem symptoms. If you’re interested in trying an online therapy platform, you can consider sites like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples.
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