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Why do fools fall in love? Dear Jon has the answer.

by Dear Jon
March 29, 2001

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Thirty-Sixth Sort_Dear Jon-Why do fools fall in love? Dear Jon has the answer. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON

Dear Jon,

Why do fools fall in love?


Dear Curious,

Falling in love is a complete sensual experience. The combination of sight, sound, smell, touch, and phermones from one person trigger arousal and wish-fantasies in another. The triggers are rooted in the subconscious, often in childhood memories, and are thus not evaluated rationally. The one who "falls in love," having no conscious or rational basis underlying the response, feels like a fool because the experience does not fit into their categories of reason.

We think that the object of our love has become the "center of the universe." In fact, the wish-fantasy normally places The SELF at the center of the Object's universe! The wish-fantasy has the Object meeting all kinds of needs we have. Some are physical, but mostly our need is for absolute emotional security. We make the object the "center of the universe" only in that we attempt to meet the object's needs with the aim of seducing them into meeting our needs. Falling in Love is an act of selfishness as pure as the acts of eating, sleeping, and relieving oneself.

This is an adaptive strategy for the survival of the human race. The mating instinct is pre-rational. If it were not, we would become extinct. As proof positive, think of those who over-intellectualize their relationships. Do they have any relationships now? That guy who cannot make up his mind to marry the person he has been dating for three years, is weighing too many rational categories.

In counterpoint, Sammy Davis Jr. sang a song, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" in which the narrator laments that he had never fallen in love. I am glad I am the first kind of fool and not this kind.

Often a person who has fallen in love does not feel like a "fool" until they are made to feel foolish, which occurs when the object of their love rejects, betrays, or disappoints the paradigm of love contained in the wish-fantasy. The person who has fallen in love, without conscious categories to process the experience of rejection, feels "crushed."

As any of the 6 billion neurotic people in the world know, this is the worst experience that can be had. Most of us who have been through it, vow never to "fall in love" again. Which just goes to show how stupid we are. If we keep the vow and build emotional fire-walls, we become hostile to the very people who are compatible with our genetic, chemical, and emotional make-up and who thus trigger our responses. If we do not keep the vow, we fall in love all over again with someone else and put ourselves at the same risk of rejection, betrayal and disappointment. Falling in love all over again is the only alternative for the survival of the human race. You have a DUTY to GET OVER IT!

The older we get, the more foolish we feel for responding to the same subconscious triggers we responded to as teenagers. Because of our age, we assume that our responses are more mature, thus, the love we have for this person is "different" from the "puppy love" crush we had on someone when we were in High School. This bubble of deception needs to be burst. When it comes to falling in love, you are a fool and a twelve year-old and that is all there is to it.

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Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
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Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

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