Is loving someone a choice or an emotion? It’s fundamental to the human condition yet challenging to explain. Throughout the ages, mystics, philosophers, and religious leaders have discussed it at length, but there’s still much debate.

It’s one of those subjects that has two distinct sides. Many people believe that it’s worth the risk of getting heartbroken to fall head over heels for someone. The main question is, do you form relationships out of feelings, or is it a moral choice?

Ten Characteristics of Love

The first book of Corinthians in the Bible devotes an entire chapter to describing this feeling, also called charity. These characteristics remain an excellent guide stone. Here are the things that this classic chapter in this book explains: what love is and isn’t.

  1. Patient
  2. Shows kindness
  3. Doesn’t envy others
  4. Isn’t haughty and doesn’t brag
  5. Isn’t rude or selfish
  6. Isn’t easily angered
  7. It doesn’t “keep score.”
  8. Doesn’t rejoice at others’ mistakes
  9. Protective and trustful
  10. It goes the extra mile

love connection

The Bible even further suggests that God is the personification of love. Examples in other religious traditions and sacred texts are abundant. It’s also described in countless secular literature throughout the ages.

Seven Reasons Why Love Is A Choice

Your loving spirit is a beautiful gift that you give to your mate, family, and close friends. It’s a singular kindness and empathy that goes beyond human emotion. Here are five reasons that make it a choice.

1. Love Is a Commitment

Loving someone is a decision you make to be faithful to their heart. It’s not to be confused with infatuation. It’s physical when you meet a person and are attracted to them. As you both cultivate a relationship, you are committed and choose to be loving partners.

Let’s say you’re in a committed relationship, and you see an attractive person across the room. You can’t help the emotion of finding this person attractive. However, you choose not to act on the thought because of your loving commitment to your mate.

A wise person once observed that you couldn’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you don’t have to let them nest in your hair. In other words, you have control over your emotions and can’t always blame somebody else.

2. It Remains Even in Bad Circumstances

If you’re in a romantic relationship, you can verify that it’s not always champagne and roses. There’ll be times when you’re so angry at each other that you want to walk away forever. Grief, loss, frustration, and dark seasons of the soul are inevitable, but you’re still together.

Whether married or in a committed relationship, you’re together through the blessings and the woes. Your heart is steadfast regardless of whether you’re wealthy, poor, sick, or healthy. If you cherish your significant other only by emotion, it will diminish when the going gets rough.

3. You Pick Who Stays in Your Circle

There’s an old saying that you can’t pick your family but can select your friends. Unless you believe in predestination and reincarnation, you weren’t consulted about the family in which you were born. Maybe you often wish you were born into fabulous wealth.

Yes, you choose your friends by the things you have in common. You can also decide that you’ve outgrown the friendship and part ways. Loving your friends is totally up to you.

However, the adage is only accurate to a point. Just because you’re related to people doesn’t mean you have a loving bond. Your DNA may have randomly put you together, but you decide whether they stay in your circle later in life.

4. Love Is Often Altruistic

Consider the various emotions that you can share with another person. According to an article published by the University of California-Berkeley, researchers have identified at least 27 human emotions. According to the report, these feelings often overlap and don’t have distinct borders.

When your body and mind react to something or someone, it’s not a choice. You don’t decide to feel angry when a thoughtless motorist cuts you off in traffic. If you lose a friend or relative, you don’t ponder whether you’ll feel anguished.

It’s a choice because you often decide to put others first. You volunteer to help people in your community because you want to do it. You and your mate compromise and sacrifice for one another because you’re committed to the relationship.

5. It Knows How to Forgive

Forgiving a person is just as much a choice as loving them is. It is not a compelling emotion like empathy; you offer it with your own free will. It’s an unmerited favor that benefits you just as much as the offender.

You automatically feel hurt, betrayed, and defensive when someone says or does something to offend you. These are emotions that you don’t choose. However, you can decide to forgive and not be bitter, and that’s a loving choice.

You, your mate, and those in your circle will offend and forgive countless times in your life. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you excuse or forget the offense. You’re thoughtful and choose to acknowledge the insult, forgive, and move on with your life.

6. Love Designates Boundaries

Setting boundaries is another choice you make when loving others. You and your partner cherish each other, but you set healthy boundaries. These rules define how you expect them to treat you, and vice versa.

You choose what you’re willing to do or not do for that person. For example, you may decide not to live in the same city as your extended family. You still have loving connections, but the distance is better for all of you.

You may adore your children more than anything in this world, but they know how far to push you. Establishing boundaries also allows you to cherish yourself. Loving folks doesn’t mean you’re a welcome mat to be trampled.

declare your love

7. It Looks for the Good in Everything

The late Will Rogers, an American humorist, once observed that he had never met someone he didn’t like. Of course, Rogers wasn’t saying that people didn’t have faults and other disagreeable habits. He had learned to see the good in everyone despite the bad.

It doesn’t make you so naive that you think they are perfect when you love others. You empathize with their imperfections and adore them anyway. When there are difficulties in your relationships, you choose to be positive and find the blessings.

Four Reasons Why Love Is Also an Emotion

As if the discussion couldn’t be any more confusing, there are compelling reasons why it’s also an emotion. It has choice characteristics, but it still appeals to your thoughtful nature, as well as your senses and feelings. Here are four reasons why it’s an emotion.

1. You Can’t Explain Love

No matter how many books or scriptures you read, you’ll still never have a complete definition of love. However, it’s easier to explain the reasons why you made a choice. You cannot describe loving someone because you “do.”

You may be attracted at the beginning of a relationship and not even know why. As the relationship evolves, you’ll be more able to identify the attributes that won your heart. Even then, it’s a feeling that exists without cause and explanation.

2. You Say that You Fall in Love

Loving your significant other is a process that starts with attraction. It was a matter of the heart, and you felt drawn to this person. This infatuation is an emotion because you didn’t choose to have it.

An article published by Good Therapy states three stages in a loving relationship. According to the report, they say love comes in the following stages:

  • Stage 1: Romantic
  • Stage 2: Power struggle
  • Stage 3: Mature love

The first stage is emotional and works through to the adult stage, which is a choice. Perhaps you’ve experienced what many people call “falling out of love,” which is a decision they make. However, the initial “fall” was an emotional experience.

3. It’s Constantly Evolving

You don’t choose your loving relationship to evolve because it does it naturally. For example, you may be best friends with someone, and your friendship develops into a romantic relationship. Even couples who have been together for a while discover a more profound connection over the years.

4. It’s a Strong Urge

Some of your life’s decisions may be more important than others, but they aren’t as compelling as an emotion. While you can’t explain loving someone, your heart and soul urge you to do it. Sometimes, you may stay in a rocky relationship because your emotions keep the attachment.

quotes about love

Final Thoughts on Reasons Why Love Is Both a Choice and an Emotion

Loving people in your life is both an emotion and a choice. The sentiment may be the motivation of the relationship, but you choose to evolve with it. As an emotion, it surpasses them all, and as a choice, it’s the best you’ll ever make.