Can You Make Love Happen?

Can you deliberately make love happen?

By PT Staff, published January 1, 2003 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Can you deliberately make love happen?

YES: "You can make yourself deliberately fall in love with someone you presently like but do not really love, but not easily. Usually, you strongly favor a few traits of your beloved, such as beauty and intelligence. And you firmly convince yourself that your beloved uniquely possesses them and fall in love with that "special" person. Because of your distinct prejudices, you have great difficulty falling for anyone else, however much you like them. But if you work hard at convincing yourself that another person has uniquely outstanding traits and will lead you to certain bliss, you may fall in love with him or her. Don't, however, count on it."—Albert Ellis, Ph.D., Albert Ellis Institute.

YES: "Romantic love, commitment, and all but the most fleeting passion share one important feature: Each is created with intention. Romantic love may feel magical, but we learn to love in a deliberate fashion. Can we learn to love just anyone? Not without entirely recreating ourselves, our personal beliefs, and attitudes, a process that would be unlikely. One needs shared core beliefs and attitudes, a simple foundation on which to build."

"Learning to love another person is an adventure, but it is not about scaling mountains. Rather, it is negotiating the ordinary business of life. Love is becoming intimate, learning things that few others know or care to know about one's partner." —Robert Milardo, Ph.D., University of Maine; President, International Association for Relationships Research