Benjamin Kaveladze, Jonathan Schooler and Oliver Sng, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara via The Conversation
People are used to seeing romantic love presented as it is on the reality show “The Bachelor” — as a force cosmically bound to one’s destiny. It’s an idea that is at once laughable and uncannily relatable for anyone who has been in love and felt their pairing compellingly “meant to be.” Our research suggests that magical notions of fated love and soulmates are very common and deeply felt.
As psychology researchers interested in why human beings think, feel and behave in the ways they do, we ask a basic question: Why does love feel magical? We hope that answering this question might offer some insight into the quandaries that have long plagued people in love. Should you blindly trust your heart to lead you to happiness, despite the chaos that’s as much part of love as bliss is? Or should you instead regard the tendency to magical thinking about love with skepticism, striving for rationality in the search for a fulfilling relationship?