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Are atheists less likely to fall in love?
Love has been described as "unconditional positive regard". Not very romantic I grant you but accurate to a degree.
Theists open themselves up to "gods love" without question. It is a matter of faith. We are sceptical, questioning and more logical. Does that mean that we carry the same mindset to relationships or is there more room? A void to fill, a desire to believe in someone instead of something?

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By 273kelvin
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We're not fucking automatrons! I believe unconditional romantic love is very, very rare. Christians as far as I can tell don't really love God as much as they fear his wrath. That ain't love. Take the threat of eternal damnation out of their beliefs and see how many of them drag their asses out of bed on Sunday morning and go to church.

Sticks48 Level 8 Dec 6, 2018

Many churches have softened their positions on hell. The Anglican and catholic to name just 2. It seems that the US and African churches are some of the few remaining that still stick to that old time religion


Intelligent people are less likely to fall and stay in love.

Paracosm Level 7 Dec 2, 2018

Fools rush in....?

Do you have a paper to share? I would like more information. I have known many intelligent people that are very capable of love.

@alanalorie That's the problem, I don't think this question can be answered with taking polls and doing experiments. I can say that when I was religious I believed that everything happened for a reason, and so did love. As a faithless person now I know everything is random and I'm more skeptical about true love.


"Theists open themselves up to "gods love" without question."

Except that isn't love, its a self-imposed endorphin-fueled delusion.
Being open to imaginary love from a figment of your imagination sounds more like the behavior of someone who is deeply insular, who would have trouble forming connections with real people. Which I think is related to the high statistic of theist divorces.

MLinoge Level 5 Dec 2, 2018

Imagination is a powerful force. An amputee feels the pain of their phantom limb. The limb is not real but the pain is. Just because something is not there does not mean that someone can't love it.

@273kelvin All true.
But my main point is that there is a difference between loving real people, and opening yourself to love someone/-thing you have pictured in your head; someone/-thing always refereed to as perfection.

We like the heroes in the movies we see and we hate the villains. They are not real. I do not believe holding strong emotions for fictional characters who are literally too good (or too bad) to be true, make it easier to form real attachments in the real world.

@MLinoge It is not imaginary to the theist, they believe it to be real. Plus they are reinforced by the communal gatherings and history of the church. You can call that mass hysteria if you like but it makes no difference emotionally. Someone with a mental illness who hears voices in their head may even intellectually know they aren't real but they feel real. The hurtful things those voices say still hurt.
Also is that not the point of the post? To give yourself completely on blind faith is an extreme form of love. I am not talking "emotional attachments" but full on, balls deep, head over heels, "I would drink your bathwater, sniff your farts and worship the ground you walk on" love. No rhyme or reason, illogical and unconditional love.
It is interesting to note that from the poll so far. Most have voted no difference, some have said less likely but no one has said more likely. The fact that we see clearer does not seem to make us more susceptible to rose glasses.

@273kelvin Most of what you are saying is true. It misses the point I'm trying to make about the difference of loving real people and something in your mind, but it's mostly what I would agree to be true.

"To give yourself completely on blind faith is an extreme form of love"
This is where we part ways. Giving yourself on blind faith is not love, any more than you can love someone you have never met, and we're back to my key argument.

You can blindly surrender yourself to a god; that's devotion. Arguably a part of love but not all form of devotion is love.
Surely you have a cause or ideal which you are devoted to. Do you "love" it the same way you love your family?

"Most have voted no difference,"
So did i, because I hesitate to generalize about something so vague as 'theists'. I think most believers, those with healthy relationships, are devoted and not head-over-heels in love with their imaginary gods.
Putting them on an even field with atheists on matters of the heart.


@MLinoge They say that love is blind. We even use the same terms such as "faithful". No one can ever know someone else completely and yet we can love them completely. Is that not a form of blind faith?

@273kelvin "Love is blind", as far as I know, refers to people with socially "unacceptable" qualities depending on the epoch and civilization. In historical dramas, love between a Caucasian and an African, marrying beneath your social status in life or wealth.
Not the utter absence of a human.

While we can never fully know someone; what we do know stems from observation and interaction. Not fiction.
Assuming you are married; do you love your wife/husband because of who you know them to be through experience, or by a completely different visualization you maintain in your head about what kind of person they might be?


Interesting, There should be no difference in romantic love. Love is an universal emotion. Atheists are diverse people. I think being over rational in anyone can prevent openess to romantic love. Please see below for theories of love. There are also types of love for children and others. Agape would be the closets to human love of other humans. "Unconditional Positive Regard" is a term used in the therapy style, it is valuing someone for who the are regardless of their actions. It is more caring for other humans, not love. Sorry, a darn psychologist can ruin anything with too much explaining. I think people will find the links below interesting. One is about atheists and love. The other explains models of types of romantic love and changes over time.



alanalorie Level 7 Dec 5, 2018

Declaring love to a falsehood with no basis in reality is not somthing I see as supporting a heightened abilty to love. Atheists feel and love more deeply in my opinion because this is the life we get and we know it, no second chances, no illusions of an afterlife. Love now, eternity is not a viable option💙

ArdentAtheist Level 8 Dec 3, 2018

I see that you did not vote "more likely" as no one has so far.

@273kelvin correct, I did not vote. I prefer to let a comment stand on its own when no puplic office or prize is involved.

@ArdentAtheist The votes are there only to gauge opinions.

@273kelvin why? I don’t think enough people could be gathered in this forum to create an actual picture of public opinion so any data you collect would be inaccurate. It seems important to you? Well, off to make the coffee, cheers


You would think other atheist would be easier to be come by. It seems there may be less options as an atheist.

Daking Level 3 Dec 3, 2018

Interesting--I've never heard of this definition of love before. UPR is a term used mainly in the therapeutic realm--a precondition to set the stage for emotional/behavioral change in counseling.

scienceandsartre Level 4 Dec 2, 2018

Good point, Carl Roger is my favorite theorist. I was surprised that it was used as a term for love. I never loved my clients in any way. I cared for them as fellow human beings. Or when I could not do that I tried to have unconditional positive regard for the human that they had the potential to be.


All love has conditions. The margins are wider for some than others but it's all semantics.

Qualia Level 8 Dec 6, 2018

This is a tough question to answer... I think it's simply a normal human condition, like hunger or thirst, but can be experienced differently by different people.

Mattimuss Level 3 Dec 5, 2018

Its easy to admit that "athiest's" are unloving. But the truth is you're not an atheist at the end of the day, you're human and as a human whether you like it or not, you have a vulnerability for love, attention and affection. Even though there are labels to define what we believe in, the idea should never be greater than our humanity and our ability to show empathy for ourselves, for others and for others to be empathetic and loving towards us. Theists put an incredible amount of energy to sustaining the idea of "gods" love rather than keeping it for themselves. Conversely, theists create a continuous void within themselves which is probably why they are so fervent and desperate in seeking love and attention from a fictitious god rather than loving themselves. For what its worth, place your humanity above these ideas that create voids in your life and pull you away from your humanity and put the energy into ideas that fulfill your heart.

Atlas_Rising Level 5 Dec 3, 2018

It's possible that, since we aren't in the habit of "turning our decisions over to god," we tend to put more thought into the decisions we make. I suppose that could cause a bit of hesitation at times.

Deb57 Level 7 Dec 3, 2018

I fall in love, correction I jump head first into love. It's one of the greatest feelings I can have. It gives me a reason to devote myself to someone else's happiness ( which if it's appreciated , makes me happy in turn) . Being atheist does not change this.

Sevatar86 Level 4 Dec 2, 2018

"fall in love", an action
"be in love", a state of being
"love", a verb(and noun)

are atheists more likely to "fall in love"?

have no idea, would need data from atheists and theists... too lazy to gather data

aintmisbehaven Level 5 Dec 2, 2018

Unconditional love doesn't really exist despite popular belief.

JoeVZ Level 3 Dec 5, 2018

For you..........yet?

@273kelvin no, not for anyone in any realistic sense. There are always conditions. Everyone has their limits.


@JoeVZ You may quite well set limits on behaviour but not on love. I for one and I know many that leave someone due to their actions but still love them.

@273kelvin that just further proves my point. That person's conditions weren't being met so they left which the correct response. Romcoms, greeting card companies, and Nicholas Sparks have people chasing an unattainable, unhealthy, and idealistic view of love that simply doesn't exist. It's incredibly toxic.


If love is really "unconditional positive regard" then I've never loved and never will. Conditions are placed by me on all my interactions with everything/everyone my world. Just as I am incapable of positively regarding unconditionally, I lack the ability to understand or believe that there is any person place or thing that regards me in the same way (e.g. god). Even my own mother was probably only strongly biased towards that condition but if conditions were different (to circumvent the unconditional part of the positive regard) that bias would have been overcome.

Wes_smarts Level 3 Dec 3, 2018

Atheists, for the most, in my experiences 'fall in love' just like everyone else does.
After all, we are simply just Hominid Primates driven by emotions that are triggered by hormones and the internal reactions caused by those self-same hormones.
But, Atheists being rational, logical people, for the majority part, much prefer to 'fall in love' with something/person that is tangible, visible and verifiable, i.e. an ACTUAL human being, etc, than something that exists ONLY in the mind and requires unquestioning FAITH such as a God/Deity, etc.

Triphid Level 7 Dec 2, 2018

I think so. I know for me I tend to be very skeptical about new people. You can't just say anything to me and I'm gonna fall for it. As an observer I see people fall for bs right in front of there face and those are usually the people who belong to a religious organization.

DivyneMsM Level 1 Dec 2, 2018

I have been an atheist basically my whole life. I have had long term and short term relationships. I maybe a bad example though as I'm not sure exactly what "love" pertains to. I mean I cared for the people I was dating and felt bad when things didn't go their way. I would say I was mostly infatuated with them though rather than being in love. I have never wanted kids and maybe that has something to do with me not truly "falling in love". I said the words "I love you" to a few of them and I feel as if I meant it at the time. Who knows, I'm not exactly sure if I answered your question or not lol. It seems more like I'm just rambling on, I guess I would say yes, it's harder for atheists to fall in love.

McWalsoft Level 5 Dec 2, 2018

As usual if the initial premise is faulty the whole argument falls apart. Somehow not believing in an imaginary being correlates to not trusting a real person? Not sure that love has to be unconditional in the first place.

lerlo Level 7 Dec 8, 2018

Not all love is balls deep. head first, devil take the high road but thats maybe what we dream of? My post was are we more or lees likely to be accepting of that idea if we already have faith?

@273kelvin yes, if you want to ignore believing in an imaginary object versus a real person, people who believe in irrational things will believe in other irrational things.


Love is a complex feeling. You'd get unconditional love only from your soul mate (if you are lucky enough).

I've experienced it, so can tell about it. And losing it is the biggest regret of my life as well.

Insane_God Level 4 Dec 6, 2018

"Falling in love at first sight," is a temporary state of mental illness. You are instantly and deeply attracted to a person without knowing anything about them. "Falling in love," is loving someone intimately after you already know a lot about them.

Karob52 Level 2 Dec 3, 2018

Infatuation, I agree, is different than real love.

it is pure chemistry. Has nothing to do with mental illness.

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