• Kristina Wonsyld Varming
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis seeks to investigate why we fall in love and whom we fall in love with. The investigation into the phenomenon of falling in love is theoretical and will be investigated both from an existential psychological and psychoanalytic point of view.
The research question is: How can falling in love be theoretically understood from a perspective of existential psychology and psychoanalysis?
The research focuses on four themes of falling in love. It involves what happens when meeting the other person, whether falling in love stems from an excess or lack of something within the individual, who is capable of falling in love, and whom one falls in love with.
There will be an introduction of basic concepts within existential psychology and psychoanalysis.
The main theorists of existential psychology when it comes to understanding falling in love is Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, and Francesco Alberoni. For the research focusing on psychoanalysis, Otto Kernberg, Jürg Willi, and Jytte Vikkelsøe will be used.

The theoretical research views falling in love from different point of views. According to Kierkegaard, falling in love comes from a fundamental desire within the individual to love. Falling in love is the unconscious desire that becomes conscious. The first time that an individual falls in love will change the individual.
Buber argues that the meeting between individuals constitutes the existence of being human. The thesis argues that romantic love can be understood as an I-Thou relationship, which requires being open to the other person and the absence of preconceived expectations.
The thesis incorporates Alberoni’s perspective on falling in love as a revolution within the individual. It pulls the individual out of a depressive state where life feels meaningless and empty.
Kernberg’s contributions revolve around the capacity to fall in love. He emphasizes the importance of growing up in a sufficiently secure environment to be able to tolerate ambivalent emotions, thereby integrating internalized object relations.
Willi and Vikkelsøe investigate whom we fall in love with. Willi discusses four types of collusions, arguing that individuals tend to engage in a particular type of collusion influenced by their childhood experiences. In a later book, however, he suggests that individuals fall in love with those who possess potential they can help flourish. Hence, Willi shares different views regarding why we fall in love.

The above main points highlight how existential psychology provides insights used for answering broader questions, while psychoanalysis provides insights into understanding the more individual differences when it comes to falling in love.
Therefore, the thesis demonstrate how a multifaceted perspective can provide a broader understanding of the nature of falling in love.
Publication date14 Jun 2023
Number of pages52
ID: 534650328