You’ve only just met the person but you may wonder, ‘Why do I catch feelings so fast?’. It seems there is an instant connection and you can’t help but mistake them for real feelings, enough for you to commit your whole being to the other person.
The good news is that you’re not the only person who catches feelings fast. Many of us fall in love with people we’ve just met and wonder why we feel so strongly toward them.
We may even end up heartbroken, wondering how we got into this situation again.
So, if you’re someone who catches feelings fast and wants to know why this article is for you, we’ll explore why we sometimes fall in love with a new person so quickly and how to manage your feelings to maintain your self-awareness instead of getting lost and obsessed.
Why do I catch feelings so fast?
All those butterflies in your stomach when you see the person feels good, but they’re scary too.
Having strong feelings toward someone is a great feeling, but when it’s someone you’ve just met, those feelings can be incredibly confusing.
Below we’ll take a deep dive into the potential reasons you fall in love so quickly. Remember that these are possible reasons, not facts, so the reasons may or may not apply to you. You also may not like some of the reasons, so be prepared for a challenging but crucial inner confrontation.
1. Love is a drug
Sometimes it’s not about the person. Instead, it’s about the feeling of love and attraction. Some of us experience great pleasure in the falling-in-love stage of a relationship or even when dating someone.
A new person’s happiness, intimate physical contact, and excitement are like drugs. It makes us feel high.
However, like all drugs, the high is soon followed by a crash or comedown, resulting in a deeply undesirable and solid motivator to seek that pleasure or ‘high.’
When a new person with the potential for romance enters our life, the reward-seeking areas of the brain light up and lead us into a deep sense of connection and attachment.
2. Attachment issues
Our first relationship, the one we have with our parents or caregivers, is highly formative.
Before three years of age, children are physically born but not yet psychologically mature. They still experience a sense of oneness with their caregivers.
But after year three, they begin to understand the difference between self and other. This is a crucial period in a person’s life.
The quality of attachment one experiences with their caregivers in early childhood significantly affects how they attach and relate to others in adult relationships.
If your parents were able to meet your needs as a child consistently, you likely developed a secure attachment style.
With this upbringing, you can form healthy relationships with others as an adult. You can be close or distant and still feel safe and secure within yourself.
However, if your parents were unable to meet your attachment needs and left you with a sense of neglect or abandonment, you may seek an unreasonable level of closeness and security from your romantic partners.
You want someone to fill the void created in your early childhood. So, when someone comes along who shows you interest, care, and attention, you’re likely to cling to it.
3. Low self-esteem
Our relationship with ourselves and the world around us influences our life experiences.
As such, if you’re someone who believes you’re unworthy or unlovable, when someone comes along and shows you love and validation, you won’t want to let them go. They’ll appear to you as the ‘answer’ to your low self-esteem.
A sense of unworthiness feels horrible – nobody wants to feel that way.
So, when it comes to love, unworthiness leads to a scarcity mindset. You believe that love is lacking in your life.
When someone shows interest, you’ll take that as a sign that you are, in fact, worthy, but you’ll tie your sense of worth to your relationship with that person.
All of us feel lonely from time to time. Despite the discomfort and even fear it creates, it’s an entirely natural human feeling.
Humans are inherently social animals – we thrive in communities, and community is how we have survived and succeeded this long as a species. So, loneliness serves as motivation to connect with others.
However, loneliness can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Earlier, we mentioned that love acts like a drug on the brain.
Substance use is one of the most common but destructive attempts to cope with feelings of loneliness and disconnection. Another common drug of abuse, love, is also used in the battle against loneliness.
Many of the lonely among us seek out belonging and togetherness in a romantic relationship under the misconception that such a relationship will make us happy and help us overcome loneliness once and for all. The problem with this approach to love is that it doesn’t work.
One person cannot fulfill all your emotional needs, so if you find a new person and fall deeply in love, you set yourself up for disappointment and go back to loneliness.
Until you change your approach, you’ll keep falling for new people.
How to not catch feelings fast
Here are some tips to get hold of your feelings:
1. Cultivate self-love
Self-love is the foundation of a healthy and happy life. It’s also a crucial prerequisite for a healthy relationship.
Without self-love, you’ll rely on external sources of love and validation to feel safe and complete. Such an approach is a downward spiral into unhealthy attachment, codependency, and loss of self.
When you start catching feelings, you forget about your own life and only focus on the life you can have in this new relationship.
So, instead of outsourcing love, cultivate it within. Take a deep look at yourself and your self-relationship.
How do you speak to yourself when things go wrong? Do you constantly berate and criticize yourself?
Do you think that helps? Could you instead speak to yourself as you would someone you love?
Loving yourself means accepting yourself exactly as you are. It also means bringing awareness to unhealthy or destructive habits and committing to removing and replacing them.
There is a paradox in self-love – you feel perfect just as you are, but you also understand that you have the power to improve your life and ultimately become a better version of yourself.
Self-love is a safeguard against falling in love too quickly. When you love yourself, you become mindful of your thoughts and behavior. You begin to see your negative thoughts, loneliness, and self-neglect as feelings that have a right to exist but that ultimately don’t serve you.
Because you love yourself, you treat yourself like you would treat another loved one. You’re gentle and caring but can offer tough love when necessary.
When it comes to new people and rising feelings, you can prioritize your well-being and see through the illusion that someone could make you happy.
2. Take things slowly
If you’re someone who catches feelings quickly, then you probably don’t hold back on emotional and physical intimacy with a new person. However, it’s important to cultivate patience in that regard.
It takes time to get to know someone. Despite how amazing, deep, and perfect they seem, you still don’t know much about the other person’s values and mindset when you first meet.
So, even though you may not want to hear this, take things slow.
Understand that there are many potential partners and lovers out there for you. There is no scarcity, so you don’t need to enter a relationship or have deep feelings with someone you’ve just met.
Observe the feelings when they come up, but understand that you are bigger than those feelings. You are not the feelings but their witness, and there’s no need to take immediate action.
Feelings come and go, and when you practice patience and mindfulness, you may notice that your feelings are not the same as last week.
3. Shift your perspective
What is love anyway? And what are those feelings you so deeply feel?
Bring mindful awareness to your emotions and perspective regarding love to improve your habits around relationships and intimacy.
Many of us fear being single and alone. Media, such as Hollywood movies, love songs, and all types of social media, often portray an image of love that implies life is worse without it.
Of course, love is one of the most important aspects of being alive, but you don’t have to confine your sense of love to a romantic relationship.
Love is available in many forms, such as a good friendship, a healthy self-relationship, a sense of community, and those quiet moments you spend petting your cat.
4. Focus on other people
One of the biggest reasons why falling in love too fast is a problem is because it makes you forget about your life before you met this person.
You have friends, family, and hobbies, so don’t neglect those in favor of spending more time with your person of interest.
If that person feels neglected or abandoned because you want to spend time with people already in your life, that’s their problem, a red flag, and not your responsibility.
5. Work on your attachment issues
If your insecure attachment style and fear of abandonment keep you in the same love and loss cycle, and you can’t seem to break it, it’s important to heal those festering attachment wounds.
Healing your attachment issues is difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone.
A certified relationship coach, therapist, or counselor can help you work through your deeply held beliefs from childhood and guide you toward a healthier, more grounded, and emotionally resilient mindset regarding love, attachment, and intimacy.
They can help you work through your honest feelings and viscerally realize that you’re not a child anymore, that as an adult, you can shift your perspective and habits to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Why is it important not to catch feelings too fast?
Falling in love is wonderful, right? So why is it a bad thing?
One of the biggest problems with falling in love too fast is that it blinds us to potential red flags. We become so infatuated and obsessed with the other person that we view them through rose-tinted glasses.
Perhaps they give us butterflies, quell our loneliness, or make us feel important. If your feelings for this other person distract you from a deeper sense of pain or unworthiness, you’re likely to ignore red flags when they come up.
The problem is that you may find yourself in a relationship, possibly with significant responsibilities, with someone who doesn’t seem so great when those rose-tinted glasses eventually come off.
Falling in love or catching feelings too fast can lead to gut-wrenching heartbreak. It takes time to get to know someone genuinely, so if you give your love, time, and energy away too quickly to someone you’ve just met, you set yourself up to be disappointed.
Nobody is perfect, despite how they seem at first.
You don’t need to stop catching feelings for people altogether; you need to learn how to not put too much importance on someone you’ve just met.
Remember yourself, your friends, and your hobbies. Practice patience, cultivate self-love, and delay intimacy if that’s been a problem for you in the past.
Finally, the most important person to fall in love with is yourself. Once you establish a healthy, loving, and compassionate self-relationship, you’ll naturally take the advice we’ve outlined above.