I wrote this months ago... My thoughts my have changed a little bit on this subject: Please read with a grain of salt.
This year has been tumultuous for my life. There have been many experiences around this idea of Romantic Love that has drawn my attention and my thoughts. I have put a lot of energy into figuring out what Romantic Love is to me. I am feeling deep love for another person right now. I am trying to figure out what makes up those feelings.
A person does not fall in love with another through altruism. Romantic Love is a selfish emotion. Selfish in this case is not a negative trait. Selfishness can be a virtue.
You fall in love with a person because you regard them as a value to you.
You can't fall in love with a person by saying... "You mean nothing to me. I don't care if you live or die, but you need me so I am in love with you." That isn't love. No one that is conscious of who they are, where they are going and what they want would desire this kind of love.
Romantic Love is the choice of another person as a great value. What you fall in love with is the same values you treasure embodied in another person. These values can be beauty, intelligence, actions etc...
You fall in love with a person because they contribute to your personal happiness. I say this very carefully. Someone who determines their happiness based on what another person does or does not do is destined for misery. I believe that happiness is a choice, but people find that they enjoy some things more than others. People find that they have affinity for some things more than others. If you find that another person contributes to those things that you enjoy or have affinity for, then they contribute to your happiness. The key is not to expect these contributions from another person. Un-met expectations kill Romantic Love.
If you try to base your life exclusively on your relation to another person. It doesn't matter how wonderful or however much in love, it will end up to be a relationship of dependence.
Each person should be free to choose their own creative goal or purpose. If they are like two individual people traveling on the same journey and happen to find that they are traveling on the same journey together then love is a fantastic supplement to their individual creativity.
Romantic Love is that selfish emotion. It is that choice to be on that journey with another. When felt for the first time or in new ways this causes excitement. This excitement is a fun and magical thing.