The Causation and Correlation of Love.


As I write this I am 27 years old and it is a long period to observe patterns. One of the most prominent patterns I have observed to date  is our weakness towards familiarity. We are all so vulnerable to things, people, or events we are familiar with that anything even in close proximity to this familiarity is easy for us to accept. Similarly, when we come across something/someone we are unfamiliar with it throws us out of our comfort zone; be it that new girl with peculiar mannerisms, or the mysterious looking man at the corner of the street, a new fragrance, or a new taste. Having said that; most of us often make a conscious decision in leaving our comfort zone. There is a certain thrill in being acquainted with that unfamiliarity; that feeling of restlessness and those spine chills. I heard many call this feeling as being in love.

I don’t particularly have a problem with this definition of love or the very feeling of falling in love. In my head falling in love is a spiritual experience which gives you both the freedom and authority over another person. It allows you to truly live in union with someone; more so mentally. Love in my head is so powerful and magnificent that reality always fails to match my expectations. Love is such a strong emotion yet so easily misunderstood. The slightest comforting act from another person makes us want to believe in a potentially long term relationship. And our highly educated brains conveniently gets delusional and fails in differentiating between what is meant to be temporary or permanent. Most of us end up exchanging vows with someone we have no compatibility with just on the basis of what was once a promising lie. We get so engrossed in our metaphorical world that when reality hits hard we are in denial to accept it. It is  that same peculiar mannerism, mysteriousness, or the old fragrance that now becomes the enemy. Why is it then in-spite of all the signs and the patterns we still consciously make or even worse repeat our choices. There are many explanations to this; they say your judgment impairs when you fall in love. That is why I believe in Economics.

One of the foundation principles of economic analysis is the theory of Causation vs Correlation. According to which any study’s outcome can be misinterpreted if the causation is confused with the correlation. Example: you might think that College X is good because many successful people have graduated from there : this is the Correlation. The Causation is : because the students worked hard – they graduated – and it so happened to be College X. Economists urge for analysts to base their outcomes on the causation but not correlation. If we base our analysis on the correlation then that’s great for the college; good marketing; more students; more funds. However, as a student or a parent if you pay attention to the causation you will then know that irrespective of the college you go to they are ought to be successful. Keeping all other factors constant.

Now compare the whole phenomena of falling in love with the above theory. Do we really fall in love with the right person, or, is the person right because we fall in love with them? Do we love our parents because we are born to them, or, because we are born to them are we obligated to love them? In my opinion, when people become weak and helpless and find it hard to move out of a relationship; and take all the heart ache to hold on to the person and glue the relationship together they are clearly confusing their “love” for this person; a correlation smoked by their memories together with the actual causation which is just their need for emotional dependence. There is a clear distinguish between science and the matters of the heart. The latter will always triumph over the former; since there is nothing else to explain it (excerpts from Tagore). Having said that; the next time you begin to live in retrospect and question all the wrong choices you made; you know you just have to differentiate between what caused it versus what you correlated it to. If the poets don’t help give the Economists a chance.


#causation, #economics, #love