Unconscious love: when does it become?

Unconscious love: when does it become?

Unconscious love goes beyond our beliefs and values. Without realizing it, it leads us to make decisions that we often don't understand. We talk about it in this article.

Unconscious love: when does it become?

Last update: January 07, 2022

Love can produce a metamorphosis in us. We can become a very different person from who we really are. Even strangers. Love is such a difficult feeling to explain that it sometimes takes over everything: here it becomes unconscious love.



Everyone has their own definition of love based on what they have lived, read, heard. The Treccani dictionary defines love as “a feeling of deep affection towards a person that manifests itself as a desire to provide the good of her and to seek her company”.

In this article we talk about love that goes beyond consciousness. We will find out what it is, what are the characteristics of this feeling and how to recognize it.

If our conscious fear is that of not being loved, our real, unconscious fear is that of loving.

-Erich Fromm-

When does love go unconscious?

Let's talk about unconscious love to describe that feeling that moves through dreams, desires, fears, impulses and emotions, which goes hand in hand with instincts and drives. It is difficult for our conscience to access it, because its contents are repressed, or at least in part.

Have you ever wondered why we meet people who deeply attract us, but at the same time represent the essence of our frustrations? Perhaps because there are subconscious aspects that lead us to feel this kind of attraction, which could then become unconscious love.

Sometimes we don't know why we love a person deeply: we just have a very intense feeling. This is why we stand by her side, happy or not.



This love leads us to make choices that are beyond our conscience and our awareness. Although it may seem difficult to understand if you have not lived, this dynamic occurs frequently.

What does psychoanalysis say?

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, suggests that the unconscious manifests itself through dreams, creativity, mistakes and symptoms, among other dimensions. Therefore, we could recognize these aspects by paying attention to their manifestations. Psychoanalysis also allows us to access this content.

Psychoanalysis itself states that very often we make unconscious choices, and one of them could be love. And we do them based on the development of our personality, our experiences and the reference culture.

Thanks to the action of the unconscious mechanisms, we would seek a love that satisfies our shortcomings, even those we do not know, that we have isolated and learned. That is why it is difficult to understand why we are driven to make choices that can be toxic to our life. Not knowing where it comes from, we act unaware.

But unconscious love must not be confused with toxic love: an unconscious love may also not be toxic. This will depend on the mechanisms activated and personal experiences. It can also be blind love, in which we do not see the other objectively and idealize him, hoping that he will meet all our expectations.

Characteristics of unconscious love

Let's try to indicate the main characteristics of unconscious love:

  • Idealization. It can be a trait of unconscious love when we overestimate someone to fill our gaps. In other words, we use it as a defense mechanism.
  • Fill up. It is a way to satisfy our needs, a mental construction which, as the French psychoanalyst Lacan suggested, depends on culture and language.
  • Enjoyment. It is an instinctive satisfaction, or rather the union between the symbolic dimension and reality.
  • Instinctive. We refer to a love that comes from the deepest part of our being: instincts, drives and desire. Aspects that escape our conscious self.
  • Unconscious mental image. This image influences our choices and is the result of experiences, desires, instincts, fears and legacies.

Unconscious love goes beyond what we see in reality. It moves through the paths marked by our inner universe. And it leaves us perplexed because we ignore its mechanisms.



How to recognize unconscious love?

It may sound complicated, yet there are various ways to recognize unconscious love. It should be made clear, however, that we will never have absolute control over it. Here are some tools to identify it:


  • Self-knowledge. Paying attention to what happens inside of us can help us feel a love that is beyond consciousness. Although it is impossible for us to access all of its content, we can see a part of it through the manifestations of the unconscious.
  • Psychotherapy. The psychotherapist can help us see the aspects that we do not see, because he is an expert in identifying manifestations. Beyond that, he is able to translate them into words that are understandable to us.
  • We don't know why we love who we love. If we ask ourselves what we do with our partner, it could be unconscious love.
  • When we don't know how to describe the feeling that we try. If we don't know how it happened and can't put our feelings into words, it could be unconscious love.
  • We idealize the partner. We use idealization as a defense mechanism to escape our distress.
  • Self-harm without knowing why. When we have a toxic relationship, we give everything and we don't know how to escape because there is “something” - we don't know what - that binds us to that person.
  • Our ideas about love do not represent true love. When the love we feel does not correspond to the ideal we have about this feeling.

Unconscious love goes beyond all logic. It is difficult to understand and to put into words. It is an intense sensation, but we don't know how it came about or why.


It is a love that comes from our old wounds, from desires, experiences, fears, legacies, impulses. It can lead us to make choices that we would never have considered. A love that changes us, because it seems so foreign to us, but it is actually closely related to our inner world.

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