Is falling in love "falling" at all? Falling is helpless. Falling is an accident and can prove deadly or injurious.
"Falling" denotes vulnerability, in my opinion. You are opening yourself up to a destiny that is uncertain and holds for you no guarantees. You become vulenerable to another person possibly hurting you or betraying you, but you trust that your "fall" will be broken or cushioned by the other person's trustworthiness and returned expressions of love, trust and faith. I think "falling" is a brilliant description and is akin to "letting go of the rope" "breaking free" and "taking a chance".
Why is love not a choice? Is it something we make happen or does it happen to us?
Are we not the source of our own emotions? Are external factors what "make" us feel any certain way at any given time? We decide how we are going feel about any situation merely by the perspective and meaning we give to it. Change your perspective and you change the way you feel. Change the meaning you give it and you change the intensity of emotion you experience. That is definitely a choice, imho. I also think love as an emotion is one of mankinds greatest myths, which goes along with your idea that " . . . falling in love is bred (or a better word might be 'conditioned') into us by centuries of Romanticism . . . " . The only plausible or logical definition of love can be found only when "love" manifests itself through action. I think everyone has certainly been in the position of showing love to another when they feel absolutely no love for that person whatsoever. I think such a situation clearly dispells the false perception or idea that love is something we "feel".
Is there hidden in our very nature; our heredity, our unknown interior being a secret chemistry we cannot fight?Yes, there is. It is called hormones and sexual desire which is all too often equated with feelings of love, but really have nothing to do with love unless that passion/sex is exercised between two partners who actually and genuinely love each other.
I say the notion of falling in love is bred into us by centuries of Romanticism in our culture our art, music and literature. Arranged marriages held sway for millennia. But, I also think we do not fully ___choose__whom we are strongly attracted to. I believe we can only fight participation in that longing and that passion.
So many eliments come into play with attraction, most of which have to do with what we personally link up pleasure to. Skin, eyes, hair color, olfactory, tones, gestures, facial expressions . . . it also has something to do with conditioning . . . what we have learned to find attractive based on past experiences in our primary relationships. Closing time at the bar for a really drunk ugly person should do nicely in proving this idea . . . we can very easily deviate from what we already find attractive for the sake of getting laid.
I assert we either seize the object of our passion or we run from it into the arms of someone less powerfully in control of our emotions.
That sounds like fear to me, which is the exact polar opposite of love. Anyone who thinks that another is in control of their emotions is simply not in touch with their own feelings and is neither in control of themselves. There are some who want to control the emotions of others and they are successful only because they are allowed by the one being controlled, otherwise controlling another person's emotions is nothing but an illusion, a trick, and can only accomplished with a willing victim.