Luckily you got some really good answers after posted, and I don't have to ramble now.
I don't give much credence to it either, but that's my personal belief system in play.
Even so, I can see why people bring this up for a couple of reasons.
The two times I've fallen in 'romantic love' there was a connectedness that felt so immediately right and natural that it seemed it needed to be explained somehow...kismet..serendipity..chemistry..past lives? Both times I was whumped on my butt..saw fireworks..had the heart tug thing..all of it. I was attracted to their mind, body, and spirit equally. It's a different feeling from lust. Or from friendship. So I can see the desire for people to try and give meaning to it.
Also, I think this is a way for people to justify the concept of 'soul mates'. There are also various reasons people feel a desire to do this. Either they're looking for someone or something they haven't found, so...they explain their waiting as looking for their soul mate. Lots of people out there put lots of energy into this ideal idea. Also the idea of a soul mate explains away heart ache in an easy way. It lets a person attach an immediate easy meaning to heart ache..'I wouldn't feel this bad if someone/something hadn't ripped my soul mate away from me'. It's a way of dealing..without having to deal. By attaching a reason that's beyond your control is sometimes an easier way for people to deal with intense emotions. The idea of a soul mate can also explain for some people why they are capable of falling in love more then once in life. I think some people feel guilty about this. If they can explain it to the past life soul mate theory, it relieves some of their guilt. Again, it gives them an easy way out to deal with intense emotions. If someone can attribute one soul mate to a past life, then it should work with multiple soul mates also.
This whole thing was a good transition ^ And made me pause to think.
People definitely shouldn't feel like their falling in 'romantic love' all over the place. If so, then your life would be miserable I agree that would be forms of 'imitation love'.