Love At First Sight: Is It Real?

Last Updated 06.04.2022
11 min read

Love at first sight. It’s such a strange concept and yet one we all know so well. Perhaps you have heard a friend talking about their current partner in life and claiming that they are meant to be together. Or perhaps you’ve been exposed to a multitude of movies that portrayed the idea of finding ‘the one'. 

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Many people however have difficulty with processing such a belief. There is something admittedly wonderful about the ideas that come with such an idea. Destiny, soulmates, true love, a fairy tale type of ending. These things sound absolutely wonderful and yet they raise questions. 

Is love at first sight real, or is it just a fantasy that was made to entrance us with stories? 

If it is real, how does anyone fall in love with someone they just met?

Could such infatuation really be love, and if it is can it blossom into a thriving relationship?

As we dive into this topic this article is here to serve as a discussion point as to what love at first sight really is and how to properly handle those feelings if they are to come up. There has been extensive research done on the topic. This includes who experiences and why, as well as how it can impact you and your current or future partners. 

Remember that when you fall in love with a person instantly you are not the only person to have experienced this. Now let us dive into the question.

Is Love At First Sight Really Possible?

It’s hard to answer this question with certainty, however, we estimate that about a third of the world’s population has experienced love at first sight. However, in spite of this estimation, there are experts who have a hard time fathoming the idea that people can fall in love so quickly. After all, the amount of time it takes any person to fall in love can vary greatly depending on who they are. Yet there are many who believe that love at first sight cannot be real as a true romantic relationship means getting to truly know the other person. This cannot happen just from a single glance. 

You can’t share stories just from looking at a person once. You can’t get to know facts about them from just looking at them once. You can’t exactly spend time with a person just from looking at them once. You can’t really know anyone until you’ve said something to them. 

However, despite this information, there are times in which initial chemistry can really spell out the entire potential relationship between two people who have just met. This chemistry can cause incredibly strong feelings between the two and potentially last through the entire relationship. Don't most of us know a couple who experienced love at first sight, then lasted for years after their first meeting?

Love At First Sight Vs. Reality

All of this research on love at first sight has one major problem. Romance and the ideas of soulmates and destiny are about as subjective as you can get. Yet the research tries to transform it into something binary. After all, who can really say that the person who claims to have experienced love at first sight is wrong about their own feelings? Only they can accurately describe the emotions they felt at first sight.

Why do we consider this idea to be such a gray area of thinking? Why can't we explain this in the same way we do other human experiences? Because you simply cannot quantify being in love in the first place, whether it is an immediate reaction or not. 

Even if the relationship does not last we cannot just dismiss the idea of love at first sight. We also can’t dive into it being a reality just because a person enters a mutual relationship because of it. The fact is that most people will choose to enter relationships simply because of physical compatibility and attractiveness. To put it simply, as long as the feelings for one another are real then the answer to the age-old question, “Is love, at first sight, real?” is maybe. 

The Science Behind Love At First Sight

Despite the uncertainty that is associated with the topic there has been fairly conclusive research on love at first sight. In fact, research has stated that many people have a tendency to decide if they are romantically interested in others within a few minutes of the meeting. Of course, this decision relies heavily on a mixture of physical and psychological cues that are shared. 

But is this infatuation really love at first sight? When you think about it true love is not just about how a person looks but how they feel around the other person. After all, while you can instantly feel emotions such as infatuation almost instantly it’s impossible to feel emotions such as passion, intimacy, or commitment until you actually get to know the other person. These feelings are essential when it comes to romance. 

Physical Attraction Influences Love at First Sight

It can be easily stated that the main factor when it comes to the idea of love at first sight stems from physical appeal. After all, when someone strikes another as being attractive they leave a great impression. After all, research has shown that many people tend to become infatuated with those that they believe are attractive. There is no doubt that love and lust are often confused and are very easy to confuse. The feelings of intense passion and exhilaration are commonly associated with the feeling of falling in love and are a product of neurochemical reactions. Dopamine motivates people to seek closeness and intimacy with those they are attracted to. 

Why Does Love At First Sight Happen To Some People?

Dopamine and Other Chemical Reactions: When you feel that fluttering feeling in your stomach that you often associate with romance you can likely blame chemicals and hormones that are coursing through your body. These chemicals have such effects on the body that they can cause intense feelings of infatuation

Being Open To Love: It seems that we all know at least one person who seems to dive in full swing with a relationship. They may only date a person for a couple of weeks before starting to talk about ideas relating to marriage or other steps that normally come much later in a relationship. This openness to love essentially leaves them vulnerable to love at first sight.

Physical Attraction: When it comes to falling in love at first sight people have a tendency to fall in love more easily with someone that they find physically attractive. After all, humans still rely heavily on instincts and when we see someone we like or are interested in, we tend to be attracted to them. It’s because of these instincts that humans have survived for so long. 

Confusing real love for infatuation: It can be stated that both of these feelings are similar however there are some key differences. For example, when you are infatuated with a person you likely don’t know them very well. While being truly in love with someone means that you’ve gotten to know them over time.

Positive Illusions: For many people, their claim of love at first sight didn’t actually happen. As we fall in love with our significant other we start to see them and our interactions with them through rose-colored glasses. This can make even the simplest points of one's relationship seem so much more meaningful than they actually were. How many times have we heard a story of people getting together and have heard embellishments such as “oh they were the most beautiful person in the world” or “I knew that we were meant to be together from the first time I saw them.”. These stories are incredibly romantic however it’s just as possible that the two of them just awkwardly stared at each other for a moment before taking the time to say hello. 

Potential Dangers of Love at First Sight

Is love at first sight dangerous? Well, the answer to that is both yes and no. Of course, there are plenty of healthy couples who make the claim that they fell in love at first sight. However, you always have to remember that those initial feelings usually depend on physical attraction rather than connection. Love at first sight can essentially set up illusions and can really set people up with relationships that can be unhealthy or even dangerous. 

Remember to always step into new relationships with a bit of caution and make sure that you are capable of recognizing red flags in said relationship. 

How do you know you are experiencing this phenomenon? 

Here are some clear signs that you are experiencing love at first sight.

  • A sense of attraction is instantaneous with them

  • Your attention is drawn to them

  • You want more time to spend with them

  • You don’t know them very well

  • You feel captivated by everything about them

  • You feel like you desperately want a relationship with this person

  • You feel ok about all of their flaws and shortcomings, even if you tend to dislike those particular qualities

  • The idea of being unable to see this person again makes you feel depressed or anxious

Will love at first sight lead to something good or bad? Your good judgment will make a big difference if you instantly fall for someone. If you want relationship success and mutual love, think beyond what you feel when you find someone physically attractive. People fall in love all the time, only to be heartbroken or scammed. Think of love at first sight as just the first step of a lasting relationship, not the whole thing.

What to do About Love at First Sight

You feel something strongly. Maybe it isn't love at first sight, but you have felt the strong pull of initial attraction. What do you do now? How do you turn that first meeting into a healthy relationship? Perhaps you are one to believe that love at first sight leads to something amazing, or maybe you need advice on learning when to run in the opposite direction. Just remember that it’s perfectly ok to feel these emotions and that they are perfectly natural. It just takes a lot of work to turn romantic love into a healthy relationship.

Make Sure That You’re Ready For A Potential Relationship

Remember that strong feelings alone are never enough to make a relationship work, especially when those involved are unable to commit to the work. Do a mental check-in with yourself in order to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally ready to be with someone. Just because you feel ready for a relationship doesn’t mean that you actually are. Always be sure that the person you’re yearning for is on the same page as you. If there is even an inkling of doubt on either side of the equation that is a sign for you to step back and reevaluate. 

When Instant Attraction Doesn't Happen, What Should You Do?

The concept of love, at first sight, is very popular, however, it can result in many people developing unrealistic expectations when it comes to developing relationships. Some people develop the idea that if they don’t feel infatuation with someone immediately upon meeting that they are not meant to be with them

We need to accept the reality that every couple has a unique timeline and because of this, there is no reason to rush those feelings of love. Love is something that needs to grow and bloom. This requires learning about one another and developing your relationship. 

Set Boundaries With Potential Romantic Partners And Yourself

Consider taking a step back when exploring your connection with this person and maintaining boundaries at the same time. Respect is a huge point of any relationship and many couples fail to thrive simply because of a lack of respect between them. Remember that you’ve just met them, you may know them but you don’t actually know them. Take everything slowly and make sure to avoid making any big decisions right away. Those steps can come after you take the time to get to know them. Remember to take things with caution in this early development of a potential relationship.

For many, the feeling of love at first sight is a once-in-a-lifetime feeling that gives you an immediate connection to the other person. But for others, there seems to be a trend with them falling in love quickly with the people they meet. By understanding your boundaries you can determine if you are able to trust in your instincts when it comes to the feelings of romance. If you have a tendency to be infatuated quickly that may be a sign that you may need to step back and reevaluate your feelings of infatuation.

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