Two strangers conveniently locking eyes across a crowded room, feeling an unexplainable pull, and *BOOM* a match made in heaven. Love at first sight is something not all of us have experienced but have probably seen before. It’s the premise of every rom-com you’ve ever watched—Before Sunrise, (500) Days Of Summer, My Amnesia Girl, Titanic, to name a few.
As cliché as it may sound, you have to admit: The idea of falling in love with someone you just met sounds incredibly romantic. You can’t help but wish that happens to you, right? But wait, does it even happen IRL? People fall for each other that fast? Here’s what some scientists have to say.
Is love at first sight actually real?
Some people say it has happened before. One famous example of it is Prince Harry, who claims that he fell in love with Meghan Markle “the very first time [they] met.” There have been studies that show it’s something people experience all the time. An article on Refinery29 cited data from Match's Singles In America database. They collected information from 5,500 single people across America, and “found that nearly 34 percent of those surveyed said they've experienced love at first sight—that's about 1,870 people.” Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist who works with Match told Refinery29, “Love at first sight is relatively easy to explain. Romantic love runs along curtain electrical and chemical pathways through the brain which can be triggered instantly.”
Luckily for believers, Dr. Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. wrote on Psychology Today, that “love at first sight is essentially intense love.” The attractiveness you feel towards this new person “strikes you like a flash of lightning, and you wish to prolong the time you spend with the other person.” However, your next interactions after seeing each other determines if that love will last and blossom into something more. He adds, “love at first sight can be the basis for profound, long-term love, provided that characteristics typically revealed in verbal communication later enhance—or, at least, do not contradict—the characteristics perceived at first sight.”
It has also been found that love at first sight is experienced more often by men because they “respond to physical cues more readily than women.” After all, physical appearance is the first thing we see when we encounter someone new and it's what love at first sight is all about.
Some people say it's not really love.
However, some studies state that the phenomenon isn’t real. According to an article on Psychology Today, while you undoubtedly feel a “sudden pull” towards someone, it may not be love. During these instances, the qualities that are known to reflect love—intimacy, commitment, passion—are not felt as strongly as those who are in established relationships. They are firm believers that it’s not love, rather, it’s a *very* strong attraction.
Aside from attraction, the spark that one feels during love at first sight can also be attributed to other sensations. And this article on Women’s Health suggests the following:
You’re compensating for loneliness.
Sorry to break it to you, but Dr. Ann Rosen Spector, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Philadelphia, says this “love at first sight” moment might just be you feeling lonely. If you’re surrounded by other people who are getting engaged, or you’re the only single one in your barkada, this “love” that you’re feeling towards a stranger could simply be pressure to find someone, ASAP. While it may feel good to find someone who can instantly become your new S.O., what you’re feeling probably isn’t love.
You’re reciprocating the other person’s feelings.
Surely, you’ve been in this scenario before: You meet someone, tapos okay naman siya, and sakto, you find out that they are interested in you pala. Dr. Arthur Aron, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at State University of New York, Stony Brook, says "Often, at that moment, people feel that they fell in love." And okay, these feelings are valid, but have you ever wondered if maybe you’re just thinking this because you know they’re interested? Without you noticing it, they suddenly become desirable to you. And so, subconsciously, you believe it’s love at first sight.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
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