It may be one of the most debated topics when it comes to relationships: Is “love at first sight” real?
Some say, it is impossible to fall in love with a person instantaneously and that it takes time and getting to fully know one another to fall in love. Then, there are those that say it is real and that you just know right away that you love this person.
Well, according to science, we are all genetically wired for the possibility to experience love at first sight. However, why some experience it and some don’t, comes down to timing and self-assurance.
In a recent survey of thousands of singles, 59% of men and 49% of women said they believe in love at first sight. And, 41% of men and 29% of women say they have experienced it.
Research shows that just as our sex drive can be triggered instantly, (like when you see someone and know right away you would have sex with that person) so can our desire to love.
There are three factors that go into loving someone, says Arthur Aron, a research professor who studies love. You have to be attracted physically, find their personality desirable and you have to feel that the person likes you. That is where the self-assurance comes in. And, we all know how important timing is in any relationship. When you are ready physically and emotionally, it is easier to fall in love faster.
Not to mention, the survey also found that men were the ones who fell in love faster than women. That’s because men are visual creatures.
“[Men] see women who appeal to them physically, and it will trigger the romantic love system faster. Women are custodians of the egg, so they are more careful romantically,” says biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher.
So how do you know if it is actually love or lust at first sight? A separate study shows that where a person looks can determine that. According to the University of Chicago, when people were fixated on the other person’s face, it showed feelings of romantic love. However, when people were focused on the person’s body, it was more lust.
Whether or not you have fallen in love or lust at first sight, it is impossible to know if the relationship will actually last. There is little research on when, why and for whom, love at first sight actually works out for the long term.
Now that we know love at first sight is real and possible for all of us, try not to fight it. It is important to be open to it, let yourself experience it and follow your heart. If it peters out after the first date, fine. But how great a story it would be if your love at first sight experience lasts an eternity.
-Ashley M. Papa