Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?
‘Love at first sight’ is a well-known cliché that some claim to have experienced, and say that the people who don’t believe in it, have just never experienced it. But is it really possible to fall in love with someone at first sight? My first response to this previously would have been no, but I believe in lust at first sight.
But I wanted to find out if there was any truth in this, so I have carried out research over the past few weeks by speaking to different people and gathering opinions, reading the views of psychology professionals on the subject and I have also researched into the science behind it.
In order to find out, the first thing I needed to look into was “what is Love?”. The Oxford Dictionary defines love as ‘A strong feeling of affection’. However, when I started researching into the science behind love, it would appear it can be simplified as being mostly down to hormones that are released. First, Oestrogen and Testosterone which is what causes us to feel lust towards a person. Then dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin, which causes us to be attracted to a person and start to feel strong feelings for them. Lastly Oxytocin and Vasopressin which is what makes us feel attached to a person.
Dr Helen Fisher author of ‘The Anatomy of Love’ has said “It takes less than one second to decide whether you find someone physically attractive. We regularly make up our minds about whether an individual could be an appropriate match within the first three minutes of talking to him (or her).” After speaking with various people, I believe this to be true. However, does that necessarily mean you can fall in love with someone that quickly? After carrying out research on the internet, I found one study conducted by Ayala Malach-Pines PhD, of Ben-Gurion University in Israel, which found that out of 493 respondents, only 11% said that their long-term relationships had started that way.
I spoke to quite a lot of different couples myself to get a better view of how people feel about love at first sight, and found that there was quite an even mix of answers. Quite a lot of people said that they fell in love when seeing their partner for the first time or from their first conversation. Whilst others have said that although there was an instant attraction, it wasn’t until later in the relationship, when they had got to know the person better, that this developed into love.
What I did find was that quite a lot of the people who claimed to have experienced love at first sight first hand, did agree that it wasn’t just down to how the person looked. For instance, one man I spoke to agreed that although he fell in love with his wife before speaking to her, it was more down to how she came across from her actions and body language when he saw her. He said she appeared to be having fun with friends, very happy and smiley and appeared to be very fun-loving and care free. Another lady I spoke to also seemed to support this, as she says she fell in love with her husband before she even met him, whilst speaking to him on the phone. She said she fell in love with his voice, but again she said that from how he spoke and from the things he was saying, he came across as a really kind and caring man, who was softly spoken.
In conclusion, I feel that in most relationships, the moment we fall in love cannot necessarily be pinpointed to an exact time, as love is a very difficult emotion to define. But after carrying out my research, it has made me more open to the idea and it has changed my opinion to thinking that some people may be lucky enough to experience love at first sight. But I do feel that the people that do experience it have a strong indication of the other person’s personality from what they are doing or saying when they are first seen, for this to happen. However, I also believe that it also depends on the type of person you are, and how easily you fall in love, as a lot of people did feel that this came later and more gradually for them, as they got to know a person better.
Overall, I still believe that people are more likely to experience lust at first sight that can develop into love as time goes on, but that once in a blue moon, if you’re open enough to the idea, true love can strike at first sight.
Written By: Liz Harwood