January 3, 2016

Is Love At First Sight Real? And Does It Matter?

For many people who have fallen in love, love at first sight is a very real thing. They can’t explain it or how it happened, but they can definitely tell you that they fell in love the minute they saw the person. But did they really? Or do they just remember it that way? Following are arguments for both sides of love at first sight.

Love At First Sight Is Not Real

Many people argue that it is entirely impossible to fall in love at first sight. One of the most compelling arguments is that love requires feelings, attachment, and emotional investment in someone else. It is not just something that strikes you like lightening.

When you first see someone, you know absolutely nothing about them. You see their appearance and what they are doing, but you don’t know their history, their beliefs, their behavior, and they have no personal involvement in your life, which means you can’t be attached or bonded to them in any way. In fact, you are relying on your own personal opinion of the other person, which may cause you to think you love them, but is only a belief that you have.

The fact that a lot of people think they are in love, but end up finding out a few weeks or months later that they actually can’t stand the person, further validates this theory. In the beginning they see things that make them think they love the person, such as an act of kindness, but once they get to know the person, they find out that he or she is anything but kind and the feeling of love fades.

Often people are on their best behavior when they are around strangers. They want to impress others, so they portray an image of themselves that doesn’t actually line up with their true character. In addition, sometimes people are displaying some really good traits that you would love about a person, but not the traits that you would not love – the ones that send you running for the hills!

For example, one of my friends met a man who was perfect in every way from first glance. He was playing with his puppy in the park. He was dressed well, smiling, and looked like a kind and fun guy to be around. She told me that she fell in love with him at first sight. She went back to that park daily until she saw him again and then she approached him. They talked, set up a date for that weekend, and she thought she had found ‘the one’. On the date, though, he was rude to the waiter, was sexist without shame, and told her that she needed to lose some weight. Needless to say, she fell out of love quickly (which, by the way, doesn’t happen easily when you are really in love).

And of course, many people who believe that they experienced love at first sight are in a happy relationship years later. Some people decades later. This proves to them that it was love at first sight; however, many people argue that it is just a coincidence or lucky on their part. They happened to meet someone who was totally compatible with them, and because they are still together, they claim that they knew it was love at first sight all along, when in reality it was sheer dumb luck.

Research on love seems to back up the theory that love at first sight can’t be real. It points out that love is a two-step process. First, you subconsciously are drawn to someone, and then the second part is when you become aware of their qualities and who they are.

Unfortunately, scientists can’t get into the brain of someone who thinks they are experiencing love at first sight. This would require constant monitoring of someone as they go through their day, as well as being there at the moment that they feel as if they have fallen in love, and that would be downright hard to do!

But what we do know is that lust is a state where you feel motivated to get someone. This could be confused with the feeling of love. If you got to have someone, then isn’t that a lot like love where you want to have someone in your life? Not according to experts. Love is more of a complex feeling than simply motivation. It is not as dependent on seeing someone, as love at first sight is. It is more of a flexible emotion that comes from having a bond or connection with someone else.

Lastly, our hormones govern how we feel and how we act, which is a part of thinking we are in love instantly and actually being in love. When you look at it from a hormonal standpoint, instant love doesn’t seem possible. This is because when lust is happening, testosterone and estrogen are playing a part. When attraction happens, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin are playing a part. And when attachment (love) happens, vasopressin and oxytocin are playing a part. Therefore, from a chemical viewpoint, lust, attraction, and love are all very different things.

Love At First Sight Is Real

Some people feel that belief is the main driver over whether it is true or not. In other words, if two people believe they have fallen in love, then they have. Belief is the statement that something exists, which means if two people feel they have fallen in love, then they have complete faith that they have, so who is to argue that?

Take the placebo effect, which has been backed by science as real. If you believe that you are going to feel crappy today, then there is a high probability that you will. Love is an emotion, so why would it be any different. Belief is reality for the believer.

In addition, some people argue that we automatically know what type of person we love by the way they smell, look, dress, walk, talk, etc. Just like a bee is drawn to the right flowers, we are drawn to the right person.

Other people feel that there is an instant connection with certain people that you can feel at a deep level, almost as if you have known that person for many lives. With this theory, it would be entirely possible to fall in love at first sight! If you already feel like you know them, then you would definitely be able to feel a sense of love towards them.

Does It Really Matter?

When you weigh out the theories and facts, it doesn’t really seem possible to fall in love instantly, but does that matter when you believe that you have? I don’t think so!

The thought of being in love at first sight is an attractive one. It indicates that there are certain people out there who are meant to be in our lives, whether we know them or not. It gives people who believe in soulmates something to hold onto. It makes you feel good! What’s wrong with those things?

According to a poll done on 5000 people on Match.com in 2014, 41% of men and 29% of women said that they had experienced instant love. Moreover, it is often portrayed in movies or TV shows, and most of us buy into it when we see it, which means we want it to be true.

Think about how popular shows are like the Bachelor. People go crazy over that show and don’t blink an eye at someone picking between many women and falling in love quickly. There are many shows that have tested love at first sight and matched people up quickly to determine whether things will work out or not.

In other words, whether it is true or not, society is fascinated by it. We want it to be true on some level. And there is no reason to be pessimistic about it when we feel it. However, we need to keep sane about the whole thing.

Use Common Sense In The Following Situations

If you think you are in love, enjoy the feelings, enjoy the rush, just don’t do anything stupid. Don’t make long-term decisions based on someone you just met and don’t know much about. Don’t push away your friends and family just because you think you have found the one and don’t want to be anywhere but next to him or her.

Do they want money? Definitely don’t give them money just because you think you are in love. Many people take advantage of the love at first sight theory and bleed people out of thousands – even millions of dollars. If you truly believe you are in love, then you may give your money away with the promise that they will pay you back, because, after all, you are in love and will be together forever!

Demand more for yourself and get someone to prove their love before you give yourself over to them completely. If this person is truly the love of your life, then they will stick around long enough to prove it. They will openly share who they are, spend quality time getting to know you, and they will prove that they are a person worth of being loved by you.

Did you just break up? If you have just broken up with someone or gone through a divorce, then you may be more likely to buy into the notion of falling in love quickly because you want it so badly. You want to fill up the void that you feel. You want to end the pain of a broken relationship. So, you see someone for much more than they are and call it love at first sight. But, really, it is more about your emotions than about falling in love with someone, and you have to be aware enough to recognize that. If not, you may find yourself dealing with even more pain quickly down the road.

One of my best friends has jumped from relationship to relationship claiming love at first sight every time. Her latest relationship started when she saw a man drunk and depressed at a party and knew she had to have him. She had only been separated from her husband for a few weeks, yet she was sure this drunk, depressed man was the one for her. Because of her belief, she got married to him, moved away from her loved ones, and now spends the majority of her time alone because he works across the country from where she lives. (Ironically, close to where she moved from!) That instant love didn’t turn out so well for her, again, but because she believes in it so strongly, she won’t admit that maybe it wasn’t instant love and was, instead, a desire to not be single.

Is it obvious they are no good for you? The circumstances may cause you to see someone in a different light, like the drunk, depressed man being your perfect match. You need to take into account what is going on in your life and what is going on around you. For instance:

– Are you drunk? It’s not the time to determine whether you are in love or not. You can’t even walk straight!

– Are you depressed? Your emotions are clouded and you may think you are in love simply because someone gives you what you need.

– Are you desperate? If you are feeling desperate to find love, then you may convince yourself that you see it no matter what the person is doing.

– Are you feeling pressured? If you feel pressured to find love by your friends or family, then it can only take a little convincing that the person you are looking at is perfect for you.

– Are you feel low self-confidence? If you don’t feel very good about yourself, then anyone who gives you the validation and attention you need may cause you to think that you are in love with them.

Always take things in context. If you are not thinking clearly, then you make trick yourself into thinking that you have fallen in love because you need to fall in love, but that doesn’t make it real. Be honest with yourself and you will avoid the future pain that comes from finding out you really don’t love that person at all.

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