Is Love at First Sight Real?

05 Sep 2023
10 min read
Is Love at First Sight Real? 7 Most Common Questions Answered

Everyone has heard a love at first sight story. Two people meet, lock eyes, and sparks fly. It’s like a chemical reaction. But is it real? Does love at first sight exist, or is it just a flowery and not-too-realistic type of nostalgia that couples use to convince themselves their love was meant to be?

When we ask all this around the question, “Is love at first sight real?” we often wonder if these relationships will truly last. In other words, does love at first sight guarantee a long-lasting relationship or something that will spark up quickly and then fail the test of time? We’ll break this complex question into 7 aspects and answer them all here.

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#1: What is Love at First Sight?

Love at first sight is subjective. One couple might use the term quite literally. They mean that they felt an immediate partner bond and deep connection the second their eyes met. Another simply means that after their first interaction and initial attraction, they knew they were meant to be. Likewise, one person may think of love at first sight as those initial intense feelings of affection and desire that must deepen over time while someone else will insist that they felt deep, real love right away.

Given that wide range of experiences and takes on this topic, love at first sight can be defined thusly:

It is a feeling of warmth, connection, and initial attraction that is genuinely felt and not typically associated with first-time interactions between two people.

Isn’t It Just Physical Attraction?

Strong physical attraction may be a very big component in what people experience as love at first sight. It’s easy to see why people attribute love at first sight to this. Also, physical attraction may create something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you are overwhelmingly drawn to another person’s physical appearance, your brain may work quite hard to convince you that everything else about them is also amazing. Later, when you realize you truly feel romantic love for them, it will seem like a love-at-first-sight experience.

Related reading: Limerence vs Love: How to Tell the Difference

#2: Does Love at First Sight Exist?

We all have assumptions about this concept, but is love at first sight real? Again, that’s subjective. In the end, if a couple in a happy 30-year marriage told you they experienced love at first sight, would you tell them they were wrong? We sure wouldn’t! Even if you remember that their love story didn’t start as smoothly and nicely as they describe today – they feel like this today, then it’s true.

Love at first sight may be a bit of a positive illusion. The people who say they experienced an immediate romantic love tend to fall into one of two categories:

  • Their romance has withstood the test of time
  • They are feeling quite nostalgic about a past relationship

People won’t usually mention the words love at first sight when they are talking about a relationship that went sour. So, at least for some couples, is a bit of a repackaging of the past because they feel sentimental about their relationship. That’s because you usually have doubts if this is love when you meet first – but when enough time passes, you look back and realize that it was love from the very beginning.

Is love at first real, or is it just an illusion?

#3: Can a Long-Term Relationship Come from Love at First Sight?

When you sharply feel an undeniable initial attraction to someone, you may feel cautious about whether it can last. Do long-term relationships result from love at first sight? Can such strong physical attraction ever lead to a long-term passionate relationship, or is it bound to burn immediately?

Don’t think too much about the future if you’re experiencing love at first sight right now. You have met someone attractive to you and feel a great connection – that’s a good thing! They likely have even more positive characteristics that will be revealed as you get to know them. That’s a pretty good foundation for a healthy relationship if you want it to!

But a couples therapist would probably advise you to take things slowly. All personal relationships require a smart approach, and love at first sight is not an exception to this rule. Even this strong feeling doesn’t mean you are destined for something that will last for the rest of your life. It takes time to see if you truly share the same values or are on the same page when discussing plans for the future.

Related reading: Setting Relationship Rules For a Healthy Partnership

Be prepared that you may simply have a lovely snort or mid-term relationship that you will remember fondly. And be ready to do the necessary work if you want it to develop into something that leads to marriage.

#4: What Are the Signs of Love at First Sight?

Love at first sight can be an intense sensory and even overwhelming experience. It can be hard to distinguish the exact signs of this feeling in this situation. We are here to navigate.

Physical symptoms of love at first sight:

  • Deep feelings of passion
  • Tingling body,  especially when they make physical contact with you
  • Increased heart rate when they call or text you
  • Libido is going through the roof

Mental symptoms of love at first sight:

  • Your feelings are on high alert
  • You can’t stop thinking and talking about them
  • Experiencing deep love and passion

But note that here’s where some people differ. For example, you may feel a deep sense of peace when experiencing love at first sight. You simply know this is meant to be and that nothing can go wrong.

On the other hand, your brain might go haywire with anxiety. Some people may experience moments of panic. You fear that they don’t feel the same way or that something will happen that will dash your hopes. In any case, those first-sight love sensations are intense and absolutely real.

Related reading: Relationship Anxiety = Relationship Killer

#5: Can One Person Feel Love at First Sight While The Other Doesn’t?

“When we fall in love at a glance, the question we should ask ourselves (and this would apply to both men and women) is, What is it that we long for? Or perhaps, What are we lacking so that we can turn life in the direction we want? Creativity? Confidence? Authority? Recklessness? Irresponsibility? Or even darkness? Perhaps the lover is the outlaw in ourselves we don’t quite have the nerve to claim.”

Rosemary Sullivan, Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession

Like any other love, love at first sight can be one-sided. At first, this seems tragic, but it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. The world is full of real-life love stories in which one person fell in love right away, but the other was slower to develop feelings.

Sometimes, this can be attributed to attachment style. Some people are quicker to dive in and feel things strongly. Others are more protective of their hearts and hesitant to label what they feel as love at first sight, even if they do feel a connection. We all are different, and that makes our love so beautiful.

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#6: Is Love at First Sight Bad?

Love at first sight isn’t bad, but it is rare. This has some negatives, and you must understand and avoid them. We’ve arranged the list of 8 top illusions regarding love at first sight

1. Confuing Lust with Actual Love

“Love is not lust. The two (love and lust) are poles apart. Love liberates while lust binds.”

Narayanananda Swami, teacher of Vedanta philosophy

It is so easy to mistake lust for love. You are filled with desire that encompasses your whole body. In that state, you can easily convince yourself you are experiencing true love.

Instead, simply enjoy the passion without trying to force feelings that may not be there. Strong physical attraction is a good thing! Just don’t rush with labeling it as love.

Related reading: Are You in Love or Lust? Here’s Your Answer

2. Making Bad Decisions

When you confuse love and lust, you start making wrong decisions. Remember that no matter how you feel, you are two strangers. Enjoy yourselves, but get to know one other. Talk about your dreams, beliefs, and future goals.

Also, you may be convinced that this person is flawless, but you must proceed cautiously and don’t do these things without clear actions in your direction from them:

  • Don’t move in together
  • Don’t loan them money
  • Don’t move to their city

This isn’t a bad sitcom. Sadly, some people will manipulate and trick people into falling madly in love so they can take advantage of them. Beware your heart.

3. Becoming Obsessive

This happens when you’re convinced this is true love but they disagree. So, you try to convince them, they reject you, and you start spiraling and becoming obsessive. You just know you are in love! And this thought is strong enough to prevent you from moving on.

Being obsessed is not healthy. This agonizing experience pins you for a person who will never be all yours. That’s what happens when people get so enamored with the idea of love at first sight that they lose their grip on reality.

Please speak with a family therapist if you ever recognize yourself in these paragraphs. They will help you work through what you are feeling healthily.

4. Developing Unrealistic Expectations

The early stages of love at first sight are amazing. Unfortunately, people tend to think that the honeymoon period will last forever. Then, they are devastated when reality hits.

Remember that even happy couples will disagree and feel negative emotions from time to time. Also, you can’t rely on one partner to meet your emotional needs.

Related reading: Setting Healthy and Fair Expectations in a Relationship

5. Falling In and Out of Love Too Quickly

Do you experience love at first sight over and over again? If so, then what you are feeling is probably not true love but jumping between affections. Worse, another person on the other side of things could be hurt as you fall in and out of love too quickly.

If you don’t fix this problem on your side or fail to be honest about your behavioral pattern, the other person may feel overwhelmed and discarded when you suddenly decide your attraction for them has faded.

Related reading: Disorganized Attachment Style & Romantic Relationships

6. Believing Love at First Sight Is the Only Real Love

Love isn’t a blissful emotional state you immediately experience when you first lay eyes on a person who is your soulmate. At least, that’s not how it works most of the time.

Instead, love is a feeling that develops over time as you get to know another person. It’s also something that takes effort to sustain. If you are so enamored with the idea of love at first sight that you reject other possibilities, you are cheating yourself out of experiencing love in other ways.

7. Assuming the Attraction Will Last Forever

Love at first sight may exist, but that is no guarantee a relationship will last. There is just as much chance that fights and break-ups will happen in a relationship built on instant attraction and one that develops over time.

Relationships end, and love at first sight doesn’t make you immune to that. Be careful about being too sure that nothing will ever go wrong so you don’t miss signs of trouble.

8. Insisting That It Can’t Be Anything Else

So many emotions and sensations can feel like love at first sight in the moment. Also, the idea that you can find love in such a magical, instantaneous way is appealing to people. Its draw is so big that some people will refuse to believe that what they label as love, at first sight, may simply be infatuation, desperation for intimacy, or a need to be close to somebody.

So it’s worth understanding what love is and what it’s not before putting labels on your feelings.

Related reading: Are You In Love or Just Clingy? 8 Love vs Attachment Differences

What to do to turn love at first sight into a long-lasting relationship

#7: How to Make Love at First Sight Last?

You are confident. Your brain isn’t playing tricks on you, and you aren’t confusing infatuation for love. You know this is love at first sight. Now, you want to make that last rather than flame up and fizzle away.

For this to happen, both of you need to commit to building a foundation for a lasting relationship. Here are 8 proactive steps both of you can take to be sure what you have will lead to something long-lasting:

  1. Make a commitment to avoid big decisions for a few months
  2. Talk regularly about how you are both connecting and feeling within your relationship
  3. Get to know one another’s friends
  4. Don’t deny signs of trouble – work on them!
  5. Tell the truth about your negative emotions
  6. Maintain your sense of independence
  7. Consider couples therapy to stay grounded and work on issues before they become problems
  8. Remain willing to work on things even when you aren’t feeling warm and fuzzy about them

You are in an amazing situation! You’ve found the person you might be with forever. Do the work now while the attraction between you is strong. Every moment of effort you put in right now will pay off in the future.

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Bonus Question: Will You Meet a New Person And Fall in Love?

The magical combination of sparks flying and sexual attraction that makes love at first sight aren’t guaranteed. But, you can certainly help yourself find the love you want.

This starts with getting yourself out there in the dating world. You never know when one of these special moments will present itself to you unless you are open to it. If you’re afraid, just take a deep breath and imagine how does love at first sight feel. Don’t you want to experience love – when time slows and you sense the deepest joy of living? If so, it’s worth trying and putting in some extra effort to actually meet it one day.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!

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