Love at first sight, a romantic trope as old as the hills. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed in Eros (or Cupid), a blindfolded winged boy with a bow, whose shots made people fall for each other immediately. Myths and legends say that there is no other way to true love, but modern scientists don’t share this belief.
Florian Zsok and his colleagues at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, looked into this delicate matter. After a series of studies and experiments, they came up with a conclusion that so-called love at first sight is nothing more than a mixture of physical attraction and false memories.
The volunteers who took part in the study said that their feelings for their partner were stronger in the present than they had been during the first meeting, but the researchers considered that to be a case of “confabulated memory” and “projection of current feeling into the past.” They were also asked to look at photos of their potential partner and estimate the level of their initial attraction.
The research included a dating study conducted at a speed dating event. About a half of the participants admitted that they felt a kind of love at first sight with the potential partner, but none said it was mutual. Actually, by talking about falling in love at first sight, the participants meant they found their partner attractive. They rated this category in their questionnaires quite high but paid little attention to other characteristics. Scientists say that people’s feelings at the actual first sight have nothing to do with passionate love, not to say about anything deeper.
In a nutshell, those couples who claim they fell in love at first sight actually mean that they were physically attracted to each other but not much else. One meeting will hardly reveal any mutual interests or other feelings that form a strong emotional bond.
According to Helen Fisher of the Kinsey Institute, finding shared interests – along with physical attraction – gives people the impression of love at first sight. As she says, there are certain chemical and electrical pathways in our brain that form romantic feelings, and they are easy to trigger.
Someone who has the traits you find desirable is more likely to arouse romantic feelings in you, but it might take some time to find them out.
A major study revealed that men are more prone to insta-love. 60 percent of them said they believed in love at first sight and 40 percent claimed to have experienced it. As for women, about 50 percent believed in the idea, while 30 percent had experienced it. Fisher associates these results with male physiology. To men, sexual urge can be compared to pangs of hunger and thirst. She says that an individual needs food and water to survive and a partner of the opposite sex to mate and pass on the DNA.
There will always be skeptics, as well as romantics. By no means do we want to break the love spell. Just remember that the thing you call love at first sight is more likely to be mere lust.
Source: Stanton Daily