The love at first sight you feel when you fall for someone else know nothing. But is it real? Can you fall in love with someone just knowing him? Or is that crushing sensation just sexual attraction?
Love at first sight has been present throughout the history of our culture, becoming a literary topic. Authors such as Shakespeare have written about this passionate phenomenon on a recurring basis.
Already the Greeks and the Romans spoke of the existence of this attraction and that crush of love with gods like Eros or Cupid. Also present is love possible at first sight in the metamorphosis of Ovid, in myths like Narcissus who immediately falls in love with his own reflection.
In the Renaissance, this topic of love continues in the moment of seeing for the first time the beloved person present in Literature. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), in his poem Il Fiostrato, uses the metaphor of Cupid and the arrow of love possible.
Love at first sight has come down to the present day in the form of books, series and films, which also exert a great influence on the loving ideals of people. Veronica Hefner, a professor in the communications department at Chapman University and Barbara J. Wilson, vice chancellor of the University of Illinois, published a study on this topic in 2013.
In it they analyzed the romantic ideals common to the Romantic comedies of the last decade and they surveyed to 335 university students. The results showed that those who saw these types of films to learn more supported these types of love beliefs portrayed in films, including love at first sight.
Today there are stories of many people who claim to have fallen in love with their partners from the first moment they saw it, but is there a scientific basis to guarantee the existence of this kind of love possible
In this article I show you whether or not there is love at first sight based on scientific studies. To what is this feeling of love, if it is truly love and if it is, if it affects the durability of relationships for love possible?
Definition of love at first sight
Love at first sight describes an attraction that occurs between two people at the same moment of knowing each other. This attraction is not exclusively sexual, but those who claim to feel it, speak of an equal or love-like emotion when seeing the other person.
John Alex Clark, expert personal relations coach, refers to love at first sight as the process by which you fall in love with someone just after seeing it, without having to talk to that person of love possible.
In this sense, he affirms that this love is given in terms of our perception of beauty. A beauty that is not based on that a person has good physical appearance, but that has points in common with our context. That is to say, they tend to be more attractive those people who resemble a love of the past, a loved one or a friend with whom you get along very well soon that might is love possible.
Arguments against the existence of love at first sight
Despite the strong tradition of this phenomenon in Western culture, many people do not believe in love at first sight. They argue that one cannot love someone who does not know or who has not even heard of it. In short, they believe that what people identify with love at first sight, is nothing more than sexual attraction of love possible.
Aaron Ben-Zee, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa and chair of the educational institution from 2004 to 2012. In an article published in Psychology Today on love at first sight, he dismantles the arguments of those who do not believe in this instant love possible.
These reasons for justifying that love possible cannot be given at the moment of knowing someone are based on two main reasons:
Love is not simply physical attraction. In addition to the appearance, that the only thing that generates is sexual desire, it is necessary to know other aspects of the personality of the future couple like kindness, honesty or wisdom, which are only discovered once a conversation is established. According to the professor, this argument has a failure, and is that before talking to the other person, attributes of his personality are already attributed through stereotypes, so you can guess if someone is compatible on a sentimental level at first sight.
Love is not only feelings, but actions that cannot be given at first. In this sense, the philosopher argues that there are two phases in the process of action, preparation and actual manifestation of those actions. He affirms that the first process can be given from the beginning, although it does not always come to be materialized by moral or other causes, which does not mean that you do not feel that feeling of falling in love.
Love at first sight exists and is scientifically proven
If you are one of those who claims to have fallen in love at first sight and no one believes you, in scientific research you have the perfect answers for those who continue without giving credibility to your feelings.
Well, although, as I pointed out above, there are many skeptics about this phenomenon, there are several scientific studies that justify the existence of love at first sight. Based on these researches, it can be said that the phenomenon of love that arises at first is real and that the rapidity with which this feeling occurs in some couples does not influence a lower quality of emotional bond or relationship.
First impressions are essential to know if a relationship will prosper or not. There will be those who do not believe in the love of the first dates, but it is proven that everything we do, the way we behave during that day and the coming weeks will mark the future of the relationship.
Attraction is the first step. A 2006 study by Janine Willis and Alexander Tomorrow shows that 100 milliseconds are enough for someone to form an impression about another person based on their facial features. As that time grows, opinions grow stronger and gain confidence, but they also become more negative.
From this study it follows that in 100 milliseconds you can know if someone likes you and why not? Feel an emotion similar to love.
There are those who say that when such a strong emotional bond occurs so quickly, the relationship will be short-lived. However, another investigation 2004, directed by Sunnafrank and Ramirez shows that members of a couple taking a series of decisions during the first few weeks that mark the durability of the relationship.
This would justify that relationships arising from love at first sight need not be less durable than other couples formed in a longer period of time, for even if this immediate attraction occurs, they can be broken in the same way as another relationship by the decisions made in the first weeks.
The quality of the relationship and the problems are the same. In this sense, an investigation carried out with a sample of 137 marriages concluded that those couples who had fallen in love at first sight showed no signs of having feelings or a link of worse quality than those that had not been known in this way.
Grant-Jacob did an argued work with real couples about love at first sight in 2016. He cites a 1992 article belonging to Fisher, which showed that once a person is attractive at first glance, an Emotional attachment through a look of several seconds in the other person’s eyes.
This author analyzes in his work how this process of love takes place in the first moment.
First, there are a number of circumstances that must be taken into account to bring about that initial attraction. According to some studies, the attraction is closely related to the physical aspect.
In turn, an appearance that is more pleasing to the eye also becomes more reliable. Grant-Jacob, says that here the justification of that emotional attraction for the other person can be without having uttered a word, simply by its physical appearance. In this regard, he believes that if the other person is physically similar to one of the parents or someone who generates a happy memory of childhood, it can also be more attractive and therefore more reliable.
On the other hand, he argues that there are studies that have shown that people who are physically alike manifest a greater tendency to establish a stronger emotional commitment.
However, a relationship is a matter of two, not of a single person, so it is necessary to emphasize reciprocity. Both people should be attracted at the same time, not only physically but also emotionally.
For this, both individuals, must have similar attributes and recognize them in the other, at the same time.
In this aspect, Grant-Jacob re-emphasizes the importance of the gaze, making it a fundamental element for this feeling of love to take place from the outset. It is through the gaze when the two realize this mutual attraction, establishing a non-verbal emotional bond.
Therefore, Grant-Jacob deduces that love at first sight exists and occurs in the two persons at the same time.
Movies that treat love at first sight
Love at first sight is recurrent in romantic comedies, where boy meets girl and automatically arises love. Here I leave a selection with ten films in which the characters fall in love instantly.
– Cinderella (1950). In the Disney movie, the prince falls in love with Cinderella as soon as he sees her at the ball. After escaping Cinderella loses a crystal shoe. Thanks to this shoe, the prince will find her to marry her, after having tasted it to all the women of the kingdom.
– West Side Story (1961). This film recreates the drama of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. In the dance scene, Tony and Maria feel a sudden falling in love as they look into each other’s eyes.
– Love at first bite (1979). Count Dracula is looking for the woman he has always loved.
– The Little Mermaid (1989). The daughter of the Triton God, Mermaid Ariel falls in love with Prince Eric from the first moment she sees him at a party on a boat. A ship that will be destroyed by the storm and Ariel will have to save it so that it does not die drowned.
– Eduardo Manostijeras (1990). Eduardo Scissor hands (Johnny Deep) falls in love with Kim (Winona Ryder) when seeing it in a photograph.
– Titanic (1997). Jack (Leonardo Vicario) feels a strong attraction for Rose (Kate Wins let) just to see it aboard the transatlantic. An attraction from which will emerge a passionate love story.
– You know Joe Black (1998). In one of the first scenes of the film, Brad Pitt and Claire Forzani interpret two characters who do not know anything and who before entering into a conversation feel strangely attracted to each other. The emotional bond grows in the moment they establish a conversation.
– Big Fish (2003). The protagonist is pampered by a girl and does everything possible to meet her again.
– The Miserable’s (2012). It is the film adaptation of the musical of Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boatbill, based on the novel of Victor Hugo. Marius and Colette fall madly in love with each other on the street.
– Under the same star (2014). This film is an adaptation of the homonymous novel written by John Green. Hazel Grace Lancaster and Gus Waters fall in love as they get to know each other in the cancer support group.