Have you ever found yourself in a crowded room, and despite several passing faces – one in particular really caught your eye? Or maybe it wasn’t as cliché as that!
Either way, the notion of “love at first sight” is a term that many couples in love describe their first encounter with their partner.
So, what is this crazy idea about? That one person can be head over heels for another with only a mere glance? Well interestingly, it’s been said that love at first sight occurs more frequently for those who love watching romantic comedies. This is because they have more of an inclination to believe in such a scenario.
But facts don’t lie, do they? And scientists and healthcare professionals have gone to work to try and prove the theory of love at first sight.
What Does Love at First Sight Feel Like?
For those who’ve boldly admitted to feeling this odd and wondrous sensation, these are the tell-tale signs:
The Gaze: It’s alleged that it takes a person 100 milliseconds to know whether someone is a suitable sexual partner. And when someone finds themselves instantly attracted to another, their gaze mimics that of a “come hither” glance.
It’s also by looking into someone’s eyes that we can give ourselves an indication of whether they’re trustworthy, intelligent and kind.
The Feeling: When you think you’ve fallen in love, you feel a rush of warmth and euphoria. This is because humans tend to be attracted to those who they perceive to be similar, increasing their level of comfortableness.
The Hormones: Another aspect that leads people to believe in love at first sight, is the feeling of butterflies in the stomach. Biologically speaking though, these butterflies are the result of adrenaline pumping through the veins. It goes to work when one feels anxious or passionate anticipation.
Do any of the above ring true for you? And is it scientifically possible to call those mixed emotions “love at first sight”? Actually, yes.
A study was conducted in 2017 by Zsok, Haucke, De Wit, and Barelds of the department of Psychology in the Netherlands. In it, they worked with nearly 400 men and women to gauge their reactions after meeting someone for the first time.
The result? The test subjects really did feel love at first sight… but the feeling experienced wasn’t actually love.
The researchers found that the feelings associated with love at first sight were merely a strong pull or attraction to another. It then transcended to the test subjects being able to envision the possibility of a long term relationship with the person.
They also found that:
- Their test subjects were more likely to experience love at first sight with beautiful people
- Men were more likely to experience love at first sight than women
- Love at first sight is rarely mutual between partners
Then, let’s look at the situation from a different perspective. One where a person thinks they’re experiencing love, but in actuality, it is simply lust.
Love vs. Lust – What’s the Difference?
Love is more than something physical. It’s a feeling of affection and a lasting adoration for someone. It’s an emotional bond that is more than what meets the eye.
To truly love another means to feel and act lovingly. It’s deep devotion, but also desire and passion. In short, it’s a cocktail of various emotions that go beyond sexual arousal.
Lust is a physical attraction that is ruled by strong sexual desire due to a rush of hormones – especially oxytocin. This hormone is released during sex, and has a strong behavioural influence on those feeling the effects.
A woman can experience an influx of oxytocin when her nipples are stimulated, and it is this hormone that contributes to stronger and better orgasms, as well as an increase in natural lubrication. It’s also been said to increase a man’s erection and ejaculation.
For both men and women, this lusty hormone kicks in when one experiences sexual stimuli, such as touching, genital stimulation, and intercourse.
Additionally, a case study by Anderson-Hunt and Dennerstein revealed that women who received a nasal spray of oxytocin felt intense sexual desire for at least two hours after ingestion!
So, now that you know all about love at first sight, do you believe to have experienced it? Or was it just perhaps a fleeting moment of lust?
Helena Lorimer at JOUJOU