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Love at first sight doesn’t exist, here’s why

Love is not a lightning bolt but a seed that needs to be nurtured and tended to grow.

Love at first sight is a thing [Pinterest]

In Hollywood movies and romance novels, the concept of "love at first sight" has been romanticised to the point of becoming an accepted phenomenon.

The idea that two people can lock eyes for the first time and instantly know they're meant to be together forever is a popular one. But is "love at first sight" a real thing, or just a fanciful myth? Here’s why it’s more likely the latter.

First off, let’s understand what love really means.

Love, in the context most of us agree on, is a deep, complex emotion that encompasses care, respect, dedication, and affection over time. It's the kind of bond that's forged through shared experiences, overcoming challenges together, and truly getting to know each other, imperfections and all.

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Now, compare that to what happens when two people "fall in love" at first sight. Can all those deep, complex feelings genuinely spark in the milliseconds it takes for our eyes to meet across a crowded room? It's highly unlikely.

The phenomenon that many mistake for love at first sight is more accurately described as a strong initial attraction or infatuation. It's a physical or sexual attraction that is sometimes irresistible and immediate. The attraction might draw you to someone, but it takes time to build a connection deep enough to be considered love.

Science backs this up too.

Research in psychology suggests that what we call "love at first sight" is just a powerful mixture of physical attraction and idealised fantasy. We see someone, our brains find them appealing, and then we project all our hopes and desires onto them, imagining them as the perfect partner. You're reacting not to the substance, but to the potential you perceive.

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Furthermore, the idea of love at first sight can be quite harmful. It sets unrealistic expectations, making people believe they're meant to feel an instant, overpowering connection. When they don’t, they might think something is wrong or that their relationship is doomed. This belief can lead to a dismissal of potentially wonderful relationships that could have flourished if given the time to grow.

So, why do we cling to the idea of love at first sight? Perhaps it's the allure of instant gratification, the same impulse that makes us love fast food. It's the desire for a fairy-tale ending without the hard work of building a relationship. But, real love takes time, patience, and effort to develop.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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