It’s easy to dismiss the idea of ‘love at first sight’, especially if you already have a heartbreak or two under your belt. But it seems some people are still willing to take a gamble on the fairy-tale. And as a group of strangers take the plunge on Channel 4’s ‘Married at First Sight’ (jumping into matrimony with someone they have only met at the end of the aisle) we wanted to take a closer look at this age-old concept. Could one look be enough for love?
Well, Prince Harry certainly thinks so. When asked when he knew his fiancé, Meghan Markle was the one, he replied, “The very first time we met.” And this feeling is something we all hope for. Especially as we enter into the world of online dating. Many of us imagine we will sit across from our online match in a restaurant and feel an instant spark. We hope that we will simply ‘know’ when we meet ‘the one’.
We look at the scientific and anecdotal evidence for ‘love at first sight’ below.
Psychologists have cast doubt on the phenomenon of love at first sight. A recent Dutch study aimed to take a scientific approach to the concept and the findings make grim reading for true romantics everywhere. They found that ‘love’ at first sight doesn’t seem to exist, at least in their group of participants. They instead concluded that the fireworks we all hope to feel are a combination of physical attraction, biased memories, and infatuation. This study did find, however, those participants believed they had experienced ‘love at first sight’ and in the end, this could be all that matters.
Aside from Harry and Meghan, there are many of our favourite celebrities that insist they fell in love as soon as they clapped eyes on their better half. Matthew McConaughey describes meeting his wife Camila Alves as a moment of instant lightning bolts, saying he told himself to “Get your ass out of your chair and go get her”. Michael Buble has a similar story about his wife, Argentinian, Luisana Lopilato, telling her “You are my wife, you just don’t know it yet!” It seems our favourite celebs haven’t given up on ‘love at first sight’ just yet!
A 2012 study from researchers at Trinity College, Dublin highlighted the region of the brain that could be responsible for ‘love at first sight’. Two distinct regions at the front of the brain were discovered to be responsible for making snap judgements about physical attraction and compatibility. And this specialised brain region of the brain works really fast, making judgements in milliseconds about potential partners. Your brain is an amazing machine and it seems it has you covered when it comes to love.
Are you a ‘love at first sight’ dater or do you believe in a slow and steady approach to new relationships?
Whatever your viewpoint you can find a whole host of amazing singles at the over 40 dating site. Go find your special someone today.