Can we fall in love at first sight?

“He never loved who did not love” — William Shakespeare was, no doubt, convinced that love at first sight exists. King Carl XVI Gustav, it seems, adheres to the same opinion. “Just like something clicked”, — he said in front of TV cameras about his first meeting with Silvia Sommerlath. However, many fall into the love at first sight with skepticism.

Can we really, in the blink of an eye to fall in love, or similar statements is an illusion, which is formed after the fact? And is it true that romantic love we feel when “something clicks” or it’s more of a physical attraction?

© AFP 2017, Jonathan NackstrandКоролева Silvia of Sweden and king of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf during the wedding ceremony of Prince Carl Philip and model Sofia Hellqvist in Stockholm. June 2015

Scientists often share a love and desire into three phases — desire, love and affection. Desire is considered to be a phase that comes most quickly — sometimes even immediately. But this phase really does not imply strong feelings for another person, it deals rather with physical attraction. And few people surprised that we can very quickly determine whether we like someone physically or not. We very quickly decide that someone is too little, too tattooed or overdressed. And our interest can cause a pair of beautiful eyes or sexy forearms. But can we so quickly fall in love?

Deeper love means that we do not merely believe that the other person physically attractive, but fall in love, and in his other qualities. And we certainly are unable in an instant to understand what are the inner qualities of a person that testifies against love at first sight.

But our poor brains don’t always understand that we really can’t know the inner quality of another person, barely glancing at him. The heat of the moment, the brain can try to evaluate a book by its cover.

Halo effect means that we have a tendency to believe that a person with certain qualities that we like has other positive properties. When we see attractive people, we often tend to attribute other positive qualities: we immediately begin to believe that they are nicer, happier and smarter than others. Our bias causes us to believe that we can know something about another person just by looking at him.

A negative bias can cause us to treat the poor man we do not know, but the positive will inspire sympathy — despite the fact that we do not have any information.

So although purely rationally we should not be able to fall in love with someone seriously on the basis of only one opinion, in fact, it looks like we can do it. In any case, we can fall in love with the image that they create looking at the man in front of us. Although the love at first sight and is based on unreliable information, it does not mean that it does not exist. As for love in General, then we are behaving irrationally not only in this respect.

No love is completely rational — we tend to idealize the partner, in which are in love, so don’t see its shortcomings. And while it is clear that jealousy may arise on the basis of reasonable suspicion, but quite often it can be associated with the wrong idea of what makes our partner when we don’t see.

But if the love at first sight is based on the fictional image of man, does this mean that the relations of those who quickly falls in love, the outcome is worse?

Research studying long-term relationships, some of which began from the first sight, and the other developed gradually, showed that those partners who fell in love instantly, are often more different from each other, the slower of the pair. However, in the long run, their relationship was not worse.

Summarizing, we can say that, it seems, Shakespeare and king Carl XVI Gustaf, right, we can fall in love at first sight. And much indicates that this phenomenon affects more than just the desire or physical attraction. Love at first sight is a strong and real sense, even if it is not based on a rational and correct assessment of the person. Instead, we fall in love with the person who is the object of our love, in our view.

But what we’re choosing a partner in such an illogical way, not necessarily a bad thing. The relationship may continue and develop further when we know each other for real.