Psychology

Does Love At First Sight Actually Exist? Science Says “NO”

The concept of “love at first sight” has been a prominent theme in arts and literature for thousands of years, and many couples in real life often claim to have experienced it. But, is there such thing as love at first sight? Not really, instead what people are experiencing is probably “lust,” according to new study.

Science says there is no such thing as love at first sight, instead it is more about physical attraction

The concept of “love at first sight” has been a prominent theme in arts and literature for thousands of years, and many couples in real life often claim to have experienced it. But, is there such thing as love at first sight? Not really, instead what people are experiencing is probably “lust,” according to new study at the University of Groningen.

For the study, researchers collected responses from a total of 396 participants, mostly Dutch and German students in their 20s. Almost all the participants were heterosexual and reported to be single. The researchers had them take part in an online survey, a laboratory study, and three dating events – face-to-face dating, speed dating and vegadates, an informal gathering with food provided. They were also asked to fill out questionnaire about themselves and about potential partners before interacting with them. The questionnaire assessed physical attractiveness, LAFS, eros, and the TLS (Triangular Love Scale) with its subscales intimacy, passion, and commitment.

Upon analyzing the responses, the questionnaire, and the dating events, the results showed that the vast majority of the participants did not report experiencing love at first sight (LAFS). In fact, it was indicated 49 times by 32 different individuals. The study also revealed that men were more likely to report LAFS on the spot than women, and no matter how many times they reported experiencing LAFS, it was strongly tied to levels of attractiveness.

Researchers note that “experiences of LAFS were marked neither by high passion, nor by intimacy, nor by commitment. We therefore suggest that LAFS is not a distinct form of love, but rather a strong initial attraction that some label as LAFS, either in the moment of first sight or retrospectively.”

The study, entitled “What kind of love is love at first sight? An empirical investigation” has been published in the journal Personal Relationships.

20 comments

  1. Pingback: Does Love At First Sight Actually Exist? Science Says “NO” — Sparkonit – Rose's Musings
  2. Two four letter – one syllable – words that begin with L. And very often lust leads to love. But, yeah. “Love” at first sight is probably rarer than hen’s teeth! — YUR

  3. This finding isn’t surprising to me. Sadly, I think many people confuse attraction with love. Even more problematic is that many people feel attraction when they are motivated by external factors they don’t realize are influencing their attraction.

  4. I think love at first sight exists. There’s certain body ques that help you know someone, and chemical attractions, certain first impressions.

    I take it to the book of Genesis where Rebekkah and Isaac first met. They fell in love immediately. It’s one of those reasons I think love is a spiritual thing; it’s a proof of God’s existence. I would say love at first sight exists; it’s just rare.

    It takes a compilation of your own personality, too. Some people can’t have it because they’re too closed off. It’s a build up of all the right circumstances.

    Science also says a lot of things that are counter-intuitive. I tend to take the historical precedents more seriously than anything Modern Science claims to know about Human Psychology.

    1. You maybe right, too. But the paper also says “if a person felt strong initial attraction to a partner with whom they fell in love later, the first meeting might be more likely to be later construed as LAFS.”

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