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.