No relationship trope more common and romantic than love at first sight. The idea of you and your partner “clicked” when you first met sounds amazing. However, the cynical part of your mind might wonder: is it real?
There are numerous accounts about people who felt attractions for their current partners at first sight (some of them may even you or someone you know). Experts have tried to explain this phenomenon, and apparently, there are some facts we could use to examine love at first sight.
Study Results about Love at First Sight
One of the newest studies about love at first sight was conducted in 2017. Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands gave questionnaires to 400 men and women. They asked about the respondents’ responses when meeting potential romantic partners (or their current partners).
After examining the answers, researchers made several conclusions:
· First attraction relates to physical beauty
Most respondents said that the physical beauty of others created instant attraction. While the description of “physical beauty” was varied between respondents, it still played important roles in their love at first sight experiences.
· Men experience it more than women
More male respondents reported love at first sight compared to the females. The researchers thought that it might be because women are more selective when looking for partners. However, this conclusion requires further studies.
· The experience is not always mutual
“Mutual” first love is not always a shared experience. In the study, many respondents said that their partners didn’t know or realize the other’s instant attraction. However, researchers suggested that the intensity of one person’s attraction might affect how the partner’s thought. It could lead the partner to believe that they shared the same first love experience.
Finally, researchers stated that the first love experience is not a “real” love, which requires understanding, support, intimacy, and other long-term characteristics. The attraction simply opens the door for stronger possibilities of romantic relationships.
Will Love at First Sight Last?
Love at first sight sounds like the most romantic thing that can happen to someone. Therefore, many people believe that it will last long. Is it true?
Not really. According to psychologist Dr Salida Afridi, love at first sight cannot develop into a strong bond if there are no efforts. The first attraction tends to be superficial, and if there are no bonds, it can fizzle with time. The difficult part is not falling in love but keeping the relationship going.
If you don’t experience instant attraction when meeting someone, don’t get discouraged. The most important thing is your effort to keep the relationship going after you become romantic partners.
Tips to Develop Healthy Romantic Relationships
The first stages of a loving relationship can feel fiery and exciting (especially if you met through instant attraction). However, keeping a healthy and strong relationship requires efforts. The Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas shared several tips to build a good relationship:
· Build a relationship with respect
Respect and kindness must be the base of all healthy relationships. You can establish them by showing respectful and kind behaviors to each other. Say “thank you,” respect each other’s boundaries, and don’t call each other with offensive words or mocking tones.
· Explore and listen
Exploring each other’s thoughts and interests is the key to understand more about your partner. Also, learn how to listen instead of just venting. Don’t dominate the conversation and let the other says what he/she has in mind without judgment.
· Establish healthy ways to handle disagreement
The ability to deal with disagreement or conflict healthily is the key to a healthy relationship. When having an argument or disagreement, always stay in the present. Never dig into past mistakes or make assumptions. Have a conversation with conflict resolution as your main goal, not “winning” the argument.
· When making mistakes, say sorry
Saying sorry is a hard thing to do, but acknowledging your mistake is important to establish a healthy relationship. When apologizing, be sincere and acknowledge your mistakes completely. Never do fake apology, such as saying things like “I’m sorry you are offended” or “it’s just the way I am.”
· Welcome changes
Changes are inevitable, especially in a long-term relationship. You may experience financial changes, sickness, accidents, the presence of a new child, and other extreme situations. You and your partner should work together to welcome changes and return your life to a normal pace together.
Finally, make sure that you and your partner have proper communication style. Create an atmosphere of support and understanding so that everyone can discuss his or her problems freely. Communication is also the key to resolve conflicts in healthy ways before they blow up into bigger problems.
It is possible to experience an instant attraction when seeing someone. However, remember that love at first sight is just a part of a positive impression you experience toward someone. It is not the key to a long, meaningful relationship. You must work hard and cooperate with your partner to create a loving, long-lasting relationship.