Sorry, But Love at First Sight Isn’t Love

A dog lies in a bed of rose petals wearing heart-shaped sunglasses

As children reading fairy tales, we learn about love at first sight. Prince Harry says he knew that Meghan Markle was the one when he first met her. In 2013, Reuters reported a CBS/Vanity Fair poll showed that fifty-six percent of Americans believed in love at first sight. Is there really such a thing?

An empirical study recently published in Personal Relationships suggests that “love at first sight” is simply physical attraction misunderstood. Researchers Lorian Zsok, Matthias Haucke, Cornelia Y. De Wit, and Dick P.H. Barelds reported data from a mix of studies involving 396 young Dutch and German students, about 60 percent of whom were women. The sample group included mostly heterosexual participants, so the results might not apply to other sexual orientations.

Participant responses showed that strong physical attraction correlates to a person reporting love at first sight, while commitment and intimacy are lacking. This and other details in the study suggest that what many perceive as love at first sight is actually what we would call lust, perhaps retroactively assigned a more “socially acceptable” label.

Read the full study here:
What kind of love is love at first sight? An empirical investigation

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Stephanie

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