The Scientific Answer To Whether Or Not Falling In Love At First Sight Is Possible


Is love at first real?

Many people fell in love with their partners later on in their relationship — often a year or so after first meeting. They felt a deep connection to and a lust for their partner at first but not full-blown, head-over-heels love.

But just because many people haven't experienced it, doesn't make it impossible. 

Many people believe love at first sight is real, while most others think it's a myth. 

To settle this eternal debate, Senior Vice President of YourTango Experts Melanie Gorman sat down with some true Experts in the subject of love, including biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher. In addition to the esteemable Dr. Fisher, Melanie was joined by relationship and communications expert Fiona Fine, author and dating coach Gregg Michaelsen, and matchmaker and dating coach Jasbina Ahluwalia to get to the truth about love at first sight.

And here's the deal: There's still no definitive answer to this romantic mystery, but that doesn't mean love at first sight can't happen.

RELATED: Is Love At First Sight Actually Possible? (Or Is It Just A Myth)

Here's what you need to know about falling in love at first sight:

1. There's a difference between being "in love" and "loving."

"I believe there's a huge difference between 'in love' and 'loving'," explains Fiona Fine in the YourTango Experts video above.

"I actually was dating a man — I had been dating him for about a year — and all of the sudden, a year later, I fell in love with him. And I literally — we both felt it shift, and my chemicals and everything shifted. And he never fell in love with me. He always loved me, but he didn't fall in love with me. So... I don't think that we fall in love at first sight. I think that... a lot of other things happen."

So what was that, if it wasn't love? And which of them was in love and which one simply loved the other? 

The truth is, "loving" is an action verb. You give love to them, you tell them you love them (in many different ways), and you do the work to keep loving them. 

But the idea of falling in love is almost passive. As if it's happening to you, out of your control, and you cannot help it. This passivity is probably one reason people are so romantically tied to falling in love at first sight. They like the feeling of free-falling into something and losing all control. 

It makes that love seem all the more exciting, all the more important. 

But is it really?

RELATED: How To Tell The Difference Between A Crush And Love At First Sight

2. Science says love at first sight IS possible.

According to many psychological and anthropological studies, love at first sight might actually be a possibility. According to Dr. Helen Fisher, "From a purely biological thinking, this is a brain circuit. This is a brain system. It's like fear system. It's like the anger system. You can get mad instantly, you can get scared instantly, and I think you can fall in love instantly. And in fact, I think that this whole brain system evolved to be almost instant."

It's one of the three brain systems — "sex drive (lust), one is intense feelings of romantic love (obsessive love, being in love, infatuation, whatever you want to call it) and the third being feelings of deep attachment" — that have evolved to give a helping hand to mating and reproduction.

"And so I think [it's a] very specific brain system that evolved millions of years ago," Dr. Fisher continues, "to enable you to focus your mating energy on one particular individual and start the mating process, and it can be triggered instantly."

So is it love or lust? There definitely needs to be more research done on this love mystery. But for all of you romantics out there, keep believing!

Want to hear more expert insight on the love at first sight debate? Scroll up to hear what our other YourTango Experts have to say.

RELATED: 4 Things That Trick Your Mind Into Thinking It's Love At First Sight

Interested in understanding more about why we love? Check out Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray, by Helen Fisher. To learn more from Helen Fisher and Lucy Brown, visit The The Anatomy of Love

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