The Common Relationship Belief That Always Leads Good Couples Astray

Love at first sight works in the movies, but not so much in real life.

Last updated on Jun 25, 2024

Two people meeting by chance, love at first sight Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB | Shutterstock

Do you know why you are attracted to a new person? In your dating experiences, have you found yourself making online dating choices based on the pictures or the profile? Did you agree to a second date because of shared values and interests, relationship goals, and love of sushi? Or was it that perfect white smile that made your heart sing?

Thanks to an area in your brain, a particular region has been linked to your romantic choices. In a 2014 study, it was found that this area makes quick decisions about whether a new person is the right one or not within seconds. This "instant attraction" mechanism leads daters to choose by their internal physical ideal of who is attractive to pursue.


Working with singles as a relationship coach, I understand how easy it is to allow a certain physical type to determine dating, love, and commitment. Unfortunately, reliance on this 15-second glance strategy leads to many unfulfilling relationships. The fear that one will have to settle for less than their ideal physical type if looks are not at the top of the "must-have" list, is not the best approach to attracting the right relationship. Take a look at some of the arguments that instant attractors raise.

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Here's why science says 'love at first sight' will lead you astray:

1. I'll know the right one when I see them

If you have not worked through past relationship patterns, you will not know. What will happen is a repeat of what you have already experienced and the inevitable break-up. Your mindsets about love, relationships, and how you expect to be treated are the real directors in your choices. The attraction will be to those who put your pattern into motion.


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2. I am only attracted to a certain type

If you are very closed off about dating those who do not match your physical ideal of the right one, you will tend to be drawn to superficial relationships. Many people can get fixed on dating those who are a certain height and build, for example, only to completely overlook the one who would truly make their heart happy. Finding one another appealing is a definite part of the overall package, but to place looks front and center does not lead one to relationship fulfillment.

3. Love needs mystery

Movies are good at creating an illusion of love that does not work in life. A person who cannot share feelings and communicate openly and honestly is not the best choice long-term. Choosing to date those who are highly attractive because one feels more valuable and important is a sure path to many other relationship insecurities.


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4. If I have to work at love, then the romance is gone

Working through the personal barriers to love someone that have resulted from past emotional hurt will not take the romance out of future dates and commitments. Just the opposite will happen; you will have a clear vision of the right person for you. The idea this individual will intuitively know all the right things to say, the emotional buttons not to push and the nuances that make up your personality is unrealistic. Part of the journey of creating a deeply connected relationship is working through the challenges that arise and getting through each one successfully. Evolving together is a wonderful shared experience and will lead to romance, unlike anything you can imagine!

Fear has no place in the search and attainment of lasting love. I encourage you to take a different approach to your dating choices — believe you will attract the right relationship when you place quality character, shared morals and values, and relationship goals at the top of your priority list instead of making instant attraction decisions.


They look into each other's eyes, is it love at first sight? bbernard via Shutterstock

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Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach, and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships.