Love at first sight is a highly romantic concept and one that lots of us dream of. For others though it is also a pipe dream that is seen as impossible – how can you be in love with someone upon first setting eyes on them?
Is Love at First Sight Possible?
For most of us, love is something that is earned over time as we get to know someone and get more used to their being around. We fall in love as a result of spending time with someone and enjoying blissful days out and frolics in the sun, and as we learn that their beliefs, their sense of humour and their interests are all compatible with ours. This all seems like something that you couldn’t possibly know just by seeing someone, so how is it possible to say that you might be in love with someone who has walked past you in a bar?
Well while it might seem unlikely and more likely to be lust or attraction, it is certainly possible that you might feel like you feel something stronger and some of this might be to do with genetics. For instance it is possible to tell unconsciously through smelling pheromones whether someone is a good genetic match for us or not. Perhaps then something like this could play a part and it might in fact be love at first smell.
At the same time you might find that their looks are particularly attractive to you in a way that seems more powerful than the way you fancy your favourite celebrity. This could again due to genetic clues in their face and body. It is said for instance that we feel a more powerful attraction to someone who looks like we do and this again suggests that they are genetically compatible with us, and also that they might be more similar to us in other ways – perhaps shared interests or similar personality traits. Whether this is a basis for ‘love’ or just a much more powerful attraction is open to debate.
Then there’s the fact that we actually can tell a lot more about someone from their initial appearance than we think – about their personality, their lifestyle, what they enjoy doing etc. For instance when you first see that person you are likely to see them doing something or other. It might be that they are joking and laughing with friends and seem to be great fun to be around on this basis, you might see them drinking a drink that you yourself enjoy too, or you might see them helping a wounded bird (if you happen to be living in a fairytale). This tells you immediately a bit about them. You can tell too things about someone from their clothes – and these can suggest a personal style that in itself reflects personality, as well as showing you whether they’re confident or quiet etc and making them more attractive if they happen to be in great shoes and you have a shoe fetish. It all adds up to a complete picture that may or may not be highly attractive to you and that tells you an awful lot about a person.
Again, whether all this can possibly equate to genuine mean love is a heavy question and people’s interpretations of love are all different anyway. Some people claim to genuinely be in ‘love’ with animals and even inanimate objects… but defining love is an article for another day.
Is It Accurate?
Certainly you might feel in love with your definition of love. When you see someone who appears to be the perfect match for you in so many ways though, often we will tend to ‘project’ our ideals onto them and to imbue them in our mind with traits that they perhaps do not in reality possess. This can be particularly bad if you’ve recently lost someone through a breakup and weren’t ready to let go – we can project our feelings about them onto the person we’re looking at. Sometimes we can even feel attracted to a certain type of person after watching a character in a film that we responded to.
At the same time we can of course make simple mistakes and might simply think someone is something they’re not. As a result through both these concepts we often fall in love with an ‘idea’ rather than that person, and they might not turn out to be what we expect. Whether that makes the love any less real though is again a tricky philosophical discussion.
So How Do You Know?
As such, deciding whether you’re really in ‘love’ when you first see someone is a tricky concept. Suffice to say though that you might feel very much in awe with someone and that those feelings might feel disproportionate bearing how long you’ve known them. If you can’t get that person out of your head, if you find yourself positioning yourself to get a look at them, sighing at the thought of them, and obsessing about them the next day… then these could all be signs of love at first sight. It can feel like being hit with a tonne of bricks and it’s something you’ll certainly know when you feel it.
There’s no way of knowing whether this is ‘really’ love at first sight, but if you feel it at the time then it will be real for you. Don’t over-think it, just approach!