Written by: Alex Martins-Hesp, Published: 12 February 2021
The day of romance is almost upon us! Yes, this year may be a little different thanks to lockdown restrictions and a ban on date nights to the cinema and sitting in restaurants (thanks corona). But even still, covid-19 can't stop you from taking a stroll in the park and bumping into THE ONE. Which brings us to the question… do you believe in love at first sight?
Though a popular phenomenon we've all heard of, there has barely been any investigation scientifically behind the theory. Still, we've plucked up all the information we could find to help you recognise if you're falling for someone at first sight or vice versa.
What does love at first sight mean?
Love at first sight is a very personal sensation which is why we may all experience it differently. Collins dictionary defines the term as "the experience of starting to be in love with someone as soon as you see them for the first time."
So is it real?
Once you lay eyes on that person, the feeling of attraction and desire burns in your stomach, and the overwhelming thought of "I need to be with this person" takes over. But some would argue that for this precise reason, love at first sight isn't real. It is not a distinct form of love, but rather a strong initial attraction.
However, according to data conducted by Match, love at first sight is real and happens more than you think. Match's chief scientific advisor and biological anthropologist, Dr Helen Fisher, stated that "Romantic love runs along certain electrical and chemical pathways through the brain which can be triggered instantly." Nearly 34% of singles say they've actually experienced falling in love at first sight, Match found. And, more men (41%) say they've experienced it than women (29%),
With this all in mind, there is no doubt that an internal spark is ignited when we see a certain someone that stands out from everyone else. Though what if the truth was hidden in the meaning? What if our eyes could tell us we were in love with the person even if it was the first time we met?
What role does sight play in love?
Our pupils naturally dilate throughout the day. The main reason for this is to control the amount of light that enters the lens; allowing us to focus on objects.
When we experience a physiological response to emotions such as fear or (in this case) love, it causes our pupils to dilate because our autonomic nervous system controls the iris muscles. With matters of the heart, this can indeed back up the old belief that pupils enlarge when we look at someone we are physically attracted to.
The science behind it
The happy hormone (a.k.a Dopamine) is a powerful neurotransmitter regulated within the nervous system and associated with feelings of pleasure. The chemical release of dopamine actually causes the pupils to dilate when your eyes see something that’s desirable, causing your dopamine levels peak.
What other signs does our body give?
You think it's just your eyes that give it away? Your whole body goes into lovey-dovey mode when you meet that special someone.
You get a good (sicky) feeling meeting them- According to Dr Richards-Smith, you could feel a little sick in the stomach upon meeting someone you're attracted to because our feelings can impact our digestive system. "It's very common to feel butterflies or other physical sensations."
They are the only person you see- Richard-Smith also went on to explain that when the feeling is mutual, your eyes will often lock on one another, muting your ability to hear or see anyone or anything else. (Intense right
You want to know everything about them- When you get a genuine fascination with a person and their thoughts on any and every topic is a clear indication that you could be falling for them in that very moment.
So if you are single and waiting for that special someone to show up maybe you need to go out and find them first. Test out the theory of love at first sight, and see if your eyes tell you that this is the one.