Psychologists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have finally answered the question that many have wondered their entire lives: Is love at first sight real?
Scientifically speaking, no.
The psychologists scientifically investigated the phenomenon to try and determine whether it was real. They concluded that what we often think is love at first sight is more likely just strong physical attraction.
Researchers conducted their study on 396 participants, roughly 60 percent were women, most were heterosexual, and the pool was mostly comprised of young Dutch and German students.
Through an online survey, participants were asked questions about their current romantic relationship (if they were in one). Then they looked at pictures of various people they have never met, and asked to rate their attraction to them. They were asked to note any feelings of love, intimacy, passion, commitment or “eros,” which is measured by statements such as: “I feel that the person and I were meant for each other.”
The pool was also asked whether they felt that they were “experiencing love at first sight.”
Two other studies were conducted which involved speed dating. Participants either spent 90 or 20 minutes getting to know each other. Again, they were asked to rate their feelings for their potential partners.
Thirty-two participants (most of whom were men) described 49 experiences of love at first sight at the end of speed-date study. However, the scientists linked this to finding the other person very attractive.
At the speed dating events, none of the instances of reported love at first sight was mutual.
“To conclude, our findings suggest that love at first sight reported at actual first sight resembles neither passionate love nor love more generally,” the researchers said.
Participants who were in a relationship at the time of the study and believed they’d fallen in love with their partners at first sight did report higher levels of passion in their relationship.
However, the scientists believe that it is worth pointing out that the majority of the situations in the study were “contrived and not realistic.”