Does ‘love at first sight’ really exist?
While most of the romantic heads among us would say yes others would just raise their eyebrows in scepticism. Studies have shown that what we call ‘love at first sight’ is not love but rather a strong physical attraction, resultant of a chemical reaction taking place in our brains.
If such is the case then all those stories about person X falling in love with person Y were untrue (much to our dismay). Not to pop anyone’s bubble or deconstruct the idea of this concept in your heads but it is a possibility that these stories are just rare cases of intense chemistry among two people with a touch of good luck and compatibility.
So now that we have acknowledged the rare existence of it, we need to ask ourselves if this idea deserves so much looking forward. Our culture imposes a lot of value on ‘love at first sight’ but sadly not everyone is lucky to experience it. Also, it’s not as authentic as people think it is.
What exactly is ‘love at first sight’?
Two strangers entering into a romantic union after one quick glance. This idea has been constantly propagated by pop culture and is a frequently occurring trope in literature, art, and movies.
Movies like Titanic, The Notebook, Twilight, 500 Days of Summer and Romeo and Juliet are few such examples. Its origins can be traced back to Greek mythology from which it was first introduced.
The idea was that Eros or Cupid throws love arrows at hero and heroine thereby crippling them with undying love, passion, and desire for their sweethearts. Fantasy of ‘love at first sight’ has rather consumed popular imagination.
But does popularity guarantees authenticity? How valid is ‘love at first sight’ in the modern dating scenario? Could it be that it’s just a mirage? Could it turn out to be bogus if we dissect it? There are high chances of it being not genuine and as real as we think it is. It is rather a by-product of our fantasies, prejudices, and ignorance.
Here are four facts that will shatter your faith in ‘love at first sight’
It is superficial
Ever wondered why ‘love at first sight’ happens only with good-looking people? The concept of ‘love at first sight’ is completely shallow as it’s grounded in appearances rather than values that make a person beautiful from within. We live in a society that is drawn only to what is conventionally considered as beautiful. A chance of being attracted to a person with a clear skin is more than being attracted to a person with facial scars. Similarly, we’ll find ourselves inclined to skinny and fit people more than obese people. This investment in appearances blurs the line between love and lust. Thus, ‘love at first sight’ is a one-dimensional concept.
It arises out of memory bias
The odds are that ‘love at first sight’ is a memory bias or an illusion that successful couples create for themselves. Over-romanticising is a human condition and stories of ‘love at first sight’ are actually generated by our long-held fantasies. Memory is sentimental and guided by our emotions and experiences and most of the couples unintentionally create this myth. A long-lasting relationship just doesn’t happen in the first three minutes of meeting someone. Loyalty, commitment, and efforts are important aspects of a healthy relationship.
It objectifies people
‘Love at first sight’ reduces human beings to mere objects of adoration. It makes people look at others just for their exterior rather than their inner beauty. ‘Love at first sight’ at times is also an alibi for the sexist behaviour of men. It allows men to measure the worth of a woman from her waist, breast and hip size instead of her intellect. It is the major cause of most of the eve-teasing cases and thus this happens to be a problematic concept.
It stems out of fascination for strangers
‘Love at first sight’ actually arises out of the fascination of humans for strangers and uncharted territories. Strangers carry a sense of mystery in them which often leads to attraction. ‘Love at first sight’ in that sense becomes an excitement for something new and lust for connections which we desire to look for in strangers.