Here’s What Falling In Love At First Sight Is All About As Explained By A Neuroscientist

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Is it really that easy to fall in love at first sight, like in the movies?

Today, many scientists agree that love is more of a biological concept than a cultural one. What’s more is that neuroscientists believe that it is actually very easy to fall in love, it's staying that way which is the hard part. Here’s the science on love at first sight as explained by a neuroscientist...


It only takes three minutes to decide if someone is a potential partner for you.

Researchers say that people can make decisions very quickly when it comes to romantic relationships. According to a study, people who love to spend the first few minutes together are likely to establish a close relationship after nine weeks.

Love at first sight has a biological basis.

Having spent a long time researching love, neuro psychotherapist Dr. Trisha Stratford says she does think love at first sight exists.

The first impression and our perception of the potential partner are related to the body chemistry and our five senses.

When we first meet someone we like, we have a chemical reaction which, actually helps to bring us closer together.

"When we feel an attraction for someone, we seem to have this gravitational pull which is what neuroscience calls our adaptive oscillators, and that really pulls us together," neuropsychotherapist Dr. Trisha Stratford says.

"In my Ph.D. research, I actually showed that when we are in a relationship with someone or chatting with them, the space between us is alive. The sixth sense exists. I proved we can impact each other's brain and body, even if we have just met.” Stratford adds.

So if we meet somebody and think “I really like this person,” there’s this rush of chemicals.

Those chemicals create a connection and then we start to impact each other's brain and body.

At first, dopamine and serotonin levels change.

What happens is basically that if we’re attracted to someone and they return our gaze, we connect.

"The adaptive oscillators pull us together and we are really attracted to that person." Stratford says.

Stratford says that one of the most important factors behind kicking those adaptive oscillators into gear is 'the gaze' and whether or not it's returned by our potential partner.

"The reward circuit in our brain is activated when we are attracted to someone else and they return the interest," Stratford says.

"It isn't activated if it's one-sided. If they don't return your gaze, you will actually look for someone else. I'm talking about the instance of meeting someone for the first time, not if you have a history with them."

And how successful the gaze is, is also important for the first kiss.

"When you look into another person's eyes, your adaptive oscillators, which are part of the pre-frontal cortex, which is the orbital frontal complex, these lock between you and your partner and it forms this loop," Stratford says.

From there, these adaptive oscillators just pull us together and guide the two mouths together and we kiss.

So it’s actually all about chemicals.

Pheromones are also important because what we smell is actually other people’s immune systems.

"In a partner, you are looking for an immune system which is compatible with yours but also different, so you have healthy offspring," Stratford says.

Staying in love, however, is not really something we can explain with simple chemical reactions.

“... in terms of what keeps us in love, it depends on what our attachment needs are and our attachment pattern,” Stratford says.

Our expectations from a partner and a relationship are important for a relationship to last for a long time.

“What we want, how much money we want, what we have been brought up to believe love should be like, the social aspects of a relationship, all of these start to kick in then, and that's when it starts to get challenging."

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