Love At First Sight: Yay or Nay? - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka

Love: Is It Magic? Science? Or Neither?

We delve deep

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She said, “He was the one.”

He said, “I knew the moment I laid my eyes on her.”

They said, “It was love at first sight.”

 What do you say?

 Does love at first sight exist? Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel… you name it, all the fairy tales told us that when boy sees girl, girl sees boy, they’re in love and get married.

 Many people claim the moment they met their Significant Other, they knew it was love, that they knew they would spend the rest of their lives together. But, is this really possible? Can you honestly love someone by looking at someone’s eyes or skin colour, just by watching them dance or by hearing them laugh?

I mean, I have questions.

 Do you think it’s possible to love someone without knowing the number of smiles they have or how to read their eyes, when you don’t know how they take their coffee or what their favourite pizza topping is? How can you love someone without knowing what to love about them or knowing how to love the things you hate about them first?

 Truth be told, I don’t think love works that way. To me, love is slow, soft and gentle. Love is quiet, shy and vulnerable. Love doesn’t have reasons and love doesn’t give conditions. Love strips you naked and accepts all your perfect imperfections. Love is comforting and terrifying. Love takes its own time and never asks you why. Love hopes. Love knows. Love grows. That’s what love is to me which is why I’m sceptical about love at first sight.

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But, don’t take my word for it.

There are in-depth studies and research conducted on the subject. Researcher, Stephanie Cacioppo stated in her study, Neuroimaging of Love: fMRI Meta-Analysis Evidence Toward New Perspectives in Sexual Medicine that 12 areas of your brain work together to release chemicals and hormones that induce the feeling of falling in love. All of this happens in a fifth of a second, creating a feeling similar to that of euphoria-inducing drugs resulting you to believe that you are actually in love.

Neuroscientist and holistic wellness expert, Leigh Winters, explained that when you find someone attractive, it activates your stress response; your heart races, your mouth becomes dry, and you might start to sweat. This is because of the quickly rising levels of adrenaline and cortisol. “If you have an intense attraction to someone, this will trigger your dopamine levels which naturally awakens your body’s desire and reward response,” she said.

Having said that, everyone who says it was love at first sight, wouldn’t have been referring to a dopamine-induced infatuation either. The human species is complex and experiences a lot of emotions that science can’t explain. The problem here is that the feeling you experience is so strong and overwhelming that you fail to find a word to describe it, and obviously, you won’t go into a scientific analysis on how you’re feeling either. So, calling it ‘love’ is the most appropriate response.

 But, perhaps the word you’re looking for is “connection”.

 It’s the moment your eyes meet or hands touch, the moment she smiles or he says ‘hello’. The feeling of absolute rightness that engulfs you, undeniable and not to be ignored. It’s an emotion that embraces you in a familiar comfort that makes you feel both safe and terrified at the same time. The certainty you experience is both overwhelming and liberating. This is a connection. A connection of two souls that can never go back.

 So, do I believe in love at first sight? No, I don’t! But, I do believe that once you make an undoubted connection, you need to put in a lot of effort to turn it into love. So, whatever you choose to call this connection, all that matters is that you don’t let it go. Some people wait a lifetime to feel this way. And, if you’re one of the lucky ones, then grab it, treasure it, protect it and never let it go, because once you make such a connection, the rest is up to you.

What do you think ?

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