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Love at First Sight: Why We Fall, How It Feels & 21 Signs to Prove It’s Real

Do you believe in love at first sight? Is it real or just a fantasy created by Disney movies? Well, read on and then you can decide for yourself.

love at first sight real signs

It’s practically every girl’s dream that she will walk into an establishment someday, lock eyes with a handsome stranger, and immediately fall head over heels in love. You can’t deny that real love at first sight is a lovely thought.

But is love at first sight real, or is it just another Hollywood concept we were led to believe? Plenty of people argue that love at first sight just isn’t real. However, as you keep reading this feature, you might believe differently. 

If you’ve always been a romantic and you want to believe that this concept is very much real, there are concrete signs of love at first sight to prove this is the case. [Read: Science of attraction – 17 things that are far sexier than looks]

Misconceptions about love at first sight

Everyone has their own idea of what love at first sight means. And that can also lead to a lot of misconceptions about it too. So, keep these in mind when you’re trying to figure out whether it’s real or not.

1. Love at first sight is destiny

Some people do believe that love at first sight is destiny. They might think that it’s their soulmate or twin soul that they have been looking for all their lives.

But no one can actually prove that is true. It might not be destiny, but rather just your hormones raging when you see a particularly attractive person that you want to get to know. [Read: Real soul mates – what it is, 59 secrets and signs to find yours]

2. The feeling is mutual

Just because you feel like you’ve been struck down with love at first sight doesn’t mean that the other person feels the same way. Of course, you hope they do. But that’s not always the case.

Sometimes the other person will never feel the same way. Other times, they will just need a little more time to come around and finally love the other person. So, for them, it’s just “love” and not love at first sight.

3. Feeling “the feeling” means it will last

Infatuation is an overwhelming feeling. And so is love. But infatuation always wears off eventually. [Read: Infatuation vs. love – how it feels and 28 differences and ways to turn it into love]

While love can last forever, sometimes it doesn’t either. So, the feeling that people feel when they think they are experiencing love at first sight might not last. And maybe the relationship won’t either.

Why people fall in love at first sight

Most people would probably love to fall in love at first sight because it’s the ultimate romantic experience. But many don’t. Here are some reasons why people might fall in love at first sight.

1. There’s an actual chemical reaction in your brain that makes you feel love

Our bodies are full of chemical reactions all the time. [Read: Chemistry of love – how hormones make you feel love the way you do]

We have so many hormones that make us feel everything from physical attraction to bonding and love. So, the “love” we feel at first sight might just be an extremely pleasing chemical reaction in your brain.

2. Love at first sight can actually be a “positive illusion” you and your partner create yourselves 

It could be that when two people meet and feel an instant attraction and connection, it could be because you both want to fall in love at first sight so badly. Therefore, the two of you might create this illusion of it in your heads.

3. It could all start with instant attraction

People can decide immediately if they find someone attractive. And although physical attraction can grow, when someone feels it instantly, they interpret it as “love” at first sight and not “lust” at first sight. [Read: What is lust? 25 typical signs to look for and ways to turn it into love]

4. Love at first sight doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship will last

Even if both people feel love at first sight, that doesn’t automatically mean that their relationship will be successful. 

Relationships take a lot of effort, so when the infatuation wears off, the rose-colored glasses will too. That’s when the two people decide where it goes.

So, is love at first sight real or not?

Many people dismiss this kind of love as being pure fantasy, but they may have never felt it themselves. [Read: 45 facts about love and psychological secrets to decode how the mind works]

Because if they had, then they would know for sure that love at first sight certainly does exist. Just ask anybody who has experienced this phenomenon. 

If you’ve never experienced this remarkable feeling, it’s easy to be cynical about it. 

We all want to think that it’s just not possible to fall for someone based on first impressions alone, but it does happen. Plato explained love at first sight in terms of the heavens. [Read: Different types of attraction – which is most vital for true love?]

He stated that when your soul descends from heaven to earth, it is split into two. Therefore, the other half of your soul needs to find its other half. So, when you finally do find your missing half, you feel an immediate connection with that person. 

In other words, when you come across your soulmate and better half, this is one of the circumstances where one can experience love at first sight. 

What you have is beyond words, so it’s only natural to feel a connection even by just that first glance. [Read: What does it feel like to be in love? 33 must-know truths about being in love]

Can love at first sight lead to a successful marriage?

Many people think that love at first sight is just your hormones talking. In other words, they think that it’s merely infatuation and lust when you see someone you think you’re in love with but have never met before.

And while that may be true to some extent, that doesn’t mean that love at first sight is not real and cannot last. 

So, to answer this question about whether or not love at first sight can lead to a successful marriage, the answer is a resounding yes! [Read: Happily ever after – the psychological benefits of marriage and commitment]

If you’re still not convinced, here are some real-life stories that not only prove that love at first sight is real, but that it can lead to long-term, happy marriages.

Real-life stories that prove love at first sight is real

“I saw my wife at a religious convention when I was only 19 years old. She was cute as a button. I pointed her out and leaned in and whispered to my friend, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’ I asked her out and six months later we were married. We’ve been married 40 years and going strong!” –Paul, 59 [Read: Love at first sight – the real truth behind it]

“I met my wife at a bus stop. She had just moved to town and was sitting with some of my close friends at a downtown bus stop. She had actually just agreed to go on a date with one of them to a party that night. She was so beautiful and so funny I knew in my gut I had just met my soulmate. We talked all night at the party, and I begged and begged her to leave the party with me instead of my friend. She reluctantly agreed, but only if I called her mother to ask permission to walk her home. Her mother said yes, and we’ve been together ever since. That was 50 years ago, by the way.” –Vincenzo, 68

“I saw my husband walking by a huge tourist attraction where we live. I was struck by how sexy he was, so I introduced myself. I knew he was checking me out. We were both playing hard to get, but something about that first meeting made my stomach flip. By the end of that day, he told me he was going to marry me, and I was going to have his children. I told him, ‘you’ve got the wrong girl!’ Apparently, he didn’t because one year later we were married. We’ve been together 35 years now and have two children. He called it from the start!” –Eve, 54 [Read: The rules of attraction, as explained by science]

“I saw my wife at church on Sunday and desperately asked around to see if anyone knew who she was. I had a blind date set up, which ended up being ‘chaperoned’ by two elderly women. The date was so awkward and terrible, but I was so taken with how classy this girl was that I couldn’t give up on her. I tried for years to call and e-mail her to set up another date, but she’d obviously had a terrible time. It took three years, but eventually, she said yes to a date. We’ve been married 10 years now!” –Bryan, 34 

“I met my wife in 1988 at the movies. We were seeing Rain Man, and she was sitting with her girlfriend in front of me and my brother. By the end, I couldn’t even tell you what the movie was about because I spent the whole film watching her. I was captivated. She exuded kindness and personality. I was so nervous when the movie ended that I tapped her on the shoulder and managed to squeak out, ‘I don’t have a lot of time to chat, but I couldn’t leave without saying hello. Maybe we could have dinner sometime?’ She gave me a big, welcoming smile and said ‘sure!’ We went on our first date later that week and have been married for 28 years now. Best movie ever!” –Dan, 47 [Read: How men fall in love – stages of love]

“I met my husband at a bar. Not exactly romantic, I know. He came up to say hello and buy me a drink. I instantly recognized him. We had gone to high school together 10 years earlier! In fact, I couldn’t stand him. I was a geek and he was the popular guy. Everybody loved him, so I vowed that I wouldn’t give him the time of day. This all went out the window, of course, when he came up and asked me out. Whenever we tell the story to people, he always says as soon as he saw me he could feel it in his bones – it was love at first sight!” –Carolyn, 45

“I met my little wife outside of a corner store. There were what we called greasers who used to hang out there, and I was one of them. May was so innocent, and I felt just the opposite. She was a good girl, training to be a nun. I put on my best charms to try and convince her to leave the Convent and move to Canada with me. It worked. We’ve been married 70 years.” –Edward, 87

The big signs of love at first sight

It might be a little confusing to decipher love at first sight from lust. [Read: Puppy love – what it means, stages, 37 signs and ways to turn it into true love]

But if you’re curious as to what love at first sight feels like, take note of the following signs. These symptoms of love at first sight are nearly impossible to miss.

1. Your stomach drops

When you set eyes on someone and it’s love at first sight, your adrenaline will immediately start pumping through your veins. When adrenaline is released, that feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach is the result. 

And if it’s really love at first sight, these will be some of the most powerful butterflies you’ll ever feel in your life. [Read: How to know if you are truly in love]

This is because your emotions are deeply connected to the rest of your body. It’s why when you’re heartbroken, you feel physically ill as well – and the same goes for love at first sight!

2. You get really nervous

Nervousness usually comes from having a big event, presentation, or announcement to make. 

You get butterflies, sweat, and shake at the thought of going through with whatever it is you have to do. [Read: How not to be nervous – 18 calm ways to eliminate nerves instantly]

When you experience love at first sight, you will probably get really nervous for virtually no reason. 

When just setting eyes on a person makes you sweat bullets and stutter your words in a nervous wreck, it’s one of the huge signs of love at first sight. 

You feel so nauseous that you forget how to speak or behave accordingly. That’s because this person hit you harder than expected! [Read: Butterflies in your stomach – 16 steps to control and calm them instantly]

3. You feel like you’ve met them before

When you feel that you’ve almost instantly made an immense connection with someone, despite only having met them recently, it could be love at first sight. 

You will feel as though you’ve known them for years when you may have only met them that night! 

You won’t look at this person like they’re a stranger, but rather that they’re an old friend whom you haven’t seen in a while. [Read: Love chemistry and sparks in love]

Your soul recognizes theirs right from the beginning, and that’s why they feel so familiar. 

So, if you’re asking if love at first sight is real, it’s all about how much you recognize them initially.

4. You are compelled to talk to them

Not only do you feel that you know who this person is deep down, but you’ll also feel compelled to go talk to them. [Read: How to talk to your crush and make them fall for you]

This can be especially noticeable if you’re usually a quiet, shy person who never goes up to a strange person and introduces yourself. 

You will feel an almost subconscious pull toward them if it’s love at first sight. You can’t pinpoint the reason behind it, but you feel drawn to be near them and talk to them. 

This is one of the signs of love at first sight you can’t ignore. [Read: 78 cute, flirty pick-up lines to show off your romantic side and start talking!]

5. They’re not your usual type

Everybody has a “type,” even if we don’t like to admit it. If you experience love at first sight, you may be surprised to find that this person is the furthest thing from your usual type. Maybe you tend to go for the intellectual type, yet they’re the complete opposite. 

We can’t always control who we fall for. But if you’re asking if love at first sight is real, watch how you fall for someone that is the opposite of who you tend to fall for. That speaks volumes for love at first sight. 

You will not only be pulled toward them by a seemingly invisible force, but you will be really confused as to why, since they’re not the type of person you usually go for. [Read: Bad girl traits every guy wants in his girl]

6. You can’t stop thinking about them

If you’ve experienced love at first sight, your mind will constantly wander to their face, their voice, and when you might talk to or see them next. It’ll feel as though you’re a teenager experiencing a first crush. 

You won’t be able to think of anything but them for days and maybe even weeks. If your love was strong enough, you might never forget them at all. 

Having uncontrollable thoughts about them is one of the signs of love at first sight that you shouldn’t ignore. [Read: How to know when you’re in love – 50 signs you can’t ignore]

7. You genuinely want to know about their life

Why else would you want to keep knowing about someone’s life? It’s because you’re in love with them! 

You want to know every detail about their life because you want to know them better and connect deeper. With this kind of love, it’s not necessarily a sexual attraction right from the get-go, although this could be wrapped into your feelings. 

Whether it’s knowing about their childhood, hobbies, or upbringing, these are all things that matter to you. [Read: 60 get-to-know-you questions for a new romance]

This kind of love touches you deeply, making you feel the need to get to know them on a much deeper level.

8. You find them *really* attractive

Just because physical attraction isn’t the main thing you feel for this person when it’s love at first sight, it’s still something that you feel with intensity. 

The difference is that it’s not an overwhelming attraction that makes you want to rip off their clothes and have your way with them. This kind of physical attraction makes you appreciate everything about the way they look. You find them sexy, cute, hot, and beautiful all in one. [Read: Attraction theory – what it is and factors that make you desirable to others]

This can also be a classic case of becoming so attracted to their personality that their looks seem to simply follow suit.

9. You immediately picture yourself with them

If it’s really love at first sight, you’ll most likely start picturing yourself in a relationship with them. [Read: 19 clear signs you are ready for a serious relationship]

Most of the time, this can take a little getting to know them before you automatically feel as though you could really be with them for the long haul.

You find yourself daydreaming scenarios that aren’t likely to happen, that’s one of the signs of love at first sight. 

You daydream about dating them, being with them, buying a house with them, and maybe even starting a family. [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it]

10. You are confused by your reaction

Maybe you’re a pretty logical person and aren’t overly emotional. But when you see this person, you are overwhelmed with feelings. And that’s not like you to feel that way.

So, you wonder, “What’s going on here? I have never felt this way before!” You keep thinking about why you feel so drawn to a complete stranger.

Well, there could be a lot of reasons why you are feeling that way, from chemical reactions in your brain to finally meeting your soulmate. [Read: How to recognize a soul connection when they walk into your life]

Either way, you are confused as to why you feel this way. It’s something new that you’ve never experienced before.

11. You get a sudden urge to see/meet them

Maybe you meet them at a party or some other public setting. You see them from across the room and can’t stop staring at them. It’s like you’re completely drawn into their aura.

Although they are perfect strangers, you have this sudden urge to go over and introduce yourself. It’s almost like a magnet is pulling you in toward them and you can’t stop yourself. [Read: Approach anxiety – 16 effortless ways to conquer it in a few days]

Even after you meet them, you don’t want the interaction to end. You keep thinking about them and become borderline obsessed. It’s like you want to spend every waking moment with them because you can’t get them off your mind.

12. You don’t care about the type and match

One might think that love at first sight only happens when they see an incredibly gorgeous person who is totally their “type.” But that’s not always how it works. 

Sometimes it’s not always about how someone looks, but rather the energy they put out. You are just drawn to that person for some reason, and it might not be because of how they look. [Read: Type A and Type B personality – 69 traits, the good, bad, and who’s a better date]

Of course, you probably find them at least somewhat attractive, but they might not be your usual match. But you don’t care at all. All you care about is meeting them, getting to know them, and living happily ever after.

13. You can see no one else

Maybe you are in a crowded room or bar, but suddenly it feels like everyone else has disappeared. When you talk to them, it’s like time stops and it is moving in slow motion.

Everyone seems to cease to exist. You are so captured by their presence at the moment that you feel like the two of you are the only people in the world that matter. [Read: How long does it take to fall in love? Your personality and the accurate answer]

Even after your first meeting, you still don’t think about anyone else. They are on your mind constantly, and as the saying goes, you “only have eyes” for them.

14. You feel that you love them

Okay, so love is a huge word, and you should only say the big L word if you genuinely mean it. Nobody can tell you whom you do or don’t love. And if you experience love at first sight, you just *know* that it’s love. [Read: 19 sure signs of falling in love to watch out for]

You won’t feel any doubt whatsoever about how you feel for this person, even though you just met them. You’re sure of this person, and it’s unlike anything you’ve felt before. That’s how you know it’s love at first sight. 

So, is love at first sight real? 

Based on the signs above, love at first sight could be real, especially if you’ve experienced it for yourself. It’s one of the most magical and extraordinary feelings in the world. 

[Read: What falling in love feels like – 20 true-love feelings you would experience]

For those of you who are skeptics about love at first sight, don’t be. These signs will help you see that this remarkable feeling is not at all fiction. 

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...