One of the many mysteries in life just happens to revolve around the subject of love and romance. In this case – love at first sight.
The concept of ‘love at first sight’ sounds ideal since it’s been implanted in our minds by Disney fairy tales, all the way to modern-day romantic chick flicks. But before you walk out into your local supermarket or a friend’s wedding, hoping you’ll bump into the man of your dreams – remind yourself that it’s all in the mind!
A study in Ireland revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex – a region in the brain that plays a role in romantic decision-making – is responsible for our instant judgement of the person we think we want to spend the rest of our lives with. In other words, infatuation!
The prefrontal cortex helps us decide if the person in front of us is attractive or not. Through a speed-dating event, 78 women and 73 men helped scientists from Trinity College in Dublin find the neurological link of brain to one of the mysteries of romance.
Before the event, 39 of the participants had their brains imaged through an fMRI to record brain activity of the subjects as they looked at photographs of strangers. What’s interesting is that the medial prefrontal cortext, or the paracingulate cortex, showed increase activity whenever the subjects found the people in the photos attractive.
Now that we know the brain has a lot to do with what we call ‘love at first sight’, what about the relationship aspect of it?
When a princess in a Disney cartoon sees a man for the first time and falls in love with him, they will head to the wedding altar shortly after. Don’t we all want to know how the two end up after the honeymoon? What other significant qualities does the prince have apart looking good with a sword?
Love at first sight seems to be more of a form of infatuation; similar to a high-school crush, if you will. And what about feeling like you’ve met “the one” after one measley date? And why do we use the terms “click” or “chemistry” as an excuse?
Sue, 27, is a single career woman who admits to occasionally falling in love with certain men she met for the first time.
“I suppose when you meet someone for the first time, you’re ridden with nerves and you get extremely anxious about saying the right thing. But when things start to seem positive, it warms you. I think it cradles you with hope that this man might the one you’ve been looking for all this while; and that isn’t really a bad thing”.
But while feeling positive about someone is a sensation that money can’t buy, it starts to get dangerous when you start to get hopeful:
“In my experience, stop thinking about what a great time you had with your date, and distract yourself with other things. When you start having expectations, and then find out that it’s not working out after all; that’s one feeling that’s just as bad as breaking up!
“I went on one date with a man, and we both clicked so well. I could tell he liked me, and I made it clear to him how much I liked him. I fell asleep thinking about him, and just kept imagining how life would be like. But the day before our second date, he told me that he had met someone else and hoped to work it out”.
Sue claimed to have been devastated about the incident, but it isn’t the first time it’s happened. However, she did come to one conclusion: “Over-thinking and fantasising is already a jinx to something that could be”.
We’re not advocating the fact that falling in love with someone after meeting them for 20 minutes is impossible. But real love and affection would take time to develop between two people.
What do you girls have to say about love at first sight? Has it happened to you?