Why Love At First Sight Can’t Exist

Even though the notion of love at first sight is a nice concept, it’s an illusion. Love at first sight can’t exist.

When we see someone for the first time, we immediately make judgements, and ultimately, we create a personality for them. It’s a limited personality since it’s based on the only two variables available to us at the “first sight” moment: physical appearance and body language.

We instinctively and impulsively look at her face and her body, every part of her we can, including her clothes, but we also see the way she moves and carries herself.

These two variables give us plenty of information, which our brain automatically cross references to the empiric information it has at hand. In fractions of a second, our brain registers the information and compares the new girl with every other girl we have know through our lives, and it arrives to a conclusion, which translates to a semi-fictional personality.

Physical appearance and body language still give our unconscious brain plenty of information so that the personality we make up is not so drastically different from the truth.

Another factor that can lessen the gap between reality and fiction is our age. The older we get, the more time we have to accumulate experiences, giving our brain more empirical information to use and make more accurate predictions.

Love at first sight moments happen because of physical attraction first. Then (almost simultaneously), we create and assign the semi-fictional personality. Our brain, in an attempt to be congruent, assigns the possibly new object of our affection a positive personality to match her positive physical appearance, completing the illusion.

In a perfect world where social, cultural or economic backgrounds don’t matter, we are left only with who we are intrinsically (personality), and how we look (physical appearance). This is our most basic self, and this is what we see in others and fall in love with.

When we fall in love at first sight, we are not falling in love with that person. We are falling in love with our idea of who that person is, thus, invalidating the whole clichéd sentence.

But for the hopeless romantics, there may be such a thing as love at first interaction. It just doesn’t sound as good.


I don’t usually write about this, but it came to my mind and it was to long to tweet.

If you liked this, please don’t follow me. I probably won’t write about this again ;)