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In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists discovered that people can decide almost immediately.
if they find someone attractive, and the phenomenon of love at first sight cannot happen without that initial attraction.
There’s some science that backs up the concept: suggests people decide within seconds whether
they’re romantically interested in someone, and neurologically speaking, it takes only one-fifth of a second for
But other research discounts the theory. A 2017 study in the Personal Relationships journal orchestrated a bunch of first
encounters between single strangers, and the researchers found feelings of instant attraction can indeed happen in a
first encounter. Some people described these feelings as “love at first sight“—however, these people didn’t report.
feelings of intimacy, passion, and commitment as part of their experience. The main predictor of a “love at first sight.
experience was finding the other person physically attractive.
In other words, romantic love usually cannot happen at first sight, psychologist and sex therapist explains to
mbg. “There can be a strong attraction at first sight, but romantic love for someone requires knowing
who they are, the fullness of their character.
Stages of romantic love
- Lust: You feel a strong physical and sexual attraction.
- Attraction: You feel overwhelmingly drawn to the person, thinking about them constantly, wanting to be around them all the time, and feeling a mix of electricity and nervousness when you’re together.
- Attachment: You feel securely connected and close to your partner, with feelings of deep affection, trust, and contentedness.
How to make someone fall in love with you
You can’t really force someone to fall in love with you, and it’s important not to put pressure on the other person to
get there before they’re ready. “I would steer away from trying to do things to move the process along because it can
easily become inauthentic and unsustainable,” Brown-James says. “Not to mention it can feel like a betrayal when one
person feels that love is owed to them as a reward for behavior.
Consider trying the infamous 36 questions to fall in love, a research-based experiment that many couples
say has helped them create feelings of intimacy. “What I really learned from the excitement around those
questions and desire to have a person fall in love is that vulnerability is the key to building relationship
connection,” Brown-James says. In other words, one piece of falling in love is being able to share really
personal parts of yourself with the other person, to be truly open and vulnerable with one another.
Grow your emotional connection
Having an emotional connection with someone means that you’re able to connect on a deeper level,
beyond just having fun, physical attraction, or intellectual similarities. Being emotionally connected
means you can rely on each other, feel seen by one another, and have shared feelings of romantic
attachment. While you can’t make someone fall in love with you, you can find ways of deepening your
connection as a couple.
The bottom line.
“Falling in love is something people often say they can feel immediately, and others say it feels like a slow burn,
a winning over,” Brown-James says. How long it takes to fall in love will vary depending on the individual and
the relationship they’re in. There’s no real way to fast-forward the process and make someone fall in love, but
there are plenty of ways to nurture a relationship so that those feelings can more easily manifest.
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