April 16 2017

By Joanne Richard

Love is in the air – especially love at first sight.

According to a new ElitesSingles survey, romance rules with single men – nearly three out of four believe in love at first sight. Women come in at 61%, with females aged 30-40 the least likely to believe in it. Overall, 84% of singles aged 18-29 believe in instant love, compared with 65% of those aged 30 plus.

“When you experience it you know it’s real… and when it does happen to you, you know that it can’t happen again. It’s way too strong and crazy,” says EliteSingles psychologist Salama Marine. “It’s when you’re not looking for a partner at all and you’re 100% focused on your life, when you least expect it, it will happen to you.”

If you believe it, it is real: 41% of men, versus 29% of women, say they have experienced instant romantic love, reports a Match.com 2014 study.

Relationship expert Nicole McCance believes in lust at first sight. “Lust, physical attraction and desire can happen at first sight. But love, which is about a deeper connection and caring, can’t really happen by only observing someone and not knowing anything about them. However, lust can turn into love with time.”

Turns out, the real thing isn’t based on the instant chemistry, but instead on the actual amount of time people spend together, reports a University of Texas study.

So instead think love at first meeting – that’s what increases the survival chances of initial love, says romantic love expert Aaron Ben-Ze’ev. “Such a meeting provides more time to get to know other characteristics of the person, like wisdom, wittiness, and a sense of humour, and to become involved in initial common activities, such as conversation.”

He believes that there is love at first sight but not profound love at first sight or even in the first five hours – it needs much more time, says Ben-Ze’ev, adding that findings conflict whether love at first sight can turn into long-term profound love. It can when what you see at first sight the real qualities of the other person. “If it is not, then love will not survive for long, as attraction is not all you need in long-term profound love,” says Ben-Ze’ev, professor at the University of Haifa and president of European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions.

When love lightning strikes, keep these tips in mind:

Take your time to get to know the person before you give them your heart, says McCance, of nicolemccance.com.

Don’t get physically intimate right away – the love hormone oxytocin that is released can have us feeling more attached to people who are wrong for us.

Stay true to yourself, she adds. When we are in a highly passionate, exciting love affair we tend to want to impress and please, sometimes letting go of the things that make us happy.

Be aware that your heart can be deceiving as at the beginning short term superficial qualities, such as physical attractiveness, get more weight, says Ben-Se’ev.

There is much effort to invest in order to turn love at first sight into long-term profound love, he adds.