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Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 14th February 2024
lifestyle

Do You Believe In Love At First Sight?

 
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay
Have you ever seen someone walk by and were so captivated by them that you lost track of what you were saying?

If yes, then you must probably believe in the concept of ‘love at first sight’. However, is it something that other people believe too?

It turns out that many Europeans actually do.

Image by kalhh from Pixabay
Image by kalhh from Pixabay
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, love is in the air as seven in ten (70%) Brits reveal that they believe in love at first sight. With two-thirds (64%) thinking the eyes are the biggest indicator when falling in love, the look of love could be more powerful than people think.

According to the heartwarming poll of 2,000 Brits by Specsavers, more than half (59%) of relationships which began with love at first sight, are still going strong, and nearly one in five (19%) of those relationships have lasted over 40 years.

The phenomenon is a popular one especially with romantics – nearly half of UK adults (49%) agree that love at first sight is the most romantic way to meet your partner, while nearly a third (31%) have fallen for someone in the past as soon as they’ve laid eyes on them.

Giles Edmonds, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers said:
"They say the eyes are a window to the soul and now, we can see just how important they are when it comes to falling in love. With the power to send hidden romantic messages and pick up on subtle amorous cues, neglecting the wellbeing of our sight could mean missing out on love. By ensuring your clarity of vision this Valentine’s Day, you’ll be making sure that “the one” doesn’t slip away unnoticed!"


Nearly nine in ten (87%) of us understand the importance of maintaining good eye contact during the early stages of dating a potential partner. But an equally high proportion (84%) wouldn’t be able to tell if someone was falling in love with them at first sight.

For this reason, Specsavers has partnered up with body language expert, Judi James, to provide tips on how to spot if someone is interested in you. For those looking for love, they could help to spot those subtle cues from that special someone.

Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash
Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash
According to Judi, the neurological reasons behind love at first sight are complex: Love at first sight happens when a hugely complex, computer-like perception process occurs in a matter of seconds, coming up with the emotional equivalent of a jackpot.

‘Imagine a fruit machine where the cogs keep spinning round with multiple combinations before suddenly and dramatically arriving at the four bells, when the world goes crazy.

Instant love is usually based on thousands of memories that accrue in our lives. All the “ideal” personality traits, visual stimulus and role models that we’ve got stored away will suddenly seem to be encompassed in this one person we’re looking at.

‘It’s very rarely primarily about looks in the traditional sense. What affects us on a deeper level will be communicated signals of personality traits like humour, confidence, kindness, fun, intellect, warmth or empathy. The way they look will be important to the process but it’s more about body language than body idealism. They will usually look similar to someone we have seen before in our lives which will allow us to attribute that person’s positive traits to them too.

‘The phrase “their eyes met across a crowded room” is more than just a cliché, it really does happen.
‘This is called the attribution effect and it’s an emotional bombshell that is akin to the normal process of the first impression or what we call a gut reaction.’

Discussing the tell-tale signs of love at first sight, Judy goes on to say it's all in the eyes: ‘Without a doubt, most of the symptoms of love at first sight are created via the eyes – it starts and sometimes ends with the eye connection.’

‘The phrase “their eyes met across a crowded room” is more than just a cliché, it really does happen. If your eyes meet and then everything else seems to signal compatibility we really can experience love at first sight.

This is echoed by the eyes ranking number 2 (40%) in physical features that people are initially attracted to when meeting someone for the first time, only second to their smile (47%). She goes on to say that ‘We fall in love because our eyes speak to each other in a complex way that we don’t often understand ourselves.’

To help those seeking romance this Valentines Day, she has also provided 6 top tips on how to spot if someone is falling in love with you:

Eye connect:
The eye connection, when you catch each other’s eye, will lead to an extension of the normal length of time for eye contact with a stranger. When we see people we have no connection with or interest in our eye glance with slide over them without pause. When we spot ‘the one’ though we will hold the gaze for as long as one or two seconds, feeling like we’ve been stopped in out tracks.

The peek-a-boo behaviour: If we connect with the eye contact we will be impelled to look away but the impulse to look back will be stronger, meaning we go through a ritual of looking, looking away, then being drawn to look again. When you each catch the other looking that second time there will often be a mirrored grin of recognition, to suggest feelings might be mutual.

Coyness: No matter how confident or extrovert you normally are, the overwhelming emotional responses you’re experiencing with cause signals of embarrassment, like lowering your chin, blushing or giggling.

Physiological responses: Your breathing may become shallow and more frequent and your mouth might go dry. Your heart rate and your blink rate can actually increase, too. One undeniable ‘tell’ of love is pupil dilation, which is another reason why we will be drawn to gaze into their eyes to see if it has occurred.

Eye communication: When we see someone we fancy our eyes will often be drawn to the body (subtly!) to check out the turn-on factor. With love though, the eyes will be drawn to their facial expression and especially their eyes. The eyes are the most expressive body part and we have hundreds of different eye expressions, many more than any other animal. Their eye expressions will be partly what makes us fall for them but we will also be setting up a vital line of non-verbal communication, trying to read their thoughts and feelings to see if they match our own.

Mirroring: Once the lines of communication have been set up via the eyes we will often begin to mirror each other subliminally. This can create feelings of recognition, as though we have somehow known them for years.


Image by Tiny Tribes from Pixabay
Image by Tiny Tribes from Pixabay
A study by dua.com analyzed more than 1 million search queries from across Europe to determine the country that believes in love at first sight the most.

According to the study, the UK ranks 6th in terms of belief in love at first sight from 46 analyzed countries.

Interestingly, the study also revealed a shared belief in love at first sight among both highly developed and less developed European countries.

The Relationship Expert from dua.com, Valon Asani, said:
“Love stands apart from the influence of money. Whether you're a billionaire or someone with an average income, when your eyes meet someone with whom you share a profound connection, everything else becomes insignificant."


Contrary to today’s beliefs, this study reveals that even in a rapidly changing world where money dominates every aspect, love in its purest form remains untouched from it.

To analyze the concept of 'Love at first sight' in different countries, the keyword was translated and analyzed in their native languages. For instance, in Germany, the analyzed phrase was 'Liebe auf den ersten Blick'.

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
The research also incorporated the population figures for each country, in order to calculate a coefficient by analyzing the search volume of the keyword list in conjunction with the country's population. The resulting data was then used to generate a ranking.

Furthermore, the GDP per capita of each country was analyzed to determine if there is any correlation between the economy and love.

While the data doesn’t necessarily show just that, a Gallup study shows that higher household income is associated with a slightly increased likelihood of experiencing the love feeling. However, the dua.com study did not reflect this.

As such, it seems that money doesn't seem to have an impact on everything. Surprisingly, the most and least developed countries for 2022 - according to the International Monetary Fund - showed unexpected results in the dua.com study.

Photo by Saiph Muhammad on Unsplash
Photo by Saiph Muhammad on Unsplash
So which European country is the biggest love believer?

You cannot spell Slovenia without 'love' and it's for a reason.

This country has the biggest believers of love at first sight in Europe. It's clear that love is truly in the air in this country.

Following closely behind Slovenia, Romania takes the second spot in the belief of love at first sight.

While not as strongly associated with love in its name like Slovenia, Romania still holds a significant number of people who believe in the magic of first glances leading to deep affection.

Moving further down the list of countries with a strong belief in love at first sight, we find Spain securing the third position. Believing in love at first sight adds even more charm to this amazing country, making it perfect for those in search of love and romance.

Despite its geographical distance from Spain, Russia is closely ranked with it in this study. This country holds the fourth position on the list of countries where people believe in love at first sight. This indicates that even in a country as diverse as Russia, the belief in love at first sight is still dominant.

This kind of love has shown to be dominant in Sweden and the UK as well, placing these countries in the 5th and 6th spots in this study.

Interestingly, the study also revealed a shared belief in love at first sight among both highly developed and less developed European countries.

Luxembourg, Europe's richest country, ranks 30th in belief for this type of love. While Ukraine on the other hand, with the lowest GDP per capita, comes in 33rd place. This raises the question of how much influence money really has on love.

Contrary to today’s beliefs, this study reveals that even in a rapidly changing world where money dominates every aspect, love in its purest form remains untouched from it.

Image by PIRO from Pixabay
Image by PIRO from Pixabay
Some love at first sight quotes:

The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone – Jane Austen

Love at first sight is possible, but it pays to take a second look - Joe Biden

I believe in love at first sight, but it’s important to remember that it takes a lifetime to fully understand and appreciate someone – Unknown

It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight – Vladimir Nabokov

Love at first sight is not just an event, it’s a journey – Unknown

When I saw you, I fell in love and you smiled because you knew – William Shakespeare

Love at first sight is like a fairy tale, but it can come true if you believe in it – Unknown

Love at first sight is possible, but it’s rare. And if it happens to you, cherish it – Unknown