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We’ve all heard the meet-cutes where a couple’s eyes locked across a crowded room at a các buổi tiệc nhỏ or they bumped into each other at a bar & that was it! They instantly knew they found the person they were going to marry. But is this all part of a fairytale that will eventually implode?

“Couples should definitely not worry if they didn"t experience love at first sight—it certainly is not a prerequisite in any way for a wonderfully long and happy marriage,” explains licensed marriage and family therapist Sharon Gilchrest O"Neill. “On the other hand, those who thought they did have love at first sight should consider that there is much more to lớn their marriage that needs lớn likely be better understood.”

Curious to learn more about the love at first sight phenomenon và what it means for a lasting marriage? O"Neill & fellow licensed therapists Rachel Dubrow, Dr. Tania Paredes, và Sofia Robirosa explain.

What Is Love at First Sight?

Love at first sight means that you feel an instant connection khổng lồ another person, according khổng lồ Dubrow. “Some people describe this as fireworks, others describe it as moments where nothing else matters around you when you see và talk to each other for the first time. It"s the feeling you get when you don"t want a moment to over because you feel a connection with another person that you haven"t felt before.”

To Paredes, love at first sight is a strong, intense “electricity type of feeling” that is a sản phẩm of chemistry between two people. She explains, “It can be very euphoric and exhilarating. I’ve been told by patients that it was a similar feeling lớn being ‘drunk;’ you are completely engulfed in the feeling.” 

For others who have felt it—and hoped it would last forever—they’ve described it as “an immediate sense of a person” even if you only see them from across the room at a party, or get introduced when a new person joins the company you work for, or a friend brings someone new along for an evening out. “It is an immediate reaction, usually first about the way a person looks, how they are dressed, their physical motions, their voice, and how they look at you,” adds O'Neill. “There is a feeling in one's gut that there is something special about this person that you are instantly attracted to, & you sense quickly that they feel the same way.”

Is Love at First Sight Real?

It's certainly possible to lớn fall in love at first sight—but there’s a catch. You need lớn be able lớn take the time after that first meeting khổng lồ really get to know each other, explains Dubrow. It’s only then that you can figure out if it's a good match or not.

It is an exquisite feeling. But it isn't love—not the kind of love that marriage requires over the long haul.

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O"Neill has found from her time with clients that the concept of love at first sight is much more about an immediate physical attraction, which often plays out. “The sex is great, you lượt thích how the person feels & smells, you enjoy their body, you like how they find you so perfect—it is an exquisite feeling. But it isn"t love—not the kind of love that marriage requires over the long haul.” This is the kind of love that includes also being attracted to and loving someone"s mind, character, values, personality, and skills, which you can’t download instantly upon seeing someone.

Instead, Paredes calls this instant feeling the “Bachelor syndrome” and describes it as “this concept that when you see each other getting out of a oto that sparks will fly và you will immediately know if that person is your spouse. It certainly can lead khổng lồ marriage, but the better question is can it sustain it?”

Can Love at First Sight Lead lớn a Successful Marriage?

It is possible that love at first sight could lead khổng lồ a lasting marriage but the odds are, unfortunately, against it, according to lớn O"Neill. That’s because a lasting marriage will go through a multitude of changes in its physical and sexual relationship. This is due to lớn a myriad of reasons, including having children, health issues, và careers that cause ups and downs, stretches of little or no sex, & periods when partners are just not on the same page.

“It is clear in the research that there is a general understanding that an initial màn chơi of passion that a couple has at the beginning of a relationship is impossible lớn sustain,” O'Neill adds. “So given that ‘love at first sight couples’ are brought together so quickly in a physical/sexual high, watching the natural sexual changes as time goes by, is more likely lớn cause issues in the relationship.” 

However, if couples take time lớn get khổng lồ know each other after that initial spark before getting married, that flame can develop into a long-lasting marriage. What this looks like, according khổng lồ Dubrow, is spending time going on dates (virtually or in-person!) that involve doing activities that incorporate each other"s interests as well as things you both like individually. “Take the time to lớn talk about short & long-term goals, fears, successes, & what you see for yourself career & family-wise for the next one & five years,” she says. “The honeymoon phase lasts around six months và then people really start lớn recognize each others" strengths, quirks, baggage, red flags, & everything in between.”

So, as long as you are able to work through that và keep a level head, Dubrow says you certainly have the ability lớn have a lasting marriage. However, throughout all of this, don’t overestimate the importance of that initial spark. “As important as a physical/sexual relationship is in a marriage, it will never be just about that part of a relationship—but there are a certain amount of pieces to lớn the puzzle of marriage that still have to lớn come together,” reminds O'Neill. “When people come together under the 'spell' of love at first sight, it becomes too easy lớn think that the rest of the marriage pieces will just fall into place.”

There’s also the belief that one's physical relationship will keep them going or keep them together, but a strong physical and intense reaction at first glance isn't enough to khung a marriage that lasts.. “It just doesn't work that way,” she says. “A strong physical và intense reaction can be had at first meeting someone, but it certainly isn’t enough khổng lồ sustain a lasting marriage.”

It’s important lớn remember that love is just one of the many components of a lasting marriage. “So is healthy communication, intimacy, honesty, trust, and respecting your partner and his or her goals, dreams, and desires in life,” she adds. “That cannot be sustained by an intense spark—those take time, commitment, & work.”

Misconceptions About Love at First Sight

Although relationship success can bloom from love at first sight, we"re busting what romantic comedies made us believe: Lust and infatuation simply aren’t enough to lớn sustain a strong, healthy relationship over life’s natural bumps.

Feeling “the feeling” means it will last. O"Neill has also had engaged couples come in to lớn discuss this issue before their weddings. “It’s usually one partner who is concerned and gets them khổng lồ therapy,” she says. “That partner wants help telling the other that they don"t believe there is a real solid relationship, that marriage wouldn"t be good, và talks of their meeting as love at first sight but not enough khổng lồ hold them together.”