Can We Trust Our Eyes to Find Love?

Argie Dabrowski, Contributing Writer

Around this time of year, everyone is all about love. And who wouldn’t be? It’s a wonderful feeling to find the one who you can be happy with. Some people seem to find love more easily than others, but is it truly possible to find love at first sight?

To most, love at first sight seems impossible because sight is just physical attraction, liking the way another looks before getting to know him or her. It is a widely held belief that one can only love a person whom they know well enough to fully understand. This implies that you cannot fall in love with someone who you made eye contact  with on the street one day. As professor of psychology at the University of Haifa Aaron Ben-Zeév wrote, “The first argument implies that romantic love consists not merely of attraction to external appearance… but also of knowing the agent’s character traits, such as kindness, honesty, wisdom and a sense of humor,” meaning that one cannot identify a soul mate based solely on appearance.

Despite this evidence, many people still vouch for true love. They hope to be in love and to find love so much so that any sort of spark feels like true romance. When someone sees another who sparks their interest, even a little bit, they claim to have experienced love at first sight because it’s just human nature to want to fall in love. In an article in the Wall Street Journal the phrase “Love at first sight is real, if you believe” was discussed.  According to the article, many claim to have felt love at first sight and only because they so strongly believe that it is possible. Our ability to fall in love, in fact, is an evolutionary adaptation that allows us to pick and choose mates and weed out others. As Elizabeth Bernstein, writer for the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Romantic love’s intense desire for connection with the other person typically lasts 18 months to three years, experts say. Its evolutionary purpose is to help people pick one partner and bond in order to raise a child.” We are wired to want to find love, but this is, more often than not, not even true love.

For some, love at first sight may be a reality, but when it comes to science and psychology, it’s just not entirely possible. Sorry, Shakespeare, but it seems that your Romeo and Juliet is just another love story, not the real thing.