The information presented in this website and the comments from Dr. Hughes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or psychological disorder. The information presented is not a substitute for medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment. You are advised to seek professional medical and psychological help as necessary.
Hi Dr. Hughes! Is it possible to have love at first sight?
Yes, it is indeed possible to have love at first sight; however, one first needs to understand that long term romantic relationships come in many shapes and sizes. We tend to think that romance has a predictable pattern and only one kind of staying power. This is not the case. People stay together, happily, for many reasons. And don’t get me started on defining “happily” as that varies as well!
Love at first sight is very dramatic. There is a moment of emotion and thought that feels electric. Why this happens is unclear—perhaps there’s a physical attraction or some aura of confidence or something else that draws people together. In a situation like this, people tend to pair off quickly, perhaps even have a whirlwind relationship that rapidly escalates to marriage. Although this may seem hasty to some, for this couple, part of what holds them together and keeps their love strong is the memory of the Love At First Sight moment and subsequent romance.
As couples like this go through life, they prioritize that magical feeling above all else. Personality quirks, careers, family life, similarities…things that others may find important are simply extras in terms of how they characterize their relationship. When life gets predictable or difficult, they reminisce about their quick, intense love and it keeps them strong.
If you know a couple that has experienced love at first sight, you’ll know it. They like to tell the story of their first meeting and most have a souvenir from that moment which they cherish above all things. Sometimes it’s a photo or a cocktail napkin or a ticket stub.
So if you are someone who has experienced love at first sight, don’t instantly doubt it. If a few moments of perceived magic are what you and your partner value in a relationship, it can be enough to sustain you for a lifetime!
Dr. Carsi Hughes received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University Medical School. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in adult psychopathology, clinical neuropsychology, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Academic appointments include Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Studies at Dominican University.