Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

Love At First Sight – How it Happens (by John Alex Clark)

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Love at First Sight - How it Happens

The subconscious mind works in a very simplistic manner. In fact, this simplicity has been the cause of many misjudgements, stereotypes and wrong beliefs all throughout the ages. You see, our subconscious mind forms opinions without us even realising it. These then spill through to our conscious thinking and we react according to them.

Put simply, our subconscious mind is not perfect. It makes mistakes. And one such mistake (which is the focal point of this article) it makes is assuming that people who have similar facial features … have the same personality type. This mistake can directly affect the process of falling in love at first sight. 

Let’s dig into details.

Let’s first clarify our definition of “love at first sight”. Here, I’m using the phrase ‘love at first sight’ as meaning falling in love with someone after seeing them for the very first time (and not necessarily having spoken to them). 

Each of us has our own perception of beauty based on our own background. We all see beauty differently. To give you an example, if you were to see someone in the street who resembled: 

  • A person you loved before;
  • A family member or relative that you really like; or
  • A friend you get along well with, etc,

then there is a strong possibility that you’d find him/her physically appealing, even if other people think he/she is just average. The subconscious has formed a connection between the physical appearance of this new person and a person from your past or in your circle (who looks like him/her) who has made a positive impact in your life.

You may be unconscious of the fact that this new person looks like someone else from your life who has influenced you in a positive way, but your subconscious will have picked up on it right away.

The Role of Impression Formation

Impression formation is the psychological term for the way the subconscious mind interprets facial features like this. We tend to relate facial features with characteristics. For example, you may have met a person who reminded you of someone from your past who you didn’t like (maybe a bully from school, or a teacher you didn’t get along with), and you found yourself not liking this new person very much because of it.

It doesn’t make any sense for the subconscious mind to dislike this new person just because he/she looks like a person you don’t like. But this is what happens. This shows us how illogical the subconscious mind can be. 

We can also see this illogicality in the way our subconscious minds causes us to fall in love at first sight. People can fall in love at first sight if the new person they see looks like someone they once loved before or someone who had a positive impact on your life. The subconscious makes the opinion that because this new person looks like someone from your past that was good for you, this new person might be good for you too. 

You see, the subconscious will always try to look out for your well-being, and this is what it is trying to do here. It is trying to make you attracted to this new person so that you will do everything in your power to get with them, and hopefully (according to the subconscious mind and its opinion), this new person will give you positive emotions just like the person from your past did. 

Love At First Sight Has Nothing To Do With ‘Good Looks’

Love at first sight has nothing to do with good looks. If love were dependent on good looks, then we would all fall in love every time we walked down the street and saw good looking people. By the time we’d get home, we’d have fallen in love multiple times. 

The real secret behind why we fall in love at first sight is because something in the way this particular person happens to look, has triggered a comparison in our subconscious mind to someone from our past who meant a lot to us. This is why I, for example, might fall in love with someone at first sight, while you might think they are just average.  

When a person experiences love at first sight, he tends to think that because he “loved” the person the moment he saw her, it must be “destiny” and thinks that the person is “The One”. While thinking we have found “The One” can make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, if a breakup then occurs we would be devastated because we will think we have lost someone magical because of the magical way we just happened to be attracted to them when we first saw them. 

The only one to blame for this is the person’s subconscious mind. If you have an ex from your past who you thought was “fated” for you because you fell in love with him/her at first sight, realize that there wasn’t anything really special at all about them but instead your subconscious mind just tricked you into becoming attached to them.

Unsatisfied Needs Can Lead to Love At First Sight

“Love at first sight” is sometimes interpreted as falling in love with the person upon meeting him for the first time (and not on the first time you actually “saw” him/her). In this case, something must have happened in the first meeting itself that triggered your subconscious into becoming attracted to his person.

I know this only too well because it happened to me! Here’s what happened …

Several years ago, I was at a party when I met this girl. We were talking away when all of a sudden, “boom” I fell for her. It happened really quickly. I fell in “love at first sight” and I loved that girl for a long afterwards.

It wasn’t until years later when I studied the psychology of love that I realised what had happened in that first meeting. It wasn’t “destiny,” “fate”. Nor was she “The One”. It was actually nothing like that. You see, I was at a low point in my life when I met her. I was in need of nurturing. And this particular girl was very friendly. 

So, here I was with an unmet need in my life (I needed nurturing) and here was a woman who was giving it to me. My subconscious immediately recognised that this person could fix a problem in my life and bring me back in balance. And what did it do to make sure I would do everything in my power to bring this woman into my life? It made me fall in love with her. This would be a fail-proof way to make sure that I would try to get her into my life any which way I could so that she could satisfy my unmet need.

Doesn’t sound very romantic does it? But that’s what my subconscious mind did. And that’s what it does for lots of people out there. This is how and why the subconscious mind makes people fall in love. 

Final Thought

What we’ve gone through in this article may not be the view of love which you would have liked to read about. But this is simply how love works. But there is a positive to be taken from this. A big positive. 

If “The One” has just dumped you, or if there is an ex from your past that you just can’t get over, you should be able to see now how irrational it is to be longing for someone who your subconscious simply tricked you into falling in love with. 

When you understand how love is really induced in you, it can free you from this type of pain where you find yourself still in love with someone that you can’t have. 


John Alex Clark
About the Author: John Alex Clark

John Alex Clark is a Relationship Coach & NLP Practitioner from Dublin Ireland. He is also an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, and an author. 

His background in relationship coaching, neuro-linguistic-programming, science, psychology and perhaps most importantly – innovation, have created a unique skill-set which he has concentrated mainly in the field of love psychology. He is recognized as the world’s leading expert in the field of Lovemaps (the field of study into how to make someone fall in love with you).

He is the founder of the relationship advice website www.RelationshipPsychology.com and is the author of the two best-selling relationship programs:

•   THE LOVEMAP CODE: How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You Using Psychology; and

•   THE ERASE CODE: How To Get Over Anyone In Less Than A Week Using Psychology

His book THE LOVEMAP CODE is the first book to be released on the topic of Lovemaps since Dr. John Moneys (the man who coined the term Lovemap) death in 2006 and marks a major step forward in our understanding of this field.

You can find John Alex at RelationshipPsychology.com, and check out the main sections of his website “How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You” and “How To Fall Out Of Love With Someone” …and learn more about him at About Me.

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