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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14 Comments

Lakhan

Very right Sir,
Your article really helps to forget the person who is not interested in me, and I cannot sleep or concentrate beacause I think that she is the one. Love at first sight is highly out of contorl. I always thaought I am a man who will never loave anybody, but I m devastated.
Don’t know how to get back to my normal hard life.

Reply
Robbed_ofLife

Lakhan, I am in the same boat and after reading this article I believe it makes a lot of sense. However, even after knowing this, my irrational mind keeps me in a devastated state. I hear what is being said but I can’t let the hurt and pain go. Several points completely describe my situation, yet I still hold on.

Reply
Anonymous

Its real. I once was walking through a crowd, he was walking the oppositw way towards me through the crowd as well. As we got nearer it was like time slowed down, i heard no noise, saw nothing else but his face, he was also looking at me directly in the eyes, we didnt smile but instead it was like we were in awe and as we walked past each other our eyes still fixated. We looked nowhere else. After that I felt this intense feeling of oh my god who is he he is beautiful and mysterious, i have to know him. And by the way he has no resemblance to anyone in my past. So after that moment i could not get that image of us walking past each other out of my head. Nothing else mattered and i kept thinking where is he. So a bit later on I went outside bymyself and it was like my body knew which direction to go in becuse i was walking straight towards him without even knowing. As i looked up he was standing a few metres head talking to his friends. He saw me and turned my way and started walking straight towards me…without sayinh a word to each other we embraced and i felt this comfort. We embraced for about 10 seconds at least before saying hi im so and so. And we smiled at each other and felt so at ease. It was like our souls knew each other. I dont know. After introducing ourselves we spome for a while and i said i had a boyfriend already and he understood but we knew our encounter was not in vain and that we would see each other again…a couple year later we did…and we went on to become very good friends and have been ever since. You may ask why we never got together. It was our timing. When we met i was in a relationship. Then he was in one long one, and so forth. Also if we were together we would have broken our group of friends up but it never stopped us from telling each other how we felt about each other, and when we were together or with our friends we always felt love towards each other, and for a few seconds every so often we would gaze into each others eyes and tell each other through our eyes what we felt. 8 years later its never changed, it feels the same everytime we see each other, like that first time. Who knows maybe one day it will be our turn and the right time. So maybe im crazy but I still cant explain that first embrace encounter without knowing each other, no mutual friends, not saying a word till after holding each other…

Reply
Sylvia

Yes, it’s true. I fell in love with a guy the first second I saw him. He did not remind me of anyone from my past (as I have never been close to anybody) and I had no “unfulfilled” needs at the time. I was balanced. He just opened me right up. And does so even today, even though we have never been together because of our respective situations. I do know, though, that he will be the man I grow old with. I am just allowing time to guide us.

Reply
Miss Hopeful

I too had the same feelings and still have for a complete stranger that I had met on a train station in 2011. We both looked at each other and it was a totally unreal experience that I ever felt and had. I know that he too felt exactly the same. I have not seen him since because we lives miles apart. I know he thinks of me just as I think of him. I just know. I remember his smell, standing next to him and it took all my courage to not reach out and touch him. even though it was our only encounter, I think of him always, and I know he does of me, I just know it, I think I’m in love with him, I can’t get him out of my mind. I’m going back for another trip hoping to see him again.

Reply
John H

A friend and I went to celebrate another friends 30th birthday party. As we walked in I instantly felt a gaze hit me. We locked eyes for only a moment in real time, but it seemed like an eternity. As I met new people at the party, it seemed we both unconsciously moved closer and closer to each other until we were sitting next to each other. I felt like i’ve known her all my life.

Long story short, we both share many of the signs of Love at first sight:

-We both want to know every single thing about each other.
-We both feel like we’ve known each other for years even though we’ve only known each other for a couple months.
-She is not my usual type and i definitely am not hers but we both have an incredible attraction to each other.
-We have what we call a ‘magnetism’ for each other. Just like in the movie Hancock, where Hancock has lost his memory, he always finds his way back to Mary.
– we both cannot stop thinking about each other
All of these feeling are mutual and we talk about them each time we talk to each other.

Sounds perfect right?

I am married with a baby on the way. I love my wife and have loved two other women in my life, but have never felt this way before and can’t understand how this is even possible?

I cannot disagree with anything this article says. Maybe it is my subconscious. But none of the reasons it would be my subconscious apply to this situation.

She and I bothwant to just go our own ways to live out our lives, but have found daily life impossible to cope with.

I don’t know what to do.

Reply
Uduak U

Do not allow yourself to become a slave to the twists and turns of Feelings. In a lifetime we have the capacity to develop feelings for a ton of people. But we cannot just pursue all of them! That would be insane. You are married now. You need to apply boundaries and self control in order to protect your sanity and your integrity and marriage.
What you focus on will grow and grow. So deliberately focus on your wife and your feelings for her will grow. Starve this other lady out and the feelings will die. I wish you all the best.

Reply
Stephanie C.

This was a real eye-opener 😀 I’ve wondered for a very long time how people (myself included) could fall so heavily for a person, oftentimes without being able to name a single reason why. It was baffling.

But as I read through this, a few things immediately began to click while remembering my own experiences with “Love At First Sight”, and this gave me some much-needed insight. Thank you very much for this article 😀

Reply
Qriiz

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.
~~~
Dude, you really need to work on your “Ending”, I like your article, it’s factual. But while it’s good to know how it happen, it doesn’t have to do with actually doing something to it.
Emotion is always irrational, love even more so. Being told how stupid and irrational it is, won’t change how we feel about it. As someone who have love and lost, as an adult, as a human, you should have known that unlike in cartoon being told “Let it go, it’s stupid.” won’t make our feeling (pain most likely) magically disappear, it make us want to punch the idiot that said that in the face. You can only wait for time to make it a distant memory. Even then it’s never that simple.

Reply
Angie

Always t! ake a second or third look before you leap. I have been married to my husband for nearly 3 years. I dated him for a long time though just to make sure. I did have a very special pull toward him the first time we met. I just wanted to make sure and there is nothing like the security of knowing that the person is the one for sure. It is so much better than just going on blind trust or a feeling. I realized in the end that I wanted to be with him, not because I couldn’t live without him. I wanted to be with him because I wanted to be with him it hasn’t all been bliss but pretty close. I look better than I have in years and all my stress is mostly gone. No more searching. He is here.

Reply
Lourine

Hello, my name is Lourine and I met this guy, who was an invited worshipper, in my church. It was my first time that we saw each other. He was leading the choir, and I ended up leaving before the service was over because I was getting a bit late so I didn’t get the chance to talk to him neither did he.
When I saw I felt something so special in me and up to now I can’t seem to get him out of my mind.
I’ve really been hoping to see him again but I haven’t. How can I handle my situation?

Reply

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