The Truth Behind What Love At First Sight Really Is (And How Your Mind Tricks You Into It)

Twenty20, beatriceong
Twenty20, beatriceong

Without any conscious intent on our part, the subconscious mind forms an opinion on the people we meet. This opinion, however, is not always correct. And this is where problems can occur.

One very common mistake the subconscious mind makes in is leading us to believe that people who look the same physically might have the same personalities. This common error has a direct effect on the process of falling in love at first sight.

Your subconscious can trick you into falling for certain people.

Love at first sight entails feeling something for someone when you see them for the very first time—before you even speak or interact with them.

If we can fall in love (or begin to fall in love with someone) upon first seeing them, obviously something about that person’s physical appearance has caused this reaction in us.

Everyone’s idea of what constitutes an attractive person is different. This is because different things in our backgrounds shape this opinion.

Let’s say you come across a new person who happens to resemble:

• Someone you once loved that made you feel good
• A close family relative you like that makes you feel good
• Or a friend you get along well with who makes you feel good

Most likely, you would find this new person good-looking, even if other people would say they look just average. Basically, your subconscious mind would form an immediate connection between the person in your past (who made you feel good) and this new person who just happens to resemble them. And it would do this simply because of the similarity of the way they look to the one you once loved.

The funny thing is that you will most likely not notice the similarity in looks between the two people at the conscious level, even though your subconscious picks up on it straight away. You will then find yourself drawn to this new person without really knowing why. This is why love at first sight can seem so mysterious.

Love at first sight isn’t just about physical attraction.

The process your subconscious mind undergoes when interpreting facial features like this is called impression formation. And it is something we all do. From a very young age, we all learn to associate certain facial features with possible characteristics that person might have.

The reason a person falls in love with someone at the very first meeting cannot be attributed purely to attraction. If falling in love at first sight was simply about good looks, then we’d all fall in love every time we went into town and came across good-looking people. We’d hardly be able to make it home without falling in love five times or more. It’s not that fact that they are good-looking that makes us fall in love with someone, it’s because our specific subconscious finds that person good-looking as a result of factors from our past that have NOTHING to do with this new person you have just seen.

Your subconscious creates a connection between that person and someone from your past who influenced your life in a positive way. It then reasons that this new person might influence your life in a positive way…and so it draws you towards them.

It’s not about destiny, either.

The thing about love at first sight is that when it does happen, people think that they must have been “destined” to be with that person. After all, the feeling they felt when they first saw that person felt so “magical” they cannot help but think that it must have been “fate”. The problem though is that such an assumption is often devastating when a breakup occurs because you are then left thinking that you’ve lost out on your “destiny”.

So, the next time you’re brooding over an ex, try doing some self-analysis. If you thought that he or she was the one but the relationship never worked out, it’s possible that you fell in love with that person only because your subconscious mind made a subtle connection between them …and someone else you know who influenced your life in a positive way.

Your unmet needs can sometimes trigger it.

Sometimes love at first sight happens not on first actually seeing the person …but because of our interaction with them during that very first meeting or conversation. Because this was the first time we met them, some people call this “love at first sight” even though technically it isn’t because we began to feel something for them only after engaging them in conversation (not when we first actually saw them).

In such a situation, something else entirely must have triggered our subconscious into drawing us to this person. This happened to me a few years ago. I met a girl at a party one night, and while we were engaged in conversation, I did not think much of it until all of a sudden, I was falling for her …all in the space of a few seconds! It was indeed love at first sight and I stayed in love with her for a long time after that.

It wasn’t until years later when I studied the psychology of love that I realized what was behind this magical love at first sight encounter. It turns out it wasn’t because of:

• Destiny
• Fate
• Or the stars shining down on us

You see, I was going through a bad period in my life for about 18 months leading up to that moment. Things just hadn’t been going my way and it had got me down. When this girl first started talking to me, she spoke to me in as if she knew me—as if we were already good friends.

As it happened, she DID actually know me. I had spoken to her a year earlier while drunk at a party and had completely forgotten about her. But she had remembered me, and when we met a year later she spoke to me with that air of familiarity that made me feel so special, assuming that I’d remember her too.

I interpreted this as though it was “fate” or “destiny” when in reality my subconscious was simply recognising that someone was being really nice to me and made me feel important. And because the previous 18 months of my life were a low point for me, my subconscious drew me towards her. It saw her as a means of bringing balance to my life and consequently made me “fall in love” with her, in order to make sure I would do everything in my power to bring her into my life. I did. And we began dating.

But if I’d known all along that she knew me while we were conversing that night, I would have interpreted that strange mystical feeling of our conversation in a completely different way, and I would never have fallen in love with her. I would have immediately realised “Oh, here’s someone I know already.”

In reality, the notion of love at first sight is pretty dangerous.

This shows us how silly (and to be honest, dangerous) it is to stay attached to someone just because of a “magic feeling” you experienced when you first met them. I say “dangerous” here because I have come across many people who find themselves broken hearted YEARS after a relationship has broken down. And they do this all because they think they were “destined” to be with that person because of the magical connection they felt when they first met them. This can hold people back and in some cases lead to depression. All of which can be avoided if they were to know the trick their subconscious mind had accidentally played on them that first time they met their ex.

There’s no need to feel tormented thinking about the misconception of losing “the one,” when all you’ve really lost is someone that your subconscious merely saw as a compensation for some missing or burdensome element in your life. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

John Alex Clark is a Relationship & Life Coach. He is the founder of the website Relationship Psychology.

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