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Love at First Sight: How Important is First-time Attraction?

Do you believe in love at first sight? Because I am a hopeless romantic, I like to believe there is such a thing. But a recent survey by Posh and Venus has dashed my fantasies.

Out of the 1000 Nigerians sampled, 56% of men and 48% of women were found to be in committed relationships with people they did not initially find attractive. You might be wondering, how is this possible? It turns out attraction that lasts is rarely instant.

Anyway, I place full blame on Bollywood for filling my mind with unrealistic ideas. Here is a common scene: a boy stumbles on a girl hurriedly exiting a library. They both bend at the same time to pick the books up and they lock eyes. There and then, a long-lasting relationship is born.

Is it possible to love someone based on initial attraction?

Of course, it is possible to be instantly attracted to a person; but the research suggests that it is easy to fall out of such love. There is a common saying that a woman can decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a guy as soon as she sees him. Since women have high-tech assessment tools in their head, we’ll not refute that.

But is it realistic?

Relationship expert, Dr. Margaret Paul, stated that initial physical attraction is a very poor indicator of how well a relationship will work out. According to her, women tend to be instantly attracted to the vibes exuded by confident alpha males. Downside is that most alpha males tend to be more sexually promiscuous.

The one who is instantly attracted is only enchanted by the surface — say, the looks or the carriage. At first glance or first meeting, one cannot fully probe into the other person. From a psychological standpoint, we can understand why these relationships crash. One, instant attraction places the object of attraction on a high pedestal.

When one finally gets to know the person fully, they become disenchanted when they realize that their expectation fell short of the reality.

On the other hand, relationships that aren’t built upon instant attraction last longer, because nobody expects too highly of the other. Before they fall for each other, they are able to objectively assess themselves. In the end, they find that such a partner exceeds their expectations.

It has also been revealed that women keep an eye out for the opposite of an alpha-male when looking for a long-term relationship partner. The preferred men are those who do not have that magnetic charm viz men who smile more, or those with more feminine features. Men seek for the same in women.

This is not to downplay the importance of attraction in relationships. It is important. One, however, need not dwell on instant attraction. A wise man once said: fireworks burn bright and fizzle fast but candles burn low and for long. Anyway, have you ever fallen in love at first sight? How long did it last?

What do you think?

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