Not so real after all!

Unfortunately with no relationship or boyfriend experiences I can not vouch for love at first whether it is real or not. I would like to think deep down that it does exist, and that there is that special someone out there waiting for me, but in reality when I think of it, and given what I have found out over the past number of weeks I’ve made the personal assumption that love at first sight is not possible.
To love someone at first sight seems impossible to me as I do not understand how two people can judge each other, and know each other inside out completely with in that first meeting. My personal belief is that you need time to develop a connection between a person before you can say you’re in love with them.
However that is not to say that others don’t believe. In a recent national survey conducted by Clifford C. Kuhn in January 2006, 63% of participants said they believe in love at first sight while 37% said no. I think that many people just like the idea of “love at first sight” because it’s a romantic notion . I also believe it so heavy socially influenced in the media ( I.e. movie and films) that people are beginning to relate it to reality in the hope that it can happen for them.
I believe that love takes time. Yes you can lust after a person within the first few seconds but just because you find the person attractive doesn’t mean you’re madly in love with them.
In Richard Wisemans book “Let it rip” Wiseman explores Williams James’s “As if” principle. It looks into how our behaviour can influence our thoughts. For example when we smile we assume we are happy, but what the book examines into is what if we are happy because we are smiling? Wiseman tells us that by behaving like you are in love can lead to actually falling in love.
So even if you don’t fall instantly in love at first sight but you find the person attractive you can always act as if you love them and hey presto it should happen!
Looking into the highly speculated myth “love at first sight” has completely fascinated me, and over all I have enjoyed my time spent reading into it. What I have realised is that we need to be weary of our sources and where we get our information from. I think my previously clouded judgement on whether something is credible or not has improved.


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The two L’s

So far I have found out that we can judge a person’s attractiveness in less than a second, but does this equate to falling in love at first sight to? Is it really possible to know that within that first glimpse we can decide if it is Mr/Ms Right?
The word love is described differently over many cultures, but by popular definition love is to have profound infatuated feelings for that certain someone, that you love them for who they are as a person. Both their outward and inward appearances. So how is it that we can judge a persons inside appearance at first sight?
Many people, argue that in fact it is lust at first sight and not love. That what we are really feeling is only just a cocktail of wild and fired up hormones. Looking deeper into the lust over love notion I came across an interesting piece of writing in the ‘Woman’s health’ magazine which had the bold statement: “Anyone who’s claimed ‘love at first sight’ might have her L words mixed up. When it comes to instant attraction, your brain—not your heart—kicks your desire into high gear”
It even gave me four convincing stages of lust. Previously, I would have looked at these stages and gone along with it believing that they were completely sound. However, there is no actual evidence to support these stages. Nor is there is any mention of research done on the premises of these stages. There is nothing in this article at all to suggest that these stages exist.
I am now beginning to see how we can be easily swayed or convinced by popular psychology that something is so real when it is not, as it has no evidence or studies to back it.


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Do opposites attract?

So this week I have been looking into attraction. It’s a well known common myth that opposites attractImage -one of which many people believe- however, this myth conflicts with our common sense ideology that a flock of feather birds fly together. So which is it?

In many romantic movies there are such story lines as a prince marrying a maid (Cinderella) and a boss falling in love with an assistant. (The proposal) Even by just simply typing the phrase ‘Opposites attract’ into Google and you’ll find that straight away Paula Abdul’s 1989 hit song ‘Opposites attract’ pops up. Everything in the media would have us believe that opposite do really attract when it comes to choosing a partner and falling in love.
However, science on the other hand is not so keen on what Mrs Abdul has to say.
There are many opposing scientific theories for the notion that ‘Opposites attract.’ One of which I find the most convincing and credible is research done by the University of California. Their research attempts to show that like attracts like. In their study researchers took and analyzed data from a popular online dating site finding that high-popularity users interacted more with other popular users. Likewise, the less popular users  also interacted more with the other low-popularity users. In the article produced I found out that “The matching hypothesis predicts that individuals on the dating market will assess their own self-worth and select partners whose social desirability approximately equals their own.”
So those users picked and interacted more with like-minded people. Many people like the romantic notion of having a partner to compliment them, however in real life, it seems to be those that most resembles us that turn out to be the our most realistic partner.

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Takes less than a second!

Type into any search engine ‘love at first sight is real’ and you’ll get thousands of websites with their acclaimed answers and suggestions eagerly awaiting you. One of which that caught my eye was the BBC news website. At first I thought it seemed a pretty reliable website purely because of the fact that it was the BBC. (They are constantly in the public eye and have a big reputation in the media industry)

However, on further investigation my thoughts were swayed. The title of the article was “Proof love at first sight exists” (A pretty bold statement to make!) However, within the article there is no other mention of the word ‘love.’ This is slightly contradictory as the reader believes the article to be purely about proving love at first sight. The article provides no evidence or proof that love at first sight exists, only that we have the ability to make a snap judgement on what kind of relationship we will have with a person. Nothing on love at first sight.

Media websites and newspapers seem to just want to grab your attention. A bit like love at first sight actually, all they really want is to be able to pull you in straight with their eye catching headings.

I thought to take to a more reliable route for sourcing out information so I went and had a look in EBSCO. After doing a bit of digging I found an interesting article on attraction.
In order to find yourself head over heels madly in love with someone you firstly need to be attracted to them. That particular individual must be eye-catchingly appealing to seize your undivided attention. According to a study into attentional adhesion to mates and rivals done by Jon Maner of the Florida state University, it only takes half a second to decide if someone is attractive or a potential mate. In his research, Maner found that a person could judge the physical attraction of someone in half a second.

This got me thinking about attraction, you always hear the common phase ‘opposites attract’ but do they really?

Maner, J. K., Gailliot, M. T., Rouby, D. A., & Miller, S. L. (2007). Can’t take my eyes off you: Attentional adhesion to mates and rivals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

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Love at first sight?

Now I’m all one for a good soppy romantic movie. You know the heartbreaker, tear jerker movies like Titanic and The Notebook; where the two main protagonists fall deeply and madly in love. Well, what I would like to take … Continue reading

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