For those of you that have always believed that love at first sight is possible, it seems that now science may stand behind you in that belief. Syracuse University professor, Dr. Stephanie Ortigue, has conducted some astounding new research that shows love happens within 1/5 of a second. Dr. Ortigue explains that falling in love is a scientific event in that it begins in the brain rather than the heart. According to this study, the brain reacts to romance a bit like it was given a hit of cocaine.
Basically, falling in love causes 12 areas of your brain to join together to release happiness chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and adrenaline. It’s a love potion mixed by your brain that causes those euphoric feelings. The entire process takes place faster than you can blink.
Dr. Ortigue showed people the names and pictures of their beloveds so she could measure the electrical activity in the brain cells. Her results showed that the pictures caused her test subjects’ brains to rapidly increase the activity in the parts connected to euphoria, drug use and rewards.
It may not be surprising that the brain reacts to romance, but the idea of love at first sight can be puzzling. There are so many questions about this because, for every time someone is instantly attracted to someone else, there’s another person who has had to work extremely hard to be noticed by the objects of their affections. Also, consider how long it can take to actually fall in love with a person you met online before you even lay eyes on him or her.
There may be a line between instantaneous love and a love that takes time to grow. Some people you may have learned to love but when you realized that you were also attracted to them, you felt as if you had had a life changing experience. The passion may have arrived later in the relationship but it was still like being struck by lightning.
However it turns out, Dr. Ortigue’s discoveries may show intense implications when it comes to mental health and heartbreak. While love might happen at first sight, it takes a long time to recover from a broken relationship. Counselors and psychologists can use the knowledge of the brain’s reactions to love to more effectively help their patients move through the different steps of recovering from a broken heart. This research may also help in the development of new types of therapy to assist in the recovery of a lost love.
Knowing what the implications are of Dr. Ortigue’s study, it’s difficult to decide whether falling in love at first sight is a positive thing or not. However, it does say a lot for the people that have always known it was possible. It seems that it has been common knowledge as far back as when William Shakespeare penned his famous play, Romeo and Juliet. They fell in love at first sight without even knowing each other’s name. But you see how that turned out.