It’s a normal day. You lay in bed and wait the 10 minutes for your alarm clock to go off once more. When it does you groggily slide out of bed and run through the normal motions: shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth. You’re sitting in your 2007 Chevy, surveying the downtown block as you do every morning, and then you see her. She’s slowly pushing her apartment door open and her bangs out of her face with her free hand and smiling at whoever she’s talking to on the phone. She takes each step confidently, as she makes her way up the street behind you, and then she’s gone. The car behind you is honking repeatedly and cars are whizzing past you. It’s as if you were frozen in time, with no concern for anything else but her. You put your car back in drive and speed away with a quickened heart beat and sweaty brow.

Love at First Sight: Could It Be?

This is a classic case of what some refer to as love at first sight. You are completely engulfed by her presence, this woman you’ve never seen before now. You’re so entranced and mystified that you swear it must be love. So, could it be? Is this love?

Some scientists say that yes, we may have the potential to fall in love at first sight. This is due to oxytocin, or “the love hormone”, which we release during human contact—it has an effect on how we bond with a person and can result in a good or bad association. This hormone works with other ones, such as dopamine and adrenalin, to give off feelings of euphoria and/or excitement.

Problems with Love at First Sight

Despite any scientific claims, some simply deny the existence of love at first sight, deeming this overwhelming emotion an attraction instead. Maybe it’s the way she flipped her hair, or how brightly she smiled. Maybe you liked the way she dressed, or admired her for the way she walked so confidently. If so, it could just be an intense attraction and have an insignificant potential for becoming love.

These skeptics also say, how can you fall in love at first sight when you don’t even know the person? The argument is that we fall in love because of someone’s personality. We admire their work ethic, and prefer their humor to others’. We love how they love their friends and take care of their family. We fall in love only after getting to know them, not after watching them, for a split second or two, walking down the street. Therefore, they say, the first-glance love just can’t be real.

However, maybe our preconceived notions about a person are true. Maybe the confidence she emulated was true and very characteristic of her personality. Maybe she’s hard-working and kind and everything you thought she would be after surveying her for a mere five seconds. It’s certainly possible and if this is the case then love at first sight is a very accurate description of the love you have found.

Married at First Sight

Some so strongly believe in the potential of love at first sight that they agree to go on a TV show called Married at First Sight and walk down the aisle only to be met by a predetermined perfect match. These perfect matches are put together by sociologists, relationship experts, and marriage counselors and based on scientific matchmaking—this may include determining compatibility based on different traits and lifestyles. The show then follows these couples as they say ‘I do’, go on their honeymoon, and struggle to get to know each other and build a solid relationship. Then, after a few weeks together, the couples decide whether or not they want to stay together or end their unconventional love story in divorce.

Couples on Married at First Sight have vastly different experiences: some just don’t experience the love that they hoped and end up divorcing, while others fall in love quite quickly and work effortlessly to build a loving relationship that lasts. While these contestants obviously believe in the possibility of love at first sight and are willing to bet a marriage on it, most others find the idea of getting married at first sight just plain crazy.

The Notebook: A Modern Tale of Love at First Sight

The Notebook, a novel and film, is the story of a young couple falling in love and their struggles to maintain their love. In the opening of the love story, which develops over the course of many years, Noah Calhoun lays eyes on a woman named Allie Hamilton and decides he ‘wants her and has to have her’. He does everything in his power for her to notice him, even putting himself in danger by hanging from a Ferris wheel until she agrees to go on a date with him. Although this love is not a mutual one in the beginning, the love that grows between the two is a strong, unfailing one by the close of the story. Noah and Allie teach us that maybe love at first sight is possible and that perseverance can lead to a wonderful love story of our own.