6 Reasons Why Love At First Sight Is Such A Dangerous Concept… Or Not

Miramax Films/Serendipity

When you’re at a restaurant, do you often feel like you can tell you’re going to like your food before eating it? Maybe it looks good, maybe you’ve ordered a similar dish before, maybe it even contains some of your all-time favorite ingredients. Regardless of the situation, you still won’t know exactly what it tastes like until you take a bite.

Is it crass to compare food to a romantic interest? Perhaps, but the analogy is apt. You can’t know someone’s personality based purely on their looks, just like you can’t know exactly how your food is going to taste until you take a bite (even if you feel you can make some educated guesses).

That’s what makes love at first sight so dangerous — it’s based on appearances and carnal feelings that come together to somehow spell out “magic” to the unwitting victims. However, magic isn’t as easily sustained in long-term relationships as, say, caring and the ability to enjoy common interests. Magic alone will lead to heartbreak.

1. Love at first sight is shallow.

That’s right, I said it — the concept that serves as the crux of most romantic comedies isn’t a feeling that comes up from deep within your soul, it’s the human brain responding to a symmetrical face (which science has shown that people find more pleasing) or a well-proportioned bod. When you see such a pleasing façade, you’ll find yourself subconsciously wishing that the personality accompanying it will be equally pleasing to you. Thus begin the mind tricks…

2. You’re playing mind tricks with yourself…

… which is just a serious waste of time — I mean, enough other people in this world will try to mess with your mind that you’re better off sparing yourself the hardship. Unfortunately, you can’t really control it. It’s second nature to ascribe a great personality to a rocking bod. Once you finally make that slow glide across the room to actually speak to the person who’s so captivated you by their looks, it will take more than the average lame utterance or misogynistic pickup line to put most people off. People are always more forgiving to those they find attractive.

3. Don’t discount the power of the buildup.

Now that your new lover-at-first sight hasn’t said something extraordinarily heinous, and has thus managed to keep their grip on your prone psyche, you’ve chalked them up to being maybe not the greatest person in the world, but the greatest person in your world. You’ve automatically designated them as being very much worth spending time with. So you wait until the next time you meet. You’ve been thinking about it and waiting for it so intensely because you’ve found the love of your life, so finally seeing this person again will feel like a breath of fresh air.

4. You’re now liable to go love blind.

Once you’ve been sucked into the spell of love at first sight, that spell is going to stick around for at least a little while. How long is a little while? Long enough for you to go blind to everything else around you — whether it’s friends’ warnings, personal necessities, your own goals as an individual or the obvious signs that you and your new lover aren’t right for each other (example: you’re a musician but she loves Kidz Bop and hates your band mates).

5. This leads to the blind leading the blind.

It’s not like she’s thinking logically about the situation. She doesn’t see your bad relationship omens, either. Neither of the parties in this situation possesses the least bit of reason. You’ve basically slipped backward through evolution to the point before humans fully developed their frontal lobes.

6. When you fall, you’re falling from a cloud.

Clouds look comfortable, all plush and squishy in shape, but in reality they’re wispy and cold and provide zero support. When you come out of your romantic reverie for whatever reason (you’ve finally realized that you’ve stopped hanging out with your band mates and making music because she hates your band mates and she hates most music), it’s going to hurt because you’ve unwittingly cut out your support network. You only have one person and she’s as flimsy as you are — and perched atop a cloud, as well.

OK, now let’s actually bring this back to reality. The above scenario sums up pretty much all romantic relationships, so don’t be fooled by love at first sight being a lower form of taking the plunge. Such relationships are never (well, I should say rarely) born out of reason, and that’s a risk we humans have to take, because in a sense, all love is love at first sight.

It’s rare that sight doesn’t play a role in your first meeting with someone (even in online romances, you see a profile). Whether you’re just meeting your new lover or they’ve been your best friend for years, the first moment of realizing these mutual feelings marks the beginning of the aforementioned cycle. And there’s nothing wrong — and everything scary — about that. Ultimately, love at first sight is just as dangerous as any kind of love. Romance is a dangerous undertaking, and love is the engine that powers it forward.