Facts You Need to Know about Love at First Sight

No relationship trope more common and romantic than love at first sight. The idea of you and your partner “clicked” when you first met sounds amazing. However, the cynical part of your mind might wonder: is it real?

There are numerous accounts about people who felt attractions for their current partners at first sight (some of them may even you or someone you know). Experts have tried to explain this phenomenon, and apparently, there are some facts we could use to examine love at first sight.

Study Results about Love at First Sight

One of the newest studies about love at first sight was conducted in 2017. Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands gave questionnaires to 400 men and women. They asked about the respondents’ responses when meeting potential romantic partners (or their current partners).

After examining the answers, researchers made several conclusions:

·  First attraction relates to physical beauty

Most respondents said that the physical beauty of others created instant attraction. While the description of “physical beauty” was varied between respondents, it still played important roles in their love at first sight experiences.

· Men experience it more than women

More male respondents reported love at first sight compared to the females. The researchers thought that it might be because women are more selective when looking for partners. However, this conclusion requires further studies.

· The experience is not always mutual

“Mutual” first love is not always a shared experience. In the study, many respondents said that their partners didn’t know or realize the other’s instant attraction. However, researchers suggested that the intensity of one person’s attraction might affect how the partner’s thought. It could lead the partner to believe that they shared the same first love experience.

Finally, researchers stated that the first love experience is not a “real” love, which requires understanding, support, intimacy, and other long-term characteristics. The attraction simply opens the door for stronger possibilities of romantic relationships.

Will Love at First Sight Last?

Love at first sight sounds like the most romantic thing that can happen to someone. Therefore, many people believe that it will last long. Is it true?

Not really. According to psychologist Dr Salida Afridi, love at first sight cannot develop into a strong bond if there are no efforts. The first attraction tends to be superficial, and if there are no bonds, it can fizzle with time. The difficult part is not falling in love but keeping the relationship going.

If you don’t experience instant attraction when meeting someone, don’t get discouraged. The most important thing is your effort to keep the relationship going after you become romantic partners.

Tips to Develop Healthy Romantic Relationships

The first stages of a loving relationship can feel fiery and exciting (especially if you met through instant attraction). However, keeping a healthy and strong relationship requires efforts. The Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas shared several tips to build a good relationship:

· Build a relationship with respect

Respect and kindness must be the base of all healthy relationships. You can establish them by showing respectful and kind behaviors to each other. Say “thank you,” respect each other’s boundaries, and don’t call each other with offensive words or mocking tones.

· Explore and listen

Exploring each other’s thoughts and interests is the key to understand more about your partner. Also, learn how to listen instead of just venting. Don’t dominate the conversation and let the other says what he/she has in mind without judgment.

· Establish healthy ways to handle disagreement

The ability to deal with disagreement or conflict healthily is the key to a healthy relationship. When having an argument or disagreement, always stay in the present. Never dig into past mistakes or make assumptions. Have a conversation with conflict resolution as your main goal, not “winning” the argument.

· When making mistakes, say sorry

Saying sorry is a hard thing to do, but acknowledging your mistake is important to establish a healthy relationship. When apologizing, be sincere and acknowledge your mistakes completely. Never do fake apology, such as saying things like “I’m sorry you are offended” or “it’s just the way I am.”

· Welcome changes

Changes are inevitable, especially in a long-term relationship. You may experience financial changes, sickness, accidents, the presence of a new child, and other extreme situations. You and your partner should work together to welcome changes and return your life to a normal pace together.

Finally, make sure that you and your partner have proper communication style. Create an atmosphere of support and understanding so that everyone can discuss his or her problems freely. Communication is also the key to resolve conflicts in healthy ways before they blow up into bigger problems.

Conclusion

It is possible to experience an instant attraction when seeing someone. However, remember that love at first sight is just a part of a positive impression you experience toward someone. It is not the key to a long, meaningful relationship. You must work hard and cooperate with your partner to create a loving, long-lasting relationship.

How to Deal with Gaslighting in Relationships

Many people don’t know how to deal with gaslighting because it is not directly violent abuse. However, gaslighting people can be frustrating, whether in love, family, or work relationship.

Gaslighting people will do something that upset you, and then claim it was “all in your head” or “you are sensitive” when you protested. This defensive technique will make you question your reality, give you self-doubt, and turn you into an easy target of abuse.

Signs of Gaslighting Behaviors

Be wary when someone is trying to gaslight you. They may use some or all these common tactics, such as:

· Withholding or refusing to listen

Gaslighting people will say things like “you must be joking” or “you must’ve tried to confuse me” when you point out a problem. They may also outright refuse to answer, such as “this is ridiculous, I don’t want to hear it!”

· Diverting or blocking a question

It is the tactic of diverting questions and changing the route of conversation. Gaslighting people may say something like “where did you get that silly idea?” or “did your friend tell you that again?” instead of answering a question directly.

· Countering a statement

This tactic can be poisonous because it makes you feel like you are the wrong one. When you ask a question or throw a (justified) accusation, gaslighting people will say something like “you are wrong,” or “you didn’t remember it correctly.”

· Trivializing a problem

It is a common tactic in an abusive relationship. When the abused partner feels upset, angry, or sad about the other’s behavior, the trivializing responses can be something like “you’re too sensitive” or “are you going to cry over this thing?”

Individually, these behaviors are not a problem if they happen occasionally. However, when you recognize them as patterns in your partner, family members, or work friends, there are possibilities that they gaslight you.

Effects of Gaslighting

Recognizing a gaslighting person is important because he or she can bring negative effects to you.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a gaslighting partner can cause you to feel confused, unsure about self, and keep apologizing (but without receiving an apology in return). You also have difficulties in making decisions, and always feel judged. When communicating with a gaslighting person, you constantly lie or feel the need to defend yourself.

The long-term effect is even worse. You will slowly feel unhappy because it is difficult for you to relax or confide to other people. In the end, your brain will slowly twist reality, and you stop using a more objective point of view. That is the reason why a long-term abusive relationship is difficult to break. It is not only about the abuser, but also the gaslighted mind of the abused.

With these in mind, escaping a gaslighting person should be your priority, once you notice their patterns.

How to Escape Gaslighting

First of all, never try to “fix” a gaslighting person. Unless he or she realizes the problem and wants to change, you will only experience the negative effects. Remember, those people are not your responsibility.

How do you deal with a gaslighting person? Here are several key pointers:

· Never “explode.”

A gaslighting person uses a strong defensive tactic to frustrate you. When you react harshly or lose control, he or she will keep getting defensive, using your strong reaction as the reason. Be calm and state that their experiences are not yours. Start a conversation with diplomatic phrases, like “you and I seem to have different opinions. Let’s talk about it.”

· Reflect but never second-guess yourself

Second-guessing self is the effect of constant gaslighting. When someone starts to show signs of gaslighting, you should reflect: “What is he/she trying to make me believe?” This thought emphasizes that the gaslighting person is the guilty one, not you. The reflection also keeps your mind from going down to guilt and shame.

· Ask for an outsider’s perspective

When doubt starts to creep because of the gaslighting, find another perspective. Call or meet a family member, friend, or therapist you can trust. Describe the problems in detail and ask about their honest opinions. An outsider’s perspective is usually more objective because their judgments are not clouded with emotion or manipulative intention.

· Leave the toxic environment

Gaslighting people are toxic, and it is hard for them to change. Your only final solution is to leave the environment that makes you unhappy. Avoid these people at work or school, and don’t interact much with them. If you are in an abusive relationship, call a hotline or search for information about domestic abuse victim support.

Once you are free from the gaslighting people, you may need to readjust your altered view. Visit a therapist to start a path toward recovery.

Being gaslighted makes you doubt your sanity and frustrates you to no end. Knowing how to deal with gaslighting will help you from getting dragged down to an unhappy life. Start living happier and more confidently by avoiding gaslights.