Is Love at First Sight a Myth?

June 22, 2009

Are you a hopeless romantic who believes in love at first sight? Well, according to a psychiatrist and relationship guru it’s a myth and actually leads to bad relationships.

Gordon Livingston, who has published a new book How to Love, says that the idea of gazing across a crowded room and instantly falling in love with “the one” is “mindless.” He says, “It's impossible to make those kinds of judgments until you really know someone. There's certainly such thing as attraction at first sight, and in retrospect you (may) have been right that this was the person, but often those initial chemical surges betray us."

Livingston believes we may be drawn to a person by their physical appearance, but that does not mean love. Rather, it should be termed, lust at first site. He says, "We're automatically drawn to (those deemed beautiful) on an almost instinctual basis but they may not have those inner qualities that make for satisfying marriage."

The psychiatrist explains the “key to a long-lasting loving relationship is finding a person who possesses most of what he calls the 10 'essential virtues' - kindness, optimism, courage, loyalty, tolerance, flexibility, beauty, humor, honesty, and intelligence.” He believes the secret to a fulfilling long term loving relationship is picking the right partner at the outset and not basing that decision on superficial characteristic that don’t wear well over time.

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Source: Allison Michael Orenstein/Photonica/Getty Images

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