Is love at first sight possible?

Love at first sight is actually rather easy to explain.  I and my colleagues have now put dozens of men and women into a brain scanner (using fMRI) to map the brain pathways associated with this exotic passion, romantic love. And this electric, blissful feeling runs along a specific network that can be triggered instantly. Indeed, this neural circuitry most likely evolved among our ancient mammalian (and probably avian) ancestors to drive them to focus their mating energy on specific partners and start the breeding process. We have inherited the brain mechanisms for ‘love at first sight.’  So I wasn’t surprised to find how many Americans have experienced this primordial brain response.  I do an annual study with, known as Singles in America.  We don’t poll Match members; instead we poll a representative sample of Americans based on the U.S. census.  And annually we ask our participants if they have ever experienced love at first sight.  We now have data on 25,000+Americans over the past five years.  Data vary in different groups; but the numbers are always high:  In 2014, 41% of single men and 29% of women had experienced love at first sight.  In 2013, 43% of men and 31% of women had experienced this instant passion; while in 2012, 71% of men and 66% of women had experienced love at first sight. Moreover, in 2011, 67% of men and 60% of women had felt love at first sight; and in 2010, 54% of men and 44% of women had succumbed to this instant madness.  Romantic love is like a sleeping cat: it can be awakened at any time.