Falling in Love: It Happens Faster Than You Think

A Syracuse University study revealed that love-at-first-sight causes the same euphoric feelings as cocaine. Yes, you heard correctly: cocaine. And they say it only takes a fifth of a second to “fall in love”. A fifth of a second. Not the three-to-six months of dating that you might expect.

MRIs showed that 12 areas the brain work together during the falling in love process, releasing euphoria-inducing chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopressin.

Dopamine is responsible for reward-driven learning and a variety of highly addictive drugs, including stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine, act directly on the dopamine system. Oxytocin plays a role in orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behavior.

The researcher who conducted the study, Stephanie Ortigue, says that her results confirm that love has a “scientific basis.”

Personally, I don’t believe the sensation that is being described is actually “love,” but since it’s the feeling that most people want to associate being “in love,” it’s still a useful study.

Read the full article here. Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated. How many times have you felt the rush of love at first sight? And how many of you are still dating your love-at-first-sight guy?

Join our conversation (56 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 31

    I was married but split from my former Husband 2002, been working at a Restaurant and met a Guys who was in Con Core at the Time, we became Friends.
    I helped the Guy to unpack his Kitchen Stuff after he moved into his Place, we went out for Dinner & dancing at the Country Music Club. Somehow we came together and been dating each other, we had a great Time together. I liked him very much, he is a real hopeless Romantic, Flowers came to my Home, i met his Family, we went to Church on Easter Sunday & all this good stuff. Our Sex Life sure was never ever boring, and still he has been cheating on me with his best female Friend. I was sure hurt but also still married, so i walked away & we kept in Contact over the next 10 years off and on, He always was there for me when i had Car Trouble, he came over to help moving my Stuff and sometimes only to check on each other or to talk about life ect, just being caring & helpful to each other, thats it. 
    I divorced in 2005, he bought a home & supposed to get married in 2008, he did so good, i was very proud of him that he had a better Life going for himself.
    He bailed out of getting married which he told me later, plus he did not wanted to get forced into having a Kid, he was 42 years old at the time.
    In 2009, we lost Contact to each other, he was simply a different Guy, not the same Mark i used to know, sad but true. anyway, time past on. I became my american Citizenship 2010 and wanted to share my good News w/ Mark but i could not get a Hold of him anymore. I thought maybe he still got married etc or moved away maybe out of State.
    All those Years i never could forget him ori forgive him for cheating on me, but he did ask me quiet a few times if i know how to forgive somebody !!! There is was, my Heart gave in , i made it possible to forgive him but could not tell him for 2 more years, plus i had to find him first to let him know about what have changed in me.
    Oh Boy, i sure did my Research & found him back in the Prison System, omg, this made me cry, i just could not believe this. So i called the Prison to set up a Visitation, this was very hard for me cause this was the last thing on my Mind i thought where he would be.
    God had his Fingers in this Game, i found out that he has been moved to a Rehability Center for Drug Abuse etc, so i wrote him a Letter, a Birthday card & a Christmas Card last year ! He could not believe it as he recieved my Mail. I must have put him into Tears. I have included my Calling Card & my Home Ph. # , his Phone Call did not took very long to me, he told me that i have safed his Life and changed his View of life after he realized that nobody else been looking for him after he was locked up, again ??? New Year 2013, i drove 3 Hrs. to visit him.
    We always loved each other, this we know but it took 10 long years to admit it, it all came so easily over our Lips, we keep holding on to each other, its not going to be easy me at home & he at the Con Core,again, 3 more Months and he will be back here where everything has started out for us.
    Its pretty deep, we still love each other and our feelings became much stronger then ever. He writes me letters almos every Day and he calls me a lot, he is doing alright now & has a Future to come Home to.
    Fairy Tales do exist.
     Thank you for reading this !!

  2. 32
    gloria icoy

    possibly a abnormal guy will fallin love?

  3. 33

    I met a guy 4years and 8months ago on a dating site we’ve just chatted about 3daysand and he suggested that we meet up it as the wednesday night we immediatly we clicked the following saterdag he asked me if would maybe take the xt step and we have been together ever since and still madly in love

  4. 34

    Fascinating stuff, but hardly new.

    It is obvious that the intensity of emotion which accompanies a new relationship is powerful neurochemistry, but then everything it means to be human (or more correctly primate, or perhaps even mammalian) is neurochemistry.

    Like absolutely everything else it’s there for sound evolutionary reasons. By definition, only those behaviors which increase the reproductive success of any individual multiply in that species’ gene pool, so any effect which increases the likelihood of a man and a woman having sex will be evolutionarily selected for.

    In essence, that’s the main reason why sex is fun. Interestingly, cocaine hijacks neurochemical pleasure pathways that evolved for these other reasons – there was never any direct evolutionary selection for the enjoyment of cocaine!

    But I agree with Evan that these intense emotions are not what most people would call ‘love.’ That takes years. I understand the more correct description is ‘limerence.’ It’s exceedingly intense, and it doesn’t last, because it doesn’t need to. Only long enough for the woman to get pregnant. Any longer than that, and the distraction from other sensible activities – like eating, avoiding enemies, and posting on internet blogs – would become, on balance, non-advantageous.

    I know all this limbic-system stuff can sound terribly cynical. But that doesn’t make it not true.

    And the ability to see the world as it actually is is often called cynicism by those who lack it.

  5. 35

    I never believed in “love at first sight” until I met one particular man.  Now that we are not together anymore…the withdrawal symptoms are what can only be described as going off of hard-core drugs!   

  6. 36

    Don’t know about love at first sight, but I do know I sat next to a German man while I visited for a month..I have never Forgotten him or the feeling and that was 10 years ago.

    1. 36.1

      I don’t call that initial spark “love”, but for me, it’s often  been the pre-cursor to love.  Sometimes the spark becomes a fire that quickly burns out, sometimes the spark never gets past being a spark, and with both my ex-husbands, the spark developed into an LTR (a 3 year r’ship, 1 year married) and a 27 year marriage, 10 of those years very happy, followed by a few up and down years, then it soured, we were separated long before we made our divorce legal.
      When I was single the question of “where are they now ?” in regards to past men was irrelevant to me.  Until I met my current sweetheart, I could say that all those men that I felt the spark for right away, weren’t with me.  I could also say that the men I tried to “give a chance” to see if love could develop over time, weren’t with me. I had a variety of past experiences with men, and I wasn’t with any of them either.  The men that I slept with early on, the men that I waited to see if we would be compatible, the men I felt instant chemistry for, and the men that I genuinely liked, but couldn’t love.
      I’ve been with my current sweetheart 5 and a half months now.  We were attracted to each other right away. He pursued me with the intention of us becoming a couple from the very beginning but didn’t pressure me for instant sex. I never wondered where I stood with him.   I didn’t call it “love  at first sight”, but I strongly felt that the potential for a loving LTR was there, not just because of that twinkle in his eye, and that first initial blush of love-in-the making that I felt, but his kind personality, his responsible nature, the conversational chemistry, and the fun we have when we are together.
      I must admit, although it was instant attraction for me, it’s not nearly as intense as it was in my younger days, and for that I am thankful.  The excitement is now starting to mellow into a comfortable, intimate, companionship, and I am very content with where we are now.  I couldn’t have imagined love would be this wonderful this late in my life, but it is.  Different than my younger days, but very exciting, very satisfying and very emotionally sustaining.
      I don’t know what the future holds for us, but right now, I see no end in sight, but I realize that just because I don’t see an end in sight (I wouldn’t be with him if I did) doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.
      But if we don’t work out for whatever reason, I won’t shun that initial spark in subsequent dating encounters, because my longest most fulfilling relationships (fulfilling until they went sour)  all started with the initial spark.  I never “learned to love” any man.  For me, the potential was either there from the beginning, or it never happened at all.  (and I’ve hurt a few guys trying to give love “a chance” to grow)
      I know that other women experience love differently, one of my very good friends is now in a relationship that started as a long term friendship (no “benefits” a traditional, platonic, friendship)  Some relationships (although I suspect very few) start as a booty call or ONS.  But in my 60 years, I know what works for ME.
      It might not work “forever”, but as one of the slogans on this very blog says (and I’m parpaphrasing) “A relationship isn’t a failure because it ended, it was a success because you tried”  (or some similar sentiment)
      JM2C, YMMV.

    2. 36.2

      This actually isn’t a reply to another comment, but it’s the only way my computer will post.  If I try to just add it to the end of the comments section, it won’t take 🙁

  7. 37



    I really do believe in love at first sight.

    It’s happened to em 3 times. Ok, i’m not in those r’ships now, but to this day(it’s been 10 years since number 1, 6 since number  2 went and 1 year since number three went) i still feel  a warm loving deep caring glow that i don’t feel for any of my other r’ships or short term romances. The first was a gorgeous girl who met me whilst we were both working in modeling and i will never forget how i felt and how i emotionally and physically connected. That ended because she had to move to Australia due to family relocating. The 2nd was a very handsome kind hearted empathetic guy who i got to know , but the instant i saw him, there was some sort of connection. Can’t explain it, it was just magical and his face ‘glowed’ every time i looked at him. This r’ship lasted for years, but it didn’t work out due to him having to travel to Chile with his work and we slowly drifted. I still love him to this day though. The last was a girl who again i instantly fell for , but i’m not sure how much she loved me,,,maybe it was slightly unrequited love..but i’ll always love her. I’ve been with plenty of girls(the guy was just the once) and i’ve never felt those feelings like that  again.Thanks

  8. 38

    I had love at first sight, It was wonderful and we were engaged to be married, Then he passed away. I believe it happens, very rare, but it can. Its an amazing feeling,

  9. 39

    Love happens over time?  You don’t step into love, you fall!

  10. 40

    We met online, he messaged first. In my profile I said I wasn’t looking for a screen relationship, I wanted to meet soon. We did. We couldn’t stop laughing and the chemistry was palpable. Our date almost a week later, with very little contact in between. I didn’t worry once.

    On our official first night something clicked. Whether at first sight or later in the night, I felt things I never have. Yes, it was likely chemically based, but not in my so much nether-spot.  I never for a second doubted it , questioned it, never worried or suppressed it, it just kept happening, like blushing all over. I realized I was blushing and smiling, and wider when I looked at him, and him smiling back at me, blushing. It’s was so intense but so quiet. He kept saying we’ve only known each other for like six hours! Just out of the blue. Later that night, we were standing next to each other, again quiet. “Comfortable silence” he said.

    The thing is, I don’t need to analyze it when we aren’t together. The feeling is just there. It isn’t like “oh yeah, he’s pretty cool, I really like him a lot, wow…” It’s just there and quiet somehow. If I don’t get a text, or a call, I’m fine with it. I just know he’s thinking of me. I’m not justifying this or that, I’m just excited to see him when I know I will. We aren’t hurrying into bed. It will happen but it doesn’t need to until it does. Organically.

    We live nearby and he did the old “Did I leave my sunglasses in your car?” This was the fourth time we’d see one another. It was silly, but felt sweet. – I didn’t think OMG, did he do that on purpose? Is he just pulling a charmer move? I didn’t think OMG, I’m in day two jeans and day two hair and I haven’t even showered  and my Uggs are worn out. I was just happy I’d be seeing him. (We didn’t have plans until the next day.)

    He shows up at Trader Joe’s, finds me in line. We’re almost giggling, looking away and both kind of glowing. He parked next to me and we kissed for a couple minutes and I said my ice cream might melt, we agreed that French Vanilla is the best kind and parted until tomorrow.

    I’ve never felt this way. It’s quiet and makes me feel sweet. I don’t think well this is too soon, what is this?  I don’t need to title it, I don’t get worried if I don’t hear from him, just happy when I do. I smile a lot and realize why after, it’s hard to explain.

    I didn’t pursue him. He gave me his number online and I responded with “touche, here’s mine” I’m not self conscious when we’re together. I like how this feels so, natural. We crack each other up constantly. He’s read my writing and loves it. “I didn’t expect to run into you…” he says. He isn’t being “charming” to get me into bed. We’re just excited for when it will happen but not pushing it. It’s almost like were waiting to make love or something goofy like that. lol

    Of course, I’m attracted to him physically, and he can kiss…exactly the way I like to. I’m 48 and he’s 50. We’re both divorced. I wasn’t looking for anyone, and started online dating after I felt ready in who I am, not who I hope to fine to complete me. Are we infatuated? Smitten? Crushing hard? Just really hot for each other? Falling in love? Who knows. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t really matter, it just feels so nice today. We met about nine days ago.

    And he can kiss…


  11. 41

    Three years ago, at a new job, I met a male coworker who I made an almost instant connection with. We laugh, joke, vent to one another about work and personal. We’ve become close, can tell one another anything without judgement and I trust him without question. A year and a half ago we began working closer together, his joking and teasing became more intense and it was in one moment as we were both laughing, he looked at me with this giant smile and I saw it in his eyes, I felt it. This man, the one who I never thought of as more than a funny coworker who liked to pick on me and made my work day better, the sweetheart of a man with his awesome personality,  wasn’t just some random coworker anymore. I’ve apparently spent the past three years falling in love with him.

    In my opinion, based on my past relationships, you can’t make love happen. You can’t settle for someone you aren’t attracted to. But you can become attacted to someone you have great chemistry with, a trusting friendship and a full acceptance of their flaws. I’m not perfect. He’s not perfect. We aren’t together, he has no idea I love him, but he does know I like him. And maybe one day it’ll work out for us if we can both take down the walls we’ve constructed around our hearts. I’d like to believe one day it will. He’s the one who sought out my attention and slowly made me develop these feelings. Without the chemistry we have, I wouldn’t be holding out hope. I don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship with him or anyone else, but if it is someone else, I will still look for that connection, the chemistry, because I learned that no matter how good someone is, without the spark, it’s not going to work.

  12. 42

    Real true love only happened in the past the way that it did for our family members that were very fortunate to be born at that time.  Today it is like trying to win the lottery since many of us men just happened to be born at a very bad time unfortunately.  And many of us are still single and hoping today.

  13. 43

    I’ve never fallen in love that fast, but the guy I’m seeing now seems to have fallen that fast for me. I find myself wondering if I’ve been duped, if it’s a con, but then that makes no sense. Basically this guy is a consummate actor if he doesn’t have any feelings for me, because he’s been fully about it and into me since our first date. Focused like a laser beam. Part of me just wants to let go and fall just like he has, and the other part of me won’t allow it.

    Fun stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *