You can try all you want to reduce love to scientific reaction, but there is something spontaneous about it. Nevertheless, I often find myself wondering if such a huge emotion can really be measured and studied. Then, if it can, how long does it take to fall in love?
Is there a timeline, is love, at first sight, a real thing, or are we really just out here winging it? That’s undoubtedly a lot of questions and for the most part, people have varying answers. Nevertheless, if there is a method to this madness I want to be in the know and I’m sure you do too. So, if you’re ready, let's delve right in.
- 1 So, How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love?
- 1.1 1. Attraction And Love Are Two Different Things
- 1.2 2. Let's Not Mistake Falling In Love For Being In Love
- 1.3 3. Optimistic People Are More Likely To Fall In Love At First Sight
- 1.4 4. Men Fall In Love A Lot Faster
- 1.5 5. Let's Get Scientific
- 1.6 6. You Can Make Yourself Fall In Love
- 1.7 7. It Depends On Your Partner
- 1.8 8. Your Definition Of Love
- 1.9 9. Previous Experiences
- 1.10 10. Love Has Layers
- 1.11 11. Maturity Plays A Part
- 1.12 12. Let's Use Numbers
- 1.13 13. Emotional Intelligence Plays A Part
- 1.14 14. Who Knows?
- 2 FAQs
- 3 In A Nutshell…
So, How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love?
1. Attraction And Love Are Two Different Things
Sometimes, all it takes to fall in love in a few minutes, according to scientists. But there are other instances where it's not actually love, but her crazy cousin ‘attraction'. I can see how you'd mistake one for the other, for the most part, you do the same weird stuff.
Nevertheless, with attraction, the effect wears off and you realize there's not much to stick around for. It's kind of like the fast track when it comes to relationship and emotion-related issues. Sure, sometimes, attraction graduates to love, but it's important to be able to differentiate between the two.
Attraction is obviously encompassed in love, but it's instantaneous. Love, on the other hand, takes time and growth. It doesn't give up when the going gets tough or when appearances change. So, you may think you're in love, but sometimes it's just attraction.
2. Let's Not Mistake Falling In Love For Being In Love
Sure, we are getting into technicalities and semantics here. But this is not some relationship mumbo jumbo. The funny thing though, is that they overlap, you can actually do both at the same time. But, just to bring you up to speed, here's the difference between the two.
When you're falling in love, it's all butterflies in your stomach and cheesy love songs – yes, I’m referring to Taylor Swift. At this stage, you're ready to stay up all night speaking to him even if you've got to be up early. It's basically a euphoric feeling.
Being in love, on the other hand, grounds you. You can be yourself around him, even more, there's no need to pretend. You can stride around with no makeup on and tousled hair because you know that's not what matters anymore.
3. Optimistic People Are More Likely To Fall In Love At First Sight
You've heard it before, the power of positive thinking and all that. But it really works, they literally talk and think themselves into falling in love with you or anyone else. You see, if you're a bag of positivity, you're more likely to see the good in someone else.
Taking it up a notch, being optimistic makes people more open to the idea of love. I mean, if you're constantly expecting something you're highly likely to get it. Even more, after the whole courting dance, all that positivity makes you appreciate your partner more.
On the flip side, cynics, and even neutral people have their guard up. So, they do more of a walk into love than an actual fall. But, you know what? That’s OK too, we cannot all be the same and sometimes, a little caution is all you need to dodge a major bullet.
4. Men Fall In Love A Lot Faster
Sure, women tend to be a lot more expressive when it comes to emotions. But, guess what? Men actually fall in love faster than women, and this article from the Journal of social psychology has ample evidence to support that claim. Apparently, it's because they're a lot more visually stimulated than women. As such, the distance between a man and love, at first sight, is ‘sight'.
You'll certainly agree that as women, it's more about how our partner makes us feel. Sure, it won't hurt if he looks like Henry Cavill, but there's something about a smooth, proactive man that gets the old cauldron bubbling. Let's do the math, how many people do you see in a day?
With that in mind, how many of them do you speak to? Chances are that you see more people than you speak to them. If you think about it that way, men should definitely have the crown for falling in love easier.
5. Let's Get Scientific
I get a bit peeved when someone takes a scientific route to answer the question ‘how long does it take to fall in love?`' because it’s hard to say one number or another. Yup, I'm your run of the mill hopeless romantic. But, we can't really overlook that aspect of things. It's just as real as the butterflies in your stomach; it may also be more real.
So, here's a scientist's take on what it takes to fall in love. When someone gets those giddy feelings, at first, dopamine is created in the brain. This plays around with the sweat glands and even the private parts. It's not long before you'll reach a euphoric state, and you still have dopamine to thank for that.
The dopamine here is backed up with testosterone to increase sex drive. In a nutshell, you're basically high when you're falling in love. If you really think about it, that explains a lot.
6. You Can Make Yourself Fall In Love
Have you ever been in a situation where someone has fallen in love with you and you're not just there yet? Even more, perhaps you're just fed up with leading a loveless life. Apparently, you can actually train yourself to fall in love.
A great way to get the wheels in motion is by using the 36 questions exercise. You may be wondering if it's really that easy; it is for some of us. This kind of love may not be built on the principle of love at first sight, there's even more of a method to it. Apparently, sharing information about yourself in a safe space breeds intimacy.
So, you may not necessarily have to play a game. But, sharing with someone you care about can have you falling in love in no time.
7. It Depends On Your Partner
Falling in love with a partner is not something that just happens… sometimes. There are other times where situations and people spur you to get right in there. It sounds a bit confusing, right? You're the same person, you should have a pattern you follow. I used to think that way, maybe I still do.
But, there are just some people who are incredibly easy to love. So, when you're with that kind of a partner, falling in love becomes so easy. For others, it’s like you have to dig a bit deeper and that will take longer. As to why it happens that way, I'm clueless, it's just one of those things that further boils down to compatibility.
It's not just about the person though, timing also plays a huge part. Falling in love will definitely take a lot longer if you just went through a breakup. You could have Channing Tatum sitting opposite you and the furthest your mind will travel to is ‘rebound sex'.
8. Your Definition Of Love
If you take a group of people aside and ask them what love means to them you'll get an array of responses. Love means so many different things to different people. So, while you may think that three months is enough for your partner to say those three words, he may also be wondering why you're moving so fast.
You see, your definition of love is probably different from how he perceives it. So, while he's waiting for some things to align, you may already be there. It also boils down to the way people think as a whole. I'm personally quite idealistic; I think with my heart and damn the consequences. So, you're not wrong to assume that falling in love comes easy to me.
Some people, on the other hand, make it a calculated decision. When they like someone, they step into the relationship with eyes wide open and pride themselves on the fact that they were ready. Either way, the destination is the same, we all take different routes.
9. Previous Experiences
Picture this, you met a guy and falling in love was the last thing on your mind. But that sucker weaseled himself into your heart and it was like a tsunami hit you out of nowhere. You thought he was ‘it' for you, but life snuck up on you and things ended. This is undoubtedly a painful experience. Imagine variations of this happening to you over time.
Best believe that the next time love comes calling you'll let that message go to voicemail. So, you see, it's probably much easier to fall in love the first time around. But when you get hurt, you become a lot warier. This isn't always the case though, some optimistic folks are ready to fall in love on cue.
It's honestly amazing to see that life and its issues can't crush everyone. Nevertheless, you'll find that everyone has their limit. So, it's natural to push the brakes on love when you've not had the best experiences in the past.
10. Love Has Layers
So, here's the thing, sometimes falling in love doesn't happen all at once. In fact, for the most part, it happens this way. You could start if hot and heavy, falling in love hard. Or you could love them as a friend and companion before anything romantic comes into play. As time progresses, what was once ‘like' turns into ‘love'.
It doesn't stop there, it metamorphoses as you get to know each other. I can confidently say that the way I love my partner now is radically different from how it was in the beginning. Sure, I miss the whole fresh love, butterflies in my stomach phase. But what we have now is solid.
Like a good piece of metalwork, we've been tested by fire. You have to admit that things like that do something to your relationship. You no longer sweat the little things.
11. Maturity Plays A Part
This may sound cliché but it's true. When it comes to how long it takes to fall in love, maturity is a huge factor. It's cute when a 16-year old tells her boyfriend she loves him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trumping on her feelings at that point. Puppy love, after all, is a kind of love. It hits you hard and fast, and for the most part, any arising issues are a bit more on the trivial side.
As you grow older, for lack of a better phrase, shit gets real. You don't bounce back from heartbreak the way you used to. So, you begin to take your time because falling in love again may be scary. As a whole, it's easier to be spontaneous and fall in love at will when you're younger.
There's something about seeing the number of candles on your cake increase that really makes you think.
12. Let's Use Numbers
Numbers and statistics have helped measure a lot of intangible things in this world. So, why not have a go at it with love? Can falling in love with someone really be reduced to a set of numbers? Well apparently it can, and it has been done. We've already established the fact that men fall in love faster than women.
On average, it's calculated that men fall in love after 88 days. Women, on the other hand, give it a solid 150 days. But get this, women want to hear those words quite earlier on. I guess it makes us feel a little more secure in the relationship. We may not be there yet, but it makes us feel better if he's there first.
13. Emotional Intelligence Plays A Part
If you're a bit more in touch with your feelings, then falling in love won't pose much of a challenge. It's something we see every day, in the movies, in our lives and even the lives of our loved ones. The hopeless romantic is ever so ready to get back in there. It's just the way we are wired.
On the other hand, people who aren't exactly emotionally intelligent take their time. In some cases, it may not even be a matter of taking their time, they may be in love and not know it. Even worse, they could know but simply ignore it.
14. Who Knows?
I started this article by saying something about how love cannot be reduced to a simple scientific reaction. There's so much depth to the feeling and it pops up in different ways. You'll notice that it differs from relationship to relationship; so while you may be gooey, some people are more rigid.
It doesn't make it less than what it is, there are too many people on this planet for you to expect a uniform reaction. So, who knows how long it takes to fall in love. There's no definitive timeline; as such, what works for some people may not work for others. In that vein, you've got to take these studies and speculations (including mine) with a pinch of salt.
Who's to tell how much time it'll take for you? That's dependent on a lot of factors that are completely specific to you.
Sure you can fall in love with someone in a week, but here's the thing, you're not actually in love with them. You're in love with the idea of them. So, it's highly likely that you could spend time with them and realize you aren't that into them. On the flip side, you may end up being the love of life.
It's quite exhilarating, you're practically on a high. But you don't just want to feel good all by yourself, there's that need to make the other person happy too. Even more, everything reminds you of them. It could be a lamp, it could be a meme, either way, you can't control it.
It’s hard to say it will be the same for everyone. Some scientists reckon it takes men a mere 8.5 seconds to fall head over heels in love. But another study claims that for guys, 88 days is all it takes to fall in love. Which is quite interesting since they act so macho at times. Women, on the other hand, need at least 100-150 days to get on that bandwagon.
There's research out there that claims four minutes is all you need to fall in love. I'm not an expert here, but it's relative in my book. For some people, it's four minutes, and for others, it's four months. It could be one way or the other. So, probably don't bank on your experience being the same as the next person's.
It may sound weird, but as earlier mentioned, scientifically men fall in love faster. Men are more likely to have spontaneous outbursts declaring their love than their female counterparts. Women are generally a lot pickier when it comes to finding a mate, so this comes into play here. That's why it takes them a lot less time to narrow down on one person.
In A Nutshell…
Yes it’s true, love at first sight is real, however, to say it will be the same for everyone is not realistic – I mean, who’s to say your new partner is like your ex?.
Nevertheless, I hope this article gave you clarity on how long it takes someone to fall in love.
Go over the tips again, read between the lines to be sure before deciding to wait or move on. I hope you liked this article, leave your thoughts in the comment box below and please don’t forget to share it as well.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.