How long does it take to love someone? Is love at first sight real or is it just a misconception? What are the factors that influence how fast you fall for someone?
What does love mean?
Love is one of the most powerful feelings in the world that cannot be defined by words but we have to experience it and feel it with our heart in order to find out the true meaning of it.
Perhaps you are a person who falls in love really fast or you’re someone who needs more time to experience the magic of romantic love.
But how long does it take to fall in love with someone?
The truth is, every person is unique. We all fall in love at a different pace. Some of us develop deeper feelings for the other person on the first date, while others experience feelings of love after a certain amount of time.
We all fall in love at different speeds and intensities due to certain factors (your personality, relationship history, gender, etc.) which play important roles in how long it takes to love someone.
To help you understand your own pace, here is everything you need to know about the factors that influence the process of falling in love, love at first sight and much more!
9 Factors That Influence How Fast You Fall For Someone
No matter how weird it sounds, your age actually plays an important role in how fast you fall in love.
For example, teenagers tend to fall in love more quickly because they aren’t afraid of potential risks or they are not thinking about it too much.
Since they lack experience, they find it easier to just go with the flow, connect with others and enjoy every second with them.
Now, when it comes to adults, they might have problems opening themselves up to others because they are aware of the potential risks that come with being romantically involved with someone.
Because of that, they might suppress their feelings in order to control the pace and fall in love slowly.
This is especially true for those who have been hurt in the past one way or another, which brings us to the next important factor:
Your relationship history
Your relationship history is interconnected with your age but still, it can be seen as a separate aspect. It all depends on your past experiences or the lack thereof.
If you have a long dating history, you’ve probably experienced a wide array of emotions linked to different types of romances.
Also, you’ve probably gone through a few heartbreaks as well, which might change your whole perspective on falling in love.
Some people tend to develop the fear of falling in love known as philophobia because they are afraid of getting hurt again in the future.
If you’re getting over a heartbreak at the moment, you’re probably not even thinking about falling in love again for the rest of your life (okay, I may exaggerated a little bit but you get the idea).
If you had an unfaithful partner, it’s natural that you’ll be concerned and overly cautious with every potential partner you meet in the future.
On the contrary, if your past experiences were positive, you will not have a tendency to be hesitant or cautious when it comes to meeting new people.
As you can see, all this can directly influence how long it takes to fall in love (again).
Higher or lower levels of emotional intelligence (EQ) can influence the process of falling in love. People who are more in touch with their feelings and the feelings of other people fall in love more quickly.
So, the answer to the question: “How long does it take to love someone?” lies in the level of your emotional intelligence.
Those with a high EQ level connect more easily with others, which results in an earlier development of feelings for them.
I remember when I was dating one guy and we were regularly seeing each other, texting frequently and so on. I felt like I’d known him all my life and I was so drawn to him, both mentally and physically.
I started writing romantic love notes and doing other things that people who are madly in love usually do and I thought that we were on the same page.
To my disappointment, I realized that he wasn’t making as much effort as I did because he was still unsure of his feelings toward me and it seemed like he wanted to take things slow.
After I gave him some space and time, he slowly but surely started developing feelings for me and finally, we were on the same page.
The thing is, people with a lower EQ level tend to misinterpret the signs of romantic love (if they are feeling it) or they ignore their feelings for some time.
That is why they need more time to figure out what is really going on and then act accordingly.
Your personality type
Are you more of a reckless or reserved type of person? Your personality type is also one of the factors influencing the pace at which you will fall in love with someone.
Reckless people are not afraid to take risks or try something new because they live for that! It is their fuel. So, falling in love is like breathing to them because they don’t overthink things.
They just go with the flow and find themselves in a new relationship before they’re even aware of it. Contrary to them, reserved and anxious people fall in love at a slower pace.
They need more time to accept someone new and they might be afraid of potential complications like getting hurt in one way or another.
Also, if you were emotionally neglected as a child, you will fall in love very quickly because you crave the feelings of love and intimacy with another human being.
It is something that you’re missing and that is why you’re focused on receiving it from other people instead of getting it from parents during childhood.
Positive thinking is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It helps you focus on the positive things in life and appreciate the little things that are often underestimated by others.
For example, you will not focus on your potential partner’s imperfections but you will focus on the good things about them, so you will not question your decision to open yourself up to them and establish a connection.
If you’re a positive thinker, you’re more likely to be an open-hearted person in general, which helps you fall in love more quickly.
Also, positive thinking has the power of attracting more positive things into your life. This is known as The Law Of Attraction.
What you think, you attract. If you’re imagining yourself in a long-term relationship with someone you really love and respect and who knows how to reciprocate, your positive outlook will attract that into your life.
However, if you’re thinking negatively about your love life, this will result in negative outcomes and over time, you’ll become more cautious when it comes to falling in love.
As with everything else in your life, your gender impacts the process of falling in love as well. Here’s one question for you, fellow reader. What do you think, who falls in love more quickly, women or men?
I assume that the majority of you answered women and no wonder why. The reason why many people think that women fall in love more quickly is because of the media.
Remember all those movies where women are represented as creatures who are open-hearted and always ready to dive into the sea of love, whereas men are represented as emotionally unavailable and similar?
Well, this is not true in the real world.
According to a study in The Journal of Social Psychology, men fall in love faster than women and some experts think that the main reason why has nothing to do with ‘falling faster’ but with the fact that they don’t overthink things.
Generally, men are less emotional than women but the thing is that women tend to overanalyze their feelings.
When a woman thinks she’s falling in love, it looks something like this: “OMG I think I’m falling in love with him. Should I tell him that I love him? But what if we’re not on the same page? What if he’s emotionally unavailable?
Maybe I should slow down or maybe I should stop seeing him for a while in order to figure out what to do about all this.”
If you’re questioning the validity of these statements, I’ll just say that they were written by a woman.
There’s another misconception about men, claiming that they don’t desire deep connections and relationships.
Well, they do and when they are feeling that they are falling in love with someone, they don’t overthink it but they accept it.
However, there are always exceptions but generally, men do fall in love faster than women.
The progress of your relationship
As you probably already know, every relationship is unique and has its own pace.
If you’re in a long-distance or epistolary relationship, it will be more difficult for you to connect with your partner than couples who see each other regularly.
Also, it is not the same if you’re seeing someone from online dating or a person whom you’ve known your whole life.
The progress of your relationship can greatly influence how fast you’ll fall in love with someone.
If you’re able to see them frequently, you’ll be able to connect with them faster.
The thing is, you could type with someone day and night and think that you have so many things in common with them but still you won’t be able to fall in love with them.
Well, not until you spend some quality time with them in person.
We’re all familiar with the fact that opposites attract but it’s actually similarities that make you fall in love faster.
When I was seeing that one guy, I wasn’t particularly interested in him romantically.
BUT, once we were sharing things and getting to know each other better, I felt that for the first time in my life I had met someone who was into the same things as me.
I started to really, really, like him and this affection gradually evolved into something greater – intense feelings of love and a long-term relationship.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that you should like every single thing your potential partner likes in order to be able to fall in love faster.
If you have a few things in common regarding your interests and values, that will suffice. After all, it is not really possible to be into all of the same things as the other person.
We’re all different but we also have some things in common and those are the things that help us connect and create a stronger bond with one another.
See also: The Difference Between Crush And Love: 22 Key Distinctions
You’re probably wondering how in the world can obstacles be related to the process of falling in love. Well, we all know the lure of forbidden fruit.
Now imagine that you’re a teenage girl dating a guy that your parents don’t approve of. This will make you even more inclined to keep dating him just because they forbid you to do so.
Also, this will result in faster bonding and intense feelings of attraction and love for your loved one.
Another thing that can make you fall in love faster is fear. Imagine if the guy you’re dating has a car crash.
You will be terrified by the idea that something terrible could happen to him and God forbid, that you could lose him.
These mental processes are what motivate you to see things differently, to appreciate them a little bit more and to give them your undivided attention.
They soon turn into intense feelings of passionate love for another human being.
The Science Behind Falling In Love
Scientists claim that we are in a constant pursuit for love (whether we’re aware of it or not) because our brain is concentrated on reproduction, which is the pinnacle of our survival.
In order to be able to reproduce, we’re subconsciously focused on finding the right partner, or should I say, the right mate.
When we meet someone who attracts us both mentally and physically, our brain starts mixing a cocktail of happy chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.)
These happy chemicals induce states of euphoria, excitement and pleasure and this cocktail is often responsible for throwing us into a new relationship.
Believe it or not, falling in love triggers the same euphoric feeling as cocaine does.
So, in a way, we become addicted to love and enter a state of limerence.
At this stage, we spend a lot of time thinking about our romantic partner and we frequently check their social media profiles, text them, call them and even dream about them.
And that is when we start asking ourself: Am I in love? Or we might be still confused and think about that one question: “How long does it take to love someone?”
The answer is not that simple. There are three stages of falling in love:
In these stages, we connect with our partner on emotional and physical levels. We create a deep bond with them and that is how we gradually but surely fall in love.
Fun fact: Among other scientific criteria, we choose our potential partner according to their smell. We all have our own special ‘smell’, which can say whether we’re suitable for producing healthy offspring.
Apparently, our brain is really good at detecting the smell that is right for us, so we should definitely leave that job to them.
Love At First Sight: Real Or Myth?
You have probably heard and debated multiple times about that phenomenon called love at first sight.
Some people swear that they fell in love with their partner the first time they saw them, while others are not that optimistic about this potential myth.
So, is it a real thing?
Let’s first define the meaning of love at first sight. Basically, it is an instant and intense romantic attraction toward another human being upon the first time we encounter them.
One of the biggest signs of love at first sight is feeling an intense desire to connect with them, both mentally and physically.
The real complications arise from the fact that many people think love at first sight is another term for a soulmate. I’m sorry to disappoint some of you but finding your soulmate at first sight is a misconception.
Helen Fisher (who has a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology), explains love at first sight in the following way: “Love at first sight is relatively easy to explain. Romantic love runs along certain electrical and chemical pathways through the brain. And these can be triggered instantly. Men fall in love faster, statistically speaking, probably because they are more visual. But women aren’t far behind. It’s a basic drive, like thirst and hunger… Romantic love leads to bonding, mating and sending your DNA into tomorrow.”
So, practically, it is possible to experience this type of love but it is also dangerous because our expectations are too high and our perception of them is not real, which may result in another phenomenon known as a ‘fairy tale romance’ which apparently exists only in movies.
The main difference between love and infatuation is that real love is a process, whereas the infatuation stage happens instantly and often doesn’t last for long.
Lust is based on physical attraction. Many people confuse it with real love. Physical attraction is important but if there’s no deeper connection to it, then it’s a red flag.
Of course, it depends on what kind of romance you prefer at the time.
Is there only one person for us or is it possible to fall in love with lots of people?
If you’ve already fallen in love multiple times, then you know the answer to this question. Still, there’s one thing that bothers all of us and that is: How do you know that he/she is the right one for you?
There are billions of people in the world who are potential partners for you, so the question is: “Is it possible to choose the one for you and how do you do it?”
Some people know that their partner is a keeper because they have this gut feeling telling them that they are the one for them.
Others are not so lucky, so they need to rely on other factors that will tell them whether that one person is a keeper or not.
If you belong to the second crew, let me help you with this one. You know that he/she is a keeper if:
You trust them completely
You share the same values
You love and respect each other despite all your imperfections and flaws
They are your biggest support (and vice versa)
You help each other become the best version of yourself
Of course, there are many other things that could be added to the list but these are the most essential ones, so pay close attention to them if you find yourself in doubt.
See also: Top 45 Adorably Romantic Ways To Say, “I Love You”
Does saying those three little words mean that the person is in love?
When we establish a deep emotional connection with someone and feel intense feelings of love toward them, it comes naturally to us to express our love by saying those three little words.
But does saying them actually mean that we are in love?
One of my best friends recently dated a guy for some time and one night, he told her that he loved her.
She was literally in shock because they hadn’t even been dating for a month, so everything seemed a little bit too fast for her.
Evidently, they weren’t on the same page but she decided to give him a chance and she thought, who knows, perhaps one day, I’ll also be ready to say those three little words to him as well.
That didn’t happen because later, she found out that he had an affair with another girl. Now, the question is: Was he really in love or did he just think that he was but it was just an infatuation?
Chances are he wasn’t really in love with her because if he had been, he would have been solely focused on her and not other potential partners.
How long does it take to know you love someone? How long does it take to say I love you?
No one can give a precise answer to this question because it depends on each person. You could be head over heels in love with someone but still be unable to say those three little words if you’ve been hurt in the past.
You can be in a serious relationship and still feel weird about saying I love you to your partner. Hearing those three words might motivate another person to reciprocate but this isn’t necessarily the case.
How long does it take to get over someone you love?
Going through a break-up is one of the most painful things in the world, so it comes naturally to us to want to know how long it takes to get over someone you love.
Since every relationship is unique, this depends on many factors (whether they are someone you’ve known your whole life, the reason(s) for your break-up, the intensity of your love and so on).
So, how long does it take to get over someone you still love?
There’s no way of telling how long it could take a person to get over someone they still love. Some people recover faster, others need more time.
Even though you cannot calculate the exact timeframe needed to recover from a heartbreak, it is said that if you were with that one person in a relationship for at least one year, then you should allow yourself a year to go through the healing stage.
The most important thing you should focus on is not to suppress your emotions, enter a rebound relationship or similar. Stay patient and remember that time heals everything.
Falling In Love (And Staying There) Takes Time!
Instead of constantly thinking about that one question “How long does it take to love someone?” keep in mind that falling in love takes time.
Not a single relationship expert or relationship therapist can give a precise answer to this question.
So, instead of worrying about the timespan of falling in love, see it as a continuing process.
Because true love is not interested in an average time or anything like that. It usually happens when you least expect it and staying in love requires mutual effort, respect and devotion. True love requires patience.