We’ve all heard of the term, love at first sight. It’s a romantic idea (I saw him and I just knew!) but it’s a practical one too. After all, who wants to waste time with someone who doesn’t give them butterflies or make them excited? But then there are other times where falling in love quickly seems like you’re rushing into things. After all, first sight isn’t very much time to gauge whether or not someone would make a good life partner.
So which is it? Is falling in love quickly a good thing or a bad thing?
According to dating coach and founder of Dating with Dignity, Marni Battista, it’s great. “Every single situation, person, and experience is 100% unique. There is no rule or exact time to determine if you’re falling in love too fast,” she says.
However, relationship expert and psychologist, Dr. Carmen Harra, warns us that what begins quickly can also end quickly.
“This is an unfailing truth,” Harra explains. “A relationship that takes off seemingly overnight also has greater chances of ending abruptly.”
Battista notes that older people, or those who have been around the relationship block a few times, are more likely to know what they want and less likely to waste their time with someone who isn’t right for them. “I have seen those in their mid 40s who were engaged six weeks after meeting and are still married 10 years later. I even know one woman in her early 70s who married her husband within nine months of their first date,” she says.
In addition, some relationships just progress more quickly because there’s more time and space to get to know each other.
“If you see someone once a week, for example, it will take a longer amount of time to discover if this person is your match. If you are able to see someone four times a week, and your dates include a variety of activities you may be able to discover this person is your match in a shorter period of time,” says Battista.
It’s easy to get clouded by the fog of lust and chemistry. If you’re looking for someone to complete you and ignore the red flags, falling in love too quickly can be a disaster. The truth is that the majority of us feel like we’re in love right away. There’s even a scientific reason for it. Oxytocin—sometimes called the cuddle hormone—surges in the first six months of a relationship.
“Oxytocin is responsible for the psychological effects of relaxation, trust, bonding, care, and mental stability that happens in a relationship. So we feel safe and secure with our new partner, adored and deeply cared for. The same goes for dopamine, the chemical that activates reward and excitement,” explains Harra.
When these chemicals settle, reality sets in and we no longer get those butterflies in our stomach.
“This is why so many couples complain about their relationship becoming mundane and their feelings changing over time. It may be that the feelings of love haven’t changed, but the chemicals have,” adds Harra.
Falling in love (and not lust) fast means that you’re both emotionally available, says Battista. “You’re able to recognize your feelings, articulate them clearly, and manage them appropriately. When you have a clear set of deal-breakers, and share common relationship goals, you’ll feel the emotional safety required to fall in love.”
And the truth is, when you meet the one there’s no evading the deep, genuine love that surges immediately.
“When the connection is undeniable and authentic, one should never impede the love,” says Harra.
If you feel like you may be falling in love too fast, ask yourself what you’re falling in love with. If it’s the idea of being in love with someone then you may want to be careful. But if you find yourself thinking about the actual person then don’t ignore it. It just may be you’ve found what you’re looking for.