How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love For Real? The Myth Of Love At First Sight

“Dear Orna and Matthew,

How long does it take to fall in love for real? Does love at first sight exist? I’m confused and I hope you can help me!

My boyfriend of 3 months keeps telling me that he is so in love with me. He’s always saying how much he loves me and that he knew the moment he saw me. I’m not sure I’ve had enough time to know how I feel about him. I’m afraid he’s hurt because I haven’t told him yet. I think I just need more time to know for sure before I say the L-word.

We met online and he pursued me right away, he’s a great guy and I find him attractive. I just don’t know if he’s the one. Should I know the answer by now?

I’m so confused. Please help!


Hi Isabel,

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding your confusion about how long it takes to fall in love and if you can trust love at first sight.

The pressure you’re feeling to know if you’ve fallen in love or not comes from his apparent certainty about his feelings for you. It can be very intoxicating to hear how much he loves you and to reciprocate before you even know how you feel. However, there’s no deadline for you to know implicitly if you love him.

Sharing your life with someone is the single most important decision you’ll ever make and shouldn’t be rushed or taken lightly. You’ve only been dating for three months, which isn’t enough time for you to commit to anything long-term.

The fact that he’s clear he fell for you with love at first sight is something to enjoy rather than pressure yourself to know if you feel the same.

There’s no set rule for how long it takes to fall in love with someone. Rather than trying to quickly find out if he’s a match for you right now, step back from making that decision and just enjoy the time you spend with him.

You’ll also be able to introspect on more important questions…

How Will You Know When You’re Falling In Love?

How long does it take to fall in love? It depends on how you define falling in love. Are you expecting a big sign to drop out of the sky and hit you over the head? Does falling in love have to be intense or dramatic? Should love feel all-consuming or can it be graceful and easy?

Start by examining what it feels like when you know you’ve fallen in love. If you haven’t ever felt that feeling, notice if you have any preconceptions about what it’s supposed to feel like. Your expectations might be blocking your ability to know what’s going on inside of you.

In a healthy relationship falling in love feels euphoric, and yet grounding. You find yourself thinking often of them and wanting to spend time with them. You may feel joy and happiness when you’re together. You feel curious to know more about them and you may have butterflies in your stomach that lift your spirits when together.

All these feelings are bolstered by natural hormones your body produces like dopamine and norepinephrine. The more attached you feel, oxytocin, the bonding hormone, is also produced.

You can like someone, know they’re a good person, enjoy spending time with them, and yet, not fall in love with them.

Can you identify if something is missing from this relationship?

There’s no time limit to falling in love with someone, it can happen in a moment or it can develop over time. Ask a hundred happy couples and you’ll get answers that vary from immediately, to months, or even years. There’s no one-size-fits-most. It’s important that you make it personal to you, how do you feel when you spend time with him? And how do you feel when you immediately part from him?

Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you’re looking for or if you have an unrealistic expectation about falling in love, then you can miss something amazing that’s right in front of you.

Let go of the need to know if you’re falling in love and instead get curious about yourself and tap into your feeling state (different than the thoughts in your head). Setting all the worry you feel aside, start to tap into your body sensations because all of your emotions are present in your physical body.

What About Love At First Sight?

The romantic idea that you’ll know in an instant that you’ve met your soulmate is certainly a thrilling one, but it may not be realistic. Movies, books, and songs set up unrealistic and confusing expectations.

Love at first sight is not something to shoot for because the chance of a false positive is very high. Love at first sight happens when your subconscious mind recognizes a familiar energetic dynamic with your date and sends you a signal. Because the subconscious mind is tasked with keeping you alive it guides you toward having the same, or similar, experiences.

The spark of attraction can be nothing more than a signal from your subconscious recognizing familiar energy or dynamic and sending a signal announcing, “This is familiar! This is familiar!”

If you grew up in an emotionally unhealthy or abusive family environment or if have unrealistic romantic expectations, you may be susceptible to falling for the wrong person for you.

Unfortunately, the subconscious mind can’t judge or analyze (that occurs in the cerebral cortex of the brain), so it has no idea if the familiar is good or bad; or if it brings you joy or sorrow. The sensation of love at first sight could be a false positive, and you’re mistaking the familiar signal for attraction and excitement.

A false positive, or an unhealthy relationship dynamic may create overwhelming feelings of excitement and euphoria but won’t feel grounded at all. You may obsessively think about your date, feel a sense of loss when they aren’t around, or you may lose your sense of self. It can be an indication of an internal fantasy or unrealistic expectation of what love is supposed to be. You may even abandon your friends and family as you strive to spend all your time with your new love.

How long does it take to fall in love? It could be in an instant or it could be a false positive sending you into an undesirable relationship dynamic that’s familiar to you.

How Do You Feel When You’re With Him?

Notice how you feel when you’re with him. If you can relax then you can enjoy his efforts to win your heart and discover your feelings and separate them from your thoughts.

Do you feel safe and cared for when you’re with him? Or do you feel uncertain and afraid you are going to mess things up? If you’re walking on eggshells and unsure of yourself then you’ll have to ask if that’s the feeling you want with your life partner.

The goal is to be in a relationship that inspires you to feel good about yourself (not one that triggers feelings of insecurity or that you have to prove yourself).

Pay attention to how you feel when you are with him, as well as how you feel when you part from him. Notice your inner dialog, is your mind quiet and calm, or does your inner critic get triggered?

Instead of wondering about how long it takes to fall in love, discover the feelings he inspires inside of you. How do you feel about yourself while you spend time with him?

Getting in touch with the emotions he inspires in you will give you clarity and identify the feelings you have for him.

Falling In Love Comes From Chemistry And Emotional Connection

You’ve already stated that you find him attractive. Are you looking for the lightning bolt of chemistry to let you know that you’re falling in love? While chemistry and attraction are important, having a strong emotional connection with him is the key to a lasting partnership.

Chemistry is a product of your differences while emotional connection comes from your similarities. This sounds contradictory but it is your differences that create the spark of attraction. Masculine and feminine energy, introverts and extroverts, these natural opposing energies work like magnets to bring the two of you together in the beginning.

Emotional connection is created out of your similarities. If you’re both able to be authentic and share your feelings, are able to see each other and be seen, then you’ll feel a powerful connection and bond that is the source of emotional intimacy.

When both of these exist between you there is a powerful connection and attraction that can lead to a satisfying and long-lasting relationship. This kind of connection doesn’t just happen by accident. Taking a more conscious approach to love will help you create an ideal partnership that can withstand the test of time.

Asking “How long does it take to fall in love?” puts your focus in the wrong place. There are other questions that are more important to determine whether the two of you are a good match for the long-term.

Can You Navigate Through Conflict Together?

No matter who you partner with conflict is inevitable and being able to navigate through conflict together is one of the most important indicators that the relationship can last. Falling in love at first sight doesn’t exempt you from conflict and disagreements.

Life will throw curveballs whether you’re single or partnered up. There will always be challenges that you’ll need to face. Rather than having an unrealistic expectation that you’ll find someone you’ll never have conflict with, it’s better to evaluate if you have what it takes to find your way through discord together.

If you’re just going along to get along through the dating process you’ll never find an ideal match. There’s no need to create conflict, but it’s okay to speak up and work through disagreements with opposing views.

Knowing that the two of you can repair and reconnect through conflict is one of the most important deciding factors in determining an ideal match for love to last.

How long does it take to fall in love? If you haven’t overcome any obstacles together it’s more of an infatuation with the potential for love in the future.

Can You Be Your Authentic Self?

Wanting to be loved for who you really are means you have to be willing to show up as your authentic self. It can be exhausting and anxiety-producing to be constantly twisting into a pretzel trying to please someone else.

An ideal relationship is one where you can be yourself and the connection between you is easy. What happens when you share your feelings with him? Is he able to hear you and acknowledge your feelings? Or does he deflect and try to change the subject?

If you’re not letting him know that you’re unsure of your feelings for him, and you need more time to figure that out you’re not sharing your whole self.

Speaking your feelings may always feel scary, but the reward is finding a person who wants to be with you for the right reasons. You can tell him about your attraction to him and that you’re enjoying the journey to see how it unfolds.

Being authentic is like sending him an invitation to meet you at a high vibration. When your partner is able to meet you with his authenticity then you can create an emotional bond.

Wondering how long it takes to fall in love? When you can be authentic and share your truth with one another you’ve laid the groundwork for love to blossom.

Do You Share Similar Life Goals For The Future?

Common interests are nice but they’re not an indication that the two of you are on the same page about the important things in life. Your relationship is still young, so this is the perfect time to discover his values and his goals to see if you share the same lifestyle and life goals.

You may have different strategies for dealing with challenges, but if you share the same values and goals then you can find a way to work together to solve any problems that arise.

Worrying about whether or not love at first sight exists won’t help you figure out your feelings. Only by being present and connected to yourself can you discover the feelings he inspires in you.

Release the need to know if this is love or not, and instead spend more time simply enjoying the process of discovery. You can evaluate the relationship for its long-term potential by being in the present rather than worrying about the future.

Do your thoughts and feelings seem all mushed together, and you struggle to have clarity in your feeling state? Are you the kind of person who holds back investing your heart waiting for some kind of sign that it’s okay to risk it? Do you worry about the future too much instead of enjoying the present?

Clear up your confusion and join us to Create Your Vision For Love In The New Year. If you’re unsure whether you’ve ever been in love or how to select an ideal match, register now to discover how to get in the driver’s seat of your love life instead of being confused about love at first site.

This won’t be woo-woo, we’ll be sharing our tried-and-true manifestation tools so click here and grab your seat for the low Early Bird investment of only $99.

Limited seating for this Zoom workshop where you can ask us your specific questions throughout.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

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