Ever since ancient times, it has been debated as to whether love at first sight exists or if true love is something that needs to be nurtured before it grows.
While romantics claim that they knew who their soulmate was from the very first moment they saw them, others beg to differ.
Realists say that you have to get to know the core of someone’s personality before you can say that you really love them.
So, what is the truth? How long does it take to fall in love?
Here are the most important factors that determine the time in which you can grow feelings for another person.
One of the first things that determine the average time for someone to fall in love is, without doubt, your age.
Namely, it has been scientifically proven that younger people tend to develop romantic feelings and show signs of love way quicker than adults.
Remember when you were a child? All you had to do was lay your eyes on someone cute and there it was-you were in love.
In fact, you caught yourself falling head over heels for a celebrity you saw on TV or even becoming infatuated with a fictional character from your favorite book or TV show.
Despite what people might say, you didn’t just like these people. You dreamt and fantasized about them, which means you were in love with them. For that age, it was love!
However, the speed at which you grow deeper feelings of love for someone changes over time.
When you’re in high school and college, you’re no longer a little kid but you still don’t need a long period of time to become crazy over another person.
Another important thing here is that when you’re younger, you don’t have the ability to differentiate between different types of love.
You can’t tell whether you just like a person, if you’re in love with them, or if you feel real love for them.
When you are young the brain chemicals which cause romantic feelings go wild. The same happens with oxytocin and the other love hormones you still haven’t figured out how to control.
Consequently, you can’t seem to notice the difference between physical attraction, infatuation and true love.
In fact, you’re capable of falling in love the first time you see someone, without having to go on an actual first date.
Therefore, it’s much easier for you to say: “I love you” and to think that you feel it.
As you grow older, those three little words get a deeper meaning and you become more careful about saying them.
As the years pass by, your experience shapes you into a different, wiser, and more careful person.
Consequently, you need much more time to say that you’re truly in love with someone and to really feel that way.
At this point of your life, romance stops being the only thing occupying your mind. You have other stuff to worry about so you don’t spend as much energy on romantic love as you did before.
Besides, your standards rise together with your age. You need much more than a pretty face, a cute smile, and a nice body to really fall for someone.
You need time to get to know this person and to get to the bottom of their character before you can declare that you’re in love.
You no longer believe in love at first sight and instead see it as attraction at first sight.
2. Love life history
Another thing related to the time frames in which you fall in love is your love life and relationship history.
Even though your previous relationships are a part of the past, they will always have a huge impact on your future.
For example, if you’ve never had a serious relationship, it is more likely that you’ll fall in love with someone who gives you a little bit of attention right away.
You experience feelings you didn’t even know existed. They overwhelm you to the point where you can’t control them.
However, if you have some emotional baggage, it is way harder for you to grow true feelings for another person.
Maybe you’re still hung up on your ex, without even being aware of it – or you need more time to recover from your past relationship.
This is especially true if you’ve been through a devastating breakup. You’ve lost trust in people and you won’t give just anyone access to your heart.
On the contrary, you’ll do everything in your power to prevent yourself from putting your feelings out there.
Even if you begin falling in love, you’ll hold yourself back and won’t let these emotions develop any further.
When you’ve been heartbroken, you change and your dating patterns change. You become extra careful, you overthink things, and question your every move before acting on it.
You’re scared of getting hurt again and you think that everybody will treat you the way your ex did. Therefore, the only way to avoid this and to keep yourself safe is to shut your heart off.
It’s pretty simple: you don’t let your emotions loose and you never relaxed enough to even start falling in love. Instead, you put a guard up because it’s the only way to protect yourself.
You’re not alone in this one-many people who have emotional traumas caused by previous relationships actually run away at the first sign of feelings.
Another thing important here is the number of your romantic partners and serious relationships.
According to many dating experts, the more partners you’ve had, the lower the chance of you falling for someone new right away.
You’ve been through all of this too many times. The butterflies and the excitement don’t make you high and you’re no longer hooked on the feeling of being in love.
3. Your character
Two people can be of the same age and have similar relationship experiences but still need different amounts of time to fall in love. Why is that so?
Well, if you’re wondering how long does it take to fall in love, maybe you should look for the answer in your character.
All of us have different personality sets which affect our feelings and social interactions, and this includes romance.
The first question here is: are you an introvert or an extrovert? Let’s disregard the love part for now and focus on how you behave around people in general?
Are you someone who doesn’t have trouble meeting new people? Do you make new friends with ease?
Do you get along well with strangers? Are you an outgoing person who is fun to be around? Do you enjoy experimenting?
Or do you prefer sticking to your routine? Are you stuck in your comfort zone and hate when you have to leave it?
How long does it take for you to completely relax in front of a stranger? Do you let people in or are you guarded?
If you’re someone who has trouble socializing, you’ll certainly take longer to fall in love.
If your idea of the perfect Saturday night is binge watching Netflix in the privacy of your own home, you’re probably an introvert who needs ages to fall for someone and to let them in.
Besides, all of this lowers your chances of even meeting someone new, let alone falling for them.
3. Your emotional intelligence
When you hear the word intelligence, you think of someone who is smart, good with science, well educated, and wise.
However, there are different types of intelligence and emotional intelligence is one of them.
Having highly developed emotional intelligence means being in touch with your own feelings and understanding other people’s emotions.
It means not running away from what you feel and not trying to suppress your emotions. It means being capable of giving and receiving different types of love, including romantic love.
It also includes having the sixth sense when it comes to getting everyone around you and everything that happens in their hearts.
Therefore, if you’re emotionally intelligent, you’re more likely to fall in love faster than the average.
Or at least, you’ll notice that something is going on and you’ll be able to process your emotions as soon as they appear.
You’re also able to catch how others feel about you. You notice when someone is hitting on you or when they start to catch feelings for you, even before they do.
On the other hand, when your emotional intelligence is not very well developed, you need more time to realize that you’re actually falling in love.
You don’t get the hints when the other person is offering you their love nor do you see the signs of love in yourself.
Also, there is a difference between the people who follow their heart, no matter where it takes them and the ones who take their mind’s lead.
The answer to the question how long does it take to fall in love is also tightly connected to the group you belong to.
Don’t get me wrong-it doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of loving just because your emotional intelligence is a bit lower. It’s just a part of who you are and sometimes, it can be a good thing.
For example, if you’re someone who goes after their heart’s desires, you don’t kill your feelings, even if you know that they’re not right. Instead, you chase them and see where they take you.
On the other hand, if you’re a more reasonable person who falls in love with someone wrong, you’ll do everything in your power to make those emotions go away ASAP.
You won’t nurture them and you’ll stop them from growing which eventually might help you stop yourself from falling in love.
4. Your views on love
Before figuring out how long it takes to fall in love, you have to do some self-reflection and contemplate your views on love.
Let’s cut to the chase: Do you believe in love? Or do you see it as nothing more than some commercialized fabrication people delude about?
It is one thing if you consider yourself to be a romantic individual who has strong faith in love. People who see love as the most important thing in life tend to fall in love more frequently.
These are the people who need romantic love in order to breathe and function properly.
The people who don’t lose their faith in love even after numerous heartbreaks and who see it as this divine force which moves the entire Universe.
You don’t even have to be aware of this but if you’re subconsciously on a constant search for a partner, it is more likely that you will fall in love more often.
This is especially the case with those who idealize romantic love. This is the group who are looking for a fairytale and who see true love as the most powerful thing there is.
On the other hand, you’ll need more time to grow feelings for someone if you rock your single life.
You enjoy your relationship status and you think of romance as something irrelevant for your happiness.
You’re independent and self-sufficient, so you’re running away from the idea of having to share your life with someone else.
Therefore, you won’t fall in love easily. In fact, even if you do, you’ll refuse to accept the idea because it disrupts your balance. Another important thing here are your plans for the future.
Do you see yourself as married with kids? Growing old next to your significant other? Or perhaps you wouldn’t mind remaining single for the rest of your life? Being forever alone?
You might not know this but you usually end up getting exactly what you want, even if we’re talking about the desires you’re not aware of.
It’s the law of attraction: your thoughts shape your life more than you think. Basically, if you want to fall in love, it will probably happen to you sooner than you expect.
On the other hand, if this is something you’re not ready for, you’ll take ages to grow true feelings for someone new.
It has been scientifically proven that gender is also one of the factors which impacts the speed at which people fall in love.
Despite popular opinion, many relationship therapists say that men fall in love faster than women, who actually need a longer amount of time to develop feelings of love.
When you come to think about this, you’ll probably assume that it couldn’t be further from the truth.
After all, wherever you look, women appear to be the ones who suffer more in love and the ones who are mostly heartbroken
On the other hand, most men use every opportunity to get a higher score. They don’t mind jumping from one relationship to another and from one bed to another.
Well, the fact is that men fall in love quicker because they don’t overthink as much as women. In most cases, guys are led by their primal impulses and instincts.
Therefore, their brain chemicals and love hormones have a bigger chance of taking over, while girls are different.
Also, it’s easier for them to mistake the physical attraction and infatuation they sense when they meet someone for the first time with love.
On the other hand, it’s unlikely for a girl to fall in love on the first date. Women tend to analyze and doubt everything before they put themselves out there.
Is this true love? Is this the right guy for me? These are all the questions they need answered before falling in love.
They need more reassurance and spend a longer amount of time second-guessing everything before admitting they’re in love.
Also, on average, women need more time to recover from their previous relationships so consequently, it takes them longer to fall in love once again.
6. The interaction with the object of your affection
This factor is connected with the specific person you’re falling in love with.
How many times have you met someone you thought was cute and attractive? You liked them and you even thought it might be love at first sight.
However, you lose touch or the other person doesn’t show the same amount of interest. So, your feelings start to die out.
Knowing this, it is reasonable that one of the factors that impact the speed at which you fall in love is the feedback you get from the other person.
It’s the interaction and the contact you have with the object of your affection.
It’s not the same if we’re talking about a coworker you see every day or someone you see at a club two times a month.
It is more likely that you’ll fall in love faster with a friend you already know than with a stranger you’ve just met.
There is also a difference between having face to face interaction and talking to someone through social media or meeting them on an online dating site.
It’s not the same if this person is physically present in your life or if they’re present on the wall of your social media profile.
When it comes to the feedback you get from the other person, most people fall for attention. They see that the object of their affections likes them back, so naturally they fall for them even more.
However, there are also those who dig more if the other person plays hard to get. They see it as a challenge and the more their crush runs, the more they want to catch them.
If this is something you can relate to, watch out because you might just fall heads over heels while you’re busy playing these cat and mouse games.
How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love Scientifically?
Many relationship therapists, including Dr. Gary Brown, claim there is no definite answer to the question “How long does it take to fall in love?” We’re all different and we fall in love at a different pace.
There is no such thing as a period of time or a time frame in which you have to fall in love in order to know it’s the real deal.
While some people experience love at first sight, some take months or even years to develop deeper feelings of true love for someone who was in their life all along.