A new study has shown that love at first sight is overrated. We may only get one chance to make a first impression, but it turns out that impression can change over time, encouraging the growth of sexual attraction between people who might not have originally wanted to jump each other’s bones.

The Texas scientists who conducted the research say it may offer an explanation for the ‘When Harry Met Sally’ effect—when two longtime friends all of a sudden become romantic.

"Our results indicate that perceptions of beauty in a romantic partner might change with time, as individuals get to know one another better before they start dating," said the study's lead researcher, Lucy Hunt of the University of Texas at Austin.

The researchers note that the longer the couples had known each other before they started dating, the less likely they were to be equal in their level of attractiveness. Couples who were friends before they started dating were also less likely to be equal in their level of attractiveness than couples who started dating within a month of meeting.

However, whether their attractiveness was equal did not affect the success of their relationship, according to the results of the study.

So what do we take from all this? Well a relationship founded on friendship and enhanced by attraction is much more likely to endure than one built on looks notes the research team. The lesson to take away is go on that third, fourth, even tenth date. Love may be a late bloomer. Do you believe in love at first sight, or do you vote for the slow burn? Share your personal stories in the comments.

 

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HealthDay: Attraction Can Grow With Time Spent Together