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Why “Love at First Sight” is Dangerous

You may have been taught that when the right person shows up, you’ll just know it.

But then how do we find ourselves in situations in life where we fall really hard for the wrong people – people who hurt us, people who are toxic, people who don’t love us back? And what does this say about the dangers of “love at first sight”?

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I suppose love at first sight is an enduring concept because it’s a romantic one, but the whole idea of love at first sight I know in practice to be a very scary thing. I’ve been there. I’ve walked past people, seen someone who looks a certain way, smiles a certain way, has a certain energy, and, without even speaking to them, inside my head gone, “I love her.” I know nothing about this person, and like you – I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing – I’ve even had a shot with those people where I’ve dated them, and then a few weeks later gone, “I was so wrong about that.” Then you look back at that moment and you go, “What an idiot. What was I thinking.” When you hear married people say, “It was love at first sight,” that’s a story that’s always told by the victors, by the people that it actually worked for. But for every one of those, there’s a hundred people who thought it was love at first sight and ended up with someone incredibly toxic who was bad for them.

Now, why does that happen? Because we take the 5% that we know of someone, let’s say after a first date or after three dates and, because that 5% represented something we like, the energy they had, the charisma they had, we now take that 5% and our brain projects, extrapolates, builds a picture of the other 95% we don’t know. Now, based on this false 95% or, at least, at best, something that’s yet to be proved to be true, we start to over-invest. We get over eager. We start to give way too much time and energy and commitment to this person based on our projection, not based on the reality. There’s a line in Jurassic Park – watch me tie something that was said in a dinosaur movie to your love life.

“Yeah. Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

I believe our insecurities, our emotions, the infatuated part of us spend so much time worrying about whether we could get someone, it doesn’t stop to question whether we should get that person. When you meet someone, no matter how much they appear on the surface to represent what you want, remember that there is a whole world of qualities and standards that have yet to be revealed, that can only be revealed in that person by actually experiencing things with them and seeing them in different contexts and different environments, that without which you cannot possibly know whether this is the person that you be with. That thought alone should get you out of “sell mode” in dating and into “buy mode.” As much as I want to impress someone else, I’m also assessing someone else for the position of long-term partner. Not an easy position to fill and I need you to remind yourself of that the next time you are obsessing, creating anxiety, worrying or allowing your emotions to get carried away with your idea of someone else in the early stages of dating. Love at first sight is an extremely dangerous idea.

So that’s it. Love at first sight. Let me know what you think. We’re starting to get excited, aren’t we, Jameson? Retreat’s coming up.

Jameson :

What what?


Two weeks baby, until we go to Florida for my live six-day Retreat. Jameson’s coming. You’re already wearing your Retreat hoodie. Can we see it? This is complete coincidence right now, but just… They don’t even need to see your face, just show them the back of it.

Jameson :

I wouldn’t dream of showing them my face.


We are going in two weeks to this thing, I cannot wait. It is my favorite event of the entire year. If you’ve ever thought about applying to the Retreat, you should do it now, because even if you’ve missed the boat for October, the Retreat coming up in two weeks, we’ve got another one coming up in May, and 2020 is a landmark year. I think we should all be focused on how to make 2020 our greatest year ever, and I know of no better way to do that than spending six days together working on your emotions, your confidence, your direction in life, where you’re getting your fulfillment from, your happiness, your relationships, everything. It’s an amazing experience. You should apply. I’ll leave a link here.

For everyone who is coming in two weeks, I cannot wait to see you and give you a hug in person. My God, it’s going to be an amazing six days. I will see you soon, and I’ll see the rest of you in the next video.

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17 Replies to “Why “Love at First Sight” is Dangerous”

  • This is so helpful Matt! I am freshly dating a Man and he checks all the boxes … so far… but I am letting his 10% of his qualities carry me away. I still don’t know how he is in social situations and although he met few friend of mines, I don’t know if he is really sold on a relationship at all. We both have kids so we have to be careful because not only our hearts at stake but potentially our kids as well. You are a God send! Ps just finished GTG and will be re-reading it again

  • This good man broke up with me a month ago, and I’m still recovering, I went on 3 dates with other men, just to “see the possibilities” out there, I’ve been trying to feel better by doing the stuff I love. I miss him, I keep try to remember myself that if it didn’t work out for him, it also didn’t work out for me. So now this “should” instead of “could” can also relate to my situation…
    It’s not easy still, but I am happy to have become so strong to let go someone that wasn’t really into me,

  • I have to say that I did had my love at first sight, the moment I saw him I thought I want that man to be the father of my children I felt crazy I was 17 years old, I talked to him and I liked everything about him, I tried to catch him for 2 months and I was going to give up when he asked me to be his girlfriend friend I said yes of course and long story short we’ve been together for 19 years and married for 10

  • For me, I believe that seeing my now husband for the first was “attraction at first sight”. When he walked into the room on the fateful night 20 years ago, it not only got my attraction but prompted an exclamation to my best friend who I was having dinner with that night. Up until that point, I had all but given up on the dating scene. That attraction at first sight helped me to take a chance, step out of my comfort and eventually get and keep the guy. Years later, I am continuing my knowledge thanks to you Matthew-thank you for all you do. Looking forward to leaning more with the Impact Program.

  • I just love you Mathew! For biggest part of this year I’ve struggled with personal / family issues and am still jungling finances but when I get back on my feet and all caught up ….and I will, I’m determined. I so want to and wish for the opportunity to join you in Miami at one of your retreats. Though I’ve listened to you time and time again. With all brutal honesty….I’ve yet to put your advice to use

  • Hi Matt…could not agree more with you…looking back I fell victim and got my self in a lot of trouble in every way.
    Eyes wide open now !!
    Thankyou..love your posts
    Cheers Kimmy

  • Wow. Thank you Matthew, for giving me clarity on an issue (person) I’ve struggled with for years. And I certainly didn’t think that would come via a dinosaur movie! For far too long, I’ve overlooked obstacles and tried to find ways that we COULD be together, without really thinking about whether or not we should. And the answer to this question is pretty obvious. I just never asked or thought of it.
    Thank you so much for the message and your sound advice. It is much appreciated!

  • Love at first sight is such a romantic concept…it usually doesn’t happen. Love takes time to grow & move forward. It isn’t a “fairy tale”. I’m not saying it is impossible…it happens, but rarely. Always great to hear your take on things Matthew. ;)

  • Matthew, As a recofnited and highly respected authority on the topic of dating, and related to “love at first sight”, it would be hugely valuable if you spoke directly to narcissism and how to identify such individuals. They are practiced at “love bombing” and quickly ensnaring victims and especially so via dating websites. A fellow Brit under the screen name of HG Tudor, has a blog with all the crazy details about narcissists (as he is one) Please take a look. When 6-10% of the populatuon may be narcissists and relationships with them are horrific, youd be doing a great service to women and men alike to help create a global understanding of these kinds of humans who are often described as evil.

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