Falling in love is a wild ride. There’s something about connecting with someone else on such a deeply profound level that just melts you to the core. But by now, most of us have figured out that there are definitely some differences between men and women when it comes to falling in love. Exactly how long it takes for a woman to fall in love can be dependent on several variables, like the specific person she’s dating, her head space, and her own personal timeline of when feels like the right time to fully open up.
But before discussing how long this process takes, it’s important to understand how women are biologically programmed to fall in love. I spoke with Sasha Aurand, a social psycologist and attraction expert, and relationship expert Irene Fehr to figure out how long before a woman starts to feel all of the feels.
According to Aurand, the basic principle of falling in love can be broken down (in part) to the idea that the more often you have good experiences with a person — assuming your first interaction with them was positive — the more likely you are to continue to develop feelings. And assuming a person meets the standards you’ve outlined for our ideal partner, again, the chances of clicking with a particular person go up.
"We create checklists based on our own criteria, usually in association with beliefs, past experiences, background, and previous relationships," Aurand tells Elite Daily. "This person we fall in love with must check these boxes, or we disqualify them as a potential partner or mate and put them in the ‘just friends’ category."
And while this may seem like a process that takes some serious time and consideration, both Fehr and Aurand note that falling in love is something that can essentially happen at any time, even from the first moment.
"Love at first sight is still very possible," Aurand says. But if ladies have all of this evaluating to do, how on earth can they manage to figure out if someone meets their personal criteria within the first interaction — aka love at first sight?
"While the falling-in-love feeling can happen quickly, women coming from a more grounded place often take [more] time to act on that feeling of love by vetting her partner slowly," Fehr tells Elite Daily. But thanks to biology, in some cases, women are able to process the suitability of a match fairly quickly.
"All of this is subconscious, so if we notice how they interact with others — stand, walk, talk, appearance, or even if they remind us of someone we trust — it’s fairly easy to check off all of these criteria," explains Aurand.
In a nutshell, Aurand notes that love is "a combination of personal history, preferences and chemicals." Fehr agrees that personal history can play a rather important role in the speed a woman may fall in love, if at all.
"Women whose trust has been betrayed will take longer (or never) to fall in love," says Fehr. Although, science definitely helps us break down how both genders fall in love, both Aurand and Fehr agree that there is no set amount of time it takes for all women, because everyone’s set of circumstances is different. But in Fehr’s opinion, if there is one single thing that can trigger love above all, it’s trust.
"It’s a feeling like the other person gets you and will be there for you," explains Fehr. "Often, experiencing that trust is enough to fall in love."
So, if you’re wondering if the special gal in your life has fallen in love with you, the only way to find out for sure is to put yourself out there and let her know how you feel. And if you’re wondering how to know for sure that you’re in love with someone, look inside yourself. Deep down, you already know the answer.
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