Love at first sight sounds dramatic, but many claim they have experienced it, backing it up with terms such as ‘true love’, ‘destiny’, ‘the one’, and ‘soulmate’. “Love at first sight does happen, and people often ask if it lasts, like lifelong commitment,” says Innocent Kabera, a relationship counsellor. Kabera says people often think that love comes from our hearts, but actually it comes from brain calculations, all our five senses play a role in it. “The eyes are the first components in the attraction that is why we call it love at first sight, and there is greater science behind it. We see someone, we love them, and then we get closer so that our other senses do the calculations like touch, smell and so on. And this reaction or feeling happens in 0.2 seconds, but it’s not common for it to last long since a long-term relationship requires other aspects. And it is not common for it to happen to both parties at the same time. It is likely to happen to one person and the latter will follow eventually.” Though love at first sight does exist, it doesn’t mean it will last long, Kabera says, adding that many people fall in love but later find that they are not compatible. A lasting relationship involves children, jobs, health, values, and experiences and so on. “Some people call it lust, but we have to keep in mind that love at first sight can become a meaningful relationship, but it will not be the reason the relationship works,” he says. Christella Uwase, a university student, says that it is rare but real, and it is beautiful to experience because it gives the true meaning of love. “It’s okay to meet someone and love them. Only that these days we say things like ‘how can you love someone you don’t know’ because it is awkward to see someone you barely know and love them. But what’s wrong with love at first sight?” Uwase says. Can you really fall in love with someone you’ve just met? And do those feelings really lead to a happy, healthy relationship? “Love is love, only that these days we have diluted it with terms and conditions,” says Enock Nkulanga, “These days we tie love to many things, like ‘I want a guy who can take me on a vacation, buy me a nice car or whatever’. Love has become a conditional feeling. But how someone feels towards the other is something we cannot control.” “My perceptive is that this is caused by feelings at the time which might change eventually, it is not guaranteed. But it could work if both parties give it a chance,” says Betty Mutesi. “I think people can feel intense attraction and connection that they can mistake as love,” licensed marriage therapist Racine R. Henry, Ph.D., LMFT, says in Kelly Gonsalves article ‘Is Love at first sight real? Why it happens & 9 Signs you’re experiencing it’. “We all like to believe that love is only magic, but a lot of it is actually choice.” The intense, all-consuming feelings of passion, exhilaration, and longing associated with falling in love are the product of a series of neurochemical reactions in which the brain’s reward system, fuelled by the neurotransmitter dopamine, motivates the person to seek closeness and intimacy with the object of their affection—similar to the way the brain behaves when a person is experiencing drug addiction. Research by behavioural anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., suggests this romantic drive response system can theoretically be triggered instantaneously, Gonsalves writes.