If you're hoping that cupid's arrow finds you on Valentine's Day, don't expect it to be a case of "love at first sight," according to a Kansas State University psychology professor.
"Love at first sight" is better stated as "attraction at first sight," said K-State's Gary Brase, associate professor of psychology.
"I think that the word love can be an awfully heavy burden to put on the phrase 'at first sight,'" he said.
Brase said when it comes to love at first sight, he refers to psychologist Robert Sternberg's model of love, which consists of three components: passion or physical attraction, intimacy or confiding in another person, and commitment or intent to remain in the relationship.
According to Brase, commitment and intimacy would be unlikely to occur upon first sight of another person.
However, someone may experience a strong "attraction at first sight," indicating that they have met a person who is a very good potential partner, Brase said.
This attraction may be based on features such as physical attributes, shared cultural aspects, psychological characteristics evident from the person's actions, or a combination of all three, Brase said.
Separate from attraction, Brase said a person also may feel "lust at first sight," which involves similar factors -- especially physical factors -- but that lust is still a distinct emotion.
"The difference between lust and attraction for a more serious relationship probably also depends on the mindset of the person experiencing that feeling," Brase said.
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