How Long Does It Really Take You To Fall In Love?

Aw, love: it's a beautiful feeling to, well, feel. It's both magical and biological, and it can take over your life. Countless songs, poems, and movies have revolved around this enchanting yet mysterious feeling. It's confusing, but many claim that there's no such feeling as being in love. But what does it really mean to be in love? According to Psychology Today, love is a combination of "intimacy, passion, and commitment." It's a blend of feeling close to someone — being drawn to them with "a magnetic force" — and your choice to stay with the person. It's the ride of a lifetime; you might feel different levels of the three factors — passions often run high in the beginning — and as you grow close to someone, your level of comfort with them increases.

Love is one of the vaguest feelings to describe, yet the most amazing to experience. When you start dating or defining a relationship and find yourself making more effort to see the other person and even daydreaming about them, you're probably falling in love. It's not the same for everyone, though. "Falling in love is different for everyone," Dawoon Kang, co-founder and co-CEO of online dating platform Coffee Meets Bagel, tells Oprah Daily

The quest to find love has us meeting and dating so that, eventually, we can find our twin flame. But how long does it really take to fall in love with someone? The answer might surprise you.

This is how long it actually takes to fall in love

Love is an intriguing subject, and the desire to understand it extends to more than just writers and poets; scientists and researchers are constantly studying this to figure it out. Though most people describe love as a matter of the heart, it actually has a lot to do with the brain. It reacts a certain way when you see someone you love. The brain's ventral tegmental area "produces dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends that dopamine to many other brain regions," biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., tells Shape

When our brain produces dopamine, it makes us feel good, and that's the feeling associated with love. Fascinating, right? Fisher describes love as "a drive, (and) not an emotion" because that's the part of the brain that also makes you experience thirst and hunger. While some claim to fall in love at first sight, others grow to love and, according to Fisher, the exact time to fall in love depends on the person.

According to a 2017 Match Singles in America survey, 34% of people "claim" to have fallen in love at first sight. However, if you aren't mentally ready to fall in love, it can take longer, so you can take the time to know the person. While the subjective timeline doesn't give us a concrete answer, there is an average amount of time it takes men and women to admit they're in love.

Gender may play a role in falling in love

While some people crave to feel the giddy feelings associated with love, others like to take their time. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men typically take around 97 days to say they're in love, while women take a bit longer on average at 149 days. It's probably because there is no set way to fall in love. After all, we fall for people with "similar backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, those who have the same values, aspirations, looks, and even reproductive goals," per Shape. We'd love to believe love is all romance, but life factors come into play. In 2016, Match revealed that an average person takes 144 days to say those three little words.

It's easier to fall in love if you're attracted to the person, which doesn't come as any surprise, but a study found that "women who have stronger sex drives fall in love more often," while that's not the case for men, per Glizour. On this, Jonathan Bennett and David Bennett, dating experts and founders of Double Trust Dating, told Bustle, "Men tend to fall in love and express feelings of love more quickly than women, despite believing that women fall more quickly." They believe it has to do with evolutionary biology as women were more selective in choosing a partner as she'd be bearing the child, while men didn't — and still don't — have the same restrictions. Ultimately, love continues to intrigue us.