Love at first sight may not be just for old romantics, according to scientists.
People decide what kind of relationship they want within minutes of meeting, a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships said.
Researchers at Ohio State University paired off 164 students, focusing on same-sex friendships – but said it could be applied to dating.
Report co-author Artemio Ramirez said it suggested speed dating had value as people did not want to waste time.
“It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. We make a prediction about what kind of relationship we could have with a person and that helps determine how much effort we are willing to put into developing a relationship.
“If I think we could become friends, I’ll communicate more, tell you more about myself and do things that will help ensure a friendship does develop.
“If I have a more negative prediction about a future relationship then I will restrict communication and make it harder to develop.”
Professor Ramirez, who conducted the study with Michael Sunnafrank of the University of Minnesota, said it contradicted previous assumptions.
“Earlier research had assumed there was a cumulative effect that happens in the first days of meeting that helps determine how relationships will develop.