Why Love Is Blind: The Truth Behind The Metaphor

If everyone had the dime for every time they heard the phrase ‘Love is blind,’ we would all had been a tad richer. It’s one of the most quintessential love phrase, and guess even you might have used it once in a while. But did you ever pause and wonder as to exactly why love is blind? What is the origin of this utterance and is love really blind? Well, even we pondered over these questions as well and worked really hard to get the right answers for you. So here we are, presenting to you the definitive cause, reason and the logic behind why love is blind. Let’s begin.

Origins Of The Metaphor

Why Love Is Blind - The Truth Behind The Metaphor

First, to understand why love is blindlet’s start with the basics, which is understanding the origin of this quirky expression. Many attribute the origin of the expression to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice that had this line:

For I am much ashamed of my exchange:
But love is blind and lovers cannot see

And yes, that was Shakespeare’s way of giving some solid love advice. But the thing is that the expression was used far before this by none other than the Father of English Literature – Geoffrey Chaucer, who first used it in his story The Merchant’s Tale, which tells the tale of a loving husband who is unable to see the adultery of his wife because his is blind. The tale had various Greek mythology elements in it, and that is in fact the exact origin of the phrase. Wonder how? Well, remember Cupid (the God of love) who strikes a lover with his gold pointed arrow? It is said that before shooting an arrow, he puts on a blindfold since love needs no reason, and (here comes another love phrase) beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. So there you have the ‘love being blind’ connect.

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There are various conjectures from Greek mythology with various plots and sub-plots of their own but let’s stick to the original theory for now. William Shakespeare popularised this metaphor, and brought it to the common masses. So we owe some gratitude to him.


Ah, the question again. We all seek concrete conclusions to prove any metaphor these days. While it may seem a bit peculiar, if you bring a bit of science into the picture, love indeed is sort of blind. Don’t believe it? Tell us when was the last time you fell in love with a person with a scroll full of practical reasons? Ask a couple in love about this, and they will share that they fell in love because they just ‘liked’ the way the other person was; so much that even their glaring imperfections seemed attractive.


That is no hearsay and a research study done by University College, London, in 2004 found that feelings of love suppress the activity of those areas of the brain associated with critical thought. Which means people in love were not thinking in a rational way, rather it was the emotional connect that was driving them at that moment. It is also one of the reason why the feeling of love lights up the same areas of brain, which are affected by hallucinogenic drugs, and we are quite aware of the fact that one is definitely out of senses when on drugs. In other words, it’s less a case of why love is blind, and more like one goes ‘blind’ when hit with love.

“Love is blind, it feels right when it is wrong.”
– Beyonce Knowles

[Read More: How To Know If You Are In Love]

Other Theories That Support The ‘Why Love Is Blind’ Phrase

We can go on and on about it since we have a bag full of scientific theories and expert opinions. But to keep everything concise, we have included the major ones:

Popular Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote in his book The Art of Loving that love is an involuntary feeling that makes us do things that are a display of our commitment towards the person we love. Usually, the basic purpose of having a multicoloured vision is to have control on the tasks we do as human beings. Guess love just overrides that.


It only takes four minutes to fall in love. That’s all! Now if you give it some thought, you might wonder how can you just take the decision of spending a lifetime with a person in just 240 seconds! Do reasons such as ‘love at first sight,’ ‘true love’ come to mind? So you see why love is blind after all, or rather love makes you blind. Even Lucille Ball (the late 30’s American actress) acknowledged the four-five minute theory when she fell in love with her partner.

“It wasn’t love at first sight! It took full five minutes.”
– Lucille Ball

Love has the same neurological effects as that of cocaine. In fact, love lights up not one, not two, but a dozen areas of brain making it no different than a neurological stimulant. Guess that is why even too much of love makes you go head over heels like cocaine. Even the good old caffeine from coffee stimulates the same regions. That explains why coffee shops make a great place for a date. See, we are opening a Pandora’s box now!


The basic fact now is that when in love, or high on cocaine, or high on coffee, you think with the logic centres of your brain locked out. So you actually become ‘blind’ in a figurative way.

“Love is in the air, and it smells like coffee!”
– Anonymous

[Read More: How Fast Can You Fall In Love?]

Another reason why why love is blind, is your nose. The sense of smell plays a crucial role in deciding on a prospective sexual partner. Yes, you read that right. Your nose is better at judging your preferences than the eyes, and body odour plays a crucial role. Every human being’s body odour is unique which is because of their unique bacterial ecosystem. This in turn makes an indicator of the type of immune system the individual has. In an experiment conducted at the University of Switzerland, a group of women (read: brave warriors!) were asked to smell the unwashed T-shirts of men, for a couple of weeks (!!) and rate the odour on the scale of attraction. It was found that women consistently chose those men whose immune system was most opposite to theirs.

“The most intoxicating smell is that of the person you love.”
– Anonymous

This experiment proved that before we evolved into human beings, we would rely heavily on our nose to find a suitable partner. In other words, we were like other mammals out there. It is perfect theory that proves that looks can be deceptive. So maybe it is time to use the nose now!

Touch plays one of the most crucial role in love. Research has found that holding hands with a person you love reduces anxiety thus making you feel secure. Even the good old hug does miracles since hugging the one you love (no matter how tall, short, fat, thin) stimulates the production of Oxytocin, a neurohormone that alleviates stress and anxiety. And remember, the best hugs are the ones where you shut the eyes, and just plunge into sensation of touch. It’s like you switch-off all the lights in your home just to explore everything by touch thus making you go ‘blind.’

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Why love is blind is because you end up not seeing the imperfections of a person. It is proven that people who are deeply in love seldom notice the physical or even mental imperfections of their partners. Even if they are acquainted with those attributes, they rather describe them as ‘unique qualities’, ‘cute traits.’ You get the drift now?


It is a trick from nature’s sleeve to ensure that a couple stays madly in love together long enough to raise their children together, long enough till they become old so that they can be a support to each other. That ‘long enough’ is as good as forever, and that is exactly the amount of time we seek to stay with a person when we fall in love. Love being blind really helps over here.

The Conclusion

So let’s sum it all up in a conclusive list. Love is blind because:

1. Cupid is blind.


Remember the original story? Cupid. Blindfold. Arrow. Target. Heart.

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2. Love is an involuntary feeling.


It’s like someone asks you “How did you fall in love with him/her?!” and your most likely reply is going to be “I don’t know” or “I wasn’t thinking!”

3. Your nose is a love expert.


Smell has the capability to overpower the sensation of sight. If someone smells good, you are quite likely to fall in love with that person even if he/she does not have killer looks.

4. Love gets you high. It’s good friends with cocaine and caffeine.


Love stimulates the same region of brain as other neurological stimulants like cocaine and caffeine. In fact, it even helps in secretion of Oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone.

[Read More: Love Letter To Wife]

5. You need four minutes to fall in love. Even ordering pizza takes more time than that.


That’s equivalent to Madonna’s song Four Minutes, but your love will surely last much longer than that.

6. Why strain your eyes when yours skin can get the task done?


And by that, we mean that touch is a good way of communicating your love than doing so via your eyes. Of course eyes have the power to say a lot but when it comes to matters of love or when you are deep in love, you barely bother to see.

7. Love makes everything perfect. Just perfect.


Everything about that person becomes perfect. From the cologne the person uses to the way he/she parts the hair. And it all happens because you are naturally inclined to take those decisions.

[Read More: Romantic Love Letters]

Hope we finally have cleared the air about the big question ‘Why love is blind.’ There’s so much that goes into making it that way. There are psychological and scientific reasons that all add up to form the perfect coherent reason that can proudly help you say, “This is why my love is blind.”

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