Five Reasons we Click with Someone Right from the Start
Instant friendships and instant attraction have a few things in common.
Posted Jul 26, 2019
Sometimes we meet a person, and it can feel like we’ve known them forever! There are also times when you might have met someone and felt a jolt of electricity and instant attraction run through your body.
These chemical impulses might be the result of several unique interpersonal factors that come together to make you feel like you’ve met someone you were meant to meet. Firefly friendships and instant romance probably have more in common than you thought.
In animal symbolism, the firefly is described as representing communication and illumination. These are key to being able to connect with others and being able to see what others may miss. In friendships that happen “in a heartbeat,” we may feel an unexpected jolt of connection between ourselves and another. That “firefly spark” may open us up to a new friendship that might not have happened at another place or another time, such as the friendships we develop during a vacation or holiday.
Somehow, in a strange place, when we’re exposed to new experiences and new people, a new friendship may spark between unlikely people. They say that the “instant attraction” might be on account of five things that cause us to “click” with someone new:
1. Vulnerability: You’re willing to let down your guard enough to reach out to connect with someone else from a position of “not knowing” or “non-expert” or “temporary visitor.”
2. Proximity: You’re sharing the same space and are open to building a connection with people around you.
3. Resonance: You feel a sense of rapport and connection and are “on the same wavelength,” so to speak.
4. Similarity: You may share the same general background, such as both Londoners in Texas, or older adults trying rollerblading for the first time, or the only two men in a yoga retreat.
5. Environment: You’re in a space in which you are overcoming challenges or adversity together, either in a small way (learning about new foods) or a large way (trekking through an isolated mountain passage together).
When all of these five things coalesce, the fire has been laid for a firefly friendship to ignite. These friendships can spark a strong sense of connection between two people, they may be the highlight memory of your journey, and you might never see them again for the rest of your life.
Yet, once recalled, thoughts of that friendship will likely kindle memories of the travel adventure and connect you to the emotional aspects of the journey. Like a firefly’s glow, these intense friendships spring up without warning and shine brightly while connecting you and a fellow traveler on the path.
Love at First Sight?
When it comes to “instant romance,” there’s also a strong element of sexual attraction between the two individuals which is felt on both sides. This is over and above or in place of those five key "insta-click" qualities. And sexual attraction is something that our brains pick up on pretty quickly. We know in a moment whether or not this person is one that we would like to get to know in an intimate way.
Not only that, but when we feel that instant attraction, our brains start pumping a serotonin and dopamine cocktail that encourages continued contact with that person. However, just like “firefly friendships,” the magic that is happening at a given moment in the relationship isn’t a guarantee that the magic is going to endure forever.
While some of these firefly friends may evolve into close or even intimate friends for the long haul of life, the value of the friendship isn’t diminished by its impermanence. These friendships offer us connection and companionship in places in which these may not be found, if not for the synchronistic development of the firefly friendship.
Campbell, K., Holderness, N., & Riggs, N. (2015). Friendship chemistry: An examination of underlying factors. Psychology Faculty Publications, 10.