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One Reason Why You Might Feel an Instant Connection

Research explains why people may feel connected quickly.

Key points

  • Quality of conversation and feelings of connection are closely related.
  • The concept of like-at-first-conversation may be very real.
  • New research suggests that eople may, in fact, "click" at first sight.

It is always a delight when we meet a new person and feel a quick connection. This may happen at a party, a job interview, or even on a first date. When people describe feeling an instant "click" or connection with someone they have just met, others are often skeptical. We often surmise that they are relying too heavily on first impressions or that they are just too eager to find a new partner. Well, new research suggests that when people respond quickly to each other in conversation, they do feel that they have "clicked" and feel connected (Templeton, 2022). Perhaps we should not be so skeptical about such first conversations and impressions. The authors of this study suggest that when people feel like they can complete each other's sentences, they believe that they have "clicked" and connected.

This makes a great deal of sense. When people have similar attitudes, belief systems, and interests, they can engage in easier dialogue, and the conversation flows and is experienced as easier. So perhaps first impressions based on a conversation actually represent a good and reliable indicator of compatibility rather than a too-hasty conclusion. And, a person's level of neediness may be less related to how they experience a first meeting or date than we initially thought. Instead, the connection may be real, as signaled by the quick and easy dialogue.

The next time someone comes into my consultation room excited about having met someone special, I will focus not only on the character of the person that they have met but also on the quality and ease of dialogue. After all, individuals of all ages often have difficulty explaining why they connect with some but not others. We are now all better equipped to explain why we experienced such a positive interaction. The goal after the first conversation is, of course, to see if future conversations with this same individual feel equally positive. Future studies may wish to look at what predicts feelings of connectedness over time.

The takeaway for those trying to make new friends, partners, etc., is that conversation quality may be as, or even more, important than a number of other factors including occupation, educational level, etc.

If you would like a conversation to be perceived as going or have gone well, I suggest that you:

  1. Act curious and interested in what the other person has to say.
  2. Listen hard. Remain attuned and try not to get distracted.
  3. Keep the conversation moving with energy.


Templeton,E.M.,Chang, L.J.,Reynolds, LeBeaumont, T.W., & Wheatley,T. (2022) Fast response times signal social connection in conversation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,119(4).

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