Love at First Sight
You are walking along the corridor, engrossed in your own world. You don’t see the guy approaching from the other side. As he passes you, the strap of his backpack gets caught in your file. In an instant, it slips out of your hand and drops to the ground. Papers fly out and scatter all over the floor.
“Whoops! Sorry,” the guy says, crouching down to pick up the papers.
“It’s okay,” you say with a titter as you crouch down as well, “happens all the time….”
As you pick up the papers, you suddenly lift up your heads and look into each other’s faces. Instantly your eyes are locked in a stare. Your heart melts as you stare into his dark eyes, and for a moment or two, everything around you vanishes.
Finally, after a great deal of effort, you get to your feet. The boy hands you back your file.
“Um, here you go….” He says, a bit timorously, still staring into your eyes.
“Thanks….” you shyly say.
After a moment’s hesitation, the boy says: “I’m Trevor.”
He extends his hand.
“I’m Jane,” you say as you grasp his strong hand.
In that moment, as you shake hands, the whole world seems to come to a stand still. Dazzled by this dramatic encounter, you are both speechless and just giggle at each other.
“Um…. See you around,” you finally say, pulling your hand out of his.
“Yeah,” he says rather reluctantly.
As you walk away, you turn your head to catch one last glimpse at him—only to find that he is staring back at you too! You quickly look away with a grin across your face, and as you disappear around the corner, you know that you will see Trevor again….
That was a typical example of love-at-first-sight encounters. Now question is: does it really happen, or is it just merely something which exists in the mind? Isn’t it just a short-lived infatuation?
Some people claim that love at first sight indisputably happens. They seem to imply that each of us is fated to meet that special someone who has been prepared for us from the time our lives began, and that upon meeting, intense and overriding emotions will take over us, providing irrefutable proof that this is our one and only true love.
On the other hand, there are those who claim that love at first sight does not happen. They claim that such encounters are infatuation and can never go beyond that.
Indeed, there are a lot of arguments for either side. But facts are that some first-time encounters do lead to love, and eventually marriage….And interestingly, these people seem to know intuitively that they are ‘right’ for each other. These encounters happen frequently enough to elicit curiosity, and the questions: are some people destined for each other? How do they get to know, intuitively, in that brief moment, that they are right for each other?
Firstly, let us try to understand the biology and chemistry that lead up to love, whether at first sight or after a long duration.
Man and woman are made for each other. Whether you believe the Genesis account or not, it is true that man and woman are designed for each other; to compliment each other; to live and work side by side as partners—and a little bit more than that.
In order to procreate, and thus fill the earth, or as the scientists would say: in order to ensure the continuity and survival of the species, strong forces of attraction exist between males and females. Moved by powerful chemicals in our bodies called hormones, we are nearly at the mercy of these attractive forces.
Now, what is true is that we are not sexually attracted to just anyone. Some people talk of the chemistry of love, where they assert, quite dogmatically, that in order for one to fall in love with someone else, there must be some chemistry between them—that natural propensity to bond with someone you hardly know, just like some share this website physical elements have a high affinity for each other.
In as much as all this may be true, let me suggest something else. We humans are complex creatures, and we all have different tastes. For example, I may love cheese, but you may hate it with a vengeance. Therefore it holds true that we tend to be choosy in our objects of romance. We all have our own preferences. Deep in our hearts of hearts, we have this picture of our ‘true’ loves—what they should look like, their stature, their disposition; everything is planned out. As we grow, we keep making adjustments to this picture, refining it as need be. When we reach that age where we are all grown, we already know what we want.
Here then is my anatomy of so called love-at-first-sight encounters: in that brief moment that your eyes lock in that stare, you see fulfilled in that individual all that you ever desired. Inside you are screaming:
“He is the one! He is the one!”
At this moment you start thinking: ‘This is definitely love at first sight!’
But reality is that you are simply seeing in that person all that you ever desired. The hormones now fire off and you feel that powerful attraction.
In short, my dear friend, it is not destiny: it is just a realization of your dreams.
So does love at first sight exist?
Here is my answer, and it is not in any way a dogmatic assertion: No.
What exists at first sight is sexual attraction.
I don’t even know why the heck they call it love. Anyway, we tend to use the word rather loosely nowadays. True love is a fundamental sense of care, concern and fondness for somebody that arises from knowledge of the person’s inner being. The ultimate difference between infatuation and love is the fact that love tends to get knowledge of the person’s character before manifesting. In other words, when you fall in love, you get to know the person—his strengths, weaknesses, and prevailing disposition—and you like him anyway.
My argument basically is this: the process of falling in love is a longer one. Sexual attraction, or to put it more appropriately, physical attraction, is what gets the whole process started.
So let’s get back to the scene we started with on the onset. You and Trevor are not in love yet; you are just attracted to each other. What is mostly likely going to happen is that Trevor, being of the more assertive sex, will run after you and ask you out. And as you hang out, you get to know him better; and one of two things will happen: it’s either you will fall in love with him, or you will realise that he is not what you desire and fall out of love with him, if I may put it that way.
But the sequence is not always straight. Sometimes you may start hanging out with someone you have absolutely no attraction for—sexually or otherwise. As you keep seeing each other, you eventually realise that there is more to the person than you initially thought. They are kind, gentle, caring and great. Ah, at this point, your hormones will kick in and soon enough, you will feel that powerful attraction. If at this moment, you have not intentions of going all the way—by that I mean marrying the person—it is better to back away. These overriding emotions may lead you down a path you never planned for, so never underestimate them!
So my conclusion, my dear friend, is this: love at first sight does not exist. But with time and perseverance, you may turn that first time encounter into a life-long relationship of love….
And…don’t worry; you are not destined to marry a certain prince charming, in a certain far away land. You are destined to choose for yourself who you will marry!