In order to truly enjoy something, sometimes you have to forget about being realistic and responsible, and to just let go. The same ‘rule’ applies to love, sex and romantic relationships.
So why am I so cynical about the concept of “love at first sight”?
People tell me, “It’s because you’re young, and haven’t experienced it yet.”
And who am I to deny it’s existence? I had a debate about this with an older woman, and she came up with a really interesting argument. She said, “Think about a mother who’s just given birth to her child. Isn’t that love at first sight?” And I believe most people agree that a mother’s love to her child is unconditional. So why can’t two adults develop instant unconditional love for each other when they meet for just a split-second?
I’ve liked people instantly the first moment that I’ve met them, and for some, even had a rush of strong emotion for. There have been some people who really truly affected me by the way they looked, the way they smiled, the way they talked, the way they interacted with me. But never have I thought, “I love you” when I first met them. Any feelings of strong desire and affection came later, or even pretty soon after. The feelings even sometimes developed into a form of love. But sometimes, it didn’t develop into anything more at all…sometimes, all my feelings of awe just faded away as soon as I started conversing with them.
“Love at first sight” happens in almost every fairy-tale stories we know. Each love story in a fairy-tale ends with, “And they all lived happily ever after.” But ever since I was a child, I often wondered, “But what comes after ‘happily ever after’?” Seriously…do the princess and her knight in shining armor have disabled children? Does the knight become fat, lazy and an alcoholic? Does the princess start sleeping with all the men in the entire village because she finally lost her virginity? Also…a fairy tale, is a type of short story. The key word here is “short”. All the “love at first sight” stories that I have heard from the people I’ve talked to never lasted for more than a few months. Some of them never even had gotten to know, let alone have a relationship with their “love at first sight”. They’ve all started very quickly…and ended very quickly, just like a fairy-tale.
I’ll admit that I love fairy-tales. Ever since I was a child, I could read a fairy-tale every day. I still love fairy-tales for their magical landscapes, interesting characters and strange circumstances. Reading fairy-tales was (and still is) pure escapism for me and like most little girls, I dreamt of being a princess being trapped in some way only to be rescued by a handsome knight in shining armor.
But that’s just it…I dreamt about it. It was a fantasy.
Of course, fantasizing is a huge part of romance, sex and relationships. Fantasizing and dreaming about that special person, picturing the next date, imagining that person naked…
And it’s usually all just harmless fun! The “danger” comes, however, when we lose grip of reality, and start living in the fantasy only.
I know quite a lot of people, including myself, who have continued relationships or affairs with “the wrong person” because of some nice moments they have provided for us. It’s not uncommon that we try to ignore the reality of the situation so that we can enjoy the wonderful feeling of “love” and these little moments. We fool ourselves into thinking we “love” them, or that they “love” us, so that we can enjoy the emotional and physical affections with that person. And who doesn’t want to have a great emotional and physical connection to someone?
But what about the reality of it? Is that person trustworthy? Will they be loyal? Do they truly like me for who I am and what I can provide for them emotionally? Will they be able to give me security as well as passion? Despite the fact that we might think, “Probably not” to all these questions, we continue with the fantasy because they are incredibly attractive, or they’re new and exciting, or they give us incredible orgasms…or even because, we’re too scared to be alone and need someone to warm the bed at night.
What I’m trying to say is, basically, I think people who experience “love at first sight” are immediately fooling themselves. If you can easily slip into fantasy of people we interact with regularly through romance and sex, then I believe you fall deeply into a fantasy with someone whom you don’t even know. You’re immediately fantasizing about that person in terms of who they are and what they can provide, when in fact they could be the complete opposite of how you imagine them! I’m not saying that it’s not possible for the person we become heavily infatuated with instantly ending up becoming one of our greatest loves, or even someone we marry…But I personally don’t know any real-life stories where that has happened.
I like to end this with a quote from one of my favorite films. The film is called High Fidelity, which is directed by Stephen Frears and based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. In this scene, the protagonist Rob Gordon is talking to his girlfriend, Laura. The conversation goes like this:
ROB GORDON: That other girl, or whatever. I was thinking, that they’re just fantasies, you know? And they always seem really great because there’s never any problems. And if there are, they’re cute problems like, you know, we bought each other the same Christmas presents, or she wants to go see a movie that I’ve already seen, you know? And I come home, and you and I have real problems and you don’t even wanna see the movie I wanna see, period! And…there’s no lingerie…
LAURA: I have lingerie!
ROB: Oh, yes you do! You have great lingerie, but you also have the cotton underwear that’s been washed a thousand times and it’s hanging on the thing and– [he looks disgusted] – and they have it too! It’s just, I don’t have to see it because it’s not in the fantasy, do you understand? I’m tired of the fantasy, because it doesn’t really exist, and there are never really any surprises and it never really…[he pauses]
ROB: Delivers. Right…and I’m tired of it. And I’m tired of everything else, for that matter. But I don’t ever seem to get tired of you.
I believe it’s very obvious from the entire film that these two love each other, despite each others’ disagreements and differences. The character of Rob Gordon sums up, in a way, my opinions about “love at first sight”, and how it’s only a fantasy. I personally want a man with “real problems”, but he must also accept my “real problems”, just like Rob and Laura do with each other. Because that way, all the good and important things such as trust and security, and even the romantic and passionate moments, are real. I feel I can only have that with someone I really truly know inside and out.
© 2012, ALYSSA MARIE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.