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Is love at first sight for real?

Updated on October 6, 2016
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Thousands of us have asked whether love at first sight really exists.

It's a fair question, but the question wouldn’t arise without the existence of those who say it does, because these are generally the people we know to be happily living their lives together.

Which leads us to believe the answer is 'yes'.

So do we have the answer already? Love, at first sight, can happen?

Maybe.

It's entirely possible that love hasn’t happened at all yet, or didn’t happen so instantly, for you. Actually it seems more unlikely for most of us to fall in love at first sight.

Study after study has been conducted on the 'love at first sight' phenomenon, both scientific and psychological, most of which reach a similar conclusion, that it is more possible to feel a strong attraction at first sight - and any long lasting relationship that comes from this is built following that initial attraction.

People fall in love in so many different ways, more often than not it takes a little, or a lot, of time to get to know each other.

Maybe the actual question should be ‘Is mutual love at first sight for real?’

Aah, yes, I can almost hear you thinking.

Mutual. That’s the thing.

After all, an awful lot of us have spotted that perfect looking potential partner. That absolutely beautifully perfect woman, or sensationally handsome man. There they were, appearing out of nowhere, standing on the other side of the room, sitting opposite you on the train, drinking coffee at the table next to yours, walking into the place you work, or into some other everyday situation. And you knew that person was the perfect picture of your dream partner. The one you’ve always dreamt of.

But you know that it's not, or shouldn't be, about the way a person looks.

THAT moment

Despite knowing that it's not about appearances, you certainly could be among the many who've had a moment like that. Only to see the object of your dreams walk away, get off the train at the stop just before yours, or walk off into that literal sunset, never to be seen again.

Sad isn’t it?

But what if that picture of perfection didn’t disappear from sight? What if their eyes locked with yours and you were both having the same dreamy moment? What if that perfect person was thinking the same as you, but about your perfect self?

Mutual attraction at first sight can happen. And it is a fact that there are some that have built a lasting relationship from that instant attraction.

Telling it like it is

We’ve read about it, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. We’ve seen it in the movies.

We might know a couple who say they fell in love at first sight, who were engaged to marry within days of meeting. There's no doubt that there are people who feel that way, people who did meet and build a relationship very quickly, and happily so.

Not wanting to burst anyone's balloon, but it is more likely that a mutual attraction at first sight was experienced, which you'd have to agree is a pretty good place to start any love relationship.

Some will call that 'love at first sight', because from that first meeting they were catapulted on to the merry rollercoaster of love, and they're still enjoying a happy ride.

And we're happy for them, truly happy, because it gives those of us still waiting to jump on that rollercoaster, hope for our own happy-ever-after. We think, maybe today will be our day. Maybe soon.

But the question you probably want answered is about you, what about you? You’re a nice person. You do your best to look after yourself, and with the right lighting you're not at all hard on the eye. Of course you could very well be beautiful or handsome in any lighting ... and, as the saying goes ... it's all in the eye of the beholder, so the snag here is that your beholder needs to be your dream match, and vice versa.

Which leads us to the issue of fate, and timing. Being in the right place at the right time. And there is simply no way to predict that being anywhere at any given moment will be your right time.

Love just happens. And the moment that it does can be surprising. While not always (or even often) that magical moment can hit you like a bolt out of the blue. It’s been known to happen between people who’ve known each other for years, when a look or a smile can suddenly ignite a spark that neither knew was there.

Chemical reactions, chemistry, can be slow burning. Or instantaneous.

And so it is with love.

If the violins begin to play ...

Is it really 'love at first sight'? Mutual love at first sight?

Whatever it's called, it is mutual. A meeting of two people, two people who strongly feel they need to know more.

From that initial attraction, these two smart people will listen to each other, and discover the things they need to know, right or wrong.

Some will learn that this person they felt physically attracted to isn't actually quite right, and move on.

But when luck has it, the things they go on to learn about each other will fit their dreams, and several years later they will still be going strong. These are the people who claim to have experienced love at first sight. And they are indeed lucky.

Here's the thing

It's not exactly 'LOVE' at first sight.

It's like seeing a reflection of yourself, you can't resist, you stop, you look.

But spotting your vision of the perfect mate, you also instantly recognise a potential for lasting love.

When and if you experience such a moment, when and if the object of your dreams were to approach you, be prepared for the most frighteningly delighted moment of confusion you've ever felt.

But, I mean jeez, don't go marrying some psychopath who happens to look hot in a tight sweater or tight jeans. Bad move. Bad, bad, bad move.

Get to know the person first, ok?!

Love - it's a waiting game
Love - it's a waiting game

The game

Whether it's 'at first sight' or not, love is often a waiting game. You have to be ready to meet your mate. Just as they need to be perfect for you, you need to be perfect for them. And that can take time. Because if you meet them at the wrong time in your life, and vice versa, quite simply you won’t be the right fit.

But it's not all bad. You just have to live your life, well, not all of it of course (silly). You can live your life though, you're doing it now. Getting up, going to work, or looking for work, being who you are. You have to learn who you are. You have to go through your own unique ups and downs. You have to lose, and you have to win. You have to know how you react to life’s good times and bad.

There are no guarantees, but there is nothing surer than the fact that if and when love happens you will know it for what it is, you will feel it. You will know.

How can this be?

Throughout the years of your life you learn to know yourself, and through living life’s experiences, good and bad, you will have expectations of the qualities your perfect partner must have. No ‘almost’ perfect, no ‘near’ perfect – perfect will have to be perfect.

You need to live, you need to be you. Nothing else, just be you.

Whether at first sight or not, only then will you find that one perfect person - and discover that their love is exactly the right thing for you.

So get back to living, it’s the best thing, and really the only thing you can do.

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