Friday, April 22, 2011

Is there such a thing as Love at First Sight?

I'm known as something of a realist among my friends and family. As a rule I have faith in tangible things. Feet on the ground, head well out of the clouds, that's me.

But you know, 17 or so years ago when my man walked into the room, I was smitten. Instantly. He says he was too. Whatever it was going on between us, none of it was tangible. And you know what? It's still there. Sure we have our grumpy days when we can't agree on anything. I leave junk in the car, he drops junk on the kitchen table. I wipe the basin and fold the towels, he leaves the bathroom like a walrus wallow.

But we can look at each other and smile and it's still all there. We had a scary health scare recently and it brought us even closer together and made us appreciate how very precious our shared life is.

I think I get my pragmatic nature from my dad who pooh-poohs anything even vaguely mystical. But you ask Dad how he met Mum and he'll tell you he saw her cycling down the road and... wham! That was more than 60 years ago when they were both still in their teens.

Lots of studies have been carried out to determine why people 'fall in love'. According to Earl Naumann in his book Love at First Sight: The Stories and Science behind Instant Attraction, 55% of people who experienced love at first sight subsequently married, and 75% of those couples have stayed married, quite an improvement over the average statistics for divorce. Professor of Psychology Elaine Hatfield developed a passionate love scale to measure the strength of an individual's love for another.

How about you? Do you believe in love at first sight?

17 comments:

  1. I didn't experience it with my fiance, but my mom likes to tell the story of how she saw my dad walking down the street in the neighborhood she'd just moved into and she turned to her sister and said, "That's the man I'm going to marry."

    And she did. Sure, they've had their issues, but they're still married 26 years later.

    So, yeah. I believe in love at first sight :)

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  2. Hi Leigh--I believe in Attraction at first sight. If you give in to it, it will turn into Love. If you ignore it, then too bad. You have a beautiful book cover.

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  3. Hi Leigh! First, I love your cover for The Duke, very pretty! Second, yes, I believe in love at first sight. My husband and I experienced this when we met, fifteen years ago, at a nightclub in Chicago. In fact, it was only our third date when he asked me to marry him. Of course, I made him wait a while, but two and half years later, I finally agreed. Glad to know our success rate is high, although I could have told you that regardless. Love the post!

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  4. Well research favors hubby and I staying together then. There was definitely a zing and a zap when we first saw each other. Of course, it was years before we could do anything about it since we were both in other relationships, but we're happily married now with a little boy.

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  5. Interesting question, Leigh. I believe it can happen. When I first met my husband, he told me he had a girlfriend, but the next week he asked me out. We've been married 38 years.

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  6. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said no. But when I met my future husband (husband in less than 20 days) there was an instant... not exactly attraction but a magnetic pull. He was the soccer coach. I started going to soccer practice early just to be on the same field with him. Later, he told me he rushed to practice too, just to be on the field with me. (btw, thats where he asked me to marry him) Both of us had decided not to date, so when we finally talked, we decided on a not-date where we laid everything on the table. I knew that night he was the one for me. He was equally sure. At that moment, we were committed to each other. The time since then has only confirmed it and I know the years to come will do the same. We've only waited to get married this long to give our families time to get used to it. ; )

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  7. Very cool post, Leigh! Loved the Passionate Love Scale. Very cool!
    Liz Arnold

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  8. Emma and Illona: Thanks for stopping by and so cool to hear your stories.

    Lynne: A 'not-date' - what a neat idea. And so important to have the support of your families.

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  9. Hi AJ & Mona - thanks for stopping by and for your comments about the book covers. I love them too!

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  10. Hi Meika - thanks so much for commenting. You've reminded me of another example: When my sister-in-law first saw my brother she said exactly the same as your mother - and yes, they're still together. Nice to see you here!

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  11. Have never experienced it myself, but my dad saw my mum in a crowded lecture theatre and passed her a note. They've been married 40 years so I know it does happen.

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  12. Hi Nicki - thanks for commenting. Being a nosy writer I'd love to know what the note said!

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  13. Interesting post, Leigh. I don't think I've ever fallen in love at first sight, though I do remember being terrible attracted to one guy in my French class first year at University. Trouble was, by the time he finally asked me out, several months later, I'd gotten to know him really well as a friend and though I still thought he was a hunk, I'd lost interest in him as a potential partner. For me, the "stickers" have been men who grew on me slowly. My husband and love of my heart for 32 years started as simple the friend of friends and not someone I was particularly attracted to (he wasn't even tall and thin like all my previous boyfriends.) But when I got to know him, I knew this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life (and all eternity) with.

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  14. Thanks for commenting, Vicky. Your love for your husband sounds the way all love should be. Made me a bit weepy.

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  15. Lovely post, Leigh. But personally, I think it all boils down to the question - if it is really possible to look a person in the eye once, and just put your entire faith in a concept that 'it is meant to be'. I am now in a relationship for almost 2 years, and I've known him for about 1 and a half years before he proposed. He says he had felt a connection instantly. But it took him almost 8 months to come to terms to the fact that it has deepened into love. And 4 more to tell me that! I rejected him once. I was scared to lose such a good friend. I came to realise, much later, that it actually was love. The months in between weren't very pretty! I envy you for your courage. I lack that. I am too scared of getting hurt, of realising that what we mistook as love was just a fleeting attraction, to actually even conceive of a 'love at first sight'. But I'm happy now, and sure of my relationship, because it has passed the test of time, so to speak.

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  16. Hi Adharshila:) Thanks for visiting my blog and for your thoughtful comment. How wonderful that you have a relationship where you feel secure and happy. Best luck for the future.

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