“Or should I walk by again?”
Ah, yes…The philosophical question that has plagued our minds and made our hearts ache, at some point in our lives.
Absolutely, “love at first sight” exists. I’ve seen puppies, dresses and decadent, beautiful, chocolate cakes *insert drool emoji here* that absolutely encompassed my entire being.
But, that love began and ended right there with me. In my head.
It was unreciprocated. It was unrealistic.
And if I’m being honest, the idea of bringing a cute puppy into my life, or wearing the perfect dress, or eating the masterpiece of a cake, was probably more appealing than the actual reality of those things.
There are SO many expectations, and fantasies we build up in our minds about things we have not totally experienced yet. These misconceptions can set us up for intense feelings of disappointment and failure.
For Instance the Puppy
You scroll through videos of cute dogs on different social media platforms. They are cute, energetic, and everyone looks happy and entertained. To love and be loved…what better being to bring into your life than a loyal companion who is always happy to see you?
But, then you bring the puppy home. It gets up multiple times throughout the night causing you a restless night.
Then, it chews your favorite shoes and messes on the floor while you’re at work for a week straight. You realize you are going to have to place your things in areas Puppy can’t get to.
Then you decide to spend your lunch break running home real quick to let Puppy out to potty. All of this is less than ideal.
You love Puppy but it’s not exactly what you thought it’d be. All those expectations and fantasies about having the perfect little companion are long gone in the frustration (and disappointment) of realizing that this was not at all what you had in mind..
The Same Is True For People
When you are asked “Do you believe in love at first sight?” What comes to your mind? Finding your soulmate? Connecting eyes with a stranger across the room?
A magnetic pull that binds you and this person together for eternity? Sure! I thought all of those things, but that wasn’t the reality at all.
Most of the time, the people I ended up making eye contact with were creepily staring at me. We’ve all been there, right?
You make eye contact with someone and then you accidentally keep making eye contact with them and it’s weird and uncomfortable. Sometimes I wonder if the guys I had tried to make flirty eyes with across the room thought I was the weirdo.
Regardless, in my attempts to force “love at first sight” with the ideas I had in mind about how it would come to fruition, left me feeling surprised, disappointed more often than not, and unsure of what I really wanted.
The reality is that we can expect that nothing will be exactly how we imagined it would be.
Prince Charming to Prince Repulsing?
My sister had a get-together at her new home one evening. That night, I fell hard for a guy with deep brown eyes and golden curls. He was outgoing and charming and fun.
I just knew in my heart we would have an incredible love. It was intense, it was fast, and we experienced a lot of “firsts” together. It was story-book perfect at first.
However, after about a year I realized a lot of selfish, narcissistic tendencies and multiple addictions that my partner was dealing with. These issues began to severely affect me and our relationship. Inevitably it had to end.
The more I tried to save the idea of who I originally thought this man was and who I wanted him to be, only left me burned by the actions of who he truly was during that messy phase of his life. I could no longer bear the agonizing pain of waiting for him to heal and grow into the potential I saw in him.
This serves as an example, that you don’t truly know you love someone by simply laying eyes on them. When I first met him, he seemed self-aware, successful, and put together. However, there was an incredible storm going on in his heart and his mind.
Creating expectations of our potential partners that they haven’t agreed to, will also set you up for failure.
Feelings Are Fickle
Falling in love is based solely on feelings in the beginning of a relationship. These feelings show up as intense butterflies in your tummy; feeling as though you cannot get enough of each other; feeling like you need to spend as much time together as possible, aching for one another when you are apart etc.
Eventually these feelings fade because you are used to them, and the “love chemicals” don’t hit your brain as hard as they did in the beginning because you are used to them. The adrenalin that causes you to blush or get butterflies in your tummy is generally from excitement or nervousness.
It’s a survival hormone that plays a role in attraction but decreases overtime as you become more comfortable and feel safe with a partner. So when these feelings fade, and you no longer experience the intoxicating intensity of them, what are you left with?
Loving someone is a constant choice. It is committing every single day to see the good in them, and committing to working through the relational hardships, especially when they are being unlovable.
You could leave, and find a new person who gives you all those intense feelings again, but eventually they will fade like they did the last time, and the time before that. Continuing the cycle over until you decide what exactly love means to you and what you really want from someone.
At the end of the day, you cannot know all the details of someone’s heart, or their struggles and their intentions just by looking at them. If you did, you may rethink about being in a committed relationship with them.
Infatuated At First Sight
“Love at first sight” is most likely just the infatuation of your own ideas of who this person is and how they could compliment your life or make you feel.
Nearly anything is possible out of all the different probabilities in this infinite universe. However, it is still unlikely.
Do your heart a favor and get to know someone deeply before committing to loving them. Set realistic expectations, and keep a little of that “love at first sight” magic in the process.
Finding love is beautiful, and it shows up in our lives in a multitude of ways, even if it isn’t romantic love. Protect your heart, and be kind to it. Eventually, you will find what it is looking for. You will.