Do I believe in love at first sight? I never used to. But now I’m not so sure. I once was asked “the question”… you know, the one that many guys dread and most really aren’t prepared to answer. A woman once asked me to describe my feelings for her in one word. I was caught TOTALLY caught off guard because it came up out of nowhere in the middle of a completely unrelated conversation (I must give kudos for the sound tactic!). I mean… who does that?!?!?!? Come on, really?!!?!?! I paused for a long time, suddenly at a loss for words when just the moment before I was brimming with conversation. I didn’t know how to answer. Well… I did, I just didn’t want to pop out with the first thing that came out of my mind. I really didn’t know know how to explain how I was feeling at the time. To be honest, the first word that came to mind was love… but I wasn’t going to say that, I just couldn’t justify the thought. Besides… what am I crazy?!?! What kinda psycho, stalkerish, clingly guy answer is that??? Love definitely wasn’t the right word… perhaps a really, really strong “I like you A LOT”. But how do you make that one word? Other words coursed through my mind immediately after… infatuation, lust, desire, curiosity, hope, fear (yes fear… my fear of being disappointed or hurt), caring, intrigued, impressed… just to list a few, but love, none-the-less was the-very-first thing to pop into my head. I hadn’t known her for a very long time. We had only just begun getting to know one another… I’d say we were in the beginning-dating phase if I had to put a label to it. And there’s absolutely no way that you can love someone without really, REALLY knowing them, right? So why was love the first thing that came to my mind???
It’s like one of those mind games that people sometimes play. If I repeat the word zebra in your ear twenty times and then instruct you to close your eyes and immediately tell me what your thinking about… 99% of you would probably either respond with Zebra, or lie. The thing that is foremost in your mind is often the think that comes out first. Makes perfect sense to me. Love is what I wanted most. And I think it’s what she really wanted too. I met a beautiful woman, with a beautiful personality who made me happy every time we spend time together. I looked forward to every encounter and was so eager to know more and more about her and to build a solid relationship… first as friends (of course) but with the hope of it evolving into something more. Even though I was just getting to know this woman, based upon all of our conversations and all the time that I had spent with her up until the moment of “the question”, I knew enough about her to know that there was the potential for love. We know what we want in a person. It’s almost as if there’s this imaginary checklist that we subconsciously complete as we get to know someone. The more we get to know that person, we’re rapidly checking away at each criteria they meet… and we soon realize that there’s actually potential. This very well could be the one… and we hope for it, we hope for that potential to actually turn in to reality. She was definitely completing my mental checklist with flying colors. She was turning out to be what I wanted and needed. There was chemistry; there were sparks.
I think that quite often we fall in love with who we hope that this person will really turn out to be when we really get to know them. We have a pre-disposition of who that person is based upon what we already know about them. We fall in love with just the very idea being able to open up and truly love this person. We fall in love with this hope.
I think I have a somewhat unique perspective of what true love is. I think that true love is a continuous and lasting decision that we make to maintain a certain level of commitment to someone. It takes time to really be committed to something, And the more you love someone, the more you are committed, and the harder it is to suddenly not love him or her anymore. Like a heavy cargo train roaring full speed ahead, once you’re deep into the process, its hard to just shut it down. (This is why it hurts so bad when things don’t work out and you’re forced to let go of someone that you love).
Love is a process that does take time. The amount of time depends on so many different things… how open one is to love, how much time you spend getting to know someone, etc. I do think that to love someone, you do have to know him or her and at least have some substantial level of personal interaction. After all, you can’t fall in love with a complete stranger (well you can if you’re a crazy psycho stalker!!!). Love doesn’t require that you know everything that there is to know about a person, though. I’m pretty sure that there are old and greying couples out there that are still discovering new things about each other (one of things that could be wonderful about a relationship). So to get back to the original question about love at first sight… does it exist??? I certainly do believe in being able to recognize the potential for love within only a few moments of getting to know someone. And I believe that there is a genuine honesty and truth to that feeling that you feel, the butterflies which represent the hope that exists when you’re getting to know someone, and the care that you develop for someone as they begin to have an impression on your life for that time. I don’t know if I’d call it love… but it certainly is something that headed in that direction.
In any case, things didn’t work out between her and I. I won’t go into detail… we both agreed that it was just not the right time. To avoid future hurt we decided to cut it off. Too be honest, it did hurt very much anyway and it was very disappointing to say the least. That’s what happens hopes are crushed. I miss her; her absence in my life does sadden me. I do think about her at times, and hope she’s doing well. Sometimes I wonder if she still thinks about me. I’ll manage to get over my disappointment, but I doubt I’d ever forget her. She told me that some people are in your life but for a season, but other’s are there for a lifetime. But seasons change, and come again each and every year. In some way I really do hope to see her again, and when I do I want her to have found true happiness, and true love.
You may be wondering how I responded to her question. I don’t mean to leave you hanging. I’ll tell you this: if that was test, I don’t think I passed. I mean… I don’t think that I did terrible either. I just couldn’t answer with just one word, and I didn’t say the first thing that came to my mind. Maybe I should have and then offered an explanation. Love. Did I love her? Could that even be possible? I don’t know. I do know this: at that very moment when she asked me I was definitely on the right track in doing so.