Love at first sight….myth or possibility?

After a first date, a good friend called me last night to tell me that she had a vision that he’s “THE one.” Cue the doves!

Ummmm…seriously?

Ever the extreme optimist and enthusiast, even I had a tough time with that one. I mean, I am all for miracles and optimism and love at first sight and I so wanted to jump up and down for joy for her but…I found I just couldn’t.

I mean, to her credit, it’s not like she hasn’t spent any time getting to know this new guy. They met via an online dating site a few weeks ago. It’s a paid site so definitely for the “more” serious folks. And it’s a site that does potential mate recommendations based on a long list of compatibility factors, so definitely another positive. They have chatted online for hours and they’ve had a few long phone conversations.

But still? After the first in-person date he’s IT?

On the one hand, I want to tell her that anything is possible; that jumping in with both feet and no fear is what life and finding love is all about. I want to scream “hip hip hooray” for miracles and dreams comes true. I want to believe in love at first sight. I want to start planning the wedding! I want so badly for him to BE IT and for him to make all her relationship dreams come true!

On the other hand, I feel like I need to help her pull the reigns back a little bit. There’s optimistic potential and then there’s putting on blinders that can lead you down a slippery slope where you become so vested in “making this work cause I had a vision, damn you” that you ignore very serious red flags until it’s too late and next thing you know, you are soothing a very badly broken heart.

So what did I end up telling her? A bit of both!

I told her that I loved seeing her so happy and optimistic; that I wished nothing but the best for her and that I hoped this would all turn out perfectly for her. But I encouraged her to not let her emotions sweep her completely off her feet…just yet…

I suggested that perhaps rather than buying into the vision that “he’s IT,” that it might be more useful to think of him as having a lot of great potential. That it’s fahhhbulous to have an air of excitement about what it might lead to but that it’s just as important to maintain a little emotional detachment (just for the first few weeks) so if red flags DO start to show up, you have the fortitude and strength to walk away if need be.

And if he IS IT, a little emotional and optimistic restraint certainly wouldn’t harm anything!

I mean, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and the buster of bubbles but I also feel I have a responsibility to all my friends to be honest with them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know everything (seriously…I do know everything but I know how totally wrong it is to say that…) and miracles do happen but?!?!?!

In the end, all I can share is my knowledge based on my experiences and then cross my fingers for her and hope for the best. Isn’t that the best any of us can do for our friends and family?

What would you have told my friend? Do you believe in love at first sight?

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Comments

  1. Natalie, I’m with you on this one. Love at first sight is a great thing to read about in the romance books but in real life it doesn’t exist past the teenage years. Your friend will figure this out sooner or later. For now let her enjoy the surge of hormones though, ha, ha.

    • Thanks Angela. I felt horrible busting her bubble a little bit but I am with you…I said my piece and now, like you suggested, I’ll shut up and let enjoy the rush of hormones in peace! LOL!! And who knows, maybe she’ll “show” me! 🙂

  2. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I think you gave her really good advice, but, online dating services have changed the game a bit. Because you answer so many questions, you know so much about the person before you ever meet them, you don’t have to go through all those horrible first dates that we all used to endure. The dates where you get to know them, decide you don’t, and don’t answer when they call. Or worse, they don’t call!
    My sister in law was in this same situation about four years ago. She’d had quite a few dates from her online service. One had potential, but then was a jerk, and she was discouraged.
    Then she started talking to Tim. Tim lived three hours away. They talked online, on the phone, for weeks. When they finally met, it was BOOM! Love at first sight. They both just knew. They didn’t want their date to end. And it didn’t. They ended up at a all night restaurant just so it wouldn’t end. Three weeks later, they decided to move in together. She quit her job, moved three hours away from her mom.
    As you can imagine, her family was going NUTS!! Trying to talk some sense in her. It’s too fast, you don’t know him, all those things.
    But here is it four years later, and she was right. He was the ONE for her. Her family adores him and they are very happy together!!

    I should also note that even though my romance with my husband was not quite so clean and pretty. It was downright messy. After the first time I kissed him, I knew. A week after our first date, I wrote a letter to my friend and told her I met the man I was going to marry. Five years later, I did.

    • Thanks so much for the great comment Jillian! Wow – two incredible love stories!! Thank you so much for sharing because they soothed my anxiety and worry for my friend. I guess it just goes to show that anything is possible in love. Simply remarkable and wonderful!
      In the end, I agree, I think I gave her good, sensible advice. But like any of us caught up in love and possibility, I know my cautioned restraint went in one ear and out the other; as it should and would have if the shoe were on the other foot. 🙂 And I also agree, the world of online dating is changing the landscape so much that what was the “norm” years ago isn’t the case nowadays.
      LOL – my love story with hubby wasn’t quite so “love at first sight.” I had rave reviews about him from many ladies I knew well but I still went in very cautious and skeptical. But he saw our potential, persevered and won my heart forever!

  3. It was New Year’s Eve 1989. The start of a new decade! I saw him across the room, our eyes met and it was love at first sight. Two days later I moved in with him, two months later we got married, a half a second after that I got pregnant and the next minute it all went to hell.

    Then… I got set up by a friend and this time I waited. After our first date, he ‘knew’ I was the one, but I was gun shy. We dated about six months before he asked to marry him and I was hesitant, but said yes. We’ve been married 15 years.

    So, your advice was perfect. Pragmatism and a bit of hope are always a good combination. I had the gamut of relationship woes, but in the end I found someone who may not totally understand me, but is willing to try. Bless his heart!

    I hope for your friends’ sake he really is the one and they have a long and happy relationship. Like Jillian said, she at least has the benefit of the dating site getting through all the sticky spots.

    • Wow – what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing Tameri. Your hubby sounds wonderful. Navigating the relationship waters can be tricky so I agree, a little pragmatism and caution is always warranted, especially after being burned a time or two. If it’s right, going slow and being hesitant certainly won’t take anything away from it. On the contrary, I think it only adds to it and makes it that much more special and strong. But if it’s not right, jumping in with both feet first can be quite painful. We’ll all keep our fingers crossed for her.

  4. I think your advice was spot-on and it came in such a kind gentle way I’m positive she knows that it came from a good place, that you only want the best for her and you want her to be happy. In this day and age where people can hide who they really are so easily it’s a good idea to be pragmatic.

    As for love at first sight? When I met my husband I was first struck by his forthrightness and honesty. My family spoke in code, never fully revealing their true feelings. I felt an instant attraction and he felt the same way. We talked a lot. We didn’t play games. It was a first for me. I remember thinking after the first time we met “I could love this guy.”

    So I had that pragmatic streak too. 32 years of marriage later we’re still talking and still being honest and forthright.

    I hope things work out for your friend.

    • Wow – 32 years – that’s FANTASTIC! Congratulations Kate. There’s something to be said for a relationship based on honesty and being forthright. When I met hubby, I didn’t think anything serious would come of it and I was extremely cautious. But at the same time, I had a tremendous bold streak and was more honest and upfront with him than anyone before. I decided that I was going to be me 100% and if he didn’t like it, he could pound sand. That enabled us to build a relationship unlike anything I had ever had before – based on pure honesty and forthrightness. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. On my first date with my now husband, he said “marry me and come back to Australia” (I was living in New York at the time, he was there on a work conference). We had only met two days earlier, for a work meeting. Yep, for us it was love at first sight, although I waited another 18 months before I moved back to Oz. I should say more accurately that it was love at first laughter. Because we hit it off immediately and laughed non stop, even through that work meeting. We are still laughing.

    • What an incredible story Naomi! Wow…congrats! It seems to me like we don’t hear about stories like theses very often and I love it. I guess love at first sight does happen for some people – and lasts! You are a lucky lady!

  6. Yeah, love at first sight really is lust at first sight. I believe a study showed lust can only last 18 months at the longest, so it may seem all well and good, but it’s not the makings of a good marriage. I think you really need to get to know someone. It’s too easy to put on masks and show the face you want. If you really want to get to know someone, you not only need to spend a lot of time with them, but in different environments. How does he act with you alone compared to how does he act when he’s around his best friends? How about his family? It gets harder to hide true natures in comfort zones.

    • Hey Angela! I would have to agree with you on that one. I know for Naomi it all worked out but I think she also waited awhile to make sure it was right. I think that is key because as you said, it takes time to get to know someone and, whether it is love or lust at first sight, to see if it’s something that will last. Getting to know someone definitely takes different situations. It’s important to see and know exactly how you work together, problem solve, compromise, support, comfort, encourage etc…to find out if this person is what you need/want? Because we all know “love” alone is not enough to make a successful relationship. Great points – thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Hmmm – looks like there’s a lot of good “story” material in every one of these comments!

  8. Ooo…tough…but I think I would have done exactly what you did! You were sensitive to her feelings, yet you were a good friend by warning her to stay cautious for just a little while. And, you’re right, it can’t harm her in any way if she stays a bit more distant (than she is now) for the first few weeks.

    So, what was her reaction?!

    • Hey Jessica! BTW, LOVE your blog!! Thanks for the feedback on my approach – I really appreciate it. In my heart, I think I did the best thing I could and I hope she heeds my advice. Her reaction was absolutely fine (thank God). She thanked me and said she knew I was coming from a place of concern and that she appreciated the suggestions. That is one of the things I love most about her; she’s always very open and loving and knows my hearts in the right place. I’ll keep you posted on how she makes out. Are you all set for the wedding this weekend? Eeekee! Good luck and can’t wait to read an upcoming post about how it all turns out.

  9. It’s good that she has a friend like you to give her advice and keep her grounded. Anyone can fall for someone and not see the red flags in their date.

    I think the hormones are so strong at the start that we mistake lust for love. Even I put my best foot forward. After about three months the true selves start to come out.
    I love reading everyone comment. I needed a little girl talk today.

    • There’s nothing like good girl talk, eh? I just love it. The comments to this post have been amazing and filled with some pretty incredible stories.
      I agree, the first three months everyone is on their best behavior. And I think that’s pretty normal. It takes time to not only see each other’s true selves but also see how those true selves mesh together. Often times, it’s not about whether this girl or that guy is a “great” person or not; it’s are they the right/great person for YOU? Do they mix, compliment, and fit in with your life, relationships, values and dreams. There are tons of great people out in the world but that doesn’t make them all your perfect life partner. We shall see how this all turns out – so far, things are still going strong for them! 🙂
      Thanks for swinging by for a visit!!!

  10. You are just being a good friend, Natalie. Of course you would want her to be cautious and sure before jumping into something or getting her heart brokern.
    My friend met a man from California on-line, although I am not sure it was a “match” site. However, they typed to each other for awhile, then talked on the phone for hours and hours and got to know each other. The next thing I knew he was flying to NB so they could meet face to face for the first time. She was also a single mother with two sons, so it was very important for her that he meet her sons and them to meet him and to see the chemistry there. This was in January. When she asked me to be her maid of honour for their wedding that March, I was…well…hopeful but worried. The morning of their wedding, I asked her if she was sure. As her friend and maid of honour, I felt it was my duty to ask. It wasn’t so much as the words she used, but that she spoke the words from her heart and the look on her face. “Okay, then, let’s do this!” was my response. They celebrated their 12th wedding anniversay this past March and are still crazy in love.
    Another quick story…my daughter-in-law met my son on a plane. Both of them were returning to Alberta after spending Christmas with their respective parents, hers in Ontario and his in New Brunswick. Funny enough, my son had ignored the passenger beside him for a long time wanting to read the book he had brought with him. However, they began talking and exchanged phone numbers. He called her and took her out for her birthday a few days later. They started dating and after a few years, they were engaged. That’s when she told me that after the “chance” meeting on the plane, she had told her friends, “I met the man I am going to marry.” She just knew. They have been married two years now and it warms my heart to see my son so happy.
    So I guess there are horror stories, heartbreak stories, and happy ending stories. I hope this is a happy ending story for your friend. Ultimately my wish for everyoneis to find the kind of love I share with my husband which is based on friendship and respect. 🙂

    • Love the hopeful and inspiring stories Donna, thank you so much! It’s nice to know that love does win out sometimes. I have all of my fingers crossed for her! 🙂

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