Does “love at first sight” exist? I asked 14 Fashion Journal readers

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“Love philosophically is something we can’t really pin down, but when it happens – even if it’s seconds after meeting someone – we can’t deny its existence either.”

Throughout our lives, many of us will experience the full spectrum of romantic affection – ranging from fleeting crushes to light-hearted infatuation to one true love in its own right. Saying that, the enigmatic thunderbolt is a consistent outlier; so rarely encountered that many do not believe it exists at all.

Perhaps it’s the fairy tale quality – the idea of ​​love at first kiss, the song or the frolic in the meadow – that makes the concept unattainable. Coming from Greek and Roman literature, the notion of love at first sight was more often understood in the context of passionate madness, called “theia mania” (translation of “madness of the gods”).


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So are those who claim it’s a real phenomenon a bit crazy? Or are those who deny its existence a little cynical? The answer most likely lies somewhere in between. Below, 14 fashion magazine readers share their thoughts on love at first sight.

Amina*, 28 years old, she, in a relationship

I don’t think love at first sight is possible because love is based on connection and knowing someone. However, I believe in instinct – sometimes you see someone and you just to know this person has something special. I had a crush on my partner from the second I laid eyes on him.

It wasn’t just that they were attractive, but they gave off a certain vibe that intrigued me. It was a few years between that time and our meeting and dating, but we have now been together for almost two years. I wouldn’t call it love at first sight, but it feels like fate that we end up together.

Danielle*, 24, she/they, single

Yes. Love philosophically is something we can’t pin down, but when it happens – even if it’s seconds after meeting someone – we can’t deny its existence either. Yes, we have lust but the feeling of love is something else entirely…it consumes you in an instant. I can say with certainty that you can tell the difference between lust, romance, and romance quite easily and quickly.

Do you know that person you set up in your mind when you were a kid? The one where you think, ‘Oh that’s them…that’s the person I’m going to fall in love with’. Well, I met this person when [I was] went out one evening. The moment we met and looked at each other, it was as if time had frozen. We both agreed at the end of the night that it felt like we knew each other [for years] before this date. We both felt incredibly comfortable and connected in an instant.

Olive*, 21 years old, she, in a relationship

I believe in attraction at first sight; a “false love” at first sight. You can be in love and attracted to the idea of ​​someone and who you think they might be, or who you think they might make you. I used to think my boyfriend and I loved each other from day one. I met him when we were younger and always knew I loved him. But once I started dating him, I discovered another side of him that I fell in love with.

My mom always says it was love at first sight when she met my dad. I think it’s a nostalgic take on what was really just the excitement of meeting someone new and attractive. It’s fine to get caught up in romanticizing what might happen…but if you don’t know a person (which comes with time and shared experiences), can you say you like them? How can love at first sight exist? People have different definitions of love (I guess the Greeks too).

Bailey*, 25, they, single

Unfortunately, I believe in love at first sight. I had a singular experience that I could not surpass. I was out drinking with friends for a night of drag and dancing. I didn’t know it at the time, but a friend of mine invited Charlie* to join us.

It was strange; my attention kept returning to him and I couldn’t focus anywhere else. Somehow, despite having a really messy night on my behalf, we dated for a few months. Over a year later, I feel like I haven’t even looked at another person since. Yeah, [love at first sight] fucking blows. Don’t.

Nala*, 23 years old, she/she, in a common-law relationship

I believe in love at first sight because I’m a giant romantic (a Pisces sun, you might say) and I like to think that there can be an innate connection between people, whether romantic or platonic.

I know that as humans we make snap assumptions about the people we see, some of which can be extremely damaging or wrong. I also know that some relationships are wrongly seen as more valuable than they are.

Despite this, I want to think that there is an uncontrollable good in the world; in the form of a thunderbolt and a primal attraction. The first time I saw my current partner, I was 12 years old. We were visiting our future high school campus with our parents and about 250 other people. We made eye contact and that was it. I thought he was cute but I was shy and didn’t know how to cultivate a friendship at that age.

I went back to elementary school and my friends and I chatted about the cute boys in our respective high schools and how excited we were to meet friends and have crushes. I mentioned it and we had a giggle. We ended up going to the same school. We had crushes on other people and I didn’t think back to that first eye contact until we became friends in our senior year. A year later, we were dating. It was 7 years ago now; we are almost 24 years old and still together. I am adamant that I felt a connection 12 years ago…obviously not our love in its current form but a primitive form of it.

Romi*, 26, she/she, monogamous relationship

I do it, simply because I had the chance to experience it. I vividly remember my first day at college when I was 18. I saw a very handsome young man enter the building. I immediately texted my friend to tell her about my crush. He must have noticed me too because he sat next to me during class and asked me out on a date after class.

According to him, he went home and told his brother that he had met someone he could imagine marrying. We didn’t even exchange names (just numbers) but we had a really strong connection. It’s been almost seven and a half years now and we are now engaged.

Charlie*, 30, she/she, in a long-term relationship

Yes. I once saw a quote that said, “I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do believe in clicks.” I think the “click” is exactly what love at first sight is. It’s not instant love but it’s a tangible moment when you look at a stranger and think “That’s gonna be my person”. It’s such a memorable moment… nine years later and I’ll never forget it.

Aurora*, 38 years old, she/she, married

No, I think you have to know someone to love them. I believe in lust at first sight which I think can be confused with love.

Elliot*, 21, she/she, in a relationship

I don’t know if I believe in love at first sight but I’m open to the idea of ​​something quite close. I feel like potential at first sight exists (where you can see someone fitting into your life), but the realist in me doesn’t think love can come that fast.

When I first met my boyfriend at a party, we hit it off, but I didn’t think much of it, to be honest. We talked via text later and then we just didn’t stop talking. However, I have had times in my life where I had a “moment” with a stranger, where I saw potential and wanted to know more. I am not convinced doesn’t exist, but every time I hear a love at first sight story, it reminds me of a fairy tale.

Akira*, 26 years old, she/she, recently single

No. I think having experienced two different types of romantic love, I realized how different they can be. More importantly, I realized that love can emerge and grow over time.

Sage*, 23 years old, she/she, in a relationship

No, that seems superficial. Maybe love at first contact, instead? Saying that, the times I felt “love at first contact” I just felt an infatuation with charming narcissists. The people you immediately fall for are often the wrong ones.

Drew*, 24, she/she, in a long-term relationship

Yeah! It may be blind, but totally. I left my first date with my current boyfriend proudly telling anyone who would listen that I had just met the love of my life. Here we are, almost five years later and still very much in love. I love love. I was always going to fall in love at first sight.

Andie*, 49, she/she, in a relationship

Yes, but only at 49! I have been married and divorced twice. I always believed in love and I fought for it… I knew it was there. I am an intelligent, professional woman with a wonderful network of family and friends. I don’t need a partner, but I wanted one and I wanted one. I wanted a partner, not a passenger. I found it.

Mya*, 25 years old, she/she, single

No. I believe in lust at first sight…but I believe that love is something that only develops once you know someone. You can lust after someone and have all the dopamine releases that make you feel like you’re in love…but that person could still be wrong for you. Love is an action learned over time. I’ve experienced lust at first sight – honestly too many times to count (some more memorable than others). I’m not pessimistic, I swear.

*Names have been changed.

To learn more about love at first sight, go here.

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