When I was younger, I was often asked if I believed in love at first sight. It seemed to be one of those topics that turned up a lot. Either nobody wonders about it any more, or my social circles have changed away from those concerns.
Or maybe everybody else has given up and is afraid to think about it. I don't know.
Oddly, I still want to explore the topic.
I don't believe in love at first sight, but only because of the word "love". Real love grows with time and understanding. I absolutely do believe in a strong reciprocal instant attraction, a "click", a magnetism, a chemical reaction, a lightning bolt. A sudden infatuation. In my experience, it's been a powerful indicator that there's the possibility of something lasting there. It really is at first sight, before even meeting or speaking.
It's when you look up and see someone, and maybe your eyes meet, and you both know instantly that there's some kind of soul connection.
It has happened to me several times, and although some of them didn't work out, most did, and the connection was real. What's really funny is that in most cases, the guy wasn't "my type".
The first: John. I had transferred into a new school in first grade. I was smaller than everyone else, and shy. On the first day, the boy sitting in front of me turned around, circled my wrist with his fingers, and said, "She's tiny!" Our eyes met, and I've been in love with him ever since. Until I moved to Canada at the end of fourth grade, he was my in-school companion and protector. I still think about him. I've tried to find him on the internet, but he has a very common name, and it's next to impossible.
The second: Obie. I lived on a military base during high school. Obie's father transferred in during December of my junior year. Obie was a senior. He had a deep Louisiana bayou accent, and was kind of awkward and funny-looking, and WAY too religious, but the first time our eyes met, we knew we had something special. We were like brother and sister (we argued and fought constantly, but there was deep respect and affection) for the next fifteen years, by phone and letter, until he died in an automobile accident. Thirty-four years gone, and I still love and miss him.
The third: Jay. I walked into a friend's office at The Company, and there was a man sitting, intent, at her computer, and as I walked in he froze, staring at the screen, and said "Oops", and I fell in love. I hadn't even seen his face. All I had was a 3/4 rear view, and I fell in love with a patch of softly curled hair behind his left ear. He was newly married. We were no more than best friends for the next eight years, when his limping marriage finally fell apart. Everyone else knew how we felt about each other before we did.
The fourth: I went to a Mensa gathering near Boston three years ago, looked up, and met the eyes of a guy across the room, and knew. Again, he was not someone I would consciously choose. He was ten years older than I, bald, with the body of a past bodybuilder. Not my type. But he fascinated me. During the weekend I did not attempt to talk with him alone, but every time I looked toward him, he was looking at me, and he did make a point of sitting or standing near me several times, like he was hoping I would say something (shy much?). I was impressed with his contributions to table conversation. When I got home, I looked him up. He's married. I still wonder.
The fifth: The Man. Another Mensa gathering. First sight across a wide round table kicked me in the gut. If I made a list of all I want in a man, The Man would be 180 degrees off on almost every item except the body. I think his body is perfect, but I didn't see that at first, across the table. All the rest is 180 off. (Well, not all, but some things are pretty basic. He says I also diverge wildly from his usual taste in women.) He fascinated me at first sight, and I'm still fascinated.
If nothing else, the example of The Man proves that it's not a shallow "oh, he's perfect" thing, and it's not pheremones. Jay proves it's not the eyes or face. John and Obie show that it's not a sexual attraction. It really does feel like a "Fate" thing. A soul match thing. That doesn't mean happy ever after, but it's a very good start.
Notice that my first two husbands and the other fifty or so guys I've dated or flirted with didn't make the list. I've found that any guy who has to "grow on me" eventually turns into a fungus.