I do. I admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic who, yes, does believe in love at first sight. I’m not saying it’s the only way love happens. But – skeptics be damned – I’ve known too many couples who were partners from the start. They felt an instant connection, and it wasn’t only physical, but emotional and intellectual as well.
If the attraction is only physical, that would be lust at first sight. I’ve known couples like that, too – couples who lay eyes on each other for the very first time and feel a powerful chemical attraction, if little else. In instances where chemical attraction evolves into emotion, love may follow. Otherwise, the prognosis is not good. If something happens to the physical – illness, accident, wanderlust – and there’s nothing else, what’s left?
Love can grow out of friendship. I’ve always been an advocate of this. It gives people a chance to vet each other – to make sure they are emotionally compatible – before committing to something beyond friendship. Haven’t we all known couples who were friends for years before becoming romantically involved? Let’s call this like at first sight.
And loathing at first sight? I’m talking about couples who couldn’t stand each other when they first met, just rubbed each other totally the wrong way, until something happened to dissolve the hatred.
Before I began writing mainstream fiction, I wrote fifty romances – books in which 80% of the story is romance and 20% is something else. In some of these, my hero and heroine fell in love at first sight. In others, the physical came first, or friendship, or, yes, dislike. In some instances, there was intrigue, curiosity, even terror at first sight, none of which start with ‘l’ but all of which represent an emotion, and where emotion exists, there is the possibility of love.
What about Blueprints? This book is a novel about family, but even aside from issues of mother-daughter competition and instant parenthood, there are two touching love stories in these pages. Caroline and Dean have been friends for years and were so from the start. They’re a perfect example of like at first sight. Jamie and Chip are something else. Is what they experience love at first sight? In as much as either of them is thinking about love, through the chaos of raising each a young child, it might be that. Or simply a case of misery loving company? What’s your thought on this?
BTW, as I was writing this blog, I received a note from a reader. Other than one phrase, which I deleted so that it wouldn’t give anything away for those of you who haven’t read the book, here’s what she said: “I just finished Blueprints and absolutely loved it. Yay for Jamie. I met my husband and we were engaged two weeks later. Seems to be, if you know, you know!! We’d have been married sooner but had to wait a few months to get the big wedding together. We were 22 and 23 when we got married, 43 years ago.”
Thanks for this beautiful note, Lee-Ellen. I so identify with you. My husband and I met in college. We were each dating other people at the time, but I remember many nights in the library when we sat and talked for hours. Like at first sight? I think so. At least, until we broke up with the people we were dating and started dating ourselves, at which point it became more.
Do you believe in love at first sight? If you have a heart-throb, how did you two meet?