“The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.” Antoine Bret
Ain’t that the truth. Love at first sight is particularly dangerous because we are blindsided; there is something mysterious about it, rare and inexplicable.
As Marlowe said: ‘Whoe’er loved, but at first sight?’
I am sure there are some who will argue with that, who have found love that grows over time. And some are probably right. Still others don’t believe in love at first sight. I sure didn’t, until it happened to me.
The great poet Quentin Tarantino said it better than anyone in True Romance, speaking through Clarence Worley: “You just said you love me, now if I say I love you and just throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may and you’re lying to me, I’m gonna fuckin’ die.”
But if we stumble on this amazing connection with someone – why doesn’t it end always happily?
Plato proposed the idea that human beings originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them.
Like Jerry Maguire.
But perhaps to make a perfect whole, you need two perfect halves.
It has been suggested that what often happens in a soul-deep union is that two people must then stay true to their souls for it to work. This struggle is something that inspires a lot of fiction and cinema.
For instance, I’m not a great fan of the book but I thought ‘Bridges of Madison County’ touched on something here:
And in that moment, everything I knew to be true about myself up until then was gone. I was acting like another woman, yet I was more myself than ever before.
But Francesca can’t be true to herself, and keep her family.
The trouble with love at first sight is that it is like a drug. It’s a great feeling, yes; like a drug it helps us release our inhibitions. We become for a moment who we would like to be – if we would dare to.
For instance I get tired of hearing people call Brokeback Mountain a movie about gay cowboys. Jack or Ennis could as well have been heterosexual corporate accountant but it just wouldn’t have been as dramatic, or as scenic.
Being gay was just the particular secret they carried, the private selves they weren’t allowed to be.
‘Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together! … Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis! I’m not you… I can’t make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! … I wish I knew how to quit you.’
Not that all love has to be as dramatic. But love at first sight catches us off guard and we don’t have time to be sensible. As a woman once said to me: This is so out of character for me.
Or was it in character, and that was too naked?
We all say we want to find ourselves but our real selves may be inconvenient, and our friends and our family may never approve. So finally we sober up and let love at first sight go in favour of something more … measured.
Anastasia is about a woman who may or may not be a royal princess. But it is also about love at first sight, and why great passion may sometimes come to nothing, because she has to choose between love and the chance to be a real princess. She doesn’t want to be ordinary, even if it means being happy. She will not let her heart rule her.
But sometimes love at first sight works. I have very good friends who lived happily ever. Theirs was love at first sight. There was nothing standing in their way of happily ever after – except themselves.
So first they had to struggle with what Anastasia and Michael struggle with in Anastasia, the same conflicts faced by Ennis del Mar and Jerry Maguire and Clarence Worley.
The thing about love at first sight though; I’ve never known anyone experience it and not be radically changed by it.
So what do you think? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Or is it just for books and movies?
JOIN MY MAILING LIST! I’ll send you exclusive opportunities to download free books or exclusive offers for my books and books from other authors as well. These offers will be available to MEMBERS ONLY. You can, of course, opt out anytime. But I intend to make it worth your while! Subscribe here!!!
Meanwhile I’ve just finished a brand new presentation for my book: ANASTASIA on a new medium called Slideshare.