Love at first sight: are you in love or infatuated?
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to gauge your soulmate connection with someone.
If you’ve ever felt the instant connection of love at first sight, you’ll know it’s real.
Relationship opinion-makers often encourage people to build love relationships out of friendships in a slow, controlled way, and they encourage people to avoid believing in “love at first sight,” which they consider simple infatuation and therefore not love. These thinkers frown on the idea of love at first sight because they believe it is impossible to fall madly in love with someone without knowing them.
While this may be true for people lacking in emotional maturity—those, for example, whose souls haven’t matured from previous lives—I have come across several couples who fell madly in love at first sight and who have remained together for decades. This does not mean these couples don’t have relationship challenges; it simply means they didn’t need to know their future partner for very long to experience romantic love that resulted in a lifelong bond. Those who have experienced love at first sight will know that infatuation pales by comparison.
I have a little example I like to share that points out the clear difference between infatuation and love at first sight. Let me introduce you to George.
George the Deeply Infatuated
George is well known at the office for being a dedicated carnivore who loves steak and calls vegetables “rabbit food.” When a cute new guy, David, starts work at the same office, George falls for him. He can’t stop thinking about tall, handsome David, and finds himself making excuses to go to his desk to ask him questions or invite him out for drinks after work.
When they go out to lunch one day, David suggests a vegan restaurant. That evening, George vows to give up meat and live as a vegan (subsisting on “rabbit food”) to be more aligned with David. At one point, David mentions something in passing about animal rights; George joins PETA. It makes sense—he’s in love, right?
But his commitment to transforming his life doesn’t last long. Within two weeks, he’s sneaking hamburgers every chance he gets, and backing out on a commitment he’d made to participate in an animal rights demonstration. George is not in love; he’s infatuated, and the infatuation is burning out. He hasn’t made deep changes in his life because he wants to be a better person for his beloved; he’s made superficial changes that he hopes will catch David’s eye so he’ll want to sleep with him. In this distinction lies the essential difference.
David the Lover-at-First-Sighter
David, meanwhile, has his eye on Peter. His attraction to Peter surprises David; Peter is not vegan, and David never thought he could fall for someone who eats meat. But Peter and David have talked about it, and Peter has as clear a moral reason why he believes eating meat is acceptable as David has why he believes it’s wrong. In fact, Peter takes a strong ethical position on almost every aspect of his life, yet he doesn’t judge those who don’t share his opinions.
David has been almost magnetically drawn to Peter from the moment he laid eyes on him, and the more they get to know each other, the more strongly he feels that this relationship is meant to be. This feeling makes him want to look more closely at his own opinions and beliefs. It’s not that he thinks he and Peter need to be aligned in everything they believe—he’s not going to give up veganism, and neither does he expect Peter to give up eating meat—but that Peter makes him want to be a better person all around, including relaxing his judgmental attitudes about diet and lifestyle. In contrast to George’s infatuation with David, David is not just changing himself to better his odds of sleeping with Peter—that would just be a happy side benefit of the spiritual work David suddenly finds himself undertaking.
What David went through was far from infatuation—it was love at first sight. Falling in love is a special state of consciousness in which our subjective world is changed instantly and profoundly. This special state is triggered by a defining moment—the moment we experience a romantic spark—when we become aware of a shift in our consciousness. This spark draws us helplessly toward the potential love interest and causes us to long for sexual union with them. This feeling may or may not evolve into a relationship, as it is merely a seed that requires other conditions to grow and bloom.
There are different reactions when this spark is ignited. You may have feelings of familiarity, safety or comfort around the person, even a sense of déjà vu. The experience may be as dramatic as a trembling earthquake that turns life upside down or as gentle as the peaceful singing of a church choir that feels like bliss. Why wouldn’t anyone want to believe in that?
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