Not that I know much about love. I don't know if I ever experienced True Love. But I’m one of those unfortunate people who can fall in love at first sight.
I’m not talking here about one night stands or passionate relationships which fade away within a couple of weeks of going out. I’m talking about Love at First Sight when you meet the person, look into their eyes and have that instant feeling that you’ve known them your entire life. You have that instant deep connection, you can feel them, and you’re on the same wave no matter what. And no matter what happens after that, you still have that feeling that you’ve known them your entire life and maybe even in previous lifetimes.
People who never experienced anything like that might say I’m lucky. I’d disagree. Any love is overwhelming, emotionally. Love that slowly evolves as the relationship goes on, is hard enough. Love at first sight can be unwelcome, dramatic and overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong, I love emotional drama and have been continuously going through emotional drama – positive and negative - all my life. If there’s no drama, I create it, otherwise life is too boring for me. Those around me have to endure it, that’s why I prefer to surround myself with strong, resilient and self-confident individuals who can withstand the emotional whirlwinds I create now and then. But love at first sight is too much even for me.
I once met someone and instantly knew that it was Love at First Sight. How did I know? I looked into their eyes and I knew. As simple as that. I absolutely knew that person, it was like meeting an old friend I shared memories with, a family member I thought I’d lost long time ago, an old flame I still had feelings for… All of those things at the same time. Yet I never met that person before.
I have to say I wasn’t looking for love at that stage of my life. In fact, finding love or a partner was the last thing on my mind then. Yet, there I was staring at the person and wondering at the surprises life had been throwing at me.
I knew that person, I trusted them, I knew how they felt and what they thought. Every time the person spoke, I knew what they’d say and how they’d say it. And I was right. I felt at ease and at peace around that person, I had a strong déjà vu feeling, but at the same time there were novelty and adrenalin that always come with new passion.
When I looked into the person’s eyes, I could almost physically sense a mental and emotional bridge between us, it was like a tunnel from mind to mind and from heart to heart. Time stopped and there was only that connection which I could sense. Yes, we were both falling for each other, we were in love, if that’s the right word to describe what was happening.
But there was a problem. I could tell the person didn’t recognize me. Yes, they were definitely falling for me, I can easily tell if a man has feelings for me. Yes, it was attraction, passion or whatever you call it. And yes, the person was developing feelings and the feeling would be growing, I could already tell. But they didn’t recognize me. As far as that person was concerned, it wasn’t Love at First Sight, not for them.
You see, there’s a difference between Love at First Sight and simply love. Love, with small ‘l’ is when we develop passion and sexual desire which gradually grows into emotional and then mental connection. We fall in love and get to know the other person, gradually. We start trusting the other person, gradually. If we’re lucky, we get to the end of the journey. If not so lucky, we get disappointed and look for another love, True Love, as we call it. (By the way, what’s True Love?)
Love at First Sight is different. Sexual desire, emotional and mental connections are there instantly, literally within seconds. The feeling that you know the person is there instantly. And you trust the person instantly. How can you not trust someone you’ve known for ages?
It's not exactly love at first sight. It's more like soul recognition. - Lynette Simeone
I knew I had a major problem on my hands, a disaster waiting to happen. Love (with small ‘l’) and Love at First Sight don’t mix well. There was a mismatch, relationship imbalance, inequality, whatever you choose to call it. It was like meeting my long-time lover who suddenly lost all memory. Yes, they still felt the attraction, but they didn’t remember me and therefore didn’t have the trust, the depth, the openness and willingness that Love at First Sight implies.
To this date, I don’t know why the person didn’t recognize me. It could have been that it was a one way Love at First Sight. It could have been that the person was a slow thinker. Or perhaps their intuition slept too long inside and the person simply couldn’t tell what the feeling was.
The person started making mistakes, we all make mistakes in a relationship, and it was fine until the person made a grave mistake of showing me they didn’t trust me enough at that stage of our relationship. Not because I wasn’t to be trusted but because it was a natural flow of events for that person (unlike me, the person didn’t have the feeling that they’d known me all their life).
Then I realized that the person couldn’t feel me as well as I could feel them. They couldn’t read me. They didn’t understand me. I literally had to explain what was on my mind and how I felt. For comparison, the other person didn’t have to explain what they felt, because I knew. And I think that started freaking them out, too.
I guess the last straw was when I sensed the person’s fear that things were developing too quickly, it was too unusual for them, too deep a connection growing too quickly. And I was young, impatient and reluctant to wait and put up with the silliness of the situation.
I made a decision to destroy my Love. I cut it, picked it apart and then shredded to pieces. I created whirlwinds of hate within myself and buried the pieces of my Love in resentment and anger. Then I burned down the remaining pieces. Unlike the birth of Love at First Sight, which took seconds and was effortless, burning it down was hard work and took some months. I was devastated and full of cold hate directed at the other person, of course. They didn’t live up to my expectations and let me down. I left the relationship without explaining much. But before I left I made a conscious effort to shatter the other person’s self-confidence as much as I could. The other person was devastated, too. It was a game they felt they could never win. I don’t think they even fully realized what happened.
The sad thing was that I knew the person would eventually get there, to the desired state of Love and trust and all that stuff. But that was at the time when I never waited for other people to catch up, even less prepared to wait when my feelings were hurt.
Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. - Pema Chodron
Eventually I got over months and months of hate and resentment (and how I did that is another story). Do I have regrets? Yes, I regret that I was very unfair to the other person. I genuinely hope they recovered after their unfortunate encounter with me. But I also learnt something from this story.
Love can come unexpected and hit us like a bus, regardless of whether we believe in it or not. Those who least expect love, get hit hardest.
As good as we make it
At first sight or not, love is what we make out of it, depending on our personality and attitude. If we’re full of pride and resentment, our love is cold and sharp. It brings more pain than pleasure.
Once love gets hold of our heart and mind - it stays there and follows its own rules. We may be apart with the person we love. We may not be loved. The person may be long gone or even dead. It doesn't matter. Only disappointment and resentment can kill love.