Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Follow Your Heart

I saw a movie recently that posed the questions of does love at first sight really exist, and when love presents itself under less than perfect circumstances, what does one do?

To answer the first question, I honestly don't know if love at first sight exists. I'm not discounting it for others, but I've never experienced it. I think for some lucky people there are occasions when they see a person across a crowded room or walking down the street and catch their eye and just know that something important's about to happen. For the rest of us, love is a growth process, starting with some sort of attraction, be it friendship or a less respectable but oh so biological blatant chemical reaction called lust.

I wish I could say that I saw my boyfriend and simply knew he was The One but it's just not true. And I didn't think that the second time I met him, or the next year or even the next. I have never in my life had that instantaneous reaction and felt like I was in love. Ask me about sexual attraction and I can talk about that all day long. As for love, I used to think it was the ultimate codependent relationship. Now that I've found it, or it found me however the truth be told, I know that love is an undeniable force.

And that brings me to the next question. What do you do if love finds you but the timing just isn't right? Do you follow your heart or do you push it away? In the movie, the central figures are torn by this concept. How do you know when the love you're offered is enough for you to turn away from your old life, to step blindly into a relationship or to renew a failing one? Can you measure how much love it would take to propel you into a new relationship even if it means leaving behind another?

I've always believed in following my heart. It's certainly gotten me into some good and a lot of bad relationships, but in the end has shaped me into who I am today. Listening to my heart and loving simply as an act of faith has led me to a great relationship. And when I am old and at the end of my days, I will be able to look back at the loves in my life and know that I have no regrets. No regrets for the relationships I've had and most importantly, no regrets for ones I didn't have.

I believe that the force of love is such that to deny it would mean giving up part of yourself that you hadn't yet discovered. I think that when we love someone else, deeply and truly, we see ourselves through their eyes. Sometimes the reflection is beautiful and flattering and sometimes I think "jeez, am I really like that?". No matter what, that vision of us is definitely part of the attraction of love. Who am I but what my lover believes me to be?

So I'll ask you, what do you believe? Does love at first sight exist? And is love so important that you will change your world for it?


Juliabohemian said...

I fell in love at first sight on several occassions between the ages of 13-18 or so. But, I am not sure if that kind of love lasts. Mine, especially, since it was unrequited. The chances of it being mutual is also very slim. The kind of love that seems to last is born out of friendship, or at least some kind of familiarity.

But, I won't say it's impossible. Anything is possible. I mean, two identical twin boys grew up to BOTH play for the NFL. What are the chances of that? (my husband and I were on that topic recently)

John Doe said...

I believe in love at first sight. I believe that there are people whom we instantly connect with, even before the first words are spoken. I've learned that it is best to take the opportunity presented instead of hanging back and potentially living with regret.

TwinKim said...

Do I believe in love at first sight? I'm living proof. From the very first moment that I saw him, I knew. Now, those first two weeks, I wasn't sure it was love. I didn't know what it was! Here was a man, completely unlike anyone I'd ever been interested in before. Not. My. Type. So why did he make my heart flutter? Why did I feel like I had known him always, that he was what I had been waiting for, seeking out and hoping will all of my heart existed?

One week in, I was asking my Mom how you knew. How do you know it's love? I don't recall Mom giving me anything definite to go on beyond, "You just know" but within three weeks, I knew. I just knew.

Eight months later, we married. We're knocking on ten years married now, just passed ten years met and it still seems like yesterday. He still makes my heart flutter.

I believe in love at first sight.