us like one person over another? Is there really 'love at
first sight', and what happens when we feel an instant attraction
for someone across a room? Is it all physical and sexual energy?
The short answer to these
questions is that while we may fall for someone's eyes, or voice,
or legs, that is only the hook to get us in. We are being
sold the package but that may have no relationship to the goods
My theory, and it's not
just my own, is that instant attraction is usually misleading. I
tell my students that, when they feel this particular pull, they
should run the other way because it's almost certainly going to
be someone who will hurt them. I do not believe in love at
first sight it's more likely to be need at first sight.
However, to appease all you romantics reading this, I'm sure there
are couples around (one or two worldwide!) who thought 'this is
the one' when they first saw each other, and who went on to develop
For my money, that initial
feeling is more romance or lust, rather than love, which has to
be forged and developed over time, but let's face it, there is still
no definitive notion about what love is. What I'm sure it's
not is that 'wow' impulse that makes us want to take someone straight
to bed, or jump off the nearest bridge just to see them smile.
Unfortunately, many of
us are attracted to people because they awaken in us a deep, sometimes
submerged, need to connect with a past pain or association. Very
often, they represent one of our parents typically the one
with whom we had problems and unresolved issues. How can we resolve
these problems unless we meet similar people who will play the same
games with us, press the old buttons and relive for us the hurt,
frustration and needs of the memories that still echo in our hearts?
The best example I can
give you is of the case of the child who, when she was growing up,
saw her father constantly beat her mother. She is quite likely
to grow up and marry a wife-beater so that she can change the pattern
somehow. Maybe this time, the husband/father will love instead
of hate, nurture instead of violate. Many women spend years
in marital hell before they succeed in emancipating themselves from
this emotional bond. Only we can liberate ourselves from the
pain of our childhood and it can take a whole lifetime. Once
we do, we no longer tolerate abuse and we are truly free to love
in a way that doesn't hurt, disappoint or betray.
So, my warning is to
be very wary of 'falling in love' too soon and, more importantly,
trusting too soon. It's not called 'falling' for nothing.
Certain hormones are released in the early stages of love and they
can cloud our judgement, especially when sex enters the picture.
We all know how logical below-navel thinking is!