I’ve been thinking about the idea of love at first sight recently and whether or not it’s possible. The way gay men hook-up and meet potential love interests has dramatically changed over the years making it simpler to connect to have sex, but pursuing someone beyond chatting or a sexual encounter has become more challenging at the same time.
For decades it’s been drilled into my head by other gay men that love at first sight does not exist and it’s impossible to date someone you met online. Is this all true?
The answer to the first part of my question is one I have trouble explaining. I have an internal conflict, a back and forth dialogue based on personal experiences, opinions of others, and the world’s growing interest for instant gratification. I struggle lately with believing in love and romance, and the possibilities of love. Authentically, I believe in love and believe we can find love in the oddest of places, perhaps online.
On the other hand, negative thoughts and opinions flood my mind because I’ve been fed throughout my dating life and hook-up experiences that the idea of finding love today especially with the current methods in which we meet each other is impossible. Do hook-up sites allow you to meet others for longer term relationships? That hasn’t been my experience.
In the world of dating and hooking up online, if you are one who believes in love or believes you can feel a spark within minutes of meeting someone, you’re considered delusional. I’ve heard that gay men or men, in general, are not and can’t be monogamists and that there is no such thing as love at first sight. I’m deluged with others telling me you can’t fall in love with someone you’ve met online, and open relationships are the answer to maintaining a healthy relationship.
During my recent conversation on this very topic with San Francisco’s famous and popular drag queen, Pollo Del Mar, I learned we have similar points of views. However, she doesn’t necessarily believe in love at first sight. Instead, she believes in what she kindly referred to as “lust at first sight.” Oftentimes physical attraction is what our decision is based upon when making a move on someone. It’s also the primary reason we overlook the obvious, blinding us from the warning sign, “boy you in danger, run!”
Pollo Del Mar adds it’s important to remember that no matter where or how you met the person, the place can only carry the emotional baggage if you allow it too. If you meet someone on a raunchy or scandalous website and end up liking the person you hooked up with does that mean you can not ask the person on a date or does it prevent you from doing so? It boils down to your perception of the situation, the person and yourself. Plus, it’s not how or where you meet but how you conduct yourself that matters.
My dating experiences have been polar opposites from one another. I’ve felt the potential of love in a short period, and I was with that person for over 10 years. I’ve also experienced moments that I thought I was in love but soon after realized that it was all in my mind.
When people think of “love at first sight,” they associate the full painted picture of the white picket fence and living happily ever after. And in this case, that’s a delusional thought process. “Love at first sight” is essentially a feeling, an emotion that is rare and can instantly be recognized by one person, YOU! The internal alarm goes off, and it’s different from person to person. But when you feel it, you know.
Many biologists believe that love is a biological construct because all human cultures have the capacity to love, as well as some animals that appear to express it. Moreover, scientists report that all humans are genetically wired to be able to fall in love at first sight – it just doesn’t happen for some people.
Considering what other people think, a survey found that 60% of people believe in love at first sight and 41% of men or 29% of women have reported experiencing love at first sight. Some scientists say love at first sight could be possible, especially considering that it’s possible for our brain to make a decision about attraction in one-tenth of a second. When you fall in love at first sight, you might feel the urge or a gut reaction to bond with that person. This is because our brain releases oxytocin – often referred to as the “love hormone” – during human contact and affects how you bond with that person. Since everyone responds differently, the association to the brain can either be good (love) or bad (hate). (Taken from EHarmony.)
So it’s not that you’re instantly in love, it just means that you feel something, a spark, a sense of nervousness, or a level of comfort. When you break it down, the concept of love at first sight only means that the person set-off your internal alarm, signaling you to the potential and possibilities of love.
That being said, do I believe in love at first sight? I would have to say yes, but realistically speaking, I’ve learned that this only means I’m acknowledging the feeling the person is giving me and I’m excited about the possibilities that love has to offer.