I have a couple of friends who met and married at a break-neck speed. One friend heard her husband speak in church and immediately knew he was the man she would marry. They were engaged within a week. Another met her future husband at a dance, where after a night of dancing, they sat in the car all night talking and decided to marry by dawn. In both cases, this took place in the eighties. Nearly forty years later, they are both still married.
Of course, these stories were more common in the days of the Second World War. My dad's best friend came home on a two week leave and married a woman he'd known for but had never actually dated. They both died a few years ago after being happily married (to each other for decades.)
So, what creates the spark? Can it all be chalked up to hormones? Is it simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time?
Match’s chief scientific advisor and biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher, said in a press release. “Romantic love runs along certain electrical and chemical pathways through the brain which can be triggered instantly…“It's a basic drive, like thirst and hunger,” Fisher said. “Food and water keep you alive today; romantic love leads to bonding, mating and sending your DNA into tomorrow. In fact, poetry around the world talks about love at first sight. Even other creatures experience instant attraction to one another. But cultural factors always play a role as well.” Meaning, if you’re ready and open to fall in love, “Then, boom — it’s natural.” Read more here
If it’s so natural, why is it so rare? And why did these marriages last for decades when other relationships that went the requisite hoops of establishing a balancing act of give and take fail?
I don't know. I wish I did. I wish there was a secret sauce that could be bottled up and shook over couples like a perseverative salt so they'd never have to face the pain of divorce.
The very best answers, of course, are Biblical:
Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.
Love one another as I have loved you.
A soft answer turns away wrath.
I wanted a closer look into what I consider a phenomenon. Because, I’m sure if I were to pry, my friends who experienced this insta-love would tell me, even though they knew they’d met their match, that didn’t mean they didn’t have to learn the marital dance steps like all the rest of us.
In my romantic comedy, The Florence Affair, Zane falls immediately in love with Flora, but of course, their plans for elopement are met with parental resistance. Seven years later, they meet again. And sparks fly.
Even though only the lucky few will ever experience love at first, anyone can read about it. You can get your copy of The Florence Affair here. Free for a limited time.
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Love at first sight? Ha! In his head, Zane knew there was no such thing, but his heart sang a different tune the moment he spotted Florence Hill. Their attraction was immediate, heady, and world-changing for both of them. Their summer fling sizzled, until their meddlesome parents intervened, and their plans to elope fizzled with the arrival of fall.
Even after a seven-year separation, Flora still has the power to bring Zane to his knees. But how can he trust the woman who shattered his world? And Flora will never again give her heart to the man who had left her tied in knots.
Still, love at first sight has a way of doing a double-take. Blend in the Tuscan countryside, Italian legends and lore—as well as the promise of a happily ever after—and you have A Florence Affair.