Love is one of the most complex feelings any human can experience. It involves trust, respect and above all, time. Scientists and researchers often go back and forth with the idea of “love at first sight,” despite the countless number of couples who claim that it’s real. But does it really exist, or is it all a fairy tale?
To understand love, we must investigate its predecessor: lust. There’s no question in my mind that lust is often confused for love – I’ve experienced it way too many times in my life. Usually it begins by meeting someone who, like magic, meets all the characteristics you look for in a boyfriend. He’s the right height with a sexy body, killer smile and to top it off, he smells great too. Before you know it, the fantasies begin. This is the moment when “lust” turns into “puppy love.”
For most (not all) gay guys, our libido affects much of the way we think. If we’re not careful, sexual attraction can masquerade itself as a soul-to-soul connection when we feel the need to justify our feelings.
When we’re instantly attracted to someone we just met, everything about them is perfect. But instead of calling it love, is it possible that these sparks are merely lustful urges that make us jump to conclusions? Some experts seem to think so. According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, human beings have a built-in pre-rational ability to size people up in a matter of seconds.
“When you meet someone for the first time, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions,” Gladwell describes in his book, “those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.”
A long-term relationship doesn’t survive on sparks alone. Above all, it must include compatibility and shared goals. Unless you take the time to really get to know each other, your interpretation of “love” will be short-lived.
Personally, I think that lust is a major step towards love. It’s our body’s chemical message telling us that we need to get to know this person on an intimate level. Once we fall in love, it’s easy for us to confuse the original intention we had towards one another for “love,” when really, it was good old-fashioned sexual attraction.
A relationship’s flame is slow burning, and needs time to build. More often than not, we start to believe the fantasies in our head before we try to find out more about a person. When we fall head over heels in love, it’s difficult to remember a time in our lives when we weren’t. Love at first sight is very real, but the word “love” denotes a much deeper feeling than what’s actually possible in our first meeting with someone.
To fall in love with someone you just met is rare, but to say it’s impossible would be denying the very essence of what makes love great. It’s unexplainable. It’s mysterious. It never appears when you expect it to. Wars have been fought, lives have been altered, artists have been inspired – all in the name of love. To undermine its power would be foolish. And I’m no fool.