Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Love At First Sight

Love at first sight: not just for women?

A recent survey, which interviewed 5,200 people ages 21 to over 65 who were neither married, engaged or in a committed relationship, concluded that men were more likely than women to fall in love at first sight. Is it any wonder? Even if these relationships ultimately fail, there is a heroic, romantic sense attached to them, of dating and mating boldly and recklessly.  It's a badge of manly honor in today's society.

Our media of music, television, movies and the internet reinforce that this is the way to live life to its fullest. Thus we long to read about mirage relationships, watch them on the silver screen or rent them from Netflix, and hum along to their ballads of foolish love. Given the chance, we act them out as our real life romantic fantasy.

As a cover story in Marie Claire magazine trumpeted in a series on "Love at First Sight", each woman who engaged in an impulsive relationship initially believed it would work out for them even if it went against their common sense. Each couple that engages in love at first sight believes that their passionate feelings for one another will overcome the steep odds against a whimsical union actually providing a lifetime of personal fulfillment for each partner.

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The question remains: why do men believe in love at first sight even more than Harlequin romance-reading women? The reason is that love at first sight provides immediate emotional and physical intimacy to men. In a society that lives for the moment, the notion of instant romance is embraced by many men. Why take time to actually get to know someone first before you hand them your heart?

Unfortunately, the romantic fantasy of love at first sight has real life future consequences. When a man buries his true self to gain an instant love, there is a tremendous cost to him personally. A deep-seated resentment smolders within his heart at this sacrifice of self for companionship.  As a result, a steady corrosion of the couple's burning hot romance occurs over time. Any children born of this union likewise suffer terrible long-term consequences of growing up with a resentful father. But such talk is dismissed out of hand  by the fool in love.






J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


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