I know, sounds ominous right? And to be honest, I am a bit hesitant and uneasy over what I’m about to share. My romance writer/reader/fan card could be revoked because of it. But in the interest of full disclosure, and being open and sharing, I’m going to divulge my deep dark secret.
Jennelle, you may want to cover your ears and avert your eyes.
Here we go.
I, Lisa Lin, do not believe in love at first sight.
Deep sigh of relief. Man, that felt good!
Y’all still with me? Ok, then. Let me explain. I have no objections to the “love at first sight trope” in romances. As in all things when it comes to writing, it all comes down to execution. If it is done well, I love it. For example, in Julia Quinn’s Everything and the Moon, Robert (the hero) and Victoria (the heroine) meet and immediately fell in love. The minute Robert saw Victoria, that was it. He fell head over heels in love in an instant. You buy that they got swept up in their feelings and young love. Similarly, in Nora’s Born In Shame, the hero Murphy was immediately captivated by Shannon and just knew she was the one for him. In fact, the first time he sees Shannon, he could barely speak, he was so struck by Cupid’s arrows. In Eloisa’s An Affair Before Christmas, Poppy and Fletch fell in love instantly in Paris, caught up in the magic of Christmas in Paris. And let’s not forget the ultimate love and first sight story-Romeo and Juliet. (Though the less said about the less than happy ending, the better!)
I just find it very problematic when applied to the real world. For me, real love, deep, abiding, enduring, true love, means two people who love each other, trust each other, know each other inside out, accept each other, flaws and all. To me, it takes time to build that kind of bond and relationship. You have to get to know someone-their morals and values, likes and dislikes and have enough in common to build a life together. How can you possibly meet someone and immediately know this is the person you’ve going to be with for the rest of your life within fifteen minutes? I believe in lust and attraction at first sight, absolutely. That is chemistry and hormones at work that draws you to certain people, But to me, love is something higher and more holy than that. It can’t just happen in the blink of it eye-it takes time and effort to grow and nurture.
That being said, I know there are people, my dear friend and blog sister Jennelle included, who swear that love at first sight exists, that it happened to them. They just knew deep down the minute they laid eyes on each other, “He’s the one.” That’s lovely. There are many celebs who swear up and down love at first sight happened to them too. But I think that’s the exception, not the rule. In the books I mentioned above, the authors take the story beyond love at first sight and have the characters’s feelings deepen into something real and sustaining as they get to know and understand each other. In fact, in An Affair Before Christmas, Eloisa shows us that Poppy and Fletcher’s love couldn’t survive just on their initial feelings for each other. Four years later, their relationship is in shambles. Fletch and Poppy both had to come to the realization that they had to start again from the beginning, and grow up and get to know each other all over again, in order for their marriage to last and thrive. In Everything and the Moon, time has elapsed since their first meeting. Circumstances have kept them apart, and Julia does a great job of having Victoria and Robert discover how much more there was to their relationship beyond their initial infatuation with each other. In Born in Shame, Murphy comes to see that there’s more to winning over Shannon than simply his love for her, and his belief that they were meant to be together.
So, it’s your turn. Tell me: Did you fall in love at first sight? Do you believe in love at first sight? Want to share any love at first sight stories to try to convert me? Do you enjoy books where the hero and heroine fall madly in love on page one, and which love at first sight books are your favorites? Let’s talk in the comments below!