“I saw him across a crowded room and it was love at first sight.”
“We had our first date and just clicked. Instant chemistry, I just knew she was The One.”
Bla bla. We hear this a lot from loved up couples don’t we, and whereas it might make some of us feel a little bit sick, it leaves most of us sighing, wishing, hoping and waiting for it to be just like this when we meet the love of our lives – because this is how it should be, shouldn’t it?
Well…says who? Sometimes when we meet someone for that first date, it won’t all be heart palpitations, jelly-legs and test-tube-busting chemistry. Sometimes people grow on you, over time…like er, algae but nice algae.
Singleton Nicola Hughes wrote an article for Grazia this week which challenged her own self-confessed obsession with finding that ‘instant connection’ with a first date. Interestingly, she pointed out that there wasn’t an instant connection when she first met her now best friends, so why should it be any different when looking for a partner? Valid point but we’re searching for the love of our lives not a mate so shouldn’t there me an instant..something? Why though?
We blame a heavy diet of Disney in our youth, frankly. The pretty fireworks, the waiting for your Prince, the romantic movies where their spot each other across a crowded room and suddenly the world stands still, everyone around them seems to be moving in slow motion…white doves appear, harps, who’s playing those harps…you see our point?
The fact is this rarely happens in real life and we shouldn’t expect it too. Yes, agreed the sight of them shouldn’t make you feel physically sick but maybe we should give first dates more of a chance. Get to know them, focus on the good points if they didn’t fulfill your usual first date criteria. If after the first date you were left feeling unsure, date them again. They made you laugh? Go back for more. Think of all those quirky little character attributes you may have missed first time round? The extra stories they didn’t get a chance to tell you, the cute dimples you missed, the inspiring qualities – these are all the important ‘decision makers’ that take time to emerge, give us the full picture of who they really are and whether they are for us.
As for Nicola, well, she lowered her expectations, stopped looking for that instant chemistry, dropped her long list of date criteria and just set out to enjoy herself knowing that “the date couldn’t go wrong because there wasn’t a right” and she’s already on a second date with a guy named Jack.
And you? You may want to scroll down that smartphone and find those old date details. Could be the smartest thing you do for your love life…
Do you agree love doesn’t always have to mean an instant connection? Tell us @lovestruck