I saw this gorgeous girl at the coffeehouse at the mall two months ago. It was totally love at first sight. I keep hanging out there hoping to see her again. Am I nuts, or does love at first sight really exist?
It's so special when a man tells a woman he's deeply in love with her — except when her response is "Excuse me, but have we met?"
Zsok and his colleagues were looking for the three elements that psychologist Robert Sternberg theorizes interact to produce love: intimacy, commitment, and passion (made up of physical arousal, desire, excitement, and longing). They surveyed participants online and in a lab setting — asking them how they felt about people in photographs — and in three dating events, getting their reactions to people they'd just met. Of the 396 participants, love at first sight "was indicated 49 times by 32 different individuals." (That rare and wonderful lightning struck twice or maybe three times for some.) And here's a shocker: "None of the instances of (love at first sight) was reciprocal."
Not surprisingly, none of the participants who said they'd felt
As for couples who insist they had love at first sight, the researchers believe they could be retrospectively repainting their first meeting to make their relationship feel more special. The reality: "We just knew" is "we just got lucky" (stated in a way that makes frustrated single people long to commit hara-kiri with the nearest shrimp fork).
Reminding yourself that you just have the plain old hots for this girl is probably the best way for you to do what needs to be done — shift to some other activity (Masturbate! Play video games!) when the impulse strikes to stake out Coffeeland. Getting
My family enjoys your weekly column, but we're wondering why you can't give advice without launching into evolutionary explanations. We aren't always instinct-driven animals like elk or migrating salmon. —Evolutionary Overkill
Charles (Darwin) In Charge
It isn't so bad being a salmon. Salmon just wake up one day and swim like mad upstream. There's no existential fretting, "What does it all mean? What will I do with myself after grad school? Am I a bad fish if I sometimes long to put grain alcohol in the sippy cup of that brat screaming on the beach?"
Meanwhile, back in
In fact, as evolutionary
Understanding the origins of our motivation is not "evolutionary overkill" but our best shot for possibly controlling our behavior — or at least forgiving ourselves when we fail miserably. As my First Amendment lawyer friend Ken White (@Popehat) tweeted about S'mores Girl Scout Cookies: "I thought they were kind of meh at first but by the third box I ate in the garage they were growing on me."