Q Dear Miss Abigail:
Is it true, that if we know ourselves well enough, we’ll be able to spot our soulmates at first sight?
A Dear Searching:
Gee, I was kinda hoping this answer would be more positive. You know ~ love at first sight, everything happy-go-lucky, those wonderful movie endings with soulmates hand-in-hand, smiles galore, and so forth. Sadly, I think this one from Henry Bowman’s textbook called Marriage for Moderns is going to be a bit disappointing for you, no matter how well you know yourself. Now that I think about it, “Is He ‘The One’ for Me?” might be more uplifting material, even if it doesn’t really answer your question. Feel free to wander over there. I promise I won’t mind.
1954: Love and Infatuation
Love grows, and all growth requires time. Infatuation may come suddenly. The question of whether or not there can be love at first sight is often brought up in discussion groups. It would be unwise to say dogmatically that there could never be love at first sight, but we can be fairly sure that there seldom is. Certainly it is much rarer than young people assume. If a boy had in mind a conception of an ideal girl and then he met a girl who exactly fitted the pattern, there might be love at first sight. Even in such a case, however, one might ask, ‘How did he know at their first meeting that she would exactly fit the pattern?’ To love a person one must know him. What usually happens in ‘love at first sight” is that the couple are strongly attracted to each other, perhaps even infatuated, from the very beginning. Then this strong attraction develops into love without any break in the process. It seems as if it were love at first sight; but that does not prove that it was. Often the question is asked by someone who has experienced such strong attraction and wants confirmation of his hope that it may be love and rationalization for a premature decision to that effect.
‘Love at first sight’ may also be compulsive in nature. The individual has a strong urge to love someone and this urge becomes focused on a particular person. What should be expressed as ‘This is the individual I must love’ is expressed by the person concerned as ‘This is the individual I do love.’ Such an urge to love is not uncommon in adolescence, when new emotions, with which the young person has not yet learned to live and which are largely the result of his own physiological and psychological development rather than his experience, begin to well up within him.
Source: Bowman, Henry A. Marriage for Moderns. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1954.
~p. 36 ~