My thoughts on love at first sight for Student Review

Love at first sight? No thanks

Whether you believe in it or not, surely we’ll both be able to agree that “Love at first sight” is a disgusting concept.

The idea that, with just one look, one fleeting glimpse of another person, you can “know” that you are “in love” with them, is at the very least shallow and prejudiced. And yet, it’s an idea that is idealised and romanticised by millions of individuals and hundreds of films, books, and TV shows.

Now obviously the idea of love at first sight is an objective one and so I couldn’t possibly say with full certainty that it doesn’t exist, but personally I’d like to think it doesn’t.

The idea of love is a complex one, to begin with. It’s not really quantifiable, and it’s constantly portrayed as being specific to the individual – one of those things where “you just know” if you’re feeling it or not. And this very notion contributes somewhat to my sceptics: can we even really say that love is a real thing? It’s certainly not tangible, and there’s no set definition or set of symptoms (despite what some magazines may try and tell you).

Now, the same can be said of most emotions – can any of us, for example, really quantify sadness? Indeed, most of us would define it differently, and we’d list different symptoms of it, or different ways in which it could arise. But the idea of love is different. It’s been apotheosised to a ridiculous point, and, as a society, we’ve undoubtedly fallen in love with the idea of falling in love.

From a young age, we’re bombarded with the social constructions of love – that it’s supposedly significant and important. Naturally, we can’t feel love at this age, so we have others’ ideals of it thrust upon us; before we even get to experience it ourselves, we have romanticised ideas of it in our heads – it’s our be all and end all, our Holy Grail, our ultimate life goal. We’re told that if we don’t have someone to fall in love with then our life is a waste, a vast expanse of sadness and a whole load of loneliness. We’re told to pity those who don’t have someone to love.

And this has led to the ludicrous idea of love at first sight.

People are so desperate and so anxious to fall in love, that they create it within themselves. They feel so much pressure to find that one person, that “Mr or Mrs. Right”, that they fool themselves into thinking that they’ve managed to find it in just an instant – isn’t that special! Isn’t that just magnificent and romantic and heartwarming and-. No. No, it’s not. It’s disgusting and disturbing and a whole crock of sh**e. Sorry to burst that bubble, but it is.

Instead of holding up the idea of love at first sight as a beautiful and tender one, we should be rejecting it as a farcical and judgemental one. There’s simply nothing romantic about it all. I mean, you wouldn’t say that you loved a film after watching the trailer. You wouldn’t profess your love for a book after checking out its front cover. So why would you confess your love for someone after just a momentary glance?

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Author: Jack Taylor

Hey, I'm Jack, a 19 year old English student at the University of Nottingham. Writing goes from creative fiction to serious non-fiction. Hope you enjoy :)

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