I think about what people mean when they say “It was love at first sight.” Clearly it means when they first saw their significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend, lover, etc., that he/she was in love INSTANTLY. It’s a laughable concept, but valid to those who’ve experienced it. In the days before I met Ryan, in middle school, and certainly in the time when I had no desire to get married, I saw a boy who I thought was super cute. I stared at him as I walked from third to fourth period. I had never heard him talk, I didn’t know if he was AP classes or in remedial classes, and I didn’t know if he beat his dog. All of which were fairly important to me. After a few days, I decided to make a move in the best way a middle schooler could – I made a slam book. If you don’t know what this is, it’s an interview book of sorts and it was a big deal when I was growing up. Basically it’s a binder with loose leaf paper in it and each page has a question on it: name, favorite color, favorite movie, favorite actress/actor, and “If you were stuck at the top of a Ferris Wheel, who would you want to be with?” My slam book included a page entitled “Phone Number,” because I’m slick. I had all my friends fill it out just for show, then one of them gave it to my crush for him to do the same. All that just to get him to write his phone number. And he did. To make a long story short, I, the stalker, became the stalkee, and it was the most grueling 58 days of my life. Because this was during the summer, I was saved from the future embarrassment of seeing him around school and people knowing that we “went out.” This validated the belief that love at first sight is bull crap.
So why do we look at someone and think, “I love him”? Our instincts are not very cerebral. In fact, they’re just the opposite. I believe that our love at first sight is very instinctual and has not evolved a past simple evolutionary survival mechanism: to find someone to have our children.
This is why women look at a man and instantly notice his muscular body. Why? Because he can protect you and your children from predators. It seems that we’ve come in full circle with our priorities and needs. In the caveman days, or at least what we see in museums and TV shows/movies, we see the hairy cave man, his bigger, bulkier body next to a clearly smaller, cave woman (presumably his wife). He is raising up his club to the sabertooth tiger while his woman cowers behind him. Is this how it really was millions of years ago? Who knows. But probably yes. To be honest, this is probably one of the widely-recognized moments where we’re exposed to what a man is supposed to do in life: protect his woman. We carry this with us and believe that men should be protective, chivalrous, and willing to die for her.