You know that moment when you look an attractive person for the first time and your brain takes a couple of seconds to acknowledge just HOW beautiful they are? You’re standing there, mouth agape and eyes wide open looking like a complete fool. Cartoons overdramatize it by having eyes shooting out of their heads and hearts ripping from their chest with a distinct “BOIINNG” sound. It’s a classic movie moment... A moment that has been classified by romance novels, television shows, and every other media source as ‘Love At First Sight’. ‘Love At First Sight’ is a concept that is widely popular amongst romantics, however, one that is actually completely and utterly bullshit for one simple reason: Infatuation is not Love.
So, what is the difference between Love and Infatuation? The quick answer is Infatuation is selfish and Love is selfless.
Infatuation is falling in love with an idea of who someone is. You see your crush from across the room, ogling at their beauty. You’re too shy to really even talk to them properly so you make up fantasies in your head of what they could be like if you were with them. You spend hours stalking their social media and daydreaming of what your life together would be like. You hate any potential competition because they should be with you, and not anyone else. Infatuation is largely driven by physical appearance and lust. It’s possessive, unhealthy, and toxic.
Love, on the other hand, runs much deeper. Love is complete acceptance. Their looks don’t matter as much because you see the whole person, with all their scars, and love them anyway. Love is built on trust. Love is wanting them to be happy, even if that means not with you. Love is sacrificing your pleasure for theirs. Love is feeling their pain as equally as your own. In order to love someone, you need to know them. You can’t love someone you don’t know, which is why ‘Love At First Sight’ is bullshit.
That feeling you have when you meet someone and there’s instant attraction is a chemical reaction. It’s your brain telling you: “That person is extremely fuckable and I'd like them to help me continue my gene pool by having loads of babies with them." (Purely from an evolutionary standpoint, that is). That isn't very romantic, is it? Unfortunately, that feeling can be, and is often, one-sided. There have been plenty of times I’ve looked at a guy absolutely gobsmacked at his gorgeousness, only to learn that he’s gay or just completely uninterested in me.
Ultimately, because infatuation is the product of lust, you can be infatuated at first sight. However, as love is built on companionship, trust, and acceptance, it is absolutely impossible to declare any truthfulness in the concept of “Love At First Sight.”
Still from "Pipedream" by Falling Under