Does Love At First Sight Exist?

I say yes. No, wait…HELL yes!!

I am one who believes that when you know; you know and you know pretty quickly. I’ve had this conversation before and people agree: within a few hours; you know if it’s going to work or not.

‘But it takes time to build a relationship.’ Of course. But the foundation of that relationship is when you meet someone. And the two of you happily build on this relationship. It may take work; it may not be easy. But you know from the first moment that it’s right; that it’s meant to be.

‘It’s all about physical appearance. You see someone hot and there you go.’ Not quite. Remember what I said about hot people who are dolts or mean? The girl who didn’t know REM even though she lived in Athens, GA? You’re going to know that in the first few minutes.

Nor is traditional physical attractiveness — what Hollywood and conventional wisdom-a prerequisite for love at first sight. Maybe the person you’re looking at has a crooked nose or an odd body type. Maybe they walk around wearing various jerseys of their favorite football teams, including specifically an Eastern Illinois Jimmy Garoppolo jersey. But there is something that strikes you that maybe would be an automatic turnoff for most of the free world, but totally works for you, and Vice versa. Physical attractiveness is a prerequisite, but not in the traditional sense.

‘OK, you got me there. But what about what you learn about someone down the road? Do they have a bad temper? Are they mean or possessive? You know in the beginning it’s always best face forward.’ That’s a good one and admittedly I don’t have a snappy answer for that. But I will say this: that goes for ANY relationship. There is no ‘in time’ or as I heard one desperate guy say on a really bad TV show ‘You said things would just click into place.’ Poppycock. Things DO NOT ‘click into place;’ again you know or you don’t. And when you’re in love at first sight — you deal with them then.

‘But what about real abuse? For instance beatings that break bones, send people to the hospital?’ That is a risk that happens in EVERY relationship. EVERY one! And I would submit that, very early on, you’re going to know if those tendencies are there sooner than later. I am not on the market but I would suspect if I was; my would be soul mae would know, very quickly, about my love of all that is the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots, my man crushes on Jimmy Garoppolo and David Ortiz, how my office can look like Oscar Madison’s bedroom, and would roll with them accordingly, or not. And she’d know about my lesser traits: my temper; my getting hard on myself; smashing stuff (especially when a certain team that plays its home games in the Bronx win games), sneaking $1,500 MacBooks in the house (which I don’t do anymore.) But no one is flawless. There are things I’d learn about her after the first meeting that I wouldn’t like. Maybe she would take offense on my hanging a picture of Malcolm Butler on the wall in my office or insisting on wearing Jimmy G jerseys to family outings or my loud, Rocky Balboa-esque pipes by way of New York. Maybe she’d be frustrated with what could be construed as a lack of prioritizing wisely, to be kind. But, again, you deal with it. These are, of course, things you wouldn’t know in the first few hours. But when you’re in love; you accept it.

Every relationship — every romance- has wild cards. I don’t care how long you’ve known each other. Turning to a bromance, I have a friend, Joe, who I’ve had the honor of being friends with for close to 50 years. We STILL don’t know 100 about each other. He’s never met my wife and daugher; I’ve never met his wife and kids. But when he started at Dunbar Hill School in October 1975, we became friends right away, even though down the road I was a piece of shit to him for a time, because I’m a dope. But through it all we remained close friends. And at our graduation in 1984 I gave both him AND his sister kisses. Because that’s how I roll. (The guy to my right at SB49 also got one when Malcolm Butler had his moment as well, complete with Bugs Bunny smacking noises for additional comedic effect.) Joe remains one of the best friends I’ve ever had — him, Tony, Kathy, Keisha, and another Joe (this one from Indiana) And other ones, like Lamont, Keshi, Michele, Lori (a huge fan of Sal Vulcano, the Practical Joker) All of them I liked right away and I still do. Every one. I’m leaving out a lot of good ones out but in the words of Edgerrin James; ‘If you know, you know.’

There are of course exceptions that prove the rule. In 1992 I went to Boppers (a bar in New Haven) and I saw a really pretty girl, Doreen, at a table who gave me this big smile. I went over. We spent the next three hours talking. We had a caracature made up (a bad one, which quickly found its way to the at the bottom of the landfill) We spent an hour on the phone that Sunday night; and I was at her house until midnight that Monday. ‘Smitten,’ she said. And I loved how after I kissed her she had this blissful, content smile on her face. This in turn crescendoed into that Thursday when we went to see Basic Instinct. You can connect the dots from there. But, alas, that was it. She lost interest, she moved on, and I moved on. What I thought was love at first sight was not. So your answer: it’s not universal — nothing is-but it’s a lot more common than people think.

Anyway. Maybe that’s the takeaway here. It’s hard to find. Think of it as everyone is carrying around a six digit PIN code in their hip pocket. The odds of a match are remote. But there ARE more than 1,000,000 people of legal age in the free world. The odds of you finding that exact match are not great, but they’re there. I’d even say 5 consecutive, or 5 of 6 or even six ‘boxed’ (same numbers, any combination) would be enough.

Bottom line: when you know, you know. You just do. I will not argue about this.



“It is called a medium because it is very rare that it is well done.” — Ernie Kovacs

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


“It is called a medium because it is very rare that it is well done.” — Ernie Kovacs