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Is there such a thing as love at first sight?

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You always hear people saying, "My history teacher said that when he first saw his wife across the street, he knew it was love. He walked through the traffic, immediately asked her out to lunch, and proposed to her right there." Stories like this usually make girls teary eyed, like when they see an emotionally moving TV commercial.

But is there such a thing as love at first sight? I guess to answer that you have to define what love is. Many people think of love as an incredible, intoxicating emotion. If that's love, then lots of people experience "love" at first sight. But if love is a decision to do what is best for the other, then most people don't even think of it when they first meet a person.

Usually, "love at first sight" is when two people are immediately infatuated, and the relationship ends up working out. But the reason it worked out is not because of that intense first impression, but because they chose to love each other, even when the infatuation faded. The foundation for that love is not the mysterious feeling they had when they first saw each other. The foundation of that love is the day-to-day sacrifices and acts of kindness they do for one another.

Occasionally, you have the immediate infatuation that ends up becoming a 75 year marriage. More often, there is immediate infatuation, and a couple jumps into a relationship for whatever reasons, and it putters out when the feelings fade. More often than that is when people have an immediate attraction, but they never get to meet.

When it comes to relationships, usually you have two people who meet, and their first thought is not marriage. Over time, they grow to know each other, and love blossoms though commitment. So, what really matters is not that we long for a fairy tale "love at first sight" romance, but that we remain open to what God has in mind for us. He is the author of romance, and his will for us is perfect. The closer we cleave to him, the more our hands will be open to receive the gifts he wishes to give us.

With all that having been said, I do admit that during my very first conversation when I met my wife Crystalina, I though to myself, "Should I tell her now, or later, that I am going to marry her?" I didn't tell her this until a year later, and she shared with me that the same thought passed through her head at the same conversation. I think one reason for this is that we were both taking a clear break from relationships in our lives to pursue the will of God, free from distractions. I had been away from the dating scene for about a year, and she had been free from it for three years. Without question, this season of singleness and prayerfulness gave us more clarity. But, what makes our relationship last is our decision to love through patience and forgiveness.