There are fictional love affairs that have resonated through the ages. Some involved love at first sight, such as the Greek tales of Cupid firing a love arrows into the heart of someone’s intended.
In his 1598 poem Hero and Leander, Christopher Marlowe wrote: “Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
Shakespeare had Romeo fall for Juliet on first seeing her. Victor Hugo threw Marius Pontmercy and Cosette together in Les Misérables.
Modern stories include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
A cynic might say that love at first sight is mere infatuation. Or, that it’s lust at first sight. But, it’s such a common trope in fiction that there has to be something to it. I’ve certainly fancied someone at first sight, but falling in love, for me, involves more than surface impressions. I once had a social date with a woman who told me of the first time she saw her ex-husband. Seated in the upper story of a restaurant, she was waiting for him to arrive. Looking down to the entrance courtyard, she saw him appear and knew then and there that she’d love him forever. They married within weeks. Their union lasted for twenty-five years until he died of cancer.
Scientists have shown that love at first sight is possible:
I’ve just started writing a love at first sight scene for my American Civil War veteran, where he is enraptured by the sudden appearance of a beautiful woman, a freed slave on his sister’s plantation. He’s shunned love for eight years since his fiancée died, so this is going to be a hammer blow to his heart.
Do you have any favourite love at first sight scenes from literature?
Have you written any?
Even Homer Simpson fell in love at first sight with Marge.
Has it happened to you?