Just like Paul McCartney, I believe that love at first sight happens all the time. However, I think it’s more likely for love to grow as people really get to know each other. I've known a number of couples who were friends—sometimes for years—before realizing they loved -- like love-loved -- each other. And I know people who didn’t even know what the other person looked like decide they were destined for a long, loving life together. Maybe we’ve met enough people that we really do know right away when someone is or isn’t for us.
But maybe it's worth taking a second look.
First dates can be awkward. Even a 45-minute coffee chat or conversation over a glass of wine can seem like an obstacle course if you’re nervous. Are you ordering too much? Not enough? Who will pay? Did you wear the right pants? Did you remember to wear pants? What if he thinks I’m boring? What if she hates my voice?
These doubts and concerns so consume our thoughts that we forget to relax and listen to what the other person is saying and to make eye contact while they’re saying it. Giving your date the courtesy of an open ear and genuine curiosity about their life will help them to relax and be more themselves. Maybe she isn’t a natural blonde and perhaps he isn’t 6’2”, but those specifics may not matter as much when you learn about her love of BBQ or his fondness for square dancing. Maybe you like brunettes just fine and it’s easier to kiss a guy just two inches taller than you.
Sometimes taking a chance on a second date with someone who you had a nice enough time with the first time is all it takes for you to see what makes them special. Maybe that spark will ignite when you don’t have first date jitters to contend with. Perhaps you'll spend a little longer together and graduate from a drink to dinner.
So much in our lives is instantaneous, but finding someone you want to be in a relationship with isn’t as fast, as simple, or as immediately gratifying as Googling the cast of Magnum PI; the search takes more time and energy—and it might require that you open up your parameters a little.
So yes, I’m listening when you tell me that you’ve never dated a guy with a beard, but I’m listening harder when you tell me you want three kids, a house in the country, and a yearly trip to Iceland. Because I believe that a shared love of those things will make you do a double take.
Hamilton Matchmaker Joanne Davis