Do you believe in "instant" deeper attraction (i.e. the so called spark)?

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    Sep 07, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    I avoided using the term "love at first sight" because I'm curious to see whether people believe that something "milder" exists. Often, you'll hear people say, "I went on this date with this guy who was very nice, good looking, well-adjusted, etc, but there just wasn't a spark."

    I know that there are lots of people who will say that it is a _requirement_ for there to be an initial spark, and that even if there is good chemistry, the absence of said spark is a deal-breaker.

    I'm beginning to wonder if those of us who believe in the "spark" are setting ourselves up for failure. I equate the spark somewhat to infatuation, which we all know can be quite temporary (perhaps even analogous, but not identical to the concept of eros). Immediate genuine deep feelings after a single meeting, while possible, I think, are rare; it's just that sometimes the person we're infatuated with coincidentally turns out to be someone we develop deep feelings for, and we may not be aware of the transition between superficial infatuation to deeper emotional investment.

    Of course, "the spark" is an ambiguous term, and open for interpretation, so this thread _could_ get tricky.

    I also wonder of the people who are in LTR's, whether the fact that they're in a "good" relationship changes their belief about the spark.
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    Sep 07, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    I'm going to say that I beleive in it, because I had an experience with it but beleiving in it doesn't make it a requirement for me at all.

    I dated my ex for a year, and we broke up 2 weeks ago, and getting back together quite soon...

    It started when I first saw him across Quad in my school, I saw him, knew he was gay, and instantly knew I would like him until I left the school. I went on his myspace, checked his comments, lookd at his pictures...I had a major crush on him. Less than a year later from that intial spark I had found in him...We were madly in love and still love each other right now.

    So I beleive in it...definately.
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    How about the converse situations:

    1) Good chemistry, no "spark" but still a successful relationship with deep feelings (i.e. love) that develops

    2) A strong "spark" but no development of a further relationship aside from the initial phase.
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    I think "spark" is a requirement in a LASTING relationship. The lack of "spark" doesn't necessarily mean a relationship cant work, but you're setting yourself if you settle for less than that "spark."
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    I believe in it, but haven't exprienced the 'spark' thing yet... in fact, I start out disliking most of my crushes until I suddenly like them. Sounds kinda romantic though.

    'A good start is half the success'... so I guess the spark just gets people starting off on the right foot?
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:28 AM GMT
    My previous "great love of my life" (prior to my current boyfriend) was a guy that, when we first started dating, was MUCH more into me than I was into him. I thought he was cute and nice and fun... but it was more like "I'll date him for the sex and entertainment" than anything else.

    Gradually, though, as the months wore on and I got to know him better, I fell for him VERY hard, and for a long time after that relationship I considered him the best thing that had ever happened to me.

    So I guess my point is, sparks are nice, but they are not necessarily correlated with success of a relationship.
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    Sep 07, 2008 4:10 AM GMT


    OK, here goes..

    Love at first sight. yes, we both believe it exists, simply because we think anything is possible in the realm of relationships.

    Something milder, aka 'spark'. Yep, that too.

    As a requirement? No, because we know people that fell in love with their good friend - years after they met.

    Good relationship, bad relationship, no relationship, believing in a 'spark's significance is, we think, independent of your relationship status.

    We believe that having that 'spark' is definitely auspicious.

    -us
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    Sep 07, 2008 4:22 AM GMT
    Definite YES!

    I'll never forget being in line at the grocery store at 9 p.m. It was a dreaddfully long day and was buying nothing but crap for my supper.

    The guy in front of me was purchasing a fine assortment of very healthy food. He forgot his dicount card and turned to ask if he may borrow mine. The spark flew right there! We were chatting and I mentioned that I was so tired I wish I could just go out to eat with someone instead.

    It was such a fleeting moment and as he gathered his bags, he thanked me for the card and began to leave. I was such a chicken shit but just quickly said,"UM?" and he turned around with a smile and said ,"yes?". All I could do was say,"Have a good night."

    Never forgot that moment and kicked myself for not being more forward. Live and learn.icon_sad.gif
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    Sep 07, 2008 4:27 AM GMT
    Well, I believe in that cerain spark, where you first see the guy and feel intensely attracted to everything about the guy. I also believe there are varying degrees of said spark and that hot guy does not = spark.

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    Sep 07, 2008 4:28 AM GMT
    26mileman:

    You say "yes", but your story really says nothing about "deeper attraction."

    Trust me, I've had many moments like that, and I am more forward... and you know what? Pretty much every single one turned out to be someone I had absolutely nothing in common with. LOL

    In fact, I still remember my time at a grocery store in West Hollywood at 9 pm. We saw eachother in the aisle, kept glancing at eachother, started talking. Our eyes were roaming over eachother, each of us obviously amazed by what we were seeing. We had an incredible 30 second conversation. He gave me his business card. I still remember: his name was Christpher Ford, and he was an aspiring actor and model, and his card has some headshots on it. We both left with our hearts thumping.

    A few days later I called him. The conversation could not have been more painful. We had no connection, no common interests, his conversational style annoyed me (and to be fair, mine probably annoyed him). It was incredibly disappointing -- but not so unexpected.

    So for you, and anyone else who says he believes in a "deep connection on first sight", all I can say is this: make sure you're not basing it on brief encounters that you never had the opportunity to test. Chances are, if you had.... you would realize there was nothing "deep" about it.
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    Sep 07, 2008 5:15 AM GMT

    GregStevensTX said,

    "make sure you're not basing it on brief encounters that you never had the opportunity to test. Chances are, if you had.... you would realize there was nothing "deep" about it."

    er, here we are...

    -us
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    Sep 07, 2008 5:42 AM GMT
    In my opinion, you can't tell if there's a spark until you've talked. Liking a guy and him liking you back is a good start, and if the guy's cute it can get your hopes up, but until he's actually opened his mouth and said something you can't really tell.

    After he's talked it might happen that even though the initial conversation was good, it dwindles into a lot of awkward silences. Or it can happen that even though it started kind of weird, all of sudden he says or you say something that ignites something.

    So, no, I don't believe in love at first sight. An initial spark might lead to love, sometimes so quickly it may seem you fell in love the moment you saw him, but I believe love is something far too complex to be created in just a moment by just an image.
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    Sep 07, 2008 7:59 AM GMT
    My partner and I fell in love the day we met, and we are now in the home stretch for our tenth anniversary, so my answer is yes I'm a believer.
  • thisguy023

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    Sep 07, 2008 8:42 AM GMT

    My partner and I have been together for sixteen years now (married seven years ago) and the first time I met him I was less than impressed. And I am being kind here. We met briefly in a bar and I decided there was no 'spark'.

    After that first meeting we ran into each other a couple of times and I started to fall for him. Hard. Now I am certain that life would be meaningless to me without him.

    I agree with the original post: looking for the 'spark' just sets you up for disappointment. The spark is just superficial physical attraction (not a bad thing!), but rarely the basis for a long term relationship if that is what you are looking for. Shared values, shared beliefs and hot sex are.
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    Sep 07, 2008 10:16 AM GMT
    Yeah I have to say so I felt the "spark" once.
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    Sep 07, 2008 10:57 AM GMT
    After a couple of exchanges, I think perhaps I should have explained my curiousity a bit more:

    I think in the situation where there is a "spark" that progresses to interest and then continued interest, we tend to give the "spark" a causal status to the eventual relationship. I'm curious what people think about the "spark" being both sufficient (it's all you really need) and necessary (it must happen), because I'm wondering whether those of us who believe that it is are discounting people who might make great partners but who don't open/share as freely at first and therefore "shoot the spark in the proverbial foot".

    And I should have been more specific in definining the "spark" as being related to a first meeting, not a "spark on sight" thing.
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    Well, we go by the axiom that the spark does have a causal status but is NOT a guarantee of a successful relationship. The spark is the key that opens a door, but one still has to walk to that door, go through it and live with what's on the other side.
    There are many in the course of a lifetime that you may come across (no pun intended) that you'll have a mutual spark with when you meet, but quickly reduces to only a few once that initial delight of near psychic communication becomes complicated with the realities of each individual's personality. The danger of relying ONLY on that spark and committing to another solely based on it can result in marriages and relationships where the two have zero in common and indeed , can't stand each other but stay together for the sake of that initial spark which neither party is feeling any more. Some of our parents and some young couples today are guilty of that. heheh Co-dependency, anyone?

    We often hear that relationships require compromise and sacrifice etc etc. While that's true in varying degrees, the benefits are huge when you realize those two things make you flexible, accommodating, compassionate, and are character building. You also enjoy that guy you see in the mirror each day a lot more , dare I say even become proud of your many developing emotional strengths.

    HUGE caveat - it only works if BOTH people involved do this with each other. How utterly delightful to discover that your partner has engendered in you a love of dogs or gardens, or a desire to reach out to the elderly or a love of fitness which was absent before you met - emotional and intellectual dowries indeed! The spark carries with it a desire to be open to change, compromise etc etc.

    We have friends that were friends for years then at some point, we believe there was a spark and that friendship became something more. Some claim they felt no spark, but we often suggest that the familiarity of each other makes the ignition of 'feeling in love' or 'spark' less discernible, indeed so subtle that it goes unrecognized as such. There's this- at what moment did the two friends abruptly go from friends to loves? icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    My personal experience has shown that instant infatuation usually blinds me to potential problems down the road. If that spark is what your referring to, it's more likely to be a red flag for me than a positive attribute.

    Every relationship I've had that was committed, was one that grew over time. The longest being over 14 years.

    Now I'm old enough to realize that I ought to pay attention to those red flags. I don't need someone to make me happy. That doesn't mean that someone isn't being given an opportunity for that, but it's a matter of adding mutual happiness and not filling a void. Since infatuation is inherently temporary, it should be considered with caution particularly when you consider it's immediate power.

    The huge advantage of the relationship that develops over time is that you can learn the good and the bad about your partner and fall for them slowly without the sudden surprise of a deal breaker moment.

    The funny thing is this, when I feel that I'm infatuated with someone, I find the best thing for me to do is akin to the 'full disclosure' to slow down, if not stop the relationship altogether. Sort of the "Look, this is what you need to know about me..." They either stay or go at that point. Regardless of which it is, it's usually the right thing for me and/or him.

    That's just me though.
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:49 PM GMT


    We're not equating spark with infatuation. Heck, people can be infatuated with the completely and ridiculously impossible - a good example of this is infatuation with a straight guy. Like, mission impossible!

    We're also not referring to anyone wanting a relationship because they feel 'incomplete'. Ideally, we bring a whole self with us when we enter a relationship for the following result:

    One person plus one person equals something that is more than the sum of its parts!

    Crude example: I can take oranges and pineapple and make something delicious out the combination. They are both tasty on their own. Hope that makes sense.
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    Sep 07, 2008 3:59 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    We're not equating spark with infatuation. Heck, people can be infatuated with the completely and ridiculously impossible - a good example of this is infatuation with a straight guy. Like, mission impossible!

    We're also not referring to anyone wanting a relationship because they feel 'incomplete'. Ideally, we bring a whole self with us when we enter a relationship for the following result:

    One person plus one person equals something that is more than the sum of its parts!

    Crude example: I can take oranges and pineapple and make something delicious out the combination. They are both tasty on their own. Hope that makes sense.


    I was referring to OP lean_jock74's comments about the spark possibly being infatuation as it may be in some people.
    Additionally, I was referring to my own experiences in reference to the OP as well. Everyone has thier own view of what love at first sight means. I have my view and you have your's and neither has any more or less validity, except to the person that you or I am with.
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    Sep 07, 2008 7:49 PM GMT

    Hey bigcat57,

    We're going by the OP's first line, "I avoided using the term "love at first sight" because I'm curious to see whether people believe that something "milder" exists."

    Love at first sight is going by a visual cue alone, before either party has opened their mouths. I'm construing that as infatuation. Though, rightly, infatuation can occur with those already spoken to, though too often communication falls by the wayside with infatuation.

    Both of us agree with you: infatuation can easily blind a person. A spark, though, is a feeling of inexplicable connected-ness that successful relationships don't necessarily operate from unless it's mutual. Sparks, like infatuation (which, yes, can also be mutual) are no guarantee of a successful relationship, but a spark inspires us to open up to each other, to share our failures and successes in a meaningful way, unlike infatuation, where one can be completely struck dumb with awe, and the two parties simply get high off the presence of each other without trying to let each other know just who and what each other is.
    Mergatroids, I hope that makes sense! Last thing we want to do is misunderstand or miscommunicate on this excellent topic, not mention put down anyone else's POV.

    -Doug
  • VinBaltimore

    Posts: 239

    Sep 08, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    Oh, I don't know, that whole spark thing can be way misleading. Usually that spark I feel is a sign that the guy is total wrong for me and I should run, don't walk to the nearest exit.

    I met my partner over six years ago on a blind date. I really want to say there was a spark when he opened that door and our eyes met for the first time, but there really wasn't (and I think he'd tell you the same). He wasn't at all what I thought he'd look like (I think the guy that set us up waaay oversold both of us to the other :lolicon_smile.gif

    We dated, took some time to get to know each other and then several months into it we had what I still refer to as The Tide Turning Date. EVERYTHING was different after that and I knew I could never be without him. Perhaps there was a time delay on our spark.

    Glad I took the time to see how things developed instead of relying on my initial reaction.
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    Sep 08, 2008 2:56 AM GMT
    i believe in "spark" lol, i don't think its the most important thing in developing a relationship though
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    Sep 08, 2008 4:54 AM GMT
    How necessary is it for "a spark" to be there for your to make the decision to see someone a second/third time?
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    Sep 08, 2008 5:40 AM GMT
    Sparks are nice since they start small and have potenial to ignite something fiery. That's why they are called sparks. LOL. It takes effort and a few other things to keep a spark going and to make it bigger.

    I do believe in sparks. I believe you can meet someone and hit things off very well. How else do you explain one-night stands (minus alcohol). LOL.