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Falling in Love on the Fast Track!

Falling in love does not have to be complicated. Sometimes it is as simple as meeting someone for the first time, falling head over heals in love with them and spending a lifetime together. It can be just that simple!

Several days ago, we interviewed a successfully married couple whose marriage was not all that unusual. Like many we have interviewed in our search for Great Marriages around the world, they had been happily married for a very long time – 38 years to be exact! And they love each other to pieces! Our interview with them was pulsating and delightful.

On the surface, what made this couple unusual was the length of their courtship – three days! They met, they fell in love, and on the third day of their relationship, Bill proposed to Lucy. Shortly thereafter, they got married. This is the stuff of fairytales – or is it?!

Are Bill and Lucy all that unusual? Our experience tells us they are not. People fall in love on a first date all the time. It happens. The difference is couples usually wait longer than three days to propose marriage, but make no mistake about it, many of the thousands of successfully married couples we have interviewed on six continents of the world have reported that they knew they were in love the first time they met.

One of the interview questions on our marriage interview protocol is the following: “When did you know you were in love?” The answer for many is this – “We knew immediately!”

Here is a recent example. Just yesterday, we interviewed a woman who had been married for nearly two decades. It was not a happy marriage. It ended in divorce.

Two decades ago, she married a guy that she knew in her heart was not all he was cracked up to be. On the surface he seemed nice enough, but in the privacy of their home, he was mentally abusive. In his eyes she never did anything right. She was a failure from his perspective. He treated her as a failure for two decades.

The mental abuse continued for her entire marriage. Finally, and thankfully, she declared that she had had enough. She filed for divorce and we believe her decision was the correct one. Some marriages cannot be saved. Make no mistake about that.

When she met her new man at a social event, they both knew immediately that there was something magical about the chemistry between them. It was truly love at first sight.

These are only two of the many stories we have been told over the years of “love at first sight.” This led us to ask this question – “Are there common elements in the stories of those happily married couples who report that they fell in love almost immediately?”

People who have fallen in love at first sight report to us the following:

1. When they entered the same physical space for the first time, they felt tingling all over. They “felt love” when in the presence of this new person in their life, which they had never felt before. They asked themselves this question – “Is this what real love feels like? Love is a feeling that transcends a physical presence.

2. Falling in love at first sight is “emotional.” You smile when you think of the one you have just met. You miss them when they leave the room. These couples report that they know someone better in three days than they have ever known someone else in a lifetime.

3. Falling in love at first sight causes you to want to say, “I love you,” to the person you have just met. Having the desire to express love for another person usually takes time. Wanting to express love in the beginning of a relationship is a sure sign that you are falling in love “at first sight.”

4. When you fall in love at first sight, you are likely to have pre-occupied thoughts about the new love in your life within hours of meeting them. Being fixated on your new lover is a good sign. It is a telltale sign that you love them.

5. Those who fall in love quickly tell us that they worry about their new lover within hours of meeting them for the first time. Being preoccupied with their safety is normal. Calling them to see if they got home okay is routine. You see, an individual who falls in love at first sight senses in their heart that “this is the one.”

6. They reported that their relationship seems almost too easy. There are none of the worries, uncertainties and fears associated with their previous relationships.

7. When couples report falling in love “at first sight” they say that respect, trust and investment in the relationship is mutual. In the relationship both are as committed to making the relationship work and both do the simple things that matter in keeping the relationship strong.

The truth is, it is possible to fall in love for a lifetime within just a few days – sometimes even hours. Couples do it all the time. There is nothing at all weird or unusual about falling in love for a lifetime after only a few days of courtship. It happens all the time with some of the best marriages around the world.

Often times, in the beginning, great love just happens. Sometimes, great love is easy and it is mutual. Love does not have to be complicated. Love does not have to be challenging. Sometimes, love is just right. Sometimes, loving another human being is so very natural.

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

Authors of Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book 2009 Nautilus (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.

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