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Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?

They say that first impressions are everything…and Carol Graham agrees! Read more from Carol on her blog, Battered Hope

I saw him on the other side of the rink and wondered how to approach him.   He had been the guest speaker at my church that Sunday; I was smitten.  

It was announced there would be a roller skating party for the youth on Saturday night and I attended in hopes he would be there.  He seemed quiet and reserved.  I was all over-the-place bubbly, but I was drawn to him.

Eventually I got up the nerve to skate a little closer to him and say, “Hi, I’m Carol.”  He smiled, nodded and sped off.

Did I say too much?  Did I scare him off?  What was it about this guy I found so appealing? He was in his twenties and balding but extremely good looking with the biggest, softest brown eyes.

@BatteredHope marriage proposal on first date

After skating, everyone met at a home where we had chili and hot chocolate.  We played group games and I tried not to stare. He didn’t notice me – AT ALL.  I wanted to flirt but couldn’t find the opportunity.

A job opportunity brought him from Canada to Minneapolis and he had already made friends with the guy I was currently dating. “THAT’S IT!” I thought — let’s double date.

It was 1970 and young, “sophisticated” women were just starting to openly flirt.  I probably made a fool of myself but didn’t care.  Years later, I found out that Paul was turned off by everything about me when we first met.

Soon enough, I knew it was a lost cause

We double-dated often and I saw him at various church functions but began to realize it was useless.  He was far too reserved for me.  But, darn it all, there was that inner strength and confidence that I loved about him.  He had a dry sense of humor which made his eyes smile, causing me to get weak in the knees.

I enjoyed his company but assumed he was not interested in me so why should I dwell on it.

Months went by and on a warm Tuesday afternoon in late summer, when I pulled into my driveway I noticed his car parked about a block away.  “That’s odd, why is Paul in this neighborhood?” I wondered.  He drove a green 1967 Jaguar XKE convertible so it stood out in any neighborhood.

@BatteredHope Love at first sight - can it last?

No one locked their doors back then.  In fact, I think that most people didn’t even know where their house keys were kept.  I went around the back of the house to bring my groceries into the kitchen and there Paul sat.  On my sofa.  In my living room. Looking sheepish.

Hundreds of thoughts raced through my head and they were mostly negative.  I imagined I had offended him in some way and he was there to tell me off.  What came out of his mouth had me staring at him with my mouth open, unable to speak and looking like an idiot.

“I have been watching you for a long time and have grown to like you very much.  I was wondering if we could go to dinner sometime.”

There I sat, staring and looking stupid.  “Uh huh.”  I answered, nodding in disbelief.

We spent the evening chatting and getting to know each other on a different level and there was no doubt.  This was the guy. He reminded me so much of my father; strong, confident, responsible, kind, and understanding.

He called the next day to tell me he couldn’t wait for dinner and was wondering if I would have lunch with him – at CHARLIE’S.  This was the most expensive restaurant in downtown Minneapolis and I had always dreamed of eating there.

@BatteredHope Charlie's Care Exceptionale

Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale Minneapolis 1960

After 49 years, it closed July 21, 1982

It was the city’s most talked-about dining establishment.

We met at noon.  When the waiter asked us for our order we told him we needed more time.  After coming back three times to take our order we told him we weren’t hungry.  The reason?  Paul had just asked me to MARRY HIM and we still had not had our first date. What did I say?  On November 24, 1972 we married in Las Vegas and the rest………well, you know.

What about you — do you believe love at first sight can last forever?

Carol Graham

Carol Graham is the author of a fast-paced award-winning memoir, Battered Hope, the blog Never Ever Give Up Hope, and a regular contributor to numerous blog sites. She has a monthly column in Book Fun Magazine and has been published in several anthologies including a best-seller. In 2015, Carol received the Woman of Impact Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Author of the Year for her memoir, Battered Hope. Carol hosts a bi-weekly talk show Never Ever Give Up Hope in which she interviews people with remarkable stories of how they conquered overwhelming obstacles and achieved success. Never Ever Give Up Hope has an international audience in over 70 countries. In addition to motivational speaking, hosting a talk show and writing, Carol is a business owner, a wife, mother, grandmother and together with her husband have rescued over 30 dogs.

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Sunday 27th of September 2015

I used to scoff at the idea of "love at first sight", until it happened to me for the very first time in my my 50s yet! It was so out of the blue it wasn't even funny. Met at church. First time I saw him, and our eyes met, it was just as though the world had stopped turning! It was like being 16 all over again, except I never experienced this when I was a teen. He was so sweet and attentive to me that day. We live several states apart so we keep in touch via phone, email and mostly texting. I felt like we had a real connection, and I told him so. He said he felt the same way. A few months back we met up and spent a nice (platonic) weekend together. I must admit I was disappointed that romance didn't ensue. I really wish I could say all this lead to 'happily ever after' but it didn't. Instead, we've decided to be 'just friends. I was quite disappointed but I've decided I'd rather have him as a friend in my life than not have him in my life at all. I'm not dating anyone, and I truly have no interest. AFAIK he isn't dating anyone else either. It's not a perfect situation, but it is what it is. People may think I'm crazy, but I know I fell in love and lost my heart to that man, and as long as I feel that way, no other guy stands a chance. Bottom line: I will never forget that first meeting...and the way I felt inside. So yes, I do now believe in love at first sight, but it isn't always like in the movies...ymmv.

Carol Graham

Monday 28th of September 2015

Sounds like you handled it perfectly even though you would have enjoyed a different type of relationship. HOWEVER, this is the beginning - not the ending. Time may prove he feels the same way but a bit shy?? Keep me posted Maria


Tuesday 4th of August 2015

I do believe in love at first sight; I was a single mother for 13 years and when I met my husband, I knew he was the one I was looking for all along. I had been through a lot but never known anything like him. My husband and I are expecting our second (my 4th) child in October and he is still the love of my life. It's not common but it's possible, even after you thought your chance was gone! !

Carol Graham

Tuesday 4th of August 2015

What a beautiful romantic story Steph. Thank you so much for sharing.

Rena McDianiel

Sunday 2nd of August 2015

his has always been one of my favorite stories!

Carol Graham

Sunday 2nd of August 2015

Thank you Rena - you are a true romantic!

Vishal Bheeroo

Saturday 1st of August 2015

I'd believe in infatuation now the wiser me though there was a time I believe in love at first sight. It was the picture of a younger me, romantically and ideally drawn to the countless strangers. It's a lovely story, penned and the narration beautifully executed.

Carol Graham

Saturday 1st of August 2015

Vishal, thank you so much. We do think differently when we are older, I agree. If that happened to me today, I would have been skeptical. But I was young :)

Carol Graham

Saturday 1st of August 2015

That certainly is another way of putting it and I agree -- sometimes, you just KNOW! Laurel

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