Are butterflies just “Disney-movie” feelings or should they be an expectation I have for Mr. Right?
This was a question someone asked this week in our VIP members area, and I wanted to share some thoughts, because the idea of “instant attraction” (or even instant love) is a common societal belief.
So here’s where I stand on it…
If by butterflies you mean, some kind of animalistic feeling of chemistry, then yes. It’s very hard to stoke a flame if there isn’t a spark already.
If by butterflies you mean after a first date your heart is inflated like a balloon, your brain clicks into a feeling of absolute certainty, and you “just know” this is The One, then no.
To be fair, I have heard from people who said they “knew” their partner was The One by the first date. But remember, (a) this is often easier to say in hindsight, (b) it doesn’t mean it’s the case for everyone.
Many people have also told me how they fell for their partner over a matter of weeks, or even months (maybe even someone they knew as a friend for years). For many people it takes time and connection before they realise they have something they want to invest much deeper in. Hell, many guys can start dating their future wife without even being sure if they want a relationship right now – it’s only after a few months of dating do they realise they have someone they don’t want to let go of.
If we know that it can take longer than a first date to be certain about someone, it pays to be open-minded.
If we’re too dismissive, too quick to throw someone on the “no” pile, or never give anyone a chance because we don’t feel “Disney-movie” feelings at the very first moment, we can end up lost, looking for a unicorn that doesn’t exist.
Chemistry? yes. Crucial. Important. You need something that makes you want to be near this person, that leaves you thinking (or even fantasizing) about being more intimate.
But that’s just the first seed.
Before it can grow into a big relationship tree, you need the right soil, nutrients, solid foundations, water, sunshine – this is all the stuff that represents actual investment and compatibility, both of which are discovered by sharing meaningful time with someone, seeing how they live, what they spend their time on, and having honest conversations.
The Disney stuff is fun. But guess what? Even Disney stopped believing in their propaganda. The beginning act of Frozen is a parody of old Disney tropes, with Ana falling in love at a party with a Prince whom she instantly decides to marry, and who later turns out to be a self-serving villain.
So, yes, feelings matter in the beginning. Just don’t overrate them.
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