Love at First Sight

Love at first sight is maybe not the most realistic of tropes, but it’s a huge favorite in romance writing. We enjoy characters who instantly find their soulmates across a pyramid of oranges in a grocery store, or on the dance floor— even if one or both of them dances like an idiot. Here are some things to think about if you’re writing this trope:

The reaction. This bit is so much fun to write. What does your character do upon the sudden realization of love? Well, it’s probably not a very comfortable moment for them, honestly. It’s hard to realize they’re immensely attracted to someone they barely know. 

Physical reactions to love at first sight include blushing, losing a train of thought, stumbling over words, stumbling over one’s own feet, and/or staring. And then there’s a decision to make: flirt or flee? A confession of love to a stranger probably won’t go over so well. What happens if your character does it anyway?

The reasons. Now you’re developing the other character. What is it about them that caused love at first sight? It could be their looks, the sound of their laugh, their sweet and loving personality, or their courage. The competence kink is a great addition here: perhaps they’re a pro on the piano or can count cards, or maybe they’re a superhero or gifted fighter who saves the day. Or maybe it’s their terrible dancing! Love at first sight is also very common in soulmate stories, where people are paired up by fate. In these cases, the feeling is likely to be mutual.

The results. Even if there is love at first sight, there will have to be a longer period of the two people actually getting to know each other. Since you’re writing romance, it’s likely that lasting love does blossom, but it may not happen right away. Perhaps at first it’s definitely not mutual and you’ve got enemies to lovers. Or it might not be immediate love, but at least an instant friendship, or, more intimately, instant trust. Or it could be forbidden: the loved one is of a different social class, or engaged to be married. The fun part is you get to write all that while at least one character is desperately pining the entire time.

Love at first sight is a great way to introduce passion into a relationship from the very beginning, as well as making characters act like besotted dorks. I hope you have a wonderful time writing it!

Feel free to check out my queer romances Life of the Party and Dearly Beloved, which feature love at first sight.

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