By JENNIFER HALLGREN
Think of the greatest love story of all time. I’m not trying to be David Blaine, but I bet I can guess what you thought of. It’s the story of two star-crossed lovers who experience love at first sight and despite being from two different worlds they fall in love. Their love lasted but one day and expired as the lover’s closed their eyes side by side. You probably think I’m talking about Romeo and Juliet but that was just puppy love and teenagers trying to be rebellious. Did you think I was talking about that pop-sickle Jack and his selfish door hogging love Rose? I was actually just repeating a formula that draws in audiences for generations. Just add young attractive people whom passionately and intensely fall in love upon the first sight of their ‘lover’ and throw in self-sacrifice despite opposition from the world and you have a ‘love’ story.
I took to the sidewalks of Cumberland County College to harass students about their ideas on love. My lead question was, “Are you romantically in love with anyone?” Based upon their answer, I handed them a 6-question survey (first to compare a bunch of data but now I realize I’m too lazy for that and was just being nosey). I asked both groups, “Do you believe in love at first sight?” Was the formula for a sappy romance still alive and well in the minds of these 34 randomly chosen students? My first assumption was that love makes you blind but also makes you stab yourself and take poison and have an affair with the King’s wife inevitably breaking up the Knights of the Round Table. I’m talking to you Lancelot. How could you make Lady Guinevere look like Yoko Ono?
Of the students surveyed, 16 were not currently in love and it was split evenly between males and females. So was the data. Each gender had two for no, three for yes, and three for not sure when it came to believing in love at first sight. As for the students currently in love, seven were male and five said no to love at first sight. Eight of the 14 females in love answered yes. Men are known to be innately visual when it comes to picking a partner so I played devil’s advocate and asked both groups to describe their perfect partner both physical and personality.
My non-loving group had no problems going into detail of their perfect partner. Some memorable answers were: “c-cups”, “clean sneakers”, and “daddy issues”. Between both groups, I listed all the adjectives each individual used and then tallied up how many other students used the same description. For the males who were not currently in love (in sequence from most mentioned), they would like a girl with a great smile, nice eyes, and nice butt who is funny, outgoing, educated, independent, and likes to cook. For some reason (possibly fear or respect), the males who were in love were very short when it came to physical wants in a partner and more about the personality. From what I could gather, they would like a girl with nice eyes, a nice butt, who is fit and funny, smart, kind, and supportive.
The female students who weren’t currently in love desired a guy who is tall, well-dressed, and muscular who is also funny, caring, and educated. Two students even mentioned wanting a guy who, “plays videogames.” The most interesting answers came from the females who were in love. Across the board, they basically described the perfect husband or father wanting a guy who was tall, had a nice smile, nice eyes, fit AND/OR thicker guy with a stomach (these two were tied), and well-dressed who is funny, a family guy, outgoing, caring, loving, smart, and honest.
So, if the perfect partner was standing across the campus at Cumberland County College, does that make for a love at first sight scenario? As for Romeo, his idea of perfection was Rosaline until he saw Juliet, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a big booty or happen to be short. Overall, the lore of “love at first sight” exists in the hearts and minds of current students. Remember, love is beautiful when you are in its favor. Love is sour when you aren’t its flavor.