Love at first sight is an awfully odd notion: how can you fall in love with someone you don’t know?

When you feel that overwhelming emotional rush in response to someone at first meeting, you may just be projecting your own ideals about romance onto a complete stranger. Doesn’t sound very clever does it?

What you’re probably feeling is lust, not love. Not that lust is a bad thing – it’s wonderful to feel desire and to be desired in return, but it can burn out quickly.

Love on the other hand is deeper and more meaningful. It’s a feeling that emerges over a longer period, building slowly as you get to know more and more about each other. It benefits from plenty of affection, time and attention. Timing is important too: both parties need to feel ready for love and commitment. Each should be able to open up about vulnerabilities and values and contribute equally to the shared vision of themselves as a couple.

Despite the fact that you know the difference between lust and love, the movie version of romance is an idea that still beguiles – who would not prefer to just ‘know’ his or her soul mate? . Lasting relationships are hard work and at some level we are all aware of this, so if you feel uneasy and wish to hurry the process along, beware – there are no short cuts and you are in danger of developing unrealistic expectations that will leave you feeling very blue.

With a little bit of thought and an open mind you can save yourself a lot of anguish – instead of expecting everyone you meet to be ‘the one’, arrange a coffee date and see how you connect, what the chemistry is between you. Even if you feel no initial ‘spark’, beware of dismissing anyone as not for you – at least until you have examined your own motives. Are you stopping yourself from moving beyond your fantasy to consider real people, are you only willing to consider those who are like you, as potential partners? No-one is perfect for anyone, which makes finding love an exacting challenge. Instead of shutting doors, try opening them.

You don’t have to do this on your own – the wise women at Sara Eden will help you become more open, so that all those relationship mistakes you’ve made in the past will become distant memories. They will make profile selections specifically tailored to you, so you don’t have to waste hours trawling through unsuitable or unavailable candidates. Because they know their members so well, you will get a real sense of what the individuals you are considering are really like – and what they are looking for. It’s time to head in the right direction.

Karen X