There are some people in this world who are responsible with their hearts.
Upon meeting someone who piques their interest, they remain guarded and take it slow, reveling in the process of courtship and making sure they don't fall too quickly.
They're cautious and patient. They detect signs of trouble if they arise and are capable of walking away from the situation if they need to.
And then, there are some people whose feelings hit them like a freight train, and before they have a second to process what happened, they're trying to wonder how the hell someone could possibly become embedded in their daily thoughts so goddamn quickly.
For those of you with love-at-first-sight syndrome – a definitely psychologically-backed condition that affects a large percentage of the world's hopeless romantics on a daily basis – this is a common occurrence.
One minute, you're minding your own business with your friends at the bar, and the next, some attractive guy in a button-down is talking to you and asking for your number, and you realize how smitten you've become when a week goes by, and he doesn't text you. It kind of crushes your world.
You don't fall for everyone you meet, but when you do find someone you're interested in, you feel yourself spiraling into obsessive thoughts without even knowing that much about the person yet.
And you've tried stopping this tornado of feelings in its track, but that only made it spin faster.
This cycle of meet-fall-meet-fall is one you, as someone plagued with love-at-first-sight syndrome, are too familiar with.
Here's how you know you're afflicted.
1. You're a hopeless romantic.
Love-at-first-sight syndrome is fundamentally based off frequent intense emotions and fantasizing about romance, so this is the most important sign.
If you're not a hopeless romantic, you can't possibly be afflicted.
2. Your crushes are either all or nothing.
When it comes to your feelings for someone, there is no middle ground.
You either feel nothing toward someone, or you feel way too much. Casually crushing on someone is an unfamiliar concept to you.
3. You normally don't crush on more than one person at a time.
All those strong feelings for multiple people all the time would be way too exhausting. The emotional side of your brain would be on overload.
4. You don't have a "type."
Those with love-at-first-sight syndrome don't really adhere to a type, so anybody can spark their interest at any time.
This means you're open-minded, which is good, but it also means you're never safe from a potential fall.
5. You hate the casual dating process.
The casual dating process makes you nervous because your feelings are never casual.
You don't like only being able to see the object of your affection once a week for a few hours on a Friday night dinner date, and you hate these modern day texting games that don't let you talk to him or her whenever you want.
If you like someone, you like that person a lot and having to pretend to be so blasé about it all the time gives you anxiety.
6. You've never really developed feelings for a friend.
The nature of love-at-first-sight syndrome is you know right away whether or not you're interested in someone because your feelings smack you right in the face.
So, if you've already friend-zoned someone, it takes a lot for you to actually remove him or her from the friend zone and see that person in a romantic light.
7. You tend to obsess over things, even those not related to romance.
Obsessive thinking is a staple of someone afflicted with love-at-first-sight syndrome.
Because you ruminate about things easily, you're susceptible to obsessively thinking about your crush without even trying to.
Somehow, your crush always enters your other thought processes and gets stuck there for a long, long time.
8. You're a future-oriented thinker.
Future-oriented thinkers like you are capable of staying in the present, but your mind is always lingering toward what's next.
This means you easily find yourself fantasizing about a future with your crush, which intensifies your feelings for him or her.
9. Your biggest flaw is you've fallen for the idea of a person more than the actual person.
This happens to a lot of people, but it happens even more frequently to you.
Since your fall-hard, fall-fast feelings come without warning and often, with little to no real knowledge of the person, you can get caught up in your perception of your crush and elevate him or her on a pedestal that he or she may not deserve.
In other words, you can ignore reality sometimes — and that's dangerous.
10. You are always disappointed and/or surprised if things don't work out.
Because you fell so hard for your crush so quickly, you've unconsciously convinced yourself he or she is “The One,” so you become upset and shocked if things don't unfold the way you planned.
11. No matter what happens, you've never been cynical about love.
You know your next intense crush is probably right around the corner, so setbacks don't make you jaded. Your heart is always open.
Most importantly, you know you're capable of having powerful feelings for another person, which, while it drains your energy sometimes, is an incredible gift.