They say we only fall in love with three people during our lifetime and each time for a specific purpose. Each one comes in a different period of our lives, but they’re equally important as the other.
The Fairy Tale Love
This kind of love often strikes you when you’re young and naive. It’s a “happily ever after love”, the one that we read about in so many fairy tales, or watched in romantic movies and TV shows. It’s the type of love we all wished for and imagined would be easy to find.
It’s a starry-eyed love, one that we believe will be our one and only love. We don’t care if something doesn’t feel quite right in our hearts. We don’t care if we’re planning a future we can’t truly imagine ourselves because deep down we’re convinced this is what love is supposed to be like.
With this love, we constantly find ourselves talking about how much fun we’re having with one another. This is because we need others to view our relationship as magical and perfect. It’s a love that just looks right, on paper and to the rest of society.
The Hard Love
This is the kind of love that teaches us lessons about who we are as a person and how we often want or need to be loved, but mostly about what we don’t want in life and relationships. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of love that hurts, that brings you to your breaking point, whether through pain, lies, or manipulation. It makes you think about when it went wrong, or if it ever was right.
We believe we made different choices than with our first love, but in fact, we’re still making choices in order to learn lessons. However, we’re hooked, whether we want to be addicted or not. The second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating, hoping that somehow the outcome will be different than before. But, each time we try, it ends up worse than before.
Sometimes it’s unstable, destructive, or even narcissistic. No matter what, it’s accompanied by constant drama. And just like our favorite TV shows or books, it’s this drama that keeps us addicted to the relationship. We go through an emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows and like a drug addict trying to get a fix, we stick through the lowest of lows, hoping to get a single high.
We wish this love was right, and when it doesn’t work out, we feel defeated, but know it was for the best.
The Love We Don’t See Coming
This is the type of love we would never consider in the past. It’s different, new and unexpected. This love usually looks wrong for us and destroys any remaining ideals we held onto about what love is supposed to be. It appears so easy that it doesn’t seem real or possible.
The connection you feel simply can’t be explained and knocks you off your feet because you’ve never planned for it. Everything is just right and you fit together like a puzzle. There aren’t any expectations about how each of you should be acting, or pressures to become someone that you’re not.
With this love, you’re accepted for exactly who you are. This kind of acceptance is frightening and it shakes you completely to the core. It definitely isn’t what you envisioned your love life to be like. Yet, it manages to shatter our preconceived notions and to show us that love doesn’t have to be like what we see and read about in movies, books, shows in order to be true.
This love just feels right for you.
Perhaps, not all of us will have the chance to experience these loves in our lifetime. But, maybe, that’s because we aren’t ready to or maybe we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can understand what it is.
It might take us a whole lifetime to learn all lessons, or if we’re lucky enough it might take us just a few years to figure it out.
Then, there are also those who fall in love once and it lasts from the moment they first met, throughout their life together, to their dying breath. It’s their tales of “love at first sight” that give us hope and a certain kind of love we would like to experience for ourselves. It’s looking back on those worn and faded black and white pictures of our grandparents that leave us wondering whether we really understand love at all. We call these the “lucky ones”, and perhaps they are.
Nevertheless, those who make it to their third love, are truly the lucky ones. Those who feel like giving up after constant heartbreak and disappointments, but yet, keep trying and give love “one more shot”.
Love isn’t some fated thing you feel as soon as you meet your perfect match. Real love is a choice. This means you find someone to love on your own and you choose to stay with them even though they’re far from perfect.
We can choose to stay with our first love, the one that’s going to make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second, thinking if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having. Or, we can take a leap of faith and believe in the third love.
We can choose to believe in the love that feels like home, the one that isn’t like a storm, but like a peaceful quiet night.
Our first love might be unforgettable and our second might be heartbreakingly bittersweet… But, there’s also just something truly breath-taking about our third.
The one you’ll never see coming.
The one that shows you why it never worked out with anyone before.
The one that actually lasts.
You’ll never know when you’ll fall in love. And it’s this possibility that makes trying again always worthwhile.