“Love is just a word, until someone comes along and gives it meaning”. It’s been said that there are only 3 people in our lives that we fall in love with, and each of them for a given reason.
The first one we usually meet in our teenager years, perhaps high school. It is an innocent love, one that sounds like the love stories we read in fairy tales.
This is the love that complies to the expectations of society, and perhaps our families. We enter into it believing that it’ll be our first and only love. Even when, at times it doesn’t seem exactly right, we find ourselves having to censure personal truths to make it work, and this we insist on doing because we believe that compromising our characters is a part of what love is supposed to be.
Because during this type of love, what others think of us is more important of how we actually feel.
This one is a love that only looks right.
The second one is the one that’s supposed to be the tough love: the one that will teach us lessons about who we are and what we’re searching for in love. This is the love that hurts, full of lies, pain and manipulations.
We think we’re making a smarter choice than our first love, but choice, although it might not be the right person, is a necessary evil if we are to discover what we want from love. This second love can become a vicious circle, one that we might oftentimes repeat because we firmly believe that the ending will be somehow different than before. And, nonetheless, every time is worse than the previous.
It can even get nasty, unhealthy and frustrating. Oftentimes there can be physical, certainly emotional abuse, and always an enormous amount of drama. Just like a soap opera, this drama is exactly what keeps us addicted to the storyline. It’s like a junkie trying to get a fix: it’s an emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and devastating lost. We stick through the pain in anticipation of the high.
During this kind of love, trying to make things work becomes more important than reconsidering whether they actually should.
This is the love that we wish was right.
The third love is the one that catches us off-guard. It’s the one we don’t see coming, because it looks all wrong and seems to be opposed to all our ideals of what love is supposed to be. This love comes by so easily, that at times it seems unreal. It’s the kind of connection that can’t be explained, and it sends us tumbling head over heels because, unlike the others, we never plan this one.
In this love when we come across the right person, it just clicks- there aren’t any expectations of what is supposed to happen or how the other person is supposed to act, nor is there pressure to be someone we’re not.
The person accepts us for who we are, and it shakes us to our core.
It’s probably not what we thought our love would look like, and it’s very possibly against all the rules we set up to protect ourselves. But it still manages to bring down our preconceived notions, and to show us that real love doesn’t have to coincide with the concept in our head in order for I to be true.
This is the love that keeps knocking on our door no matter how long it takes for us to answer.
It’s the love that makes us feel like the best version of ourselves.
Maybe not all of us are lucky enough to recognize, or even meet all his loves in a lifetime. This is perhaps because we’re not yet ready for them. Maybe we need to learn everything that love isn’t, so that we can learn what it is.
Some of us need perhaps a couple of years to learn each lesion, others maybe a lifetime. Sometimes it’s not a question of whether we’re ready for love, but whether love is ready for us.
And there are also those of us, who are so lucky to come across love Nr. 3 first, and find it passionately lasts a lifetime. Those loved-up pictures of 90-year old grandparents acting as if they were teenagers, make us wonder whether we really know how to love at all.
But, anyone who manages to find their third and true love is just as lucky, being smarter for having gone through those experiences of pain and heartbreak.
What it all really comes down to, is whether we focus ourselves on how we love, or how much we love. We can choose to remain with our firs love, the one that looks good on the outside and pleases others. We can choose to remain with our second love, under the pretence that, if we don’t have to fight for it, it’s not worth having. Or ultimately, we can choose to wait for our third and true love.
The one that makes you feel like home with no obvious reason, the one that’s not turbulent like a storm, but rather like the quiet that comes after it.
There’s something special in our first love, something inevitably necessary about our second, and something amazing about our third.