Love is a weird thing, and we all know it. In fact, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, we think we’re in love with someone but when reality brings us back down to earth, we realise that it was simply an infatuation at most, so I guess love is confusing more than anything – it’s certainly not black and white, that’s for sure!
Relationships themselves always spark my interest (if you hadn’t already guessed). Why do we do the things we do, or what makes us think or act a certain way – the psychology behind it all fascinates me. Naturally, my obsession with finding out more about the way we humans are wired leads me to reading all sorts of books and forums and blogs about it. Most recently, I stumbled across an article I found particularly interesting about love.
Apparently, throughout your lifetime, you will fall in love 3 times with 3 different people, and we need to experience these 3 loves for different reasons. Sure, we all grow up with the Disney theory in the back of our minds that we’ll immediately meet our Prince and live happily ever after but as logic dictates, that’s fantasy, and this is reality. So, who (or what) are the 3 loves?
#1 The High School Love
Generally speaking, your first love is when you’re young. I’m not talking early 20s, I’m talking high school young. Young enough to know what love is but not what it truly means. This love is entirely idealistic, it’s what you imagine love to be from watching all sorts of films and reading all sorts of magazines about this thing they call ‘love’. It seems like a fairy tale, it feels right.
It’s probably (almost definitely) the first time you’ve felt something more than just ‘fancying’ someone and at this age, with very few things to worry about, this love is easy and you learn that experiencing elation with another is actually possible, even if it is short-lived.
#2 The Hard Knock Love
The second time you fall in love is a real test. You’re a bit older, a tiny bit wiser and you know a bit more about what you want out of life and out of a relationship. Your second love is about learning, it’s your “hard knock” love, meaning the (sometimes painful) education one gets from life’s negative experiences. Whilst you’re in this relationship, you will learn more about who you are, what you want, where you want to go and who you want to be.
Of course, as with any love, the beginning is beautiful but it will definitely take a different direction as the learning process begins. Don’t get me wrong, that initial attraction and attachment won’t go away as the relationship deteriorates. Your love for this person will remain dormant as you start to experience other things as well as love, although I’m sad to say more cons than pros. Perhaps uncertainty, confrontation, distrust, abuse, a lack of compromise, an absence of empathy – you get my drift. You will fall in love with this person because you believe they are perfect and the cruel irony is that in this relationship, you learn that – in fact – no one is perfect and that you should never be treated as anything less than you deserve.
#3 The Happy Ending Love
The third love – the happy ending love – is unexpected in more ways than one. The idealistic love that you’ve had pictured in your head for years has now been quashed by this person as they aren’t the person you envisaged falling for but my God, have you fallen. With this person, love is like oxygen (yeah, I said it) and it just works, it feels right.
After having realised what love might be from your first, and after having realised what love shouldn’t be from your second, your third is by far the best, as it’s the love that makes you believe in love.
I mean, just because some self-proclaimed theorist (not entirely sure who) has formed this ideology, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll all experience these loves in our lifetime, but I guarantee a few of you have read this and it’s felt like a penny has dropped, right? It certainly did for me. You’ll know yourselves that some people have had many more than 3 loves, which is fine, because love is different for everyone. Even the opposite, some people fall in love once and remain hopelessly devoted until the end. Are they the lucky ones? Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe the lucky ones are the ones who make it to their third love. After tiring of time and heartache and sadness and disappointment, they still manage to pick themselves up and dust themselves off in the hope that their love is still out there and when they find it, it’s total closure to confirm why nothing else ever worked out before. Either way, we’re all lucky to have loved, loved and lost, or to be in love. It’s a total emotional rollercoaster us humans simply weren’t programmed to deal with but we do.
Love isn’t about finding your “soulmate” or trying to match personalities, love is about finding someone (or letting someone find you) who loves in the same way that you do. Sure, there will always something special about our first love, and perhaps deep down (somewhere we should probably steer clear of) we can all find something ironically exceptional about our second, but we’ll only truly find total contentment with the third.
Love is a concept, it isn’t something that can be defined because it is unique to everyone, so if you’re deciding where you’ve found love (or if you’re yet to find it), fight for the fairy tale – it does exist.