There’s a saying that everyone will fall in love with three different people, during three stages of life, and therefore experience three different loves.
I’ve heard that saying many times but never paid much attention to it.
Until I experienced those three loves for myself.
You may have fallen in love over three times. But more often than not, there will be three relationships that stand out from the rest. It will be the three that had the most impact on your life, the ones to shape who you are today.
These are the three defining loves in your lifetime.
. . .
The young, puppy, innocent love that is bursting with the intensity and passion you only see in movies. You’ll likely experience this love at a younger age. It will probably be your first “real” relationship that everyone is excited about.
You spend every minute together. Any day spent apart feels like torture, and you’re counting down the minutes until you’re back together again.
The relationship probably started as friends. You fell in love so hard and fast, your young brain didn’t know how to process it. You’re just enjoying the rush of excitement. It feels like you’re in a fairytale and you believe you’ve found your life partner.
As time goes by, things don’t seem right anymore. The intensity you once thought was romantic is now tiresome and angry. You remember the fights, but you don’t remember what it was about. You feel you’re pretending to be someone else because you don’t know what it’s like to be yourself anymore. You’ll break up over something silly only to make up the very next day.
Eventually, the fights become too much for one of you. There will be a final teary, painful breakup. It’ll feel like your heart is being ripped out of your chest. It’ll feel like the end of the world and you’ll never find love again. You promise to stay friends and you meant it then. But you’ll learn that things sometimes don’t work out that way.
You spend months listening to love songs, getting drunk, reconnecting with friends, just to get over that breakup. And eventually, you do.
. . .
The hard love; is the love that brings with it great pain in many forms, but it also brings valuable lessons.
It is the one that teaches you the most about yourself.
You probably met each other through a mutual friend or at a party. Things start slow because you needed it to. You notice red flags now and then but ignore it because they seem like a decent person and you’re ready for something decent after the first love.
This will probably be the love you move in with. It’ll feel like the most committed and passionate relationship you’ve had. You feel like an adult and things are finally perfect now.
But there’s a problem with passion; it disregards your logical mind. As the years go by, you realize moving in together wasn’t such a great idea. You feel you’re stuck with having to do everything that you might as well be living alone. The red flags you’ve noticed earlier are now bigger and waving right in front of your eyes. You realized you’ve settled and tolerated at the expense of your happiness.
You catch the betrayal and lies. You feel cheated, underappreciated, and worthless. You feel you’ve just wasted your years on someone who didn’t deserve a minute.
You’ll be the one to end this relationship because you’ve finally learned what you want, what you deserve, and what you need. This is the love that will make you take a break from loving someone else. And start loving yourself instead.
. . .
The unexpected love that creeps up on you when you aren’t looking to fall in love. At this stage in your life, you’re already comfortable in your skin and you’ve built a wall to protect your little heart.
This love will break that wall down. It is the love that will keep knocking on your door no matter how long you take to answer it.
You find yourself drawn to this person, but not in an intoxicating way. It’s more than lust. It’s more than just romance. You’re attracted to how they carry themselves, the things they say, and the life they’ve lived. You’re captivated by how they make you feel about yourself.
They see the beauty in your imperfections. There is no hiding or pretending to be someone else with them. You have no expectations of each other because you fit like a jigsaw puzzle. You care about them more than you’ve cared about your previous loves.
They compliment you in ways you never thought possible, and you compliment them the same way. This is the love that breaks all the rules and any notions about how love should feel.
This is the love that teaches you how to feel love again. This is the love that will teach you how to give love back. It’ll teach you compassion and appreciation of your life and surroundings.
It is the love you’ll spend the rest of your life with.
. . .
The first and second love will be the ones to help you grow, no matter how uncomfortable or painful it may be. It may feel like it has taken years of your life, but keep in mind that they’re preparing you for your third love.
You are in full control of your choices, and those decisions determine your destiny. You can stay with your first love because it seems like a relationship out of a romantic comedy. You can stay with your second love because you’re comfortable with the situation.
Or you can believe in the third love.
This post was previously published on Relationship Stories.
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