It is often said that we tend to fall in love with only three people in our lifetime, all for a specific, unique reason.
Moreover, it is believed that from each of these relationships we learn important lessons.
What could the lessons/reasons behind all three be?
The First Love: The One that Looks Right
“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…” –
Our first love often times finds us when we are young. Of course, for some that may be in their high school days and for others that may happen a bit later on in life. Therefore, it could be portrayed as the ‘idealistic love’. Being the first time, we tend to believe it is the one and only love in store for us. Although it may not feel ‘right’ sometimes or it may become difficult, we are inclined to stick with it and try our best to make it work. The reason behind this is that we assume this is what love is ‘meant’ to be.
On the other hand, the first time we fall in love may be unrequited. Nevertheless, it still is the ‘one that looks right’, making us go out of our way to make it work, just in a different sense than what is mentioned above. Whichever one happens, it is the love for us that we aspire to hold on to, ignoring the circumstances that it may very well not be the ‘one that lasts forever’, regardless of how beautiful it is or we feel it is.
Lesson: You must not know what you want/need and be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong for you.
Falling in love for the second time: The Hard Love
“You realize that tough love is also tough on the lover.” –
The second time we fall in love is definitely considered as the hardest. It is the one to teach us big life lessons about ourselves and how we want/need to be treated and consequently, loved. It is the one that hurts us to the core, I’m afraid, as there tend to be sufficient amounts of manipulation or lies even involved.
This time around, we tend to believe we are making better or different decisions in contrast to our first one. However, our choices are most often still influenced by the need to ‘hang on’ to this love we wished was the right for us. It can, inevitably, become an even vicious cycle we repeat, as we are convinced we would have a different, better result each time.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Nonetheless, after each time, it does manage to be even worse than before.
It could be, therefore, unhealthy, unpredictable, or unstable in combination with high amounts of dramatics. Emotionally and/or mentally, we become ‘dependant and hooked on’ this plotline unfolding before our eyes, as it is a mixture of severe highs and lows. While experiencing the lows we very much desperately crave the highs. This does become a drug of sorts.
Making it work becomes more essential rather than whether or not it is right for us. Hence, that is why it is the love we wished was right.
Lesson: You must not make such great compromises with yourself in order to sustain something you do not yet see is unhealthy.
Third time’s the charm?: The Love that Lasts
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein
This kind of love comes after the exhaustion of the ones mentioned above. Therefore, we do not believe it to be possible, nor do we ‘see it coming’. As we have never planned for it, or maybe not even ‘dreamed of it’, it catches us off guard.
Furthermore, there are no expectations at hand which makes for the liberating feeling of having the ability to be oneself and be accepted for it. It is definitely not how we would have imagined our love to be, however, it presents to us that fact that love does not have to ‘tick’ certain boxes in order for it to be true.
No explanations needed and no dramatization: it is welcoming, caring and unapologetically true. It’s the love that just feels right.
Lesson/Reason: Experiencing what non-judgemental, healthy, true love feels like.
In conclusion, however, everything is an individual affair. Moreover, it is an individual matter when it comes to how many times one needs to repeat e certain mistake to learn their lesson, as well as at what pace those lessons arrive in life. Possibly that is due to the circumstance that we are not all on the same page of being ‘ready’- ready to truly understand what love is not before we could comprehend what it indeed is.
It is a rather philosophical matter, really. However, wherever you may find yourself on this journey, it is for a reason.