Someone once said that, “Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning,” and although the saying is straight and to the point, it seems to be entirely spot-on. Another well known belief is that human beings only fall in love with three people over the course of their lifetimes, and that these three distinct loves are all necessary in order to learn how to love and how to be loved properly.
#1: First love.
Most people experience this kind of love early on in life, usually in high school. Ironically, this love is more about living up to social ideals and Hollywood movie plots than it is about truly loving another human being. However, it still seems to feel like you and your partner will probably end up getting married, having children, and eventually move into a cliché of a nice house with a cliché of a white fence. The relationship probably doesn’t quite feel right for either person, but neither person wants to articulate these kinds of thoughts, and not doing so does serve as a fine learning lesson for how it feels and what happens if these types of topics and subjects aren’t spoken of.
#2: Second love.
This kind of love is a harder kind of love, and it forces us to comprehend who we really are as individuals, who our partners really are, and where both of you want to go (and are going) in life. What’s more, it forces us to understand what kind of a person we want to love in the present and in the future, and what kind of a person we want to be loved by over the same course of time. But it’s also a hard love because it usually hurts; there are normally lies, other deceit, and even manipulation. People can get “stuck” on this kind of love with a long string of different partners who span decades, even though this type of love tends to be unhealthy, unbalanced, or even narcissistic. Instead of contemplating whether you should try to make this love persevere, you always seem to be brainstorming how to make it persist regardless.
#3: Last love.
Most people don’t see this kind of love coming, because it often occurs with someone who doesn’t seem right for you at all, and who you don’t seem right for at all either (no matter whose perspective you’re viewing things from). And yet, this is an “easy” type of love that seems to happen naturally, whether you want it to or not. It’s impossible to explain the mutual attraction and connection, but it’s unquestionably there—and tangible—nonetheless. This might be because neither of you expected to fall in love with the other, and neither of you tried to at all, so there was never any pressure or awkward courting procedures. Regardless, it’s a kind of love that can’t be denied, explained, or prepared for; it just feels right, in an extremely undeniable sort of way.
However, the easiest explanation may be that you’ve never experienced this kind of love before because you never really understood what genuine love was before. And, perhaps it isn’t something that you can perceive before experiencing it anyway. Whatever the case may be, don’t settle or stop before you find a love that surprises you, that perseveres no matter what, and that teaches you what true mutual love really is. As another “someone” once so eloquently said, “You found parts of me I didn’t know existed and in you I found a love I no longer believed was real.”