This fantastic article was written by Sarah Biren, a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. We encourage you to check out her website here!
Love is everywhere. It’s in the songs we listen songs to on the radio, the novels we read, and the TV shows and movies we watch, whether it’s an action-adventure film or a rom-com. Even commercials advertising products from shoes to perfume feature love stories. From ads to shows to the couple in the street who could use a private room, everyone seems to be on a mad quest to ‘find love.’
The truth is, love and connection are both critical to a person’s well-being, physically, emotionally, and socially. Without love, people tend to become depressed and unmotivated. We crave support and affection, although some of us don’t like to admit it. When we feel lonely, this can negatively impact our health and therefore our quality of life. (1) It’s no wonder love is spotlighted by society and our media. In short, we love love.
Stages of Love Throughout Life
When we are first introduced to the concept of love, our responses and expectations are different to the experience of an long-lasting relationship that develops later on in life. Love is part of the cycle of life, starting with an innocent crush on the playground, to a passionate angst, to heartbreak, to finding yourself, and then to bonding with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Our relationships can depend on how old we are, what stage of life we are in, and our previous experiences with love.
If you have ever been in love, whether you have just begun to connect to someone, or you are continuously heartbroken, or you are settled for life, or in any the stages in between, then you could be familiar with some or all three types of love. Which love are you in?
The 3 Types of Romantic Love
The First Love
This love usually comes early in life. This is the love you have read about in fiction. To you, it’s passionate and infinite. You’d give up your life to save this person. It is your everything, no matter what anyone says or does. In this mindset, you tend to dismiss your own beliefs and principles for the sake of the relationship. As it continuous and eventually ends, you mature and develop your own identity.
The Second Love
This time you fall in love, you become more aware of your needs and strengths. Throughout this romance, you may end up learning more about yourself than the person you are with. This relationship is also passionate and dramatic, yet you and your partner are both learning about true love and make many mistakes along the way.
This connection teaches you that love doesn’t mean you live happily ever after. You may experience pain and heartbreak from the partner’s dishonesty or inconsistency. You may forgive and make up again and again until you give up on the relationship entirely. This love ends in tears and heartache but you become stronger. You learn about what makes a person worthy of your trust — and your heart.
The Third Love
The third love comes when you least expect it. Although you anticipate it, it comes from nowhere, and you may never see it coming.
You now know the true factors of love and trust, and this person is unlike the ones you’ve loved before. This person knows how to make you smile, the right words to say, supports your endeavours, and treasures the things you like most about yourself. You don’t need to act or put on an extravagant romantic display to win the love; yourself is enough, flaws and all.
You might have sworn never to date such a person before you met, but now that you have, you won’t change anything about this love. This romance is not what you imagined. It might not have the drama and passion of the first two loves, but this one is real. There’s no happily ever after, because you are happy being with the person everyday. (2)
When Will the Third Love Come?
We all experience love differently at various points in our lives. We might repeat romance type one or two, falling into the same pitfalls every time before we grow and move on. We hope that the new relationship will be better without changing ourselves or our mindset as we enter it. Sometimes we meet the third love before we are ready and don’t develop the relationship until later.
Who’s the luckiest, the person who finds the right love immediately or the one who goes through all three phases? It’s hard to say, but those who do experience heartache can develop a stronger love in comparison to the past ones, and use their previous mistakes to better their relationship.
Some people stay stuck in the first or second type of love because on the surface it is appealing, and after a while, very familiar. They can get stuck in a rut of heartbreak. Yet there’s no luck in love, only choices. The way to find the right one is to grow from each experience, and learn from the mistakes to understand what you truly want out of love. It’s easy to blame the ex, but you chose that romance in the first place. You decide who the next love will be.
Sometimes we are afraid of the third love because it takes honesty, commitment, and hard work, three things never discussed in those rom-coms and chick-flicks. Yet those who found knows it is all worth it. You give yourself to the relationship, and your love gives everything back in return. This is the connection that lasts a lifetime.
- Swami, V., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., Sinniah, D. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2007) 42: 161. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-006-0140-5 Published: February 2007. Accessed: December 6, 2017.
- Elizabeth. We only fall in love with 3 people in our lifetime — each one for a specific reason. https://curiousmindmagazine.com/fall-love-3-people/ Accessed: December 6, 2017.