Tonight, I scrolled through seven years of my Facebook timeline. It’s 2015, and there’s nothing like going through your old Facebook posts before you realize how much you have evolved. The one thing that struck me the most was how differently I perceived reality, and how naïve I was back when I was younger. At 16, I was a lovesick teenager who was experiencing the beginnings of her first love. Now, at 22, I have a totally different outlook on life, and I have gained insight on what the actual realities of life are. A little bit of introspection and retrospection tonight gave me the inspiration to finally pen my thoughts after a long few months of writers’ block. Here are the four types of love I’ve experienced in my lifetime, in chronological order.
1) The Puppy Love
This love was not the love I had always imagined my first to be. I guess the adults were right about this one; that puppy love would not last. Looking back, I probably wouldn’t even call it “love” today, more like expressed affection for another human being who I happened to be “in a relationship” with, or so the label described. It was the first time in my life a member of the opposite sex showed that much interest in me, which was probably why I embarked on a six-month long journey with him. When it ended, it did not hurt one single bit. It was not serious, and I did not plan for it to be a long-term relationship, because I did not see a future with him. I was terribly young and naïve, and looking back, I’m glad I made the decision to end it before it got serious (not like it stood a chance anyway).
2) The First Love
This was the most complex of them all. I was a little older than I was when I met The Puppy Love, but only by a couple of years. First Love didn’t just express a keen interest in me, but he also understood me better than I understood myself. I opened myself up to him more than I ever did with anyone else. I was having troubles at home, and he was the only person in the world I felt comfortable telling all my thoughts and feelings to. Before I knew it, I was in love. He was smart, God-fearing and most of all, he got me. However, like I said earlier, it was complex. It was the perfect imbalance; I felt for him way more than he ever felt for me. He expected me to be exclusively his, but he did not care enough to tell me he loved me. When it ended, I was devastated. Who else was I supposed to confide in? The First Heartbreak came soon after. For those of you who have never met The First Heartbreak, I say with full conviction that the pain that comes along with it is indescribable. You can love someone so much one day, but the next, you are forced to forget all about it, to bury the past, to turn him into a stranger. You don’t realize it, but The First Heartbreak ruins your self-esteem for many years to come.
3) The Rebound
The Rebound comes hot in the heels of The First Heartbreak. You never really get over the guilt, but you realize that The Rebound was you during The First Love. It’s difficult to forgive yourself for putting him through what you went through, only because you understand how much it hurts. It’s only after things stop working out with The Rebound (inevitably) that you realize that it doesn’t matter how much time has lapsed, or how many new and happy memories you’ve tried to create; The First Love will never truly be forgotten. If you’re not over someone, you’re not over them. No Rebound can change that. In my case, it was a painful three years before I met…
4) The Mature Love
The Mature Love is someone you meet just after you grow up and transition into adulthood. At that point in your life, you know what is important to you; and in my case, it was and is my studies, and eventually will be, my career. The Mature Love is someone you begin a journey with, knowing very well that if things don’t work out, it is not the end of the world, but you will try your utmost best to make things work anyway. The Mature Love is someone you love who supports all your dreams and aspirations, and doesn’t stand in the way of them. He is someone who accepts fully that you will not put him first in your life; that there are more important things to prioritize. You will also realize that all the love stories in movies and books are nothing but fantasies, and a relationship does not require consistent love-letter writing, or giving of gifts. Love is, simply put, being there for the other person and always wanting the best for him or her. Mature love, unsurprisingly, also ends up being the longest relationship you’ve ever been in.
Every relationship brings forth new memories, challenges, hardships and lessons. In the same way, every individual is different. You might be in a relationship with The Mature Love, but he might see you as The First Love. Such is the nature of human relationships. What really stands the test of time is acceptance, and ultimately, what you make of it. Forget the clichéd Nicholas Sparks books, or Richard Gere movies. You’re here to write your own love story.