It is said that we truly fall in love three times in our lives. Sure, we get involved romantically with more people than that, but there are generally three phases of love that each of us go through. All of it is predicated on how much we know about life and love and what we expect to get out of it.
Here are the three kinds of love that we all will have to experience in our lifetimes…
1. The Idealistic Love.
This is what most people refer to as puppy love – the kind of love that we aspire to when we are younger. We expect love to be this, to be that – we expect it to be a perfect escape from all the pain that we experience in the world. We expect nothing but romance, adventure, and excitement. The thrill of the chase, the high of the ride. Unfortunately, soon enough, hard realities will erode the idealism that is the foundation of this love and will ruin us. It’s the kind of love that looks good on paper, but never really works out in the end.
2. The Hard Love.
After we’ve experienced the beauty and the madness of idealistic love, our hearts harden. And that’s when we find a “hard” kind of love, too – a love that teaches us lessons about ourselves and about the way we view the world. It’s more mature than idealistic love, but still centered around our own feelings and our own selfish needs. We hang on to this kind of love for the wrong, self-centered reasons, even though we know deep inside us that it’s going to crash and burn no matter what. Still, we need to experience this kind of love, because it’s the kind that will completely destroy our preconceived notions of what love should be.
3. The Unexpected Love.
This is not supposed to be the final kind of love, but it’s something that all of us will encounter. Perhaps it is the most beautiful out of the three. With idealistic love, we come with prejudiced opinions about how love should be. With hard love, we continue to be guided by our selfish expectations. When all of our prejudices about love are shattered, true love will come unexpectedly. It may be a romantic engagement, or a renewed love for family, or a love for God, it doesn’t matter what it will be. But it is the best kind of love because you don’t expect anything from it – you just feel it inside you, and you are moved to action by it.