We Only Fall In Love With 3 People In Our Lifetime—Each One For A Specific Reason.

by Kate Rose

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” ~ Unknown

It’s been said that we really only fall in love with three people in our lifetime.

Yet, it’s also believed that we need each of these loves for a different reason.

Often our first is when we are young, in high school even. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairytales we read as children.

This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake—and probably our families. We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be.

Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel.

It’s a love that looks right.

The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation.

We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons—but we hang on. Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.

Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this story line, because it’s the emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.

With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should.

It’s the love that we wished was right.

And the third is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.

This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are.

We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core.

It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true.

This is the love that keeps knocking on our door regardless of how long it takes us to answer.

It’s the love that just feels right.

Maybe we don’t all experience these loves in this lifetime, but perhaps that’s just because we aren’t ready to. Maybe the reality is we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can grasp what it is.

Possibly we need a whole lifetime to learn each lesson, or maybe, if we’re lucky, it only takes a few years.

Perhaps it’s not about if we are ever ready for love, but if love is ready for us.

And then there may be those people who fall in love once and find it passionately lasts until their last breath. Those faded and worn pictures of our grandparents who seemed just as in love as they walked hand-in-hand at age 80 as they did in their wedding picture—the kind that leaves us wondering if we really know how to love at all.

Someone once told me they are the lucky ones, and perhaps they are.

But I kinda think that those who make it to their third love are really the lucky ones.

They are the ones who are tired of having to try and whose broken hearts lay beating in front of them wondering if there is just something inherently wrong with how they love.

But there’s not; it’s just a matter of if their partner loves in the same way they do or not.

Just because it has never worked out before doesn’t mean that it won’t work out now.

What it really comes down to is if we are limited by how we love, or instead love without limits. We can all choose to stay with our first love, the one that looks good and will make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second under the belief that if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having—or we can make the choice to believe in the third love.

The one that feels like home without any rationale; the love that isn’t like a storm—but rather the quiet peace of the night after.

And maybe there’s something special about our first love, and something heartbreakingly unique about our second…but there’s also just something pretty amazing about our third.

The one we never see coming.
The one that actually lasts.
The one that shows us why it never worked out before.

And it’s that possibility that makes trying again always worthwhile, because the truth is you never know when you’ll stumble into love.

“You found parts of me I didn’t know existed and in you I found a love I no longer believed was real.” ~ Unknown

About The Author:

Kate Rose is an artist, free thinker, lover, writer, passionate yogi, teacher, mother, rule breaker, and rebel. She can usually be found walking barefoot in the moonlight between worlds with the dreams of stars still hanging in her hair, swaying her hips to the music of life and smelling of sweet bourbon and honeysuckle. She lives for adventure and wakes each morning with the excitement of a new day waiting to unfold at her feet. She truly believes the best is yet to come and waits, with bated breath, to see what it may hold.

Source: elephantjournal


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20 COMMENTS

  1. As my daughter said to me, I could have wrote this. Fit my life perfectly. I just recently lost number three, my soul mate and love of my life. According to you… I’ve hit my limit, I’m done with love. This was sad for me to read.

    • Vivianne, this author is sharing her perceptions, not absolute truths. Please wait, dear one, to see what life may hold for you. The plan of the One who made you is not limited by human thoughts.

    • If number 3 is indeed your soulmate, why would you want to find another love/remarry? True love and marriage last an eternity my dear, from this life to the next.

  2. Number one was my very first love, who broke my heart. Number two I just divorced. Now I’m raising our child alone, and he is remarried while I am on year five with no man in my life or my bed since he left. I’m so tired and lonely, but I just don’t have the strength to get dolled up and go out to parties or bars, or nightclubs, and who would I go with? All my girlfriends are happily married and enjoying their grandkids. I have no idea how I’d even meet number three, assuming there ever will be one. And I’m so jaded that I’d probably tell him to go straight to hell if he made a move on me. I want so much to believe that this author is correct. But I’m scared that at 56, it’s just too late for me. It seems it’s easier to get hit by lightning than to find love again at my age.

    • I can truly feel just how frustrated you are…and how much you would love to have someone dependable and compassionate (among many other good qualities of course), to come home to, but you’ve lost hope…that’s where you need to start; change your mind set, open your mind, open your heart, tell yourself there is still someone for you…because there is. Sure it will be hard to find, but sometimes you don’t have to be looking for it…that can emotionally taxing. You don’t need to doll yourself up, but if you do, do it for you…be proud of yourself, and let it show…people will take notice, and could draw the attention of “the one”…if someone does approach, be kind, be outgoing, let your guard down…can it lead to hurt, sure it can, but that makes you stronger. You can’t let “bitter” win, because there are so many other ways to spend your life, but bitter shouldn’t be one of them…the life you lead and the mindset in which you believe is what will attract your mate…if you stay down and out, no one will want to join you on that rollercoaster…but if you are exuberant and joyful and happy, a man will want to spend his time and dedicate himself to you…I’m 34 years old, and I’ve experienced the first two this author speaks of, and while it hurt like hell to separate from them both, I learned invaluable lessons…and when I find the third, and I can’t wait till I do, I will give my love unconditionally, and open myself up more then ever and truly be me…because I can’t be anyone else, and just want who I am to be more than good enough…which is why I’m the meantime, I’m working on me, and becoming the best person I can be…I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but you have to find what makes you happy and get excited to wake up everyday…work on you and you’ll be amazing at the good things and people it can bring into your life…best of luck!

      • You, sir, are amazing! Some wonderful advice. That was a pleasure to read, enough to make tears well up in my eyes. I hope you do find your 3rd, the love if your life, for she will truly be a lucky lady.

    • Gina, I was just like you after I divorced and I was only 35.

      Love can happen at any age, but not to the cynical. I also met # 3 when I was 45. It ended two years later. I am currently enjoying what I call the fourth love. I think it’s the love you have on your own terms. The previous three are on his terms or society’s (everyone else’s).

  3. Thank you for this. I’ve loved many men along the way and have two children 20 years apart. But I agree I have yet to experience that 3rd type of love. This article really makes a person look deep at their past relationships and pinpoint exactly who was who in this mix. I think we fall in love four times. Personally I think number 2 should be number 3. And the second love is actually a comfort love that feels like a brother or a sister you feel so safe you trust them with all your heart but still that little voice inside knows ” this is not the one”

  4. I would prefer to read “The Third Chapter of Love, or “How Two 3’s make 8”

    I recently found my No3, and what an Absolute Gem of a Women She is.

  5. Hello, I’m a person that is very torn, broken, and just at the end of the rope when it comes to love and passion. I’ve tried so many times to Love to make myself lovable. I once dreamed of that fairy tale ending of just having someone Love you and cherish you. But I no longer care nor long for that anymore. I finally found that special someone in my life that I thought never could be real. And let me tell you its the most amazing loving caring feeling its like being on the most amazing HIGH or outer body experience that u can feel. It seems so unreal when u finally find it, I almost made myself believe that it couldn’t be true. But he was the Angel that came to my life and saved me, brang me back to life and what is real gave me hope again to live and to be happy, gave me the want to try and love others. I honestly can say I dont know where I would be right now if I didn’t have the honor to meet him. And the weird thing is that I Knew him my whole life but never in a lifetime did I think that he would be the one, kinda funny how the man upstairs works our life out. But that is where it has left me is trying to figure out what God is trying to tell me or wanting me to see out of this. Because he took him from he was killed in a car accident one night and the scary sad thing is that I should have been in the car with him I just got out seconds before it happened I begged him to not go I cried and when he was leaving asking him to just wait I felt something in my heart was going to happen something was off. I don’t know how God works things out in end and I know that he has a reason for everything. But my question or problem I guess is that will there be someone like a friendship that can help us see light in this I don’t want another Love I will never be able to Love like that again nor do I wish too I just want to see him again be with again and until I do I will be patiently waiting for that moment well I guess maybe not patiently but I will be waiting here to see u again My Lover Jiry my Angel….

  6. This really resonated with me, and I especially the part about number two who I believed was the love of my years. We were together, on and off, for almost twenty years. He was younger and not mature enough and then developed a substance abuse problem. We married and divorced, and but still loved each other dearly and periodically tried to reconcile, but it never worked.

    Six years ago he contacted me as I was going through a divorce with a man I married, but never loved in the same way. I had given up on being with my first husband, and I enjoyed the company of the second guy and we were great as friends.

    My first husband and I had not talked in three years and he had recovered from his alcohol and drug problems and was as happy to see me as I was him. We decided it was finally time to make things right together and it was amazing for about a month.

    One night we got into an argument over something small and he assaulted me. That began a cycle of abuse that lasted for four years, the last three of we had no romantic or sexual relationship. I was emotionally devastated. I’m still trying to come to terms with everything. He had never been abusive in any way the years I had known him.

    I learned why it’s so difficult to get out of abusive relationships. He has severe diabetes and often used that to manipulate me, he was arrested but refused by the jail and broke into my apartment, he took my dogs when I asked him to leave and many other awful things.

    I loved this article and it gave me some hope that I may find love again and the right kind of relationship. I’m certainly not in a hurry or looking, but I but hate the thought of having no romance ever again. I’m 50, but that is still young these days.

  7. wow..this explained the last 20 years of my life to a T..
    My first love..1998..i was a senior in high in school and i got married a week after my 18th birthday to a guy that i had only known for about a month and that my parents knew nothing about…. See my mom was upset because the guy didn’t ask my moma and my daddy for my hand in marriage he only ask my daddy while she was showering and at the same time he asked me to marry him..me and mom argued because she made a smart remark that i didnt like and of course i said something she did not like and that is how it begun and for the next few weeks we were ar each others throat and it seemed i stayed in trouble..a week after i turned 18 we were really not getting along at all..i was hot headed and short tempered and i thought i knew it all cuz now im 18 and i could do what i wanted when i wanted and she could not stop me..so she had enough and called my bluff one morning when i was waitinf for my fiancé to pick me up to take me to school we were arguing again and i said somethimg along the lines of well i can just go get married now and get outta your house then you cant tell me what to do any more, she went inside and in a few minutes came back out and she gave me my birth certificate and ss card and said something like you gonna need this if you intend on getting married, as im sure my reply was not nice the argument escalated to the point she said something like i tell you what just dont come back to this house till you are married..and about that time he pulled up and thats what i told him and here we went after some long decusion with his parents and they called my moma we ended up married living with his parents for a bit then on our own a year and a half later i gave birth to my son and five months later we divorced this marriage lasted almost two years..2000.. and then i was on my own with my son 2 1/2 years..2003 when i decided to go to a bar with my uncles band one Friday night i meet my second husband he was good looking charming and older so it began and over the next 14 years i endured mental physical eemotional abuse along with minipulation lies and cheating drug addiction and well just pure hell it was a never ending cycle that yes kept getting worse ther were times we tried truly tried ro make it work .. i had a little girl early on that which i lost custody of as well as i lost custody of my son then finally almost 14 years later we seperated at our very worst..2016..this love was my lesson my heartbreak this love was so hard and it made me hard hearted…2017..now im in my third love a guy i knew in school he was my first everything..and at the time he was just a guy i crushed on in high school i didnt know i felt the way i do about him..i had not seen him in person but once or twice in 20 years..and when me and my 2nd had been seperated about 5 months i ran into him by mistake when i moved back home i was still broken and mending from my 2nd but it didn’t matter it was so obvious and so easy and we just fit it just feels right real..we been together 11months now and although we have hit a bump in the road because my 2nd hurt me so bad and broke me and i lost my mind literally and that caused us to have to live seperatly because of one of his kids not wanting me around so even though we are apart and we went a month without speaking or seeing one another we now see very little of each other but the love is still there and very much alive .. I was just thinking the other day man this ia never gonna work it gonna b like all the other two and tonight i happened upon a friend of a friends facebook page just thumbing through there post for no apparent reason there was this article….so wow omg wow thank you so much to the author of this it gave me hope and insite and inspiration i now know theres nothing wrong with me or the way i love …..thank you kwep doing what you do…

  8. This article seem accurate with my situation. I’m on my #3 love now, absolutely amazing guy. Me met after a crazy abusive circle and 2kids from #2. I never taught in a million years he would be this important to me. It was suppose to be a fun thing, now both me and my kids is are utterly in love with him. OGM! The way this guy love is breathe- takingly beautiful. Most amazing thing is, with all the drama n chaos I’ve been through, this love fits. It’s so freaking easy. He is home.

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