Late in 2016, I read an article by Kate Rose about the different types of love we are destined to experience in our lifetime(s). I can’t remember if it was sent to me by a friend or if I stumbled upon it myself, but it resonated with me then and has clearly stuck with me after all this time. You can read the original article on elephant journal, or stay here with me for the breakdown.
Two years ago, I thought for sure that Kate was some kind of mad genius, predicting my life and my loves so vividly and so precisely, but as it turns out, I don’t quite fit her formula. For the sake of clarity, I feel that I should I say that if you’re anything like me, you’ll fall in love countless times with friends, acquaintances, enemies, lovers, strangers, people you’ ve never met and people you’ll wish you never had and while some of them will be great big huge loves, others will be fleeting mini loves, passing as quickly as they came. I could literally fill the pages of a book with stories about all of the men I’ve loved and while all loves are special and worthy, some loves will shake your very foundation. These Big Loves are the one’s we’re speaking about here. In her article, she explains that we will all experience three very distinct types of love and that each will serve an important purpose in our lives. The three types of love are as follows:
1.The First Love: Ah, young love. This love is what we tend to call “puppy love.” This love is the one that makes us into lovers. It’s what we think love should look/feel like. It’s a fairytale and we just know that it is going to last forever…
(… it doesn’t…)
For me, the first love happened fast and furious. Actually, it wasn’t a first love thing. That is just my pattern. I have a habit of falling in love FAST or not at all. But that’s a topic for a later time…
I met my first love at the ripe old age of twenty. We were both working as servers at a local Mexican restaurant. One night, during a dinner shift, I caught a glimpse of him in his neon green polo shirt, just standing there, holding a massive tray of fish bowl sized margaritas and baskets of greasy, salty tortilla chips and something in me said “He looks like a guy I’d like to know.” So I strolled up to him, all casual like, with my twenty year old confidence and without even looking directly at him I asked “What are you doing tonight?” He looked back at me, a little confused, and before he could even respond I spat out the words “Coming to my place? Cool. I get off at 10.” And I ran away before he could say no. At this point, I don’t think we had even officially met. We didn’t know each other’s name or literally anything about each other, but when you’re twenty year old kids, those kinds of details seem unimportant. He swept me off my feet with a drive thru meal from Arby’s and some $1 margaritas at Bennigans.
Like I said, we were babies…
He moved in to my apartment a few weeks later and within a year, we were buying a house, starting businesses, getting engaged and soon after that came babies and ultimately a divorce. We were the definition of young love. We fell hard and fast and even when it was evident to everyone around us that we were completely wrong together, we held tight to that fairytale (for way too long.) We were going to make it, no matter what.
(… we didn’t…)
Dear First Love, Thank you for teaching me what love is all about. Thank you for showing me what I want and what I don’t. Thank you for giving me two beautiful baby boys and for growing into the father and co-parent that you are today. And most of all, thank you for setting me free.
Side note: I think young loves are almost destined to fail because they hit us at a time in our lives that we’re only just beginning to know ourselves. To hold on to, love and endure with another human while you’re on such a journey of self discovery seems nearly impossible. If you’ve done it, kudos. You are a rare breed. My young love and I never did figure out how to grow beyond our 19/20 year old selves. In fact, there are times, even now (15 years later) that we revert back to our immature, childish relationship habits because that’s all we ever had…
2. The hard love: The one that teaches us all the things. The one that hurts. The one that Fifty Shades of Grey was written about. What? Was that just me?
This love comes with pain. We’ll call them growing pains, but really, they’re just idiotic, dumb, blind love pains. This love is often cyclical. We find ourselves going around and around in circles with this love just trying to create a different outcome. (You all know the definition of crazy, right?) This relationship may be unhealthy. They may be narcissistic. It may come with emotional, physical or mental abuse. This love may be more of an addiction than anything else. And for me, that is exactly what my second love was. Perhaps my first love was similar, but the second one with the pain and the narcissism and the lessons… Yep. That was all him.
My second love was intense. He was fireworks and excitement and ups and downs and drama and passion. He was the most fun I’ve ever had wrapped in the deepest pain I’ve ever felt. We were Bonnie and Clyde and Romeo and Juliet and whoever those Fifty Shades of Grey people were…
I first met love number 2 years before we ever fell in love. He was a friend of my brother’s and we met at a bonfire at his neighbor’s house. I was married to my young love at the time and he (love #2) had a long term, live-in girlfriend. I don’t even remember if we said two words to each other that night, but years later, looking back, we both recalled how powerful the connection between us was. I remember seeing him walk in to the party and how it felt like a scene right out of a movie: Our eyes met, everything went in to slow motion, I felt butterflies in my stomach, his eyes literally sparkled and when he smiled, there was a glimmer on his beautiful white teeth that I could almost hear (ding!) I remember how we caught each other’s eye several times that night and how each time, I felt the fire inside me ignite. We reconnected after my divorce and when I confessed that I had felt all those things that night, he told me that he had felt them too and that he had always wondered about me and if we would ever have a chance to explore them.
(… we did…)
We had many chances, actually. For nearly four years, I drug myself over broken glass for that man. He would hurt me (never physically) and I would run away, lick my wounds, start to heal and with one text, he’d have me right back wherever he wanted me. This relationship was so incredibly toxic. He broke me. But in a strange way, he also saved me.
He was the first man who made me feel “seen.” All those years ago, when we first laid eyes on each other, I was a new mom with zero self esteem/confidence. I was unhappily married to a man who I knew didn’t love me anymore. I had lost myself in that relationship. I didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t feel pretty. I didn’t feel important. And when he told me how I looked to him that night, how he saw me through his eyes, when he brought me a rose on our first date, when he would call to ask if I needed anything from the grocery store before he came over to visit, I felt important, beautiful and worthy. I found myself with him. And lost myself. And found myself. And lost myself. And in the end, when I had finally learned all the lessons he was meant to teach me, I found the courage to love myself and to walk away. But for this love and all of its pain, I am incredibly grateful. He taught me how to be me. He accepted me, in all of my mess, in all of my chaos and while he often was the cause of these messes and the chaos, he also taught me so much about how to be unapologetically me, to stand up for myself, to stand in my light, to stay true, how to love unconditionally and ultimately how to let go.
Dear Wild Love, Thank you for bringing me back to life. Thank you for the nights I can’t remember and the days I’ll never forget. Thanks for the adventures, the discoveries and all of the lessons.
Kate calls love #2 “The love we wish was right.” Yeah… I can see that.
3. The Love That Lasts: The one we never saw coming. This love looks all wrong for us, comes out of nowhere and destroys any lingering ideas of what we thought we knew about love and what it should be. This love is easy and almost appears too good to be true. This love plays by no rules. It just feels right.
This love… This love was the one that I thought was “The One.” Nah, scratch that, I KNEW that this love was “The One.” I knew it with all of my being and I say that today without regret. While I guess I could say that at one point in time, I thought that all of my loves were “The One,” but if I’m really being honest, I knew in my core that number one and number two weren’t right for me. I wanted them to be right. I so desperately did, but some part of me always knew that they weren’t. This love, though…
This love blew me away. I met him on a Sunday morning. Yes, I have Sunday morning dates… Or I used to anyway. At this time in my life, I was a busy single parent/student and I only had about 3-4 days per month to date so I would pack them in. I would often have a date on Friday night, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. I had a lot of healing to do back then, but I wasn’t ready. So I often filled the voids in myself with men. At that time, I would have rather been with a person that I was never going to see again… just for a brief time.. than be faced with being alone with myself and my problems and my feelings. Anyway, Sunday morning was the date that I would give to the lower tier options; the ones I was going out with, but didn’t really want to. I almost stood him up twice, but he was going to take me surfing and I really wanted to go surfing.
I recognize how terrible this all sounds, but just go with it.
I grudgingly showed up to that date, late and hung over, with no make-up on and last night’s bed head. I walked over the beach access and I saw him standing there, shirtless, staring at the ocean and I immediately regretted my decision to show up to our first date in such a disgusting state of disarray. He was hot. And I thought I had no chance with him. And I felt even worse when I found out that he had waken up at an un-Godly time that morning after doing a mud run the day before to prepare for our Sunday morning date, find my favorite beermosa mixers (Welcome to Sunday in Florida) and had been waiting patiently for me to decide if I was going to stand him up or not.
(… I was such a dick…)
So we surfed and we talked and while he was gorgeous and thoughtful and had the sexiest voice I had ever heard and was oh-so-patient and kind, he was also ALL of the things that I wasn’t looking for. He broke ALL of my dating rules and I became less and less interested with every sentence he spoke. In fact, I completely stopped listening at some point and when I finished my last beermosa, I looked at him and said “Well, this was fun and all, but you’re never going to see me again. You’re not what I’m looking for. I’m just not interested.” He looked completely unphased by my cold hearted words, glanced down at the sand and then back at me and said “Okay. Well… Do you have time for lunch before your next date?” Of course I did. I always have time for food. He took me to the trashiest little sports bar on the next street over and we sat there people watching and talking some more and laughing and eating chicken wings and I don’t know how or why, but I fell in love with him right there in that trashy little sports bar on the beach. I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, but I do know that when it was time for me to go, we stood there in that parking lot saying goodbye over and over again for at least an hour. Neither of us wanted to leave. Neither of us wanted to let go. Neither of us knew what hit us.
That love was so beautiful and unexpected and raw and true and unlike anything I had ever felt/experienced before. He felt like home and I knew that with him, I would always be safe. He treated me like a Queen. He loved me. He respected me. We were partners. We would lay in bed at night telling stories about our childhood and teenage years. We soon discovered that we had mutual friends, had been to the same places, maybe even on the same nights, the same parties, the same events. We would joke about all the times we had crossed paths without even knowing it; how many times the Universe had conspired for us to meet and how many times we had failed until the timing was finally right. Loving him was easy. I 100% believed that I had lived my entire life just waiting to meet this man. There was no doubt in my mind… This love was real love. This love was unicorns and rainbows. This love would last.
(… it didn’t…)
While Kate paints love number 3 essentially as a Soulmate, I seem to have found my Twin Flame instead.
Dear Angela, What the hell is a Twin Flame?
First of all, a Twin Flame is NOT a Soulmate. These two relationships are often watered down and the terms used interchangeably, but they are actually completely different.
The Twin Flame relationship is one that shakes us to our core. It’s finding our home in another human. It’s connecting with another soul that is literally a twin version of our own soul- Not one in the same, as in you aren’t meant to complete each other, but rather you are two souls who were separated many lifetimes ago. Twin Flames are mirror images of each other, exposing all of our truths, wounds, flaws, the good, the bad and the ugly that we have inside of us. These two souls must embark on the journey through separate lives over and over again, learning lessons and shedding karma and growing and finding each other in different bodies until both of them are finally ready to reconnect. Unlike soulmates who are destined to be together, Twin Flame couples rarely end up together. Their presence in our lives is meant to teach us a lesson over and over again until we finally “get it” and to send us on a deeply soulful transformation. These relationships are difficult, as their mission is to show us all the things we have left to heal within us and to set us on a deeply soulful transformation towards personal fulfillment. While this relationship’s ending can be excruciating, it will inevitably be a catalyst to massive spiritual growth, expansion and awakening. Each Twin Flame relationship will evolve through different stages stretching over many lifetimes.
(Are you guys interested in learning more about the Twin Flame journey? Drop a comment below or send me some feedback on whether I should write a second article all about Twins.)
As for me, I truly believe that my third love is my Twin Flame, that we are living out the Runner and Chaser stage of our journey, that the Universe did conspire for us to meet and that our souls had lived many lifetimes together. I credit my experience with my Twin and all of the things that his presence brought to me for breaking me so wide open that I had no choice but to open my eyes to my new way of living. He took my hand and led me gently down my spiritual path, just as I believe he was meant to do and I am forever in debt to the Universe for giving him to me in this life, if only for a brief time. He has taught me (again) what true, pure, unconditional love feels like. I let him go now with love, with adoration and I truly wish him healing, light and love on his journey. As I reminisce now on my time with my Twin through rose colored, love tinted lenses, I see only gratitude and I do not regret one single second that I spent loving that man.
Dear Twin, Thank you for finding me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for waking me. Until next lifetime.
#3.5. The Soulmate Love: I am open to receiving my soulmate, to real true love and to forever in his arms.
Dear Soulmate, I am so ready for you.