Giving Due Credit to Love and Present

It seems to me that people make a big deal about firsts: first kiss, first date, first love. Don’t get me wrong, a First is great, but it also generally leads to another first: heartbreak. I was relatively naive with my first love; I had no real understanding that all love stories tend to end, and many of them do not end in “death do us part.”

So my first heartbreak caught me completely off guard. I was innocent and pure and, as stated, naive so my heart was (figuratively) ripped out at the hand of someone I had genuinely trusted. Insecurities took hold of my life, but in the grand scheme of all that is good, something better came along. That is why I consider my first love simply that, my First Love, but definitely not my greatest or my last

This post is dedicated to second loves — or theoretically thirds, or fourths, or however many loves it takes to find that one true Last Love. Why should we spend so much time gushing over our first loves, and pining into our elder years at the times lost with them? Seriously! Second loves should be getting the credit on our romantic timelines! Second loves matter more than the first by a long shot, so give due credit where credit is due.

Your second love is the one who came along and picked up the pieces of your broken heart. He or she waited patiently on the sidelines as your innocent self went through the stages of loss and became wise to the perils of love. When those insecurities after your break up left you wondering if you were too imperfect and impossible to ever be whole again, your second love came and pushed those thoughts away. He or she led you to see and to believe how extremely worthy you are to be loved.

Your second love will not be the same as your first. And it’s okay. Every person you meet will have a different effect on you. The notion that we should have similar feelings of affection for every person we become romantic with is false. Romance is not a journey with a set destination and stopping points along the way.

Maybe your first love began as a friendship-turned dating, a lead up to the first kiss, the first time saying “I love you” to one another, certain big anniversary celebrations or date nights, vacations together, all accumulating to the next stage or perhaps moving in together or becoming engaged. If you believe your second love is going to follow the same exact path, you are wrong.

First off, there should be no end game. Do not fear that you are never going to experience love again so you rush through the second time. Sometimes such fears cause us to love two people the same exact way, or project our disappointments from our first love onto our second. Why do we accept that we can only give one kind of love?

Love is not a thing that can be better or worse, and this is why you should never love anyone the way you loved someone else. Love is supposed to grow over the course of a lifetime, it is supposed to breathe and change. Love will never be perfect, but this does not mean you should ever just sink to a faded photocopy of the real thing.

Think of it like this: your first love was a car. You and your ex built this car with parts from both sides, your’s and their’s. You both created something, revved it to life, and drove it for a number of miles. However, over time, a flat tire happened, the windshield cracked, and potholes in your relationship caused the alignment to get out of whack. The car broke and became too obsolete to be useful anymore.

Now you’re beginning a relationship anew. Why would you take parts from the old broken-down car to build a new one? Start fresh! Use the knowledge you gained from your first mechanical endeavor to fashion something new and strong and sturdy.

A second love gives you reason to continue to believe in love. A second love shows you that even when you had love and heartbreak that you can also love after heartbreak. How incredibly important for all those mending hearts!

As humans, we feel stronger when we know that we can weather worse. We cope with comparison. And sure, the ultimate goal of being in a relationship is to feel love and to fall in love. Love is not about winning and losing though, nor is it about being better or worse. The revelation that you fell in and out of love once and survived, and then you found the ability to fall in love again… that is what love is: an ability. And that’s a pretty powerful ability to control.

If you see something that remind you of your first love and you feel something – sadness, anger, longing – remember that you are experiencing pangs of nostalgia. Your first love was good. All of our first loves are good. Until they are not anymore — so let it stay good in the past.

Don’t let that past own you though. If you try to love your second love in the same way, your past will manage your present. Don’t let this happen; love someone in a way you never loved your ex. Your past had it’s moment, allow the present to shine now.

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