There’s the kind of love, the passionate kind, where you can’t breathe when you’re with him, you feel giddy, ecstatic, and intoxicated. And at the same time, he’s the very air you breathe. You love and hate him all at once. He’s both the cause and the cure of your heartbreak, aches, and ailments. He makes you laugh and cry. When he flashes his winning smile, you know you are in deep trouble. He is your series of firsts: first love, first date, first kiss, and so on… Everything is magnified to the nth power when it comes to him. You alternate between euphoria and melancholy. There seems to be nothing in between; everything is in extremes. You say the first things that pop into your mind, without any filter. You fight, break up, and make up; then fight, break up, and make up all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. You are meant to be but at the same time being together means total destruction. Of your soul, spirit, mental being, and even physical wellness… As Juan Antonio aptly said, “We are meant for each other and not meant for each other. It’s a contradiction.” You know you should stay away from him and run fast in the opposite direction and never look back. All day long you lie in bed and daydream of being with him, and at work, you dread the monotony, yearning for his presence in his absence. But alas, when you’re with him, you are overcome with unexplained anger, predisposed to sudden outbursts of emotion, that you yourself do not understand. It’s insane and exhausting! But still, you feel it’s so wonderful, beautiful, and lovely all at the same time. You spend hours writing love letters and poems you never thought you could compose so easily and gracefully. You have boxes upon boxes of his love letters, memos, scribbles, and sweet-nothings (even at the time of instant messaging apps replacing the long lost art of handwritten letters). It’s a love that is marked by youthfulness and naivety, of romanticizing the significant other, putting him on a pedestal. Thinking of yourself whole and complete because of him. Sadly, it’s prone to fits of jealousy and insecurities too. He is the object of your deepest desires, dreams, and affections.
But when you know that the time has come that it’s over, you know that it finally, ultimately, undeniably, inevitably, irreversibly over, then it truly is. No turning back. “First love never dies,” so they say. I can assure you, yes it can, and you can bury it deep, six feet under. Just kidding! Yes, you can choose to let it go, forgive, learn from the experience, and move forward.
Then there’s the kind that is stable, sure, and secure. Not lacking in its own brand of romance, though, as some might misjudge. This is the love of second chances. Maybe, third, fourth, and fifth… But there already has been a fair amount of growing up and learning you’ve done during your heartbreak and in your season of singlehood. It is marked by maturity, circumspection, and introspection. It is accepting the other completely, dark past and all. You come into the relationship acknowledging that you are both flawed and imperfect humans, with years of emotional baggage, but still choose to love each other, to embrace both the good and the bad. You’re both evolving and developing in the relationship. There are problems and issues arising from your individual differences, but you are determined to make it work. When someone commits a blunder or mistake, he or she is quick to admit it; while the other can forgive without condemnation. You both want to try out new things either solo or as a couple. You bring out the best in each other. You no longer set your man up for failure and feed off from him, sucking the life and blood out of him. Before entering the relationship you were perfectly content and happy in your life, relishing being independent and single. You still enjoy your own lives away from each other, and yet at the end of the day, it’s his voice you want to hear, recounting every little detail of the last 24 hours. Yes, there would be adversity, obstacles, and difficulties, disagreements, but no one is about to throw in the towel. You agree to disagree at times. You build a life together and are moving towards the same direction, hand in hand. You are not static. You want to challenge yourself as a person and each other as a couple. It’s a relationship marked by reciprocity and mutuality. There’s respect and trust. You appreciate even the little things. You’re adaptable; you give in even though you really wanted to eat at that specific restaurant. Not because you’re weak, but you’re strong and secure enough to do so. You don’t expect your partner to adjust all the time for you. It’s about growing together while you’re together. We’re all work in progress after all. You’re both aware that life and love have ups and downs. You have the same core values. This kind of love is not all about feelings but a matter of choice. When times get tough, you decide to stick together.
The list could go on…
Of course, this is not to say that it’s just one kind of romantic love or the other. If you are one of the few who found love early in life and managed to remain together through various life changes and stages, then I truly commend you. If you are looking for love right now, may you find it eventually or perhaps discover that the one you love has been there all along. Wherever you are, I wish you love, joy, and peace.