Ione Stevens obtained her bachelor's degree in English in 2016. She is now a library assistant for Stratford University.
#1: The We-Don't-Know-What-We're-Doing Kind of Love
Most first loves take place in high school. It's full of hand-holding in the hallways, stolen kisses behind the teacher's back, and passing notes/texts throughout the day. However, 9 times out of 10, we have no f$%&ing clue what we're doing! In our mind, we REALLY like this guy for numerous reasons. It could be that he's cute, he's sensitive when no one else is around, he's always attentive, he's funny, or that he calls you at 1 in morning while your parents are sleeping. Or he could be the complete opposite and it still makes you gush over him! Either way, you begin to fantasize too far ahead. You've already figured out that you'll go to college together, move in together, get married, and have 3 kids! The both of you will grow old together and retire on the beach somewhere.
But then something happens. As teenage girls, we usually don't see the bad when it comes. However, we're known to freak out over the littlest changes. He didn't kiss me good morning, something's wrong. He forgot to text me back, something's definitely wrong. He didn't come to school today, what the f$%& is going on here?! So while your guy is drifting away a bit, you have decided that he doesn't 'love' you anymore and that he's going to break up with you.
Here comes the s*@$storm: Turns out, he's been busy at home or at school. There has been some family stuff going on and he needed space to deal. Or he's just not interested in you anymore, but didn't know how to talk to you about it. Basically, the guys hide out and girls go bats$*% crazy! Before you know it, he's using your chaotic state as an excuse to cut ties. We have the ability to feel EVERYTHING, which usually leaves us depressed and unable to 'move on' for quite some time. If sex is involved, then we're definitely not in a rush to meet Guy #2!
So, all in all, this kind of love is like a test run. We're dipping our toes in to see what we like, if we like it, and how it makes us feel. Someone will have a broken heart in the end, but it's worth the pain.
#2: The We-Sort-Of-Know-What-We're-Doing Kind Of Love
So after high school, many people go straight to college. Some stay there for 4 years or more. Others go for 2 years, don't like it, and end up back home with Mom and Dad. There is another percentage of high school graduates that don't leave home at all. No matter what your choice was, you probably ended up having Boyfriend #2 somewhere in there. The thing about us ladies, during this time, we're trying to figure who we are. We have more room to breathe and, for some, more time to focus on ourselves. In the midst of our soul-searching, we meet a guy...
Now, Guy #2 is going to break your heart, but he's instantly going to regret it. It can go both ways, actually. It's going to start off with all those wonderful, new feelings of love. You'll go on dates, meet each other's friends/parents, have adventurous sex every chance you get, and possibly even discuss engagement after 2 years of being together. Here's the problem with being in a relationship after high school, the search for who you are and what you want doesn't go away. While you're enjoying this relationship and your new life, he's doing the same. He's going to make new friends that you may not be too fond of. You're going to find out that he's not too happy with your new friends either. That's when the disagreement leads to a fight.
You're both trying new things, while being connected. At this point in your life, this isn't going to work out. It doesn't matter who breaks up with who this time around. Someone will call it quits. Someone will be upset. Someone will say things they will regret. But both of you will eventually move on...
This kind of love is harder than the first. It can be blinding at times and you'll lose track of where you are in life. The good thing that comes from this love is motivation. You are motivated to do the things you once sought out to do. If you're finding out that your life is better without them, then this love is not the love you deserve.
#3: The We-Had-It-Right-But-It-Didn't-Work Kind Of Love
Now, before we discuss Guy #3, let me be clear that he can pop up at any point in your life after Guy #2. It could be a month later, a year later, 2 years later; it doesn't matter when he shows up. But when he does, oh honey, you'll know... He is going to be EXACTLY who you need. This guy is going to sweep you off your feet, say all the right things, do all the right things, BE all the right things, and it's going to feel like you've hit the Jackpot! There is no if's, and's, or but's to this one. He's a keeper until you can't keep him anymore.
You are going to fall cloud 9, head over heels, heart throbbing in love with him. Not just you, your parents will adore him as well. Your friends will approve and repeatedly assure you that 'he's the one'. After all this time, you've finally found the right kind of love and you'd do anything to keep it. So, after some time has passed, he's going to walk away. Not in an a**hole type of way, but in a 'I love you, but I can't be in a relationship right now' type of way. The love was right, but the guy wasn't. And it's going to hurt you 10 times more than the last two combined! It doesn't matter how long you were together, it's going to take years for you to officially MOVE ON. You'll go through stages of waiting for him, not waiting for him, going on blind dates to distract your thoughts of him, waiting for him again, and eventually, you'll give up. The blind dates will still continue from time to time, but you notice that your interest in dating is at an all-time low.
All you want is to be yourself, to do the things you love, and surround yourself with the people who encourage your greatness. All you need is someone to understand you better than you understand yourself and to love you regardless of your bad days. Guy #3 did love you, but his love was meant for someone else.
As heartbreaking as Guy #3 was, nothing is quite like finding your One. I cannot speak for everyone else, but my One came into my life at the best possible time. After moving to a new city with no close friends, it was a lonely time. Yes, I had my family and they were wonderfully supportive. Before I met the One, I was on an online dating website. It was hard to meet people my age, so I figured I should give it a try. A year goes by and I've had my fair share of bad dates/okay dates. Just when I was about to cancel my account, I got a message. It wasn't like the typical 'hey baby, what's up?'. It was a genuine 'Hello, how are you?'. I figured that I'd give this guy a chance, but if it didn't work out, I was going to throw in the towel and stop trying to meet someone.
He was/is, without a doubt-hands down, the best chance I ever took. After two weeks of endless texts and hour long phone calls, we decided to meet in person. Upon meeting, he kissed me right away. Most girls would have probably pushed him away and thought that he was too forward. We had shared so many details about ourselves prior to meeting. It felt like we knew each other for decades. Our similarities in how we were raised, who we were in high school, and the fact that our parents were both divorced, created a tremendous amount of understanding between us. We knew of love in a different way than those who knew love in a happy home. Growing up, we saw how messy love can be and how easy it can fall apart without the right care. We witnessed our parents fall in and out of love with a front row seat. So we took that knowledge and we decided, right then and there, what kind of love we wanted.
I believe we find The One when we're not looking for them. They come into our lives when we least expect it and it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. When you both love each other, want each other, and need each other in equal measure, that's when you know they're love was made for you.