This week, The Bachelor’s Nick Viall finally put a ring on it after being rejected twice at the near-proposal stage on national television. This “loser in love” theme plagued Nick throughout the season, as the show’s producers teased he might get jilted a third time. Nope. The Bachelor is engaged.
Like everyone else, I’m skeptical of made-for-TV love, but I do hope the engagement works out for Nick and his intended, Vanessa.
If it is indeed happily ever after, Nick’s storyline fits into the idea that we only fall in love with three people during the course of our lifetime, a theory I recently came across that I found intriguing but also feel a little skeptical about. So I thought I’d bounce it off you.
Of course, I’m a believer in the The Power of Three, so the premise seems reasonable, and yet, there are people in my circle who have been in love only once, while others have been in a much higher number of love relationships (you know who you are). At the same time, the theory seems to be eerily accurate with my own life story, so it is difficult for me to dispute. Anyway, here goes:
The theory states that we only fall in love three times during our lifetime. Each of these great loves happens under different circumstances from the one before – and each one serves a different purpose. Over time, they may continue to influence our lives or make unexpected appearances along the journey.
The First Love: Call it puppy love, but this first love experience occurs while we are quite young, often still in high school. It’s a heart-shaped-cupid’s-arrow-and-butterfly-in-the-tummy kind of love, fulfilling our expectations of what we’ve always imagined love feels like. “This is it! This is what they write love songs about!” we think.
Even if deep down we know it isn’t right, we continue daydreaming about future wedding bells and believe this love is meant to last forever. In reality, we are still in the process of learning about ourselves and how to express our feelings. It’s exciting to be noticed and admired by someone of the opposite sex. This is why the first love focuses more on how others see us versus how we actually feel.
The Second Love: This is the hard love that arrives to teach us major lessons about ourselves and what we need to feel loved. It’s the love we cling to, desperately trying to hold on even though things do not progressing in a healthy or well-balanced manner. Because we want it to last a lifetime, it is marked by the strong need to make things work versus focusing on if the relationship is working (“Hey, everyone goes through their ups and downs, right?”). Not surprisingly, this love brings with it deep emotional pain tied to loss, deceit and lies.
On the upside, the pain we experience is the lesson that leads to our awakening. It is where we realize what we truly need from our next relationship.
Third Love (My favorite!): Although we may not have been looking for it or expecting to fall in love at the time, the third love is a game-changer that alters any previous notion of what we always believed love should be. This is an easy love that makes us wonder how a relationship could be so simple and uncomplicated (“Where have you been all my life?”). There are no expectations and no preconceived notions as we finally find ourselves content in our lives and in our relationship. Everything falls into place. The third love teaches us that we are worthy and deserving of true love – and are free to share our full capacity to love with our partner.
So, that’s it. I’m interested to find out what you think. Do you believe in the Theory of Three Great Loves? Of course, not everyone will experience only three loves and some will have many more or many less, but it is interesting to compare these descriptions with the love relationships that have shaped who you are today.
Even if the theory proves to be as phony as a three-dollar bill, it cannot be disputed that each type of love we experience is designed to teach us something and leads us to fine-tune our ability to seek out and recognize the next level of love meant for us.