“…that’s the most beautiful thing in the world: when two people become fluent in choosing one another.” ~ h.b.
Most of us seem to fall into love three times—but what about those of us for whom the third time just isn’t the charm?
As I was rereading the words that came so naturally and spontaneously to my mind about the three loves of our lives, I realized that there were more categories than just three loves that we allow into our lives.
It’s moving through what we thought was our perfect love, surviving our difficult love, and then being thrown off balance by our third love. But through all of that, the one aspect I didn’t talk about is the love where we choose each other—mutually.
We don’t seem to think choosing love is all that romantic—we’d rather love choose us, sweep us off our feet. We project fantasies that love will happen automatically and that when it does it will be wonderful—but that’s seldom the truth.
Whichever we are in, whether it’s our first or our third, we have a choice—the choice to try, the choice to love, and the choice to choose the other person.
It seems that the biggest reason love goes awry is that, as lovers, we either never did, or we stop choosing one another every single day. We stop having that person be the first one we call when something amazing happens, and we stop choosing that person to be the one we run to when the world has left them feeling defeated.
We simply stop choosing them as our one.
This is the beginning of the end, whether we actually move on from it or not. So maybe if we believe that we have truly fallen in love three, four or even five times, then what we are missing is the key ingredient of choice.
We can’t find our forever love if we don’t both choose one another at the same time.
It’s said that we only need one thing besides chemistry, and that’s time—but timing is a b*tch. The truth of that sentiment is one that burns within the broken hearts of those of us who are told time and time again that our lover just isn’t ready yet.
Or maybe we find ourselves in that situation where we have incredible chemistry, but that there are other reasons why it could never work—and so even if our hearts want to say yes, our minds say no.
Sometimes it seems like we partially choose someone. We give them our bodies to explore and our hearts to play with, but in the end they weren’t playing for keeps and so we find ourselves asking for our hearts back so that we might give them to someone who knows what to do with a love like ours.
Because no matter how deep the feelings go—no matter how much passion or how many similarities exist—both of us have to choose one another.
Maybe this is the last stage of love, and maybe it does come most often with the third, because why would we ever want to lose a love that feels like that?
But perhaps all of our loves are really not only about giving up the idea of the perfect or learning lessons from the difficult but also understanding how rare it is when two people are actually in the place to simultaneously choose one another.
When we look into the eyes of a love we never thought we’d have, and we’re tired from so often being left wondering why it seems our happily ever after is destined to remain locked between the pages of a child’s fairytale. Because even if we haven’t admitted it, maybe we just had finally given up hope that we would ever get it right.
But perhaps that’s the part that we need to learn too: that what we’re really hoping for is to get it right with someone who’s just as tired of getting it wrong as we are.
It seems the secret is that we don’t really find that person who will choose us until we have worn through the hope our hearts hold that we will ever get it right.
We have to be defeated by love, cast aside and let down, overlooked and underappreciated.
We have to see what the love that we don’t deserve feels like in order to know it when what we want is finally right in front of us. Only then will we be in a place to choose it.
So maybe we really do need to exhaust that perfect love. Maybe we even need to have our hearts broken over the pain of our hard love. And maybe we even give up our third because we’re not in the place to see what it is we had.
Maybe even though trying again is hard, we do and that’s when we stumble into our fourth love—the love that we choose, and that chooses us.
A love that reminds us that no matter how great it seems, it doesn’t matter unless both of us choose it—and each other—and not let what could be dissolve into what if.
A love that might have similarities to our third, except maybe it doesn’t sweep us as far off our feet because this time we know what we are looking for, and we know the kind of love we deserve.
Maybe that’s the real key about all of these loves.
It really only comes down to us choosing the love that we think we deserve. When we have absorbed our lessons learned through each love and relationship, then we are ready to finally welcome a love that’s here to stay.
Because no matter how sweet it feels, it’s not love until we choose it.
“In the end we all just want someone that chooses us…over everyone else, under any circumstances.” ~ Unknown
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Video Screenshot
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren