From the day we are born, loving, being loved, falling in love or searching for love is one of the strongest desires we have as human beings.
While some may not place as much importance on love as others, at some point and time in our lives we all yearn to love and be loved.
We receive love from family members and friends; then there is the romantic kind of love.
Each kind of love has its own characteristics and levels, but there are certain traits common to all, such as respect, loyalty, honesty, devotion, faithfulness, patience, kindness, considerate and optimistic, to name a few.
While some of these traits are inherent, others are traits that can be learned or developed over a period of time, along with other traits we learn from our childhood and experiences growing up and all the way into adulthood.
Now … identifying those traits, both inherent and learned, in someone we have a romantic interest in and finding our perfect match is the hard part.
So, let’s look at the three types identified in the headline of this blog.
Let’s start with the “just out of reach” love, which is symbolized in the photo I took and used with this blog.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or yearn for someone they appear to be just out of reach. Many of us have experienced this kind of “love.” I use the term love rather than infatuation simply because there can be a really strong pull to a person, who for one reason or another, is unattainable for one reason or another.
While we may never know why a love interest either doesn’t return the feelings we are feeling or something happens that keeps the interest from going any further, we open ourselves up to the feeling of experiencing a different kind of love, one that is different from the way we feel about family or friends.
Of course, it also opens us up to feeling heartbroken, sad, angry, regretful, inferior or inadequate. While feeling any of these emotions is natural, to survive our “out of reach” love interest it is important to realize this type of “love” for what it is and not be to hard on ourselves.
See it for what it really is and move on. It doesn’t make it easier, but moving on without hitting yourself over the head with a hammer is important. The learning here is being able to learn what type of feeling of love you’re experiencing rather than beat yourself up over it.
I have learned from this type of “love” in my life and grew in my understanding what love can really be.
Chances are many of us have had “fleeting love” in our lifetimes. If not, you will if you live a long life.
Fleeting love is filled with negative connotations, but in reality there is nothing negative about fleeting love. Sure, if you are coming out of a fleeting love you can probably think of all kind of negative inferences, but those inferences, too, are natural.
As with each three types of love, we learn. I realize that is cliche, but it is true. Fleeting love gives each of us a chance to “practice” our love skills, and at the same time, helps us evaluate our own skills in the art of loving someone.
I know it sounds selfish to say we are practicing our skills on someone we think we love, so let’s call it a building block in telling the difference between the “just out of reach,” “fleeting” and lifetime love.
Do we know it is a fleeting love when we begin to start liking someone enough to tell them we love them?” Probably not, but even fleeting love can closely mimic lifetime love simply because we sometime confuse the two, until it become fleeting.
In any case, we refine our love skills in a fleeting love to the point where we can tell ourselves “this is what love is” and “this is what love isn’t.”
Again, when ending a fleeting love, most tend to exhibit all those negative connotations just as we do in the “out of reach” love rather than look at the positives and learning experience gained.
How many out of reach and fleeting loves can one have in a lifetime? As many as it takes until we find our lifetime love.
As with the out of reach love, I have experienced my share of fleeting loves, as well. With each, I have learned a lot about love, the meaning of sacrifice, patience, forgiveness, giving, happiness, communication, how to handle disappointment and along with it, a lot about myself and what I need as a person to find fulfillment while in love.
Lifetime love may have a lot of different meanings to many. For some, it means always being in love with someone, whether you can be with that person physically or not. Many will find the love of their life and spend a lifetime with that person while others, for one reason or another, has to be apart from their lifetime love.
I’ve always liked to us my mother as an example. She found her lifetime love in 1950 and although he, my dad, died in 1968, my mother’s lifetime love still lives on in her heart.
I consider myself lucky to have experienced the entire gamut of the love trilogy and if you were to ask me if the three phases of love, as I have approached it, has been worth it … I would have to say “absolutely.”
My heart and my life have been filled with love and even in the darkest times, that love has given me the strength to shine.
Whichever phase of love you happen to be in, always remember the positives, don’t dwell on the negatives. Harboring the negatives will only bring bitterness and doubt. See things for what they are and learn from the trilogy of love.