The human being has talked of love basically since he appeared on Earth. It has been the main topic of poets and philosophers since the dawn of time, and obviously in more recent times it has become the subject of study by psychology. Never reaching a consolidated awareness that makes everybody agree.
There are many ways to identify and categorize the love we are experiencing. Some of them is very technical, and therefore not very useful to understand how to manage it, other ones are more related to social and behavioral aspects, therefore superficial in the analysis. According to the evolutionary stages of the person, however, love is divided into three large groups, closely related to our growth phases. And this is the identification that best helps us to understand at what stage we are and how to deal with what we are experiencing.
The first love
First love is what conquers us when we are young. Often very young, still teenagers, with an unformed character and an avalanche of expectations for this feeling. We live it in a highly idealistic way, the result of the representation of love we have had from literature, cinema, cartoons. And we believe that it will be the only love of our life. We are sure of this because this is how we think it should go, based on what society and our family made us understand.
So we do everything to make it work. Even when it doesn’t seem to work. We convince ourselves that this is how love should go, and if a part of us does not feel fully at ease, we think that we simply have to get used to it. Because the idea of experiencing love as the world expects it to be is more important than understanding how we really feel.
This is the love that seems the right one. And maybe it lasts a lifetime, obviously. But in the most common cases, at some point we realize that we want more. We realize that we grew up and we need to explore other dimensions of ourselves. So the first love ends and we will head to next one.
The hard love
What comes after our first love is the hard, problematic love (it can be more than one, of course). When we get there, we are more adults compared to previous love, we understood that our character is important, that we must follow what we want. And most likely our partner is also in the same evolutionary stage. Love is therefore configured as a series of clashes on how we think things should go. We will put all our energy into it, because this time we will no longer be willing to accept a love that does not work, only for the pleasure of having it.
At the same time, we are still convinced that, in order to make it work, love requires continuous effort. This is why we fight on every front, even if for small things, because an incompatibility can be hidden behind every detail and every conflict must be absolutely resolved. In this type of love we focus on every single nuance and we tend not to pass over anything. Unconventional weapons are often used, such as manipulation, passive-aggressive attitudes and even some form of abuse, physical or psychological. Problematic love is the love we hoped was the right one.
Problematic loves last until we realize we are focusing too much on how to make it work, rather than evaluating the possibility that maybe it just doesn’t work. A problematic love can be followed by other similar ones: as long as we have high expectations towards love, as long as we remain convinced that we must at all costs have a person to love, it is very likely that we will continue to have problematic loves. And one of them may also be the one that will last a lifetime, by our choice. Or, one day, we will find out that our character is formed, that changing it or letting others change it is impossible and that our expectations for the concept of love have dropped significantly. So maybe we’ll be again alone. And we will prepare ourselves for the last type of love.
The quiet love
The last stage of love is the one that lasts naturally, with no effort. It’s called quiet love, because it lacks the extreme high and low emotional peaks of previous loves. Usually it comes without being looked for and in a completely unexpected way, probably in ways that we would never have considered suitable for the birth of a love, and with people who did not correspond to our previous expectations related to the life partner.
In this type of love, you can’t even explain why things work – they just work. You are not loading that relationship with any superstructure or expectation, you are not forcing the other to be as you would have liked and the other is doing the same with you. There is compatibility but there are also differences, and you find yourself noticing that the differences help to complete each other and stay balanced. Together you manage everything in a peaceful way. We are able to accept the other in its entirety, with its strengths and weaknesses, without this being an effort. And the other person does the same with us.
Quiet love is the love we feel as the right one. Even if we are unable to explain it based on the parameters that, in the past, we considered essential for love. When this love arrives, it happens that we observe it proceed almost by inertia, in the right way, without having to try too hard to keep it in the right tracks. You feel that you are within the path that your destiny wanted for you and you simply focus on letting the fruits grow in the right way. If there are no external forces that prevent its continuation, this is the love with which we will end our search.
Most likely, the love we are experiencing strongly depends on the evolutionary state in which we are. It is therefore useful to understand what kind of relationship we have with the concept of love, what expectations we are experiencing and how many sacrifices we are making to make that relationship work. Based on this, we can evaluate in which emotional stage we are and if we are really willing to change attitude and move on to next one.
For those who believe in fate, every love that didn’t work had good reasons not to work. For the same reason, a love that is meant to work, works even if we don’t force it in any direction.