After a breakup, once all the ugly crying and carb bingeing is over, you will undoubtedly find yourself a little wiser from the experience. If you’ve ever set aside that wisdom long enough to have one of those weepy “I miss you” phone calls with an ex (anyone? Just me?), then you’ll know what I mean.
A first love is a real eye opener about us, our hearts, and what we need from other people. It’ll have you questioning everything you’ve ever been taught by your parents, your favorite stories and your culture when it comes to what love means, what it is, and what it should look like. You question your theories. My love theory has been revised again and again in the year since I first met the boy who changed my mind about many, many things. One of them is that love can be ranked.
In one of our many pitiful phone conversations, we discussed the likelihood of finding true love in what was, for both of us, our first serious relationship. What are the chances? What if we had settled with each other, never testing the waters with anyone else, only to find out later we had missed out on the great love we both dream of? He posed these questions to me, wondering if a love more intense, more grandiose, somehow bigger would come along for the both of us. It wasn’t long ago I wondered the same.
But love can’t be ordered numerically. Just like each of our friends brings out a different side of us—laid back, sarcastic, silly—the tone of each love is filtered through the personality of the other person. You may always be your most genuine self, but that self has facets that are highlighted depending on the company.
Certainly we will love some people more than we love others. We’re not meant to be with everyone. But when it comes to love, true and irrefutable, you can feel it with any number of people. Perhaps it comes down to choosing the one who makes us the best person possible, someone who brings out the facet of ourselves we love most.