The first time you fall in love just may be the hardest you'll ever fall. Falling in love for the first time is almost dream-like, and I truly believe it's incomparable. Perhaps this is because it's all just so new and exciting to feel the warmth, love and acceptance from another person.
Perhaps it's because your heart is a clean, untainted slate, yet to be damaged. All of a sudden, all of the little things they do become perfect. Even the way they get angry at you somehow retains a cute and endearing façade because after all, that's your Prince Charming who's yelling at you.
The second time you fall in love is going to feel different. It's going to feel real. The dreamlike fantasy has somehow vanished, and that's because you now know that not every fairytale has its happy ending. No matter how hard you try not to compare it to your first love, you will. And that's normal.
It will be emotionally jarring to realize you're falling in love with someone completely different from the person who made you experience love the first time, and you will be rattled by this. Discovering you have the power and ability to love multiple people with very different personalities, likes and interests can leave you feeling disoriented.
Realizing your current boyfriend actually enjoys watching Disney movies with you is confusing and exciting. You thought your love interests weren't supposed to enjoy this because of the mold you're so used to from your first love. Now that you've felt heartbreak and damage, you're ready to experience a raw, imperfect love and embrace it for its imperfections.
Your ex hated dancing, and now you can't pull your current boyfriend off of the dance floor. You and your ex would not-so-romantically stuff each other's faces for hours on end, but your current boyfriend is a health guru. Your ex was very emotional, and your current boyfriend has a hard time expressing his feelings.
What does this all mean?
We start to wonder if we actually really love our second love because they're so different from the love we're used to. They won't say your name the same way, hold you the same or quite literally, do anything the same ways in which you've become accustomed to when falling for someone. You'll feel a bit sad, but this is good.
Let me be blunt: The first time you fall in love is an insane and unheard of magical life that you'll never ever be able to reclaim. And though you may not see that as a blessing, it is. That's not real life.
To look at someone and see no imperfections, and to always feel as though you're living in fantasy is neither normal nor healthy. And that's why your second love may feel more like a soap opera than a fairytale.
Since everything seemed so perfect in my first relationship, I expected that same “sweep-me-off-my-feet” feeling the second time I fell in love. I was confused and concerned that it never came. Then I realized it never will. But this doesn't make your second love any less powerful.
Embrace the fact that the second time you fall in love, you'll actually have some sanity. Your first relationship was a rollercoaster of overpowering foreign emotions that may or may not have turned you into an annoying, delusional psychopath. You now have a general idea of what to do, what will work, what won't, when to pick a fight and when not to.
I think I root for a second love because of the reality of it all. After your first love, you've gotten all of those unrealistic expectations out of the way and are ready to start being an adult (whatever that means). My first love left me feeling incomplete when I was without him, and that's not any way I want to live my life.
We are complete and whole human beings, capable of living without another person to call our other half. I don't think I would've realized this had I not fallen in love a different way the second time around.
My current relationship is amazing. He's a gentleman who is sweet, caring and compassionate, and he loves me for me. And at the end of the day, all we're looking for is someone who's going to love us for who we are. No matter who the person is on the other end (because they will all be unbelievably different), they will have one thing in common: They love you.
You will notice a difference when falling in love for the second time, and though it may not seem "right" by your standard terms, that doesn't mean it won't be amazing. Just think of it this way:
Our hearts are big and open, and are willing to love anyone who will love us back. So, it's OK when your new boyfriend doesn't play Mario Kart with you because he's more of a Mario Party kind of guy. It's OK when you and your new boyfriend make new memories. It's OK to break free from the mold you're used to.
We were meant to love and love again, and no two loves will ever be the same. And that's the beauty of falling in love for the second time.