Love of your life and a love for your life: does it exist?

Recently, a meme began to spread across the internet: the existence of "a love for life" and "a love of a lifetime". In short, after Justin Bieber announced his engagement to Hailey Baldwin, people began to wonder why he decided to marry her when he had always dated singer Selena Gomez.

  • Differences between romantic love and real life
  • 6 things that are fundamental to a relationship beyond love
  • Is there a right age to get married?

When these questions came up, the internet started speculating about the differences between "a love for life" and "a love of a lifetime." In this case, Selena Gomez would be that unforgettable love that didn't work out, while Hailey would be a love for life, someone who fits Justin Bieber's plans and "works" in harmony with him.

Love of your life and a love for your life: does it exist?

In the field of reality, it is not difficult to understand this theory: you probably had a teenage love affair, or lived a love story with someone that is in your head until today but, for some reason, did not work out.

Many people get married, have children, and live a love story with someone, but deep down they feel that they have never forgotten that past love. That past love would be the "love of life", while the current relationship, the one that worked out, is "the love for life".

Well, then we have to talk about breaking down expectations and the romanticization we make of troubled relationships - or of dates that just didn't work out.

Stop romanticizing the past

No matter how things ended between you and your ex, once enough time has passed, you can start romanticizing your old relationship. In fact, after putting some space between your life with your ex and the present, sometimes it's easier to put a positive spin on things - to remember the good times with your ex instead of the bad, to minimize the conflicts youtwo had, and and block out any memories of the drama or problems that led to the end of the relationship.

Who wants to carry all this baggage? It is better to remember the good things.

But remembering only the good times can have more serious consequences than just making us want to get back with our ex (although that's always a risk too).

When we only remember the good parts of a past relationship and block out the difficult or disappointing things, we engage in what therapists call "romanticizing" that relationship - thinking of it almost in the same way as a love story in a movie, rather than remembering how it really was, with ugly parts and all.

Romanticizing the past can also prevent us from forming new romantic connections in the present.

Research has found that when we invest in a romantic idea of love, we spend our dating time representing romanticized patterns because they give us a dopamine high, rather than seeking real intimacy and connection (think Ted in 90% of the How I Met Your Mother series).

While it can be a struggle to remember why you broke up with an ex, it is not an impossible feat. If you commit to letting go of fantasies and remembering the truth about your time together, you are one step closer to being able to experience true love based on connection with another person, rather than chasing the ghost of a love that never existed.

Don't give up what is right for what is not

Many people end marriages and long-term relationships to have a fling with that old love: this is probably a mistake. Look, we are not saying that all cases are the same and that it is always a bad idea to break up a marriage to be with an adolescent love. But the truth is that you are no longer the same person you were before, and neither is your ex.relationship ended for a reason, maybe it is better that it stays in the past for that very reason.

When it leaves the realm of illusion and becomes real, reality makes it attainable, and because it is attainable, it becomes subject to mistakes. When that happens, it stops being perfect because it stops being illusory - and when that happens the passion passes, you will probably face problems anddifficulties that exist in any other relationship.

And then you will ask yourself: was it worth it to give up something solid and real to live an illusion that, when it loses its intangibility, becomes something empty?

Stop comparing the present with the past

I don't need to tell you that everyone is different and that dating is not easy, especially after a hard breakup.But you need to keep the fact that the new person is different from your ex.So maybe the person you are dating is not as tall as your ex, or doesn't have the same love for movies that you always loved.But does it really matter?

Realistically, your ex will never match up with many of these new people in many ways. You can't compare people, because everyone brings something different to a relationship. Obsessing over what your ex brought to the table is harmful, and will only hurt your ability to be happy again.

Whether we want to admit it or not, relationships change us. Unhealthy relationships, in particular, not only change us, they imprison us. We conform to our unhealthy environments so that we can survive in them.

But once that relationship is behind us, we are able to find our "true self" again. We spend more time with our friends and more time alone, and in doing so, we can get in touch with the real person that may have disappeared in our past relationship. Most of the time, that person is better than the person we were while we were in that relationship.You need to compare the two versions of yourself and realize which one you would prefer to be.

Romanticizing is normal, but not healthy

Romanticizing the past is totally normal, and everyone does it. But remembering something other than what really happened can lead you to build your whole life on a faulty ground, which may seem stable and good at the moment, but disabuse you when you are confronted with the truth.

You don't want your delusional thoughts about your past to interfere with your ability to move on and fall in love again.

The past contains our best and our worst. When we forget some of the ugliest aspects of our past and exclusively romanticize the best, we open ourselves up to failure and disappointment. To understand the present and try to see where we can go, we need to understand our potential and limitations.

History indirectly teaches us what has worked, what doesn't work, and what might work. Jared Diamond, for example, is an evolutionary biologist who argues that there are useful thoughts, practices, and wisdoms we can apply from lessons learned in the past to the present. However, that means we need to uncomfortably wade through the good and the ugly to really understand what mightDiamond is asking us to think critically about the past: to look courageously at history with precision in order to extract truly useful wisdom for the present and the future.

Think about this when you romanticize that fling that didn't work out.

Scroll to top