There are an infinite number of types of love that you can have for a partner. Even the same partner can embody a number of different feelings within you, and sometimes they certainly will.
What does it mean if the same person keeps re-entering your life, and re-establishing themselves as your OTL (one true love)?
Well, maybe it means there’s something to it.
They prove that change is an obstacle, but not a deterrent.
All relationships go through changes, and sometimes these changes can end the relationship. But if a love has returned to you, even though the situation has changed, it’s possible that – just maybe – this love is meant to stand the test of time. It’s possible that you’re changing in the same direction, which isn’t so much “change” as it is “growth”.
Growth is good – great, even. And if your love for a person is not going to stop just because the situation has changed, it’s likely that you’ll stand up for your love and prove that it’s worth the test of time.
They test your patience, and you win.
When you love someone, you’re bound to get frustrated. You’ll be irritated, mad, or even downright pissed off, depending on the circumstances. But you don’t give up, because your love is more important to you than your pride.
Of course, if someone seems to be doing nothing but making you mad, it may be necessary to re-evaluate things and decide if the pain is worth the happiness. This can be hard to overcome, but for those who find themselves unable to give up hope, it might be worth it to keep hanging on.
They surprise you, in all the right ways.
Just when you thought you were finally getting over your ex, they’re right back at your door, pleading to give the love another chance. When you’re about to walk away for good, they pull you in close, give you a long, slow kiss, and make you wonder why you ever wanted to leave in the first place.
This “coming back” is not always a good thing – and in fact, some may use it as a tool of manipulation. But if you are able to see through the problems and continually find new things to be excited about – this is the best type of surprise. When you expected them to let you down, they raised you up. When you expected disappointment, you were given everything you were hoping for. Maybe it’s a dream, but it can’t hurt to think of the positives.
They refuse to quit.
If your love refuses to end, there’s probably a reason why – it’s possible that the reason is the person is meant to be in your life. I’m a firm believer in destiny, so I think that each person stays in your life for exactly as long as they’re meant to.
For loves that refuse to quit, this means that you’re not done learning what the relationship is meant to teach you. You might not always agree with the message sent, but you can’t deny that there is a message there. If you haven’t learned it yet, you can’t move forward.
In some situations, forcing yourself forward is best – for example, a love with someone who doesn’t value you enough to be honest with you, or who doesn’t respect you enough to be good to you. But of course it’s a two-way street; you should be getting what you give, at least in a basic sense.
That’s not to say that relationships are 50-50. They’re never really 50-50 until it comes to dividing the assets after the fact (and even then, it’s rarely cut straight down the middle). A healthy relationship involves both people giving 110% at all times – but if you’re not both giving it, someone is going to be unhappy.
Even in some cases where the relationship starts a bit unhealthy, it can grow into something more – and this is how exes as a rebound can happen. Sometimes, the thought of actually losing someone who we thought we would never lose is enough to kick us in the pants and get our heads in the right place. Sometimes, we find magic in the darkest of places. Sometimes things are just meant to be and you can’t escape that, no matter how hard you try.
They’re inexplicably perfect for us.
I was involved in a long-term on-and-off relationship for 7 years – which is a really long time given my age. Looking back on the relationship now, I wish I hadn’t let it drag out as long as I had, but there was a reason that I kept going back to her. No matter how much pain she put me through, she was my first love – and I still think of her quite often (although not as fondly as I once did).
For those on the outside, it’s almost impossible to understand what draws us back to a partner when it has already shown that it won’t work out. The constant cycle of break-up, make-up, break-up again is dizzying to those involved – and just as much for those observing. Having been on the other side as well (one of my best friends really ought to divorce her lying husband, but I know she won’t) makes you want to grab these people by the shoulders and shake them violently until they realize that they’re only prolonging their pain.
But when you’re in one of these relationships, it can be hard to let go. As I said previously – this usually means that you haven’t learned the lesson yet. It’s important that you come up with a “last straw” scenario that will be the end of it, and stick to your plan if that ever happens. In my example, the last straw was when she became physically abusive toward me – that’s a definite deal breaker. But your deal breaker may be different. Maybe even less severe. If your perfect person is no longer perfect, in a meaningful way, you should let go.
Does this mean you’ll get over your love right away? Probably not – and possibly not ever. Love is complicated, after all, and there’s no way to determine what will happen in the future. But if you pay attention to the signs, you’re less likely to fall for the same things when they come up again, and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth investing more time or not. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not – not every relationship is meant to last forever.