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Can You Fall in Love Twice? Yes. (And 5 Reasons Why It's Better the Second Time Around)

Couple in Love
Can You Fall in Love Twice?

Previous heartbreak is one of the main reasons why people shy away from looking for love the second time around. But the chances are that the best is yet to come.

There's nothing harder than dealing with heartbreak, and it can take time to find yourself in a position where you feel ready to get back into dating.

More than anything, there can be a true reluctance to put yourself back into that place where you might risk getting hurt again - and closing your heart and mind off to the possibility of finding love is often easier than taking that brave step. This is especially true of men, who are less likely to want to get back into dating, through fear of rejection or failure, and repeating past experiences.

Philophobia, 'The fear of falling in love' is a very real and relatable condition, often triggered by traumatic past experiences. Infidelity, betrayal, or heartbreak can cause you to stay away from romantic relationships as a form of 'self-defence'.

But did you know that love can actually be more rewarding and enriching the second time around (and beyond)? There are many ways that falling in love again feels different - and potentially better - than the first.

Here are five reasons why:

1. You've learned some valuable lessons

Falling in love for the first time is exhilarating - but the rush is often short-lived. Whether you remember your first love fondly or with some regrets, chances are you learned a few lessons from the person who initially stole your heart.

Dealing with heartbreak is hard, but as you move through your life, you will often find that subsequent relationships are healthier, and you're likely to feel happier - having learned valuable lessons from your first romantic experience.

And we come to learn that every partnership is different. Some couples 'know' immediately that this is the person they are meant to be with, and other couples may start out as friends and it takes longer for feelings of romance to blossom. No two loves are the same.

2. You have a better idea of what you want (and need)

Relationships can be exciting in different ways. But as we become more mature and experienced, we realise that some of our previous 'priorities' when looking for love may not have been sustainable or beneficial to our long term goals.

The first time around, you might have been looking for someone 'tall with a fit body' - and sure, when you're younger and motivated by short-term fulfilment, that's understandable. Part of the fun is figuring out whether the jitters, the emotions, and the giddiness was actually love or just an intense crush.

The second time around, you will have developed more familiarity around these feelings, and more sure of yourself - meaning that you tend to feel more mature, stable and satisfied with your decisions, and how they might shape your long term future.

You know yourself, and you know where you might have gone wrong previously. You'll have realised that the real things to look to are: How do they treat me? Do we have shared values? or Are we looking for a similar type of relationship at this time? These questions are much more likely to lead you to a happy relationship than the 'high' feeling of falling in love for the first time.

3. You make an effort to seek out healthier relationships

Now that you know what went wrong look for someone for all the right reasons. Yes, attraction is important, but you also want to find someone on the same page regarding key issues.

A lot of heartbreak also comes from starting our on the same page but being on a completely separate trajectory. You want to know all this about another person before considering them seriously as a life partner.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll be able to work it out later if it’s not right from the beginning. Does this person appreciate who you are and all that you’ve gone through in your life? Are you on the same page about family, children, where to live, and honouring each other’s careers?

Now is the time to establish each other's attachment styles and what love language each of you speak and respond best to? (This is why REDDI has built so much science into its platform!)

4. You fall in love in a more gradual, controlled way

Often with your first love, you may fall hard and fast, often referred to as 'love at first sight'. This can typically be a product of age, environment, stage of life, or simply never having experienced this indescribable feeling before.

But when we are so seemingly intoxicated, our ability to act with logic may become impaired. We may become carried away with perceived ideals, and may miss some red flags (or indeed, beige flags...) while we're being swept off our feet. We may also overlook some of those all-important green flags.

But the second time around, our feelings may be a little slower to develop - and that's a good thing. You are not so innocent, as you have been in love before and felt all the emotions that go along with it. You may be a bit more protective, want to make sure the relationship could work long-term, and you don't want to repeat past mistakes.

Now, this doesn't mean that falling in love for a second time means that you are any less in love than you were the first time around - no: in fact, if you are taking your time and moving slower, it may feel more secure and more real as you are trying to evaluate if this person has long-term potential. This is different than your pure first love, where you may have fallen hard, very quickly and then asked questions later.

5. You have a fresh sense of appreciation - and it shows

If you've loved and lost in the past, you'll know that it's not an easy experience to go through. But as we grow, we learn that relationships don't just 'happen' - they take work. Happiness isn't always guaranteed; and you therefore can’t afford to be taking anything for granted.

You'll have realised that even the things that you love the most can be taken from you in a split second; and that’s why you gain a greater appreciation for even the little things, while ensuring that you acknowledge and nurture each good thing about your partner - no matter how small.

As a result, we take more time to appreciate the finer details and take more ownership of our actions. It's a true sign of maturity and growth when we realise that two people have the responsibility to make one another feel valued as part of a whole relationship, if it is to truly thrive.

So, contrary to popular belief, love the second time around can be even better than the first. You're older, you're wiser - and you know yourself a little better. Don't be afraid to take a chance: keep your eyes and your heart open.

You'll likely never forget your first love, but this often teaches and prepares us for know more, greater loves in the future - and that is something worth looking forward to.

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