They say that your first love is the deepest and I can testify to that because my first love really did cut the deepest... in fact it clear cut most of my heart away and the part I had left was working overtime assuming it was whole. A good friend of mine has a theory on love that made sense of my hearts condition; it’s called Good shoes / Great shoes. Now I am a girly girl who loves shoes so this theory really struck a chord with me. There are two reasons a woman buys shoes; either she needs a specific pair, looks high and low but does not find a pair that has the magic that makes her fall in love but she sees a pair that is sleek, fit for purpose and could work well so she buys them. The second reason is that she walks past a shop or goes shopping, usually for something entirely different and her eyes fall upon a pair of shoes and its love at first sight, she absolutely has to have them no matter the cost or sacrifice. The Good shoes / Great shoes theory is exactly the same.
A Great pair of shoes represents your first love...your soul mate, the one who swept you off your feet and stole your heart, the one you love with the greatest intensity and passion, the one person who gets you, who can finish your sentences, who can call your bluff, who you can be completely vulnerable with, who can know your needs without you saying a word...and after they are gone, no matter how many people you meet or are with, that person is always right there in your heart…A sense of incompleteness , like something missing is left behind.
A Good pair of shoes is your second chance love…one you care about deeply and genuinely love and may even marry. But they never fully occupy your heart or inspire the kind of love that is expressed with an intensity of passion in which you are complete. The Good pair of shoes may even be better than your Great pair of shoes on paper, but in your heart different rules apply.
This got me thinking about how many couples are populated with the ‘Unknowing Broken Hearted One’ and their ‘Good pairs of shoes’. How many of them had settled, opting to be happy with someone rather than be alone with their broken heart. Or those who do not even realise that the Great pair of shoes they once possessed had walked away with lion’s share of their hearts which has caused a limiting effect in how much of themselves they can give to their current significant other. So as they go on through life meeting Good pairs of shoes, they don't realise that what was missing, what was letting down the otherwise agreeable union was their attachment to their long lost Great pair of shoes.
As human beings are relational in nature, it is understandable that the broken hearted would seek out a Good pair of shoes in the event that they lost their Great pair along the journey of life. For the ‘Settlers’ there is a conscious choice to move on from their Great pair of shoes and find happiness which they value above all else and this often is a strong enough motive to keep the new relationship intact through the storms of life. Unfortunately for those who fall into the category of the ‘Un-knowing’, if their Great pair of shoes returned, they would be ill prepared to navigate through that situation, being fully convinced that their current partner is a Great pair of shoes and the result is irreversible damage to all parties. In speaking with a divorce counselor recently, I discovered that up to 50% of divorces in the United Kingdom are as a result of the ‘Broken hearted’ reuniting with their ‘Great pair of shoes’.
It is said that your first love [aka Great pair of shoes] is your ‘soul mate’ in that they are the first soul tie that you make in the course of your life and therefore that connection remains the strongest you will ever have with anyone. This type of connection is said to be an involuntary state that happens to you without you specifically going out to seek it, however people are relational in nature therefore we are constantly seeking relationship with others whether consciously or sub-consciously. The intensity of those relationships however cannot be predicted and are wholly dependent on the compatibility of the parties involved.
When all is said and done, love and to love is or should be a conscious decision one makes after clear thought and consideration of the consequences with a genuine desire and commitment to see it through for life. Many people who have ended up with a Good pair of shoes are in better relationships because the person wearing that label can often times be a better person, love them better and be more compatible to them than their Great pair of shoes ever was. We like to romanticize and glorify first loves, because we look at them through rose tinted glasses. As time passes and we age, the actual relationship gets further and further away from the present and it becomes easier to turn a first love experience into a romantic fairytale, completely distorting the facts.
My opinion has always been that; the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence…time changes everything especially people…love is a choice that we make ourselves. But What I have learnt from my friend is that sometimes your heart chooses and sometimes love can just be a decision reached through a balance of probabilities or a scoring sheet. Love can sneak up on you and impose itself and sometimes, following your heart is the right thing to do, the honest thing to do because no one wants to be 'second choice', to be a runner up in a relationship that will shape the majority of their living years...A woman always knows when she is not your first choice and that for some they can love enough to balance it out because having that pair is more important than being loved completely...Others want to hold out for that Great pair, and be a Great pair for the one they are with...Bottom line, love is more confusing than I could ever understand or share in this post... So whatever relationship we find ourselves in today, know this, that we only get one shot at life, this is not a dress rehearsal so time is not something we can afford to spend away with the wrong person...