The first time I was interested in a serious relationship, I was in the university (that is, I was completely uninterested while in secondary school). And then, it was really a very casual one and what I would describe as only a thing of the mind. I call it a thing of the mind because it is that kind of relationship where you just assume that something is going on between you two but in fact, nothing is actually happening.
Then a few years after (you know I am not a frequent dater. right), I found someone who I instantaneously loved. She was fun to be with and beautiful (I could say more beautiful than the previous ones). I still don't fully know why your newer girlfriends or boyfriends have to be more beautiful or handsome but if that were true, that would be a topic for another day.
In my post of three persons you fall in love with throughout your lifetime, this kind of love was described where you perceive it as the love you have always desired. The butterflies in your stomach won't stop flying and you just wished they would say "yes" immediately. But she always deferred it to a later time or would occasionally tell me, "that she is not interested in a relationship then".
It was clear she does not love me to the extent that I wished for.
What I learnt from this stage of my relationship life is that love is better sustained when it is mutually experienced. Love can stand-in for the other when they are not feeling it as such, but it is best if the love is resuscitated within the shortest possible time.
In my post here, I talked about how to know true love from just something else, and one of the important things noted there was "love increases with time, whereas, mere lust would be seen to decrease as time passes by or as the primary goal is achieved".
But this was a case of someone I truly loved with all the goodness of my heart, but then after she turned me down, I was able to completely erase her off my mind without feeling a thing other than happiness. Would you now say that was not true love because it was transient?
The post-heartbreak period was interesting I must say. It was interesting because I had the freedom combined with some fears, to remain single by myself. I didn't consider moving on with any other lady because I needed more time to understand some more things about why certain things happen and what lessons you could learn from them. I'd recommend this to all who are passing through a heartbreak. Don't rush into another relationship because you think that is the best way to punish your undeserving ex. You need time to learn your lessons and get better.
The only shortcoming to this was that it made me really rigid against entering any new relationship. It was really hard to finally become free to relate with the ladies 'em like I used to do on a normal social basis. A big setback, you'd say but it didn't pass without me learning some big lessons too.
At emotional maturity, I am able to control my feelings and not even allow butterflies to hover in my stomach but I still feel the strong connection with those I love. It is as though you do not stake your entire life for them such that, you love them dearly but at the same time, willing to let them go if that will be the best for their life and for yours too.
By the time, you begin to interpret those butterflies as love, you may become tempted to label their absence as lack of love or something, but it suffices to add that it has been my favourite slogan that "love is beyond the feelings; it is what remains when all the feelings are drained out and nothing else left".