In my lifetime, I have only had two surreal loves. I kept re-reading the article about how you "fall in love three times and each one teaches you a lesson." I continually went through all the men that I dated, and compared them to one another, like I had to justify why I was or was not in love with them, and if any of them actually taught me something.

The truth is, my very first love was close to perfect. He didn't treat me like shit (the way these articles made it out to be). I sought for perfection my first go around, and I damn near got it. He was the exact type of guy I thought I'd spend my life with. Here's the kicker—it didn't end because one of us messed up big time, or that he treated me like shit. It just wasn't meant to be and sometimes that happens.

Who is to say you won't fall in love five, six or even 10 times? If you're lucky enough to experience 10 different men that make you fall in love all over again then kudos to you. For me, it only happened twice, but I still count myself extremely lucky. There is no exact amount of times that makes falling in love acceptable or not. Love is love, you can't put some random number on it and expect it to work.

It says the first love teaches you how you don't want to be treated.

I suppose for some that may hold some truth, but I think that's because the majority of women don't know how they want or would like to be treated. For myself, I grew up watching two really strong people love unconditionally. It came with some fights here and there, but for the most part, they spent every day teaching me what a solid foundation of love and trust looked like. I anticipated that from the start of my relationships and that's exactly what I got. Not everyone has to experience someone treating them like shit for it to count as a "first love" that taught some kind of "valuable lesson."

The idea then claims how you'll fall in love again with someone who would completely shatter your heart.

Which for the majority of people, has happened. It's pretty reasonable to expect a heartbreak in the course of your life. It's either you stay together and get married, one of you breaks the other's heart, or you mutually decide to end things for one another's best interest. Those are the possible scenarios, so you have a 1 out of 3 chance that it'll happen to you. Once again, I steered in a different direction than the article claimed I'd take.

I am engaged to my second love.

That's right, I didn't bounce from one guy treating me like shit to the next guy crushing my heart, to the last guy making me his wife. I did things in an altogether different order and I'm proud of that.

For someone else, they may fall in love with 15 guys, and maybe each one of them will want to make that lucky girl his wife. Yes, maybe she does the heartbreaking, or maybe she gets her heart broken each time. Who knows, but it's comforting to know that each person has a different route they take and not sticking to the "Three Loves" bullshit. Why? Because no love story is ever the same, and it's actually quite amusing someone could think it is.

My second love didn't make me realize why it never worked out with the first. He didn't make my other love seem like a mistake or a regret. It just worked out with my fiance and I believe happened for a reason. I don't hold one any higher than the other. The only difference is the man I'm engaged to is someone that I'm in love with, and the man whose path didn't align with mine is still someone I hold a lot of love and respect for in my heart, but just wasn't meant to spend his life with me.

Whatever your order is, embrace it and be proud. Make sure to say "fuck the order other people think I should do this in" and live for whatever order you want that to be.