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As a little girl, you throw on your light blue Cinderella dress and put on your glass slippers in hopes that Prince Charming will save you from all the evil villains. From the age of five, I dreamed of getting rescued by a handsome boy; we would fall in love, live happily ever after, and the rest would be a fairytale. 

Eventually I grew up and learned that not every boy I met would be my Prince Charming. 

The love experts say a girl has three loves in her life as she enters her 20s and 30s. The first love is introduced to you at a young age. This love is purely based on puppy love. Two people who are so new to the idea of being infatuated with each other that they go all in with their hearts with absolutely no safety net to protect them in the end. The second love will completely break your heart and leave it in pieces. This love is based on deception and growing pains. Typically, a person goes all in on this love with no thought of the consequence of their heart being broken. Lastly, the third love catches you by surprise. This love is built on healing each other, supporting each other, and helping one another grow to be the best versions of yourselves.

I guess you could say I have had a bit of experience with falling completely in love. But I have also had my heart crushed. To be honest, I never thought my heart would heal after my first true heart break.   

These are my letters to my three loves.

To my First Love:

I look back on our love and cherish every moment. You taught me that it is ok to open my heart to another person. As the years have gone on, I look back and realize that I did love you, but I was not IN love with you. You were the first boy to show me attention and call me beautiful and make me feel like the prettiest girl in the world. You were the first boy to kiss me and give me butterflies in my stomach. For a teenage girl, their first kiss is equivalent to their first steps as a baby. So new and exciting. Our love was so exciting and fun in the beginning of our relationship. Eventually our love faded though, and it was not fun and exciting anymore. We started to grow up and grow apart. We had different lives we were maturing into, and those particular lives did not include one another. Our love was a gift to me because I learned that loving someone is the very premise to what a relationship should be. In the end I definitely loved you as a friend more than a partner, but all in all, thank you for introducing me to the word love.

To my Second Love:

I forgive you. I forgive you for the lying, deception, and cruelty that you brought into our relationship. I was not careful with my heart with our love. I let you be the center of my world. To me, nothing else mattered. I let myself be open and allowed myself to give you every part of me without hesitation. Our relationship was filled with growing pains that became lessons I took with me in my future relationships. So, I guess what I want to say to you is thank you. Thank you for teaching me how I want to love a person, but not how I want a person to love me. I can’t say I wish I never met you because then I would be lying to myself. But I also cannot say that I am glad I met you. So, I guess I am torn within myself. By the end of our relationship, I became insecure and lost touch with myself.

To my Third Love:

I am not the person I was with my two past relationships. I am stronger and more independent, but a lot less trusting. I learned to not rely on a guy for happiness. I learned to protect and guard my heart.  In the beginning of our relationship, I put up walls because I was scared to trust someone. I was hesitant to let you into my life with the fear of going through a cycle of lies just to get hurt again. But you were patient with me and allowed me to let you in on my own pace. You assured me that it is ok to open myself up completely because you aren’t going anywhere. I pray to God every day that we will continue to help each other grow and support each other to follow our dreams. With our love came maturity, trust, friendship, honesty, and happiness. You make me laugh and love not only you, but you helped me love myself again. I love our love.

To that little girl in that light blue Cinderella dress now:

You are going to be ok. Relationships have obstacles and hardships, but somewhere along the way you got mixed up with what love really meant. Love between two people at such a young age should be light and fun. You should laugh and find happiness within each other. You are stronger than you will ever think because you learned you deserve the world and more. You stopped weighing yourself down and found your worth as a person. Protect your heart but allow yourself to be vulnerable with the person you love.

Emma Pascarella is a junior attending The College of New Jersey. Emma is majoring in Journalism with a minor in Psychology in hopes to be a broadcast journalist when she graduates! Emma is also a member on the women’s soccer team at The College of New Jersey. XOXO
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