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Second Love

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From Gwen to MJ

Sorry, girl, but you missed out
Well tough luck, that boy's mine now
We are more than just good friends
This is how the story ends.
Avril Lavigne, "Sk8er Boi"

"First Love is the Best Love", that's what they say. Who "they" are is a mystery, but they are (occasionally) wrong. In reality, many people fall in love a second, third, or even fourth time. Despite the First Girl Wins trope, there are many cases when the second girl (not necessarily Last Girl) ends up with the guy. This happens with the guy as well, but not as often. This is not to say that first love can't ever work out, this trope applies to when the first love does not work out and is relevant.

Reasons for the first love not working out vary. The person may have cheated on their significant other, turned evil, or even died. Widowing is popular, as it allows the old love interest to be "out of the way" without ruining the dignity or reputation of either of the pair (especially if the deceased is played up as having been Too Good for This Sinful Earth). Often, for added tension, the first and second loves know each other, or may have been sworn enemies. In some more supernatural cases, the second love happens to look exactly like the first one.


A common ploy is to find the second love to be "true" or "real" love, compared to the first. But unlike the The Casanova, the Casanova Wannabe and even the Chivalrous Pervert, they definitely felt something for the first love.

Quite often the result of Wrong Guy First — which may make Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids! complicate this. Single Woman Seeks Good Man is more likely to succeed All Girls Want Bad Boys than the other way round.

Compare Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder. Contrast You Have Waited Long Enough, The Mourning After. Occasional overlap with December–December Romance.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In High School D×D, Issei's first love was with a girl named Yuma Amano, and went out of his way to be a gentleman to create the perfect first date. However, he quickly learns that his girlfriend is a Fallen Angel named Raynare, who then breaks up with him in the worst way possible. This would haunt Issei for some time before realizing that he's in love with his master Rias Gremory.
  • Dragon Ball's Bulma starts out as Yamcha's girlfriend, a relationship that continues until about halfway into Dragon Ball Z. At some unknown point, they split up for good and Bulma ends up having a family with Vegeta.
  • Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin eventually ends up with Kaoru Kamiya after getting over his guilt of accidentally killing his first wife, Tomoe. Ironically, he was Tomoe's second love too, having killed her fiancé Akira during the war: Tomoe initially wanted revenge on Kenshin for that, but upon finding out that Kenshin was no monster, she fell for him... and sacrificed her life to save him. Too bad her little brother didn't see it that way at least until the very end.
  • Tsukushi Makino from Boys over Flowers eventually falls in love and ends up with Domyoji instead of her first love, Rui. She undoubtedly would have ended up with Rui if he hadn't been so smitten with Shizuka for most of the series.
  • Hatsumi from the Hot Gimmick manga ends up with Ryoki Tachibana because her first love, Azusa, tried to get her raped as revenge. And if we follow the novels, she actually ends up with her third love, Shinogu.
  • Akane from Ranma ½ ends up falling in love with Ranma after getting over her first love, Doctor Tofu. Additionally, Ryoga falls in love with Akari and gives up on Akane.
  • Taiga Aisaka and Ryuuji Takasu from Toradora! eventually fall in love, despite initially having first loves (Taiga liking Yuusaku and Ryuuji liking Minori).
  • Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku eventually gets married to Yusaku after being widowed from her first love and husband, Soichiro.
    • Shun Mitaka also initially was in love with Kyoko, but eventually reciprocated his fiancée Asuna Kujou's feelings and married her.
  • Inuyasha: Inuyasha and Kikyou had vowed to marry before being torn apart by Naraku. Kagome heals Inuyasha's heart, but their romance is complicated by the resurrection of Kikyou by dark magic. Being officially obliged to both women, Inuyasha cannot give up either, a situation only resolved when Kikyou is able to rest in peace, allowing him to move on with Kagome. However, while Kagome and Kikyou are two different women, Kagome is Kikyou's reincarnated soul. Her very existence is the result of Kikyou's lingering desire to meet Inuyasha again. This results in a strange combination of First Girl Wins and Second Love at the same time.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • While their relationship isn't shown in great detail, Kittan could be considered Yoko's second love. His appearance in her ideal universe alongside obvious "first love" Kamina and their touching encounter before Kittan's suicide run hint at it, but never really bring closure to the idea.
    • Nia is this for Simon. His first love, Yoko, was admittedly just an adolescent crush, but it was strong enough to drive him crazy when she and Kamina kissed. But then Kamina dies, then Nia comes along, and he falls for her. Their love becomes strong. Very strong. As in a flying-across-the-galaxy-in-a-cool-ship-to save-her-from-an-evil-God-by-kicking-said-evil-God's-ass level of strong.
  • Casca from Berserk eventually falls in love with Guts. Though it's debatable whether she just had a case of hero worship with Griffith or if she genuinely was in love with him. However, the good times didn't last for long for these two.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, both Sakura and Syaoran's first love was Yukito. They later find out it was just a passing crush and get together.
    • Also, Yukito himself is the second love of Touya, Sakura's older brother.
      • Touya's first love, Kaho, gets a second love in Eriol.
      • And on a technical note, Yukito being Yue means Touya is the second love for Yue after Clow. Sense a theme?
  • In the manga Juline, Juline's first love was her guardian Ryoku. However, Ryoku dies. She eventually reciprocates her best friend Kio's feelings.
  • In the manga The Devil Does Exist, Kayano's first love was Kamijou Yuuichi. She later falls in love with and marries Jerkass Takeru, because All Girls Want Bad Boys.
  • In Marmalade Boy, Ginta Suoh and Arimi Suzuki are each other's second loves after they team up to get their first loves's affections and fail. As they mourn their losses together, they become genuinely fond of each other and hook up, becoming one of the two Beta Couples (the other being Meiko and Namura).
  • In Peach Girl, Momo was first in love with Toji, but later falls for (and ends up with) Kairi.
  • Yuki Eiri of Gravitation was in love with his tutor Kitazawa when he was younger and more innocent, and still carries a torch for him after six years even after Kitazawa almost has him raped by his friends and Yuki killed him in self-defense. Only when he meets Shuichi does he begin healing from the pain of his first love. Hiro is Ayaka's second love, Yuki being her first and depending on how one sees Hiro's feelings for Shuichi, Ayaka could be Hiro's second love also.
  • In Video Girl Ai, Youta's first love was Moemi, which was unrequited. He eventually falls in love (and ends up) with Ai, whose original purpose was to cheer him up and encourage him to pursue his love.
  • Mitsuki from Full Moon first loved Eichi, who was her childhood friend. However, she later finds out that he died. She eventually falls in love with Takuto, and they end up together (which may be rather Squick-worthy to some, considering that Takuto was fourteen when she was born, saw her as a baby, and was even the one that named her. But as "the cool older boyfriend" is common in shoujo manga, this is rather overlooked by many Full Moon fans, and the author herself who claims "Takuto is a pure-hearted young man who heals Mitsuki's wounds". Added to this, Mitsuki turns 16 (a legal marriage age in Japan) in the manga before revealing her feelings for Takuto.)
    • Not as squicky, but Eichi was a lot older than Mitsuki as well...he was in his pre-teens when she was a tiny little girl. A lot of people don't count the time he was "dead" as his living time, making him having been in the real world for no more than 19 years or so. Still, though, he was a Shinigami...
  • In the manhwa Threads Of Time, protagonist Moon-Bin's first love was his loyal servant Chung-War. She reciprocated his feelings, but unfortunately, she was captured by the enemies and forced to marry one of the higher-up soldiers. He got drunk over it, and promptly met his to-be-second-love, Atan Hadas. Although he didn't love her as much as she loved him, they eventually do end up together. Sort of. If you count her reincarnation in the future as being the same person.
  • In Gankutsuou, Valentine's first love had been her fiancé, Franz. However, Franz in turn had an unrequited love for Albert, and ignored her most of the time. She later falls in love with and marries Maximilien.
  • In Gantz, Kei Kurono's first love was Kei Kishimoto. Unfortunately for him, she fell for Kato instead of him. He eventually gets over it, and falls in love with Tae, who becomes his official girlfriend. The same happened with Clone Kurono, who decided to hook up with Reika after he realized that his feelings for Tae would never be requited.
  • In Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn Asuka's and Lunamaria Hawke's respective first loves are Stellar Louissier and Athrun Zala. Stellar dies tragically, Athrun, along with Lunamaria's sister, Meyrin, defect, are shot down by Shinn and presumed to be dead. They got better. Lunamaria and Shinn end up together but due to the way it was handled, they are widely believed to have been Strangled by the Red String (even by the fans who ship them).
  • In Gundam SEED Kira Yamato's first love was Flay Allster. It ended horribly. He eventually falls in love with Lacus Clyne. There's also Marrue Ramius, who is mourning her late fianc&eacute for much of the series until she gets together with Mu la Flaga near the end.
  • In D.N.Angel, Daisuke's first love was Risa. He eventually falls in love and ends up with her twin sister, Riku.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Chrono was originally in love with a woman named Mary Magdalene, who he accidentally killed. The main bulk of the story, however, is concerned with Chrono's relationship with his partner, Rosette Christopher. In the anime he says to Mary's ghost that he's grown to love Rosette so much that "Rosette's taken over the place [she] used to occupy in my heart", but the manga occasionally implies that Chrono never fully gets over his first love, but grows to love Rosette just as much.
  • Princess Tutu has a spoileriffic example: Ahiru originally loves Mytho, but grows closer to Fakir throughout the show, and is implied to end up with him after Mytho chooses Rue to be his princess in the Grand Finale. Also, a childhood friend of Fakir's, Raetsel, is shown struggling with a love for his foster father, Karon, but eventually ends up marrying another man.
  • In the anime version of Prétear, Takako fell in love with Hayate, but was rejected by him. She didn't handle it well (understatement), but eventually ends up with Sasame, who had loved her from the beginning.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, as shown in a side story in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Sousuke is Kaname's second love - her first being Fuwa, a senpai she dated during junior high.
    • Interestingly enough, Tessa, the other part of that Love Triangle, was initially the girlfriend of Bunny Morauta (the whispered that built the Arbalest). However, he died, and she ended up meeting and falling in love with Sousuke.
  • Something of a theme in Junjou Romantica. Usami is shown to have been in love with his friend Takahiro for ten years before falling for Takahiro's younger brother Misaki. Hiroki, in turn, suffered from unrequited love for Usami from early on in their childhood acquaintance, but found his second love with Nowaki. And Miyagi spent years not letting himself get over his first love (a teacher who died of a terminal illness while he was still in high school), before finally unthawing when he met Shinobu.
  • Candy's first love was Anthony, who died tragically. Then she mets Terry, who becomes her second love, but their relationship didn't end well.
  • In Reborn! (2004), Kyoko's best friend, Hana, first had a huge crush on adult Lambo. Later, 10 years into the future, however, it's revealed that she's going out with Ryouhei. So if she indeed ends up with him, he'll have been her second love.
    • And as for Ryouhei himself, Hana herself would also be his second love, as his first love would be the adult I-Pin. A coincidence that it correlates with Hana's? I think not.
  • Eureka Seven featured two examples by way of a Love Dodecahedron. Before getting together, Holland and Talho each had a lover, Renton's sister Diane and Holland's own brother Dewey, respectively.
  • Oishinbo: Morisawa and Yamawaki.
  • In Immortal Rain, Machika is Rain's second love (Freya was his first). There may have been others (he's really old) but these are the ones shown. Eury might be this for Ayla...maybe.
  • In High School Debut, the main girl (Haruna) falls for Fumi, a friend of the main guy at first. And the main guy, Yoh, is even helping her to date him! Then, Fumi dates Yoh's sister, Asa, who only dated him because Haruna liked him. It's all very confusing.
  • In The Rose of Versailles, André is a second love for Oscar, after her unrequited love for Fersen. But Oscar was the first (and only) love for André, as well Fersen is the first for Marie-Antoinette.
  • Although the title character of Hayate the Combat Butler could end up with his first love Athena, it's been strongly hinted that he won't, thus, applying this trope to the young woman he does choose out of his Unwanted Harem. He's promised that he still will care for his first love though.
  • Van of GUN×SWORD continues to love his fiancée after her tragic death, but the last episode of the series hints that he may have found his second love. This is a case where the first love was most definitely "the real thing;" so much so that the second love comes off looking like a consolation prize in comparison.
  • In Super GALS! Yuya falls in love with Ran right off the bat. Yuya eventually falls in love for real with his girlfriend Mami Honda. Also, it turns out Rei liked Ran from the start as well but after they agree it wouldn't work (because Ran is dating somebody else) he goes out with Aya and he is her First Love.
  • Morinaga of the Boys' Love manga The Tyrant Falls in Love was left broken-hearted as a teenager when his first love, Masaki, broke up with him and was Driven to Suicide after Morinaga's straight older brother, and Masaki's actual love, caught them having sex. Masaki gets better. Morinaga says that his love for his senpai Souichi cured him of his long-term The Mourning After.
  • In another BL manga, Future Lovers, Akira's first love is a straight man, making it an Incompatible Orientation. Akira cries over him at an early point in the story.
  • Considering that Ringo Oginome from Penguindrum starts crushing on Tabuki-sensei, the trope will come in if she falls for Shouma Takakura, whom she's had quite a bit of Ship Tease. It does, in the Grand Finale. And then Shouma is Ret Goned to save Ringo, with his Famous Last Words doubling as a Dyingdeclaration Of Love for her.
  • Implied to be the case in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, as the ending hints that Yukiatsu and Tsuruko might have gotten together, and that Jintan and Anaru will probably do so in the future as well. This is after Menma's ghost is able to move on.
  • In Bakuman。, the main character's uncle, Nobuhiro Mashiro, and Miho's mother, Miyuki Haruno, corresponded via letters for a long time, but could never admit how they felt to each other, possibly because they were waiting for the other to say it (and in Nobuhiro's case, he was unwilling to do it until he was sure he had a hit). Eventually, Miyuki moved on to fall in love with and marry Mr. Azuki, having two daughters with him; Miho and Mina.
  • In Kokoro Connect:
    • Quite a bit of drama between Aoki and Yui is drawn from this, when it's revealed that Aoki used to love a girl similar to Yui, Nana Nishino.
    • Taichi also ends up falling in love with Inaba, after getting dumped by Iori.
  • In the Area 88 manga, Sela serves as this for Mickey. Years before in New York, Mickey and Tracy broke off their engagement, and Mickey became a mercenary in Asran shortly thereafter. Later in the manga, Mickey falls in love with Sela, who defected from Project 4 to the Asranian pro-government forces.
  • In Detective Conan, Sato lost her First Love Matsuda to a terrorist attack. Since she's in a Love Triangle with Takagi and Shiratori, either of them will be her Second Love. Takagi is the one she falls for.
  • In Daytime Shooting Star, this is a big theme. Minagawa is this for Yuyuka after being rejected, while Suzume is this for Shishio after his breakup with Tsubomi. Mamura and Suzume start going out in chapter 61, although Suzume isn't sure about her feelings for both Mamura and Shishio. It is in the last chapter where Suzume finally hears Shishio's confession and acknowledges that Shishio was her first love but has already realized that her current feelings remain with Mamura.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul: Jack, the backstory of Fura during his teenage years reveals that he initially fell for Minami, the beautiful Damsel in Distress that gets rescued by them from a ghoul. Unfortunately for him, she seemed to be crushing on Arima. Even more unfortunately, Minami turns out to actually be the ghoul that killed his childhood friend and blinded his other female childhood friend in one eye. After this, many years into the future, Fura is happily married to his childhood friend, Aki, and they have a daughter together.
  • Nitori's first crush in Wandering Son was her friend Takatsuki in elementary, however he didn't feel the same. Her second crush was an older girl named Anna that she and her sister met during modeling. They begin dating in middle school and continue dating even when Nitori Graduates from the Story and starts college.
  • Jewelpet:
    • Jewelpet (2009): it's implied that Rinko has a Precocious Crush on Tatewaki but this gets phased out after Akira is introduced and Rinko develops a more mutual crush on him. They manage to overcome a third suitor and become the Official Couple at the end.
    • Lady Jewelpet: Romeo falls in love with Momona, but since she's in love with Cayenne, she turns him down. Romeo gets over it fast since he knew he didn't stand much of a chance, and later falls in love with Elena and it's reciprocated.
  • In Yona of the Dawn, Yona had been pining after Su-Won for at least a decade until he murdered her father, usurped her throne, and chased her and Hak out of the castle. It took her awhile to heal after the betrayal, but she eventually finds that she's fallen for Hakwho'd loved her all along.
  • UQ Holder! features two post-series examples for its prequel series Negima! Magister Negi Magi, to wit:
    • In the actual, post-Negima timeline (where Asuna gets to return), Nagi eventually married Evangeline after being rescued from the Lifemaker. Given that Arika's fate was already a huge case of What Happened to the Mouse?, it only raised further questions.
    • Meanwhile, in the Asuna-less timeline (aka the current UQ setting), Evangeline apparently outgrew her affection for Nagi by falling for Negi.note 
  • It's implied in Yuri!!! on Ice that Yuuri's First Love was his childhood friend Yuuko, who's Happily Married to his other childhood friend Takeshi. Therefore, his second love is his once Celeb Crush, later coach/boyfriend/fiancé Victor Nikiforov.
  • Ilulu from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid initially starts off interested in Kobayashi, though she admits in chapter 52 that she doesn't really have a chance with her and instead switches her attention to Taketo.
  • Ishigami deconstructs this in Kaguya-sama: Love is War when talking with Maki about what would happen if she started dating her crush Tsubasa, pointing out that anything they did together would be compared to his current girlfriend Kashiwagi.
    Ishigami: Think about it. All the places you wanted to take him on dates - they're going there now. When you two go to an amusement park for the first time, won't he be thinking, "I came here before with my ex..."? When you cook for him, he'll be comparing it to he ex's. When it's your first kiss but he's already experienced, and when he already knows where all the love hotels are...
  • Bloom Into You:
    • Sayaka had once been in a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with her senpai from her previous school, but they broke up because the older girl merely saw it as a phase. Sayaka was heartbroken, and briefly intended never to fall in love with a girl again. Then Sayaka met Touko, and fell in love with her at first sight. Touko rejects Sayaka, but in the years after they graduate, Sayaka gets into a relationship with a girl named Haru.
    • When Riko was in college, she broke up with her boyfriend. On the rebound, she met and gradually fell in love with Miyako Kodama, a classmate who went on to own a coffee shop.
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Hahari's first love died from a terminal illness when they were thirteen. Years later, she meets Rentarou, and upon discovering that they are soulmates, becomes his sixth girlfriend.
  • In the original webnovel, Kirito from Sword Art Online actually meets his eventual girlfriend Asuna first, but his first love is Sachi, the female member of the Black Cats of the Full Moon. It took him a while to open up to Asuna because he was still grieving over Sachi's death due to not being able to protect her like he promised. This is averted in the later adaptations with him and Sachi being close friends instead.

    Comic Books 
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, April is actually Casey's second love. Before they became an item, he had fallen in love with and married Gabrielle, a Colorado waitress. It was only after Gabrielle had died and left Casey with a daughter that a romance with April began. For the longer version see the second bullet below.
    • April and Casey were in the early stages of forming a relationship when he accidentally kills a teenage mugger during the City at War arc. This leads him into a drunken spiral and the two of them break up almost as soon as they get together. Then he meets Gabrielle who is essentially his Second Love who, sadly, dies in childbirth. He then returns to New York and reunites with April and eventually marries her. So April is really his first and third loves.
  • Spider-Man: Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker's first love (albeit not his first girlfriend), and her death is one of the most iconic deaths in comics. Mary Jane Watson would be his second love, though he technically knew Mary Jane longer, but their relationship wasn't "love" until long after Gwen died.
  • Superman fell in love with Lois Lane (and in the Post-Crisis universe, married her) after a boyhood romance with Lana Lang.
  • Madelyne Pryor and Cyclops. Complicated by the fact that Madelyne is actually a clone of Jean Grey, the first love, and things just get more complicated from there.
  • In the Star Wars Tales comic Lucky: The Curse of Wedge Antilles, we see that as a teenager Wedge was in love with a Rebel sympathizer named Mala, only for her to be killed by Imperials while he was "luckily" away hauling cargo; he never got to say that he loved her. Flash forward to the X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics and he has a casual romance with a quartermaster named Reina. Flash forward to the X-Wing Series novels and he starts getting close to a widow named Iella, only to back off with no hard feelings when they found out her husband wasn't dead; when he died for real, they started romancing each other a little more, but drifted apart. In the Jedi Academy Trilogy Wedge fell hard for Qwi, a scientist who worked on the Death Star, even writing poetry to her hair, and in Starfighters of Adumar they broke up on good terms and Wedge eventually got back with Iella. He married Iella and they had two daughters.
  • Teen Titans: Raven is this for Beast Boy, his first love being Jillian Jackson.
  • Batman: Bruce Wayne's first love was Vicky Vale, but his second love was much more popular. Three guesses who she is.
    • Following his adopted father's footsteps, Tim Drake's first love was Ariana Dzerchenko and his second love was with Stephanie Brown. In fact, Tim is Stephanie's second love — her first boyfriend, Dean, got her pregnant and abandoned her after he found out.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Antoine D'Coolette's "first love" is either Princess Sally or some cat shown once in the comic, Tatiana. His much better known for his relationship with Bunie Rabbit, to the point that his marriage with her carried over to the reboot.
  • In the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch's original girlfriend was Dorrie Evans, a teenager he met and dated for the duration of his solo feature in Strange Tales. After his Strange Tales features ended, Dorrie showed up in an issue of Fantastic Four just so that it could be revealed that she was now dating other guys. The Torch quickly rebounded when he met Crystal of The Inhumans (introduced in the very same issue where Dorrie broke up with him, no less), who subsequently went on to become his most famous love interest. In a bit irony, this trope applies to Crystal herself, as while the Human Torch was her first boyfriend, the man she eventually ended up marrying was Quicksilver.
  • Wonder Woman becomes this for Superman in Kingdom Come, and Superman himself appears to be this for Wonder Woman in the New 52.
  • Batwoman:
    • Batwoman herself is this to Maggie Sawyer, after Mags broke up with Toby Raynes. She was married to a man before, but it's implied it was a way to suffocate her lesbian feelings.
    • Maggie is this to Batwoman herself, who had a long relationship with Renee Montoya.
  • In Runaways we have two instances of this trope.
    • Victor is this for Nico, after her first love, Alex, betrayed the team and died. It takes them some time to get there, through. And this romance ends once Victor cheats on her with another girl.
      • In the Bad Future where Victor became the supervillain Victorious, he was Gert's second love; in that future, Chase died and Gert apparently fell in love with Victor while they were both serving in the Avengers.
    • Xavin is this for Karolina, after the latter's first crush, Nico, rejected her feelings on the ground of not being into girls (or deeply in the closet).
  • In the current line of Star Wars comics, Han Solo is revealed to have been married to a woman named Sana in the past before meeting Leia. Though its subverted when its revealed that they were never really married in the first place
  • In The Vision (2015), Virginia is Vision's second love after Scarlet Witch. It's a bit complicated, though, as Virginia's mind was originally modeled after Wanda's.
  • Similarly to the above, Wanda herself began dating Wonder Man after her relationship with Vision ended (the first time). As Vision's mind is based off of Wonder Man's, this caused some concern among her teammates.
  • In Tales of the Jedi, the widowed Nomi Sunrider finds a second love with Ulic Qel-Droma when she becomes a Jedi Knight. Unfortunately for her, Ulic winds up falling to the dark side and making himself an enemy, and she personally cuts him off from the Force after he kills his brother. She is therefore less than pleased when her daughter seeks training from him a decade later, but they wind up reconciling... before he's shot in the back by a bystander who wants to make history.

    Fan Works 
  • An... interesting example appears in Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità. Italy ends up with his second love, Japan - and his first love Germany.
  • In one Glee fanfic, Rachel is told that if you are in love with two people, choose the second one, because it wouldn't have happened if the first love was meant to be.
  • Another Glee fanfic is Bless the Broken Road. It's an AU of Burt and Carole's relationship. The title is a reference to a song that embodies the trope, as well.
  • Yet another Glee fic Cerebus Retcons Kurt into this for Blaine, combining it with The First Cut Is the Deepest and Wrong Guy First. The kicker? Blaine doesn't seem to have any concept of this and constantly wishes he'd met Kurt first.
  • In the Looney Tunes story Forever Loving You, Sylvia is upset that Sylvester is marrying Tweety. Fortunately, she finds her love in Tweety's ex-boyfriend, Tyler.
  • Fallout: Equestria has Littlepip hooking up with Homage after accepting that she and her childhood crush, Velvet Remedy, would never get together.
  • In How I Became Yours, Sokka finds a third love in Azula of all people, after it is offhandedly mentioned that he broke up with Suki. Subverted with Zuko and Katara; Zuko tells Mai that he never loved her after finding out that she kept Katara's letters hidden from him.
  • In the Katawa Shoujo fanfic Reconcliation, which takes place after Hanako's bad ending, Hisao and Lilly end up as a couple. Sho becomes this for Hanako.
  • Stars Above is all about this for Homura.
  • In Weekend at Hisao's, not only has Hisao gotten together with Shizune, but his old crush Iwanako has been dating his old best friend Takumi since a few months after he started at Yamaku. Takumi and Iwanako eventually break up and marry other people.
  • In the Dances with Wolves fic Thunder Horse, the eponymous character invokes this trope with regards to his wife.
    "I don't want you to ever be alone. If I cannot be here to love and protect you, let yourself love someone. It is what I want for you. Promise me that you will try to be happy again once your time to cry has passed."
  • Red Fire, Red Planet and Bait and Switch take place in the same Verse (a slightly chronology-altered Star Trek Online) and overlap a character, Ensign Kate McMillan. In RFRP she's engaged to an Academy classmate named Jacques Pierre, but in the later-set B&S she's dating a Klingon lieutenant named K'lak.
  • In Children of Time, Dr. Watson falls in love with Sally Sparrow, some years after the death of his first wife, Mary. He's not shown to have loved Mary any less, and we really shouldn't be surprised that John Watson, of all people, would have a big enough heart to have loved Mary and Sally equally.
  • In Shatterheart R!Syaoran believed that he would always love the original Sakura, but eventually moves on and fall in love with Kurogane.
  • According to Angel of the Bat, Cassandra Cain's first love was Stephanie Brown, but they never got the chance to hook up because Steph had a boyfriend and Incompatible Orientation. She later bonds and is shown in an early romance with Original Character Sadie, who shares her affection and interest.
  • In the Hobbit fanfic Wear a Flower in Your Hair, Fem!Bilbo first fell in love with an abusive jerk who just wanted to use her for sex because she's infertile, which makes her ineligible for marriage in Hobbit culture. Thorin is her second love.
  • In Redemption (KHR), Sawada Tsunayoshi's actions are a result of the death of his First Love, Sasagawa Kyoko. In the penultimate chapter, during the party celebrating the end of the war with the Scolgio, he catches sight of Chrome, and at the urging of Kyoko's spirit, telling him to live, goes over to her and asks her to dance. The epilogue reveals that he and Chrome eventually married.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations: Micchy, as with Gaim's series canon, his first love was Mai. But, it didn't go all too well. After exploring his backstory, he eventually ends up with Samus as a means of moving on from Mai. Samus, in turn, learns to share affection and maintains a healthy and mature relationship towards him.
  • The audio version of Bride of Discord very heavily implies Fluttershy is this to Discord, who was originally in love with Celestia.
  • As in the game, Mahanon is this for Cassandra in the Twice Upon an Age series. In the fic, however, she informs him about her first love Regalyan much sooner.
  • The Bridge:
    • Ki Seong had an Arranged Marriage to Cho Yon, and they fell in love, but he was murdered. She eventually gets together with Anguirus. Interestingly, at one point, Anguirus has to wear Cho Yon's unused wedding garment as a disguise to fool Jeog (Cho Yon's murderer), causing Seong to compare the two in her head.
    • Praetorian Guard 098 was married to Controller 011, but he was transformed into Monster X and she was killed, then he developed amnesia. Centuries later, X falls in love with Aria Blaze. His Superpowered Evil Side Kaizer Ghidorah doesn't like her and only cares about their deceased wife, but after X briefly sees Kaizer's memories of 011, X decides to move on. The author comments that fate sometimes gives people second chances when X manages to save Aria from a similar situation to what killed 011. Eventually, after a talk with Controller 011's ghost, Kaizer is finally able to move on and accept Aria.
  • In Comatose, Ariel's first love Eric was turned into a statue and then smashed. Ariel later meets Jim, whom she ends up marrying.
  • Bethany is this for Varric in the Skyhold Academy Yearbook series, although it's not discussed until fairly late in the series. He finally has a conversation with Dorian about The One That Got Away, and they both raise a glass "to letting go and holding on, in that order."
  • In Continuance, it's revealed that Souji Seta has had crushes on girls before meeting Yukiko, but since his parents moved around so much, he'd been forced to break up with them.
  • It is hinted several times in Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation that the original Superman hooked up with Wonder Woman some time after his wife's death.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 break their relationship off, and later they hook up with fellow Legionnaires Dev-Em and Laurel Kent, respectively.
  • Lilith for Kaldur in Young Justice Titans. It was even laid out in the stars when Conner mentioned that Kaldur hadn't been the same since he lost Tula.
  • Early in Son of the Sannin, Jiraiya becomes this to Tsunade, who takes a while to move past Dan's death and accept she's come to see her old teammate in a new light after living under the same roof and raising a child with him.
  • The Power Rangers Lost Galaxy fic "Reflection of Love" is about Leo and Karone being this for each other after Karone becomes the second Pink Galaxy Ranger, as Karone's relationship with Zhane didn't work out and Kendrix is obviously dead. Leo recalls a dream he had shortly after Karone's arrival where Kendrix's spirit assured him that it was all right for him to fall for Karone despite his past feelings, as he couldn't spend his life wanting someone he could never have.
  • In Kara of Rokyn, Van-Ol is this for Kara, who formerly was in a relationship with Brainiac 5.
  • In Hero: The Guardian Smurf, Smurfette was Hero's first and One True Love. Then came Wonder, his Opposite-Sex Clone, whom he also fell in love with and married, leaving Smurfette feeling jilted and, at one point, hungry for sexual intercourse with Hero. However, since Smurfette can only see herself being happy with Hero as her One True Love, she remained a virgin and unmarried up to her old age, when Wonder passed away and Hero, finding himself lonely and suicidal, ends up falling in love with and marrying Smurfette, giving her a child after years of being denied any pleasure from him through a Mystical Pregnancy fertility blessing by Mother Nature.
  • In Beyond Death, after being rejected by Death once and for all, Thanos falls in love with the human woman who took him in after he crash-landed on Earth.
  • In Amazon Aid, Ryu Kamon becomes this to Kodachi after he's duped into both thinking that Ranma is in a relationship with her and performing a Rescue Romance.
  • The epilogue to Infinite Legacy by Kipling Nori, later expanded into Infinite Memory by The-Lady-Isis, has Superman hooking up with Batman and Diana's daughter almost a century after Lois' death.
  • Second Chances by TheNovelArtist has Adrien and Marinette hooking up after losing Chloe and Nathaniel, respectively.
  • In The Kingdom Beyond Midnight, Vivian eventually becomes this for Mario, after his breakup with Princess Peach. (For Vivian, of course, Mario is her first and only).
  • In the Bloom Into You doujin, About YuuSaya- Up To Now And Beyond, three years after the performance of the School Play, Yuu and Sayaka are in a relationship. Yuu asks Sayaka whether she still loves Touko, and Sayaka says yes, but says that Yuu is the one she loves now. It is unclear what happened to Touko in this doujin.
  • Naruto Asunder: Hinata to Naruto after Sakura's death, although is does cause friction between the two. Naruto admits he hasn't got his head on straight and is unclear on how to proceed (and whether or not he should) but is very much attracted to Hinata. Hinata is hesitant to make a move, this trope firmly in her mind and she also doesn't want to press Naruto as he figures himself out. Comes to a head when a Brainwashed and Crazy Hinata confronts him on his feelings on the matter.
    Hinata: I really wanted to talk to you. To let you know how I feel, and why I ran off that night.
    Naruto: Why did you run off?
    Hinata: I was concerned.
    Naruto: Concerned?
    Hinata: That's right. I felt like I was a replacement for Sakura, a second prize that you turned to just because she wasn't an option.
    Naruto: You shouldn't think something like that Hinata.
    Hinata: Then tell me Naruto. Why did you kiss me?
    Naruto: I don't know.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: In his first interlude sidestory, Ash's Butterfree suffers a massive heartbreak when he discovers that his former mate, the Pink Butterfree, not only no longer remembers him, but found herself a new mate and is happy with him. In his second interlude, he starts sparring with one of Ash's Vivillon, who not-so-subtly drops him a hint that she's attracted to him.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Mittens becomes Bolt's second love interest in this series, beginning with "The Ship." The dog's first romantic relationship, with a promiscuous and drug-addicted beagle in "The Wind," was an utter disaster.
  • Guide Me Home; Ursa (Zuko and Azula's Missing Mom and ex-wife of Fire Lord Ozai) meets and falls in love with Hakoda (the widowed father of Sokka and Katara) over the course of the fic.
  • In Ranma the Second Time Around, Kodachi serves as this to Mousse when he accidentally saves her from falling off a roof.
    • Ryouga initially falls in love with Ranma's girl-form. Upon learning the truth, he's not very happy, but gets over it and falls in love with Shampoo (whom he accidentally married).
    • After finally getting it into his head that neither Akane or "the pig-tailed girl" will ever return his affections, Kuno falls in love with Akari, and ends his playboy ways (for the most part).
    • Ukyo finally accepts that Ranma will never return her feelings, and starts recipocrating Konatsu's feelings for her, ultimately marrying him in order to fulfill the agreement made by her father and Genma long ago (Konatsu has been adopted by the Saotomes, making him a Saotome son).
  • In After the Fall of Giants, Shampoo finally gives up on Ranma and starts returning Mousse's feelings for her upon learning of her role in the Bad Future.
    • Ryouga falls out of love with Akari and in love with Ukyo, who recipocrates after giving up on Ranma. Akari and Konatsu are initally heartbroken, but fall in love with each other.
    • Kodachi falls in love with Ryu Kamon upon being introduced to him, and Kuno falls in love with Nabiki upon taking medication for his madness.
  • The Flower Princess and the Alchemist: Edward gradually becomes this for Orihime. Things become...complicated when Orihime is still madly in with Ichigo. She's so in love with him in fact that she doesn't recognize her feelings of love for Ed. This indecisiveness leads to much confusion and anguish for both parties with her dealing with Conflicting Loyalties, and Edward dealing with the insecurities and jealousy of being her Second Love.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire is actually this to Milo, according to the film's 2-disc DVD. Milo's first love interest, according to Disc 2, is a woman named Lisa McGrath.
  • Ellie from the Ice Age series films is this to Manfred, since Manny's first wife and child were both killed by humans, causing the mammoth to distrust humanity as well as fear that he is the last mammoth left.
  • In The Hunchbackof Notre Dame II, Quasimodo finds new love in the form of Madellaine, years after he had given up his unrequited feelings for Esmeralda.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Calhoun's tragic Back Story means that any romance is this.
  • Hercules is Meg's second love. Her first boyfriend betrayed her and ran off with another girl. (The animated series shows said boyfriend was Adonis.)
  • In Frozen (2013), Anna's first love Hans turns out have been playing her to get on the throne of Arendelle (he's 13th in line back at home). While she doesn't get married or a real Happily Ever After at the end, she does kiss Kristoff, and the sequel mini-movie has him telling her he loves her.
  • In Strange Magic Marianne and the Bog King are both this for each other, each having dealt with their own respective heartbreaks before meeting.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Depending on the adaptation, certain interpretations of Pride and Prejudice have Wickham initially be Elizabeth's first love, with her eventually realizing his true nature, and falling for and ending up with Darcy.
  • Must Love Dogs: Sarah, a slightly embittered divorcee, ultimately falls for Jake, a guy she met from an online dating service.
  • Along Came Polly: Played straight. The main character's second love with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl becomes true love. The spontaneity and freedom of the second relationship is contrasted with the caution of the first, which serves as the obvious foil.
  • High Fidelity: the #1 in Rob's list of breakups is a childhood love which lasted a total of six hours through three days. On the fourth, she dumped him for another guy. 20 years later, he calls her... and it's summed up by Rob as this:
    Alison married Kevin! I am fine now! Married her junior high school sweetheart: kissed me on the bench, kissed Kevin on the bench - MARRIED Kevin. This is great! This has got nothing to do with me! This is fate, this is destiny; it is beyond my control, beyond my fault. I love this!
  • Charlie proposes to Irene at the end of Me, Myself & Irene. In the beginning, his wife had left him for the limo driver.
  • Imagine Me & You ends like this with the unusual twist that the person falling in love is a woman who falls in love at her wedding - and not with her groom. She falls in Love at First Sight with another woman.
  • Carly Spencer from Transformers: Dark of the Moon to Sam Witwicky, due to Megan Fox quitting production of that film.
  • Maria was this for Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, who had lost his wife and made changes in his household - such as allowing no dancing or singing - to prevent anything from reminding him of her.
  • Robert in Enchanted didn't believe in romance and "happily ever afters" after his wife had divorced him and left him and their daughter and it wasn't until Giselle came along that he truly begun to love again.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Following the death of Rachel in The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne spends 8 years mourning... only to learn that ultimately, Rachel didn't even want him anyway. Finding a new respect for life, he makes a fresh start with Selina Kyle In Italy.
  • In Braveheart William Wallace's first love was his ill-fated wife Murron, with whom he fell in love in childhood; she was executed shortly after their wedding for getting into trouble which led to a fight with a group of English soldiers stationed at their village who tried to rape her. Subsequently, the Princess of Wales, Isabella, would start to fall for him after hearing of his story, and the two would form a mutual respect and romantic attraction after finally meeting face-to-face. The two would go on to conceive a child as well. However, it should also be noted that as William dies he sees his wife appear to him in the crowd, as if welcoming him into the afterlife with her.
  • In Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius has a wife back at his home in Spain that he is hoping to return to after the war with the Germanians ends. However after Commodus discovers his father's plans to pass power to Maximus rather than himself he kills his father, tries to have Maximus executed, and sends a contingent of men to destroy his home and kill both his wife and son which they succeed in doing. Previously he had been in a relationship with Marcus Aurelius's daughter Lucilla before they had a falling out. Lucilla appears to still have feelings for Maximus at the start, and by the end the two wind up deciding to pursue a relationship, which is sealed with a kiss when Maximus decides to move on with his life again. It's notable that Maximus ultimately dies and as he does so has a vision of entering the afterlife to be reunited with his deceased family.
  • In The Patriot Benjamin Martin's wife has died, apparently of natural causes by the film's start. Her sister Charlotte and he start to develop a mutual attraction on which they are at first hesitant to act. By the end, however, they decide to become a couple.
  • In Kingdom of Heaven, Balian's wife at the start had just recently committed suicide after having a stillborn child, which sends him into major duress to the point of being briefly institutionalized. When he gets to Jerusalem, he winds up having an affair with the sister of the king, Princess Sibylla. Though their relationship becomes strained when he refuses to make himself to take her hand in marriage and make himself party to the killing of her current husband, Guy de Lusignan, at the end of the film they do wind up going off together as a couple.
  • James Bond: Dr. Madeleine Swann was Bond's second love after Vesper Lynd died in the Daniel Craig continuity.
  • Sleepless in Seattle: Even though the protagonists don't even meet until the end of the movie, it's obvious that Annie will be this to the widowed Sam.
  • Underworld (2003): According to the extended cut and the novelization, Michael Corvin had a fiancée named Samantha who was killed in a car crash (the reason he moved from the US to his ancestral homeland). He was withdrawn until he met and fell in love with Selene.
  • Given their Falling-in-Love Montage and the fact that she's genuinely happy with him, The Notebook's Lon is arguably this to the heroine Allie following her failed summer romance with the hero Noah, even though he gets turned into a Disposable Fiancé once Noah resurfaces.
  • In Solo, Han Solo's First Love, Qi'ra, ends up abandoning him in favor of becoming a crime lord. Luckily enough, as we all know, his future relationship with Leia ends up being much more successful, or at least up until the rise of the First Order.
  • The Love Triangle in The Fly (1986) involves this. Veronica was in a relationship with her editor Stathis for a long time, and he hasn't been able to let it go. When he realizes (via stalking) she's found a second love in sweet, shy Seth Brundle, Stathis's jealousy is such that he tries to sabotage her plans to write a book about Seth's experiments in teleportation. When she goes to confront Stathis about it, Seth realizes they were lovers but mistakenly believes they still are. He ends up getting drunk and making the Tragic Mistake of teleporting himself, not realizing there is a fly in the telepod with him — which he is genetically fused with, resulting in a Slow Transformation into a hideous human-insect hybrid. Veronica ends up turning to Stathis as a confidante in order to handle what's happening to her true love (and herself), and his genuine concern for her safety ends up saving her from Romantic Fusion with the now-deranged Seth when Stathis — who has just lost a hand and a foot due to Seth having maimed him with corrosive vomit — shoots out the wires connecting her telepod to the others.
  • In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Luther tells Ilsa Faust that Ethan Hunt has only seriously loved two women in his life: his now-ex-wife Julia, and Ilsa herself. Ethan and Julia had split up due to his Samaritan Syndrome, and nearly a decade later he met and fell in love with Ilsa when their paths crossed on missions to take down The Syndicate. Ilsa implicitly admits that she returns his feelings, but the threat of imminent nuclear vaporization takes priority until the end of the film.
  • The Time Machine (2002): Dr. Alexander Hartdegen created a time machine to try to save his fiancée Emma from her death, but in each try, she dies again in a different way. Distraught, he travels to the far future to try to find out why he can't change the past. There, he falls in with a people called the Eloi and bonds with a woman called Mara. After learning why he can't save Emma, he accepts it and sacrifices the time machine to destroy the Eloi's enemies, the Morlocks, then builds a new life with Mara.
  • Dear John: John and Anita are falling in love but are both shy due to failed past relationships. Anita is a single mom because a man once impregnated her and dumped her. John got divorced after coming home early from a trip and finding his wife in bed with his business partner.
  • Yves Saint Laurent: Pierre Bergé is living with the surrealist painter Bernard Buffet when he meets young Yves. Despite believing himself part of the "cult of fidelity", he soon leaves Bernard for Yves.

  • In Hurog, Ward mentions that his first love married another man. This happened prior to the narrative. He meets someone else.
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Harry ended up with Ginny Weasley after an ill-fated infatuation with Cho Chang. Ron did this with Hermione, after a disastrous few months with Lavender Brown. Hermione herself briefly dated Viktor Krum. Rowling has said that she specifically wanted her main characters to not end up with the first person they kissed.
    • It's arguable if their relationship was romantic, but Severus Snape certainly was Lily Evans' closest male friend from childhood until somewhere around Fifth Year, when they had a messy falling out and Lily ended up befriending, dating, and subsequently marrying James Potter, something that Snape never gets over.
  • In The Dead Zone, Sarah had fallen in love with Johnny Smith, and he was getting ready to ask her to marry him, when Johnny was in a car wreck and ended up in a coma for four and a half years. She met, fell in love with, and married young lawyer Walter Hazlett, and they had a young son by the time Johnny woke from the coma. Sarah and Johnny both felt that they had been cheated out of a life together, and they spent one grand afternoon together trying to reclaim a piece of that lost future together, but Sarah loves her husband and doesn't want to lose him.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Éowyn didn't get Aragorn in the end. She did, however, get Faramir. (And her love for Aragorn was admittedly Loving a Shadow.)
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Caffren lost his sweetheart with the destruction of Tanith, in the Back Story; then he and Criid met.
  • In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Marianne Dashwood's disbelief in second loves is a major plot driver. Not surprisingly, she finds her first love unworthy of her, and ends up falling in love again with Colonel Brandon. Her sister Elinor even comments on her sister's feelings on the subject, saying she's not sure how Marianne can disregard the notion of Second Love when their own father had two wives, and it was that second attachment which produced the both of them and their other sister. Elinor herself is also this for the man she eventually marries.
  • In The Belgariad:
    • Garion's first love was Zubrette, his childhood playmate he grew up with at the farm. However, he ends up with Ce'Nedra, because fate says so. The relationship was rocky and painful, but improved a bit once the pair of them had matured a bit.
    • His (ultimate) aunt, Polgara, loved and lost her champion, Count Ontrose, when Vo Wacune fell, millennia before the main story takes place. She ultimately marries Durnik, who was the kindhearted, sensible, hardworking blacksmith on the farm where she had raised Garion and who followed them on the quest out of love and loyalty.
  • Luke Skywalker went through a lot of girlfriends in the Expanded Universe. Mara Jade was his latest (and longest lasting).
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Firestar initially fell in love with Spottedleaf. Though they never spoke about their feelings when she was alive, she continued to visit him in his dreams. In the end, though, he fell in love with Sandstorm and became her mate.
    • Graystripe's first love was Silverstream: they were Star-Crossed Lovers, and she died giving birth to his kits. Many, many moons later - when his children are grown up and thinking about having their own kits - he falls in love with Millie.
  • In Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness, Alanna and Prince Jonathan are each other's first loves, but they ultimately break up and find happiness with other people.
    • In the sequel series, The Immortals, Daine eventually becomes Numair's second love, despite some brief Ship Tease between the latter and his old flame Varice.
  • In David Weber's Honor Harrington series, Honor ends up marrying Hamish Alexander, Earl of White Haven; but in the early books, she was in love with Paul Tankersley, the exec to her biggest enemy in On Basilisk Station. He is killed in Field of Dishonor, and she doesn't have a relationship again until At All Costs. Unlike the usual application of this trope, they really were desperately in love with each other - she named her private yacht after Paul. Also unusual in the case of Hamish Alexander, who is still married to his first wife Emily, a well-known actress. However, having been crippled by a car accident, she doesn't want to stand in the way of her husband's happiness. It all gets resolved, when they decide to follow Grayson law that allows (even encourages) polygamy, so Honor and Emily become sister-wives and are the best of friends.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane were both on their Second Love.
  • In Andre Norton's Sorceress of the Witch World, Kaththea, having been bitterly deceived, has great difficulty trusting Hilarion but lives Happily Ever After in the end.
  • In Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, Rand and Egwene start out essentially happily betrothed. But Egwene ends up finding Prince Charming Gawyn, and Rand ends up with Elayne, Min, and Aviendha.
  • In Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, the chaste heroine was engaged to marry her college sweetheart. However, his wealthy parents objected to her being half-Mexican and the engagement was broken. This left her cynical about romance, but primed for a non-human menage-a-trois with Jean Claude the vampire and Richard the werewolf. And then, once she gets started... "Katie, bar the door."
  • Early on in Great Expectations, Mrs. Joe is murdered by Orlick. Towards the end of the story, Joe is Happily Married to Biddy, much to the disappointment of Pip.
  • In The Red Tent, Dinah first falls in love with Prince Shalem; then, after he is murdered by her brothers, she moves to Egypt and falls in love with a carpenter named Benia.
  • Terry Brooks tends to use this in his stories.
    • In The Sword of Shannara trilogy, Wil Ohmsford is in a Love Triangle with Amberle and Eretria. He and Amberle are deeply connected, and he is left devastated when they don't work out (though the reason they don't work out isn't the usual sort). He goes on to marry and have children with Eretria.
    • In The Heritage of Shannara, Morgan Leah is left devastated by how his romance with Quickening ends. However, he later meets Matty Roh with whom he is able to have a happier future.
    • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, Ben Holiday is devastated by the loss of his pregnant wife Annie, which kicks off the depression and restlessness that leads him to purchase Landover. In fairy lore, the first man a sylph lays on eyes on will be her true love, and Ben is the man Willow meets. He has a devil of a time moving on from his first wife's death, never mind accepting Willow's fairy tale attitude towards their future, but Willow's loyal persistence eventually defeats Ben's brooding despair.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Jill carefully explains to Wally that she knows she will never marry Derek, but she still has to recover from her love before she will be ready for this.
  • Inverted in The Edge Chronicles. In The Immortals, an aged and immortal Twig tells Nate that when the caterbird flew him, fatally wounded, back to Riverrise after the events of The Last of the Sky Pirates, he stayed conscious long enough to see Maugin waving happily at him.... only to drop dead a second later when Golderyace One-Eye's poison dart hit her in the neck. We later learn that Golderyace had fallen in love with her thoughts from a distance over the last 50 years, and killed her out of jealousy when she remained loyal to Twig.
  • Trapped on Draconica: A mutual example. Rana's first love didn't work out because Daniar was interested in the same guy and he choose Daniar over Rana. This drove her into self-exile and seclusion. Then she meets Taurok and is quickly taken with his nobility. Taurok himself has already been married and widowed but nothing is said of what happened to his first wife. They're married in the epilogue.
  • In the Petaybee series, Sean is Yana's second husband. When she's first introduced, Yana clearly misses her deceased first husband.
  • In Poul Anderson's "Arsenal Port", Heim has not gotten over his wife when Jocelyn approaches him suggesting this.
  • In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel Ashes Of Honor, Tybalt confesses to having lost his first love to Death by Childbirth, which made his current love a second love, and he willfully ignored that he was in love again.
  • In Seanan McGuire's Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots:
    • A blind date for Velma, despite her love for Action Dude, start a second love — though complications then ensue.
    • Victoria persuades Yelena to let her court her by convincing her that she indeed would be a second love, because of the differences between her and her counterpart.
  • In Poul Anderson's "The Sharing of Flesh", Evalyth realizes she is starting to recover when she thinks that she is young, and there may be another man, and it doesn't feel disloyal.
  • Sarah Levine, the eventual wife of Richard III in the 21st Century.
  • In Voyage of the Basset, Medusa winds up being this for Professor Aisling.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, Luke is the second person with whom Jocelyn falls in love, after her disastrous marriage to Valentine.
  • Christian Ozera to Lissa Dragomir in Vampire Academy. Her first love was Aaron, to whom she lost her virginity. But she was eventually bored with him, while Christian is her true love and holds her interest.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Dalinar Kholin finds one in (and is one to) Navani Kholin. He resists this for a time, since in Alethi culture it's highly improper for him to date his brother's widow, but after he is betrayed by Sadeas and nearly killed, he changes his mind.
  • James Bond: Tracy DiVicenzo to Vesper Lynd. While there are a handful of other women he genuinely cares about, possibly to the point of love, Tracy's the only one he took to the altar. Sadly, her end was as tragic as Vesper's.
  • Several cases across the Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan to one another. Aral's history involves a loveless marriage and a secret male lover in extremely homophobic Barrayar, both relationships which end in tragedy. Cordelia talks circumspectly about an old relationship where she got left behind. Both find as true a love as possible in one another.
    • Given how Elena Bothari never actually reciprocated his interest, Miles finds his actual Second Love with Ekaterin Vorsoisson in Komarr, though he had a few successful flings along with his first love, Elli Quinn. He and Elli broke up mostly over their responsibilities pulling them apart. The tension between first and second loves is deliberately invoked in Winterfair Gifts when someone tries to frame Elli for a poisonous gift sent to Miles and Ekaterin's wedding.
    • As for Ekaterin, Miles is her Second Love, after a marriage that started off well but ended in constant emotional abuse. It ground her down until love itself seemed horrible, made worse after her husband's death when various suitors wanted her as an eligible Vor widow to marry. Miles got through by being the one who wanted her, and not as a meek and proper housewife.
    • Alys Vorpatril is widowed the same day her son Ivan is born in Barrayar, and though it takes close to thirty years she finally finds (or rather, is able to openly act upon) her Second Love with medically discharged and retired Simon Illyan in Memory.
  • L. M. Montgomery uses this trope very well in her novel Magic for Marigold, where Marian Lesley, when talking to her daughter Marigold, reflects that her late husband loved his first wife very much (they were childhood sweethearts), but the love he gave to Marian was that of a mature heart.
  • Seen a few times in the Dragonriders of Pern books; for example, in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, Moreta is the second love of Lord Alessan after the death of his first wife. The P.O.V. Sequel Nerilka's Story winds up with Nerilka as Alessan's third love.
  • Caliphate: At the beginning of the story, John Hamilton loses his girlfriend when she dies in an explosion and spends several years grieving her death. When he is hired to infiltrate the titular Caliphate, he falls in love with a Christian slave girl named Petra and risks his mission to rescue her too. He succeeds at the end and proposes to her in marriage...
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series:
    • Annabeth has been crushing on Luke for five years when he defects to the Titans' side in The Lightning Thief. She later forms a more stable relationship with Percy, but up to The Lost Hero (more than four years after the defection), her candle for Luke still hasn't completely faded away.
    • Hazel's current boyfriend is Frank, but back when she lived in the 1940s, she had a relationship with a boy called Sammy, with whom she had her first kiss. Imagine her shock when she meets Leo Valdez, Sammy's identical great-grandson. She essentially has to live out her second life being haunted by an image of the boy she left behind.
    • Nico's first love is Percy, something that is impossible to work out due to their Incompatible Orientation. After a while, he moves on from this and instead pursues a relationship with Will Solace.
    • Calypso is doomed to live her life in an isolated island where men are regularly stranded to and the only way for them to escape is for her to love them. So everyone she falls in love with in the modern day are second loves for her. In The Battle of the Labyrinth, it's Percy, who is in love with Annabeth, so it goes nowhere. Come The House of Hades, however, the latest guy to get stranded, Leo, promises that he will stop this curse and be with her forever. It works.
  • Girls To The Rescue:
    • Sultan Malik in "Chardae's Thousand And One Nights" believes he can never love again after his first wife, Kalila, dies of illness. Initially he only marries Chardae because as king he's expected to produce an heir to rule well once he's gone. However, after Chardae has completed her Scheherezade Gambit, enough time has passed that Malik has come to love her after all.
    • Subverted in "Savannah's Piglets". A widower moves to town with the woman he has been seeing, believing he'll never have another chance at love out in the wilds. The woman, Billie, proves to be a Gold Digger who makes him miserable. Ultimately, he has enough and returns to the farm to be with his daughter.
  • The Maze Runner: Thomas' romance with Teresa is abruptly ruined in The Scorch Trials when she betrays him. Even if she didn't mean it, he never forgives her for it. As a result, he ends up becoming closer to Brenda, who debuts in the same book.
  • In the first Sweet Valley High Saga novel, the girls' earliest ancestors—Alice Larson and Theodore Wakefield—meet and fall in love while on an immigrant ship. Unfortunately, they are separated during intake when he's quarantined. Years later, they have a near miss when his traveling circus comes to her town—she hears the name "Theo W." and wonders if it's him, while he (in the second Saga novel) sees a little blond girl and wonders if it could be her daughter. They're both correct, but separately decide not to try and meet, as they have long since moved on and are Happily Married to others.
    • In the present day, Jeffrey French is Elizabeth's second love after her boyfriend Todd moves to Vermont, even though he soon gets dumped once Todd returns. Jessica also falls in love with AJ, but he dumps her after she cheats on him. She has better luck staying faithful to Sam.
  • The Reluctant King: Near the end of the third book, Jorian actually proposes to Margalit, having grown attached to her many qualities during their months spent together. They get married and have a family.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Cordelia with Angel, which is ironic, since Angel used to find the noblewomen of his era (of whom Cordelia is a modern avatar) to be a horrific bore. Cordelia immediately had a crush on him on Buffy, though, so it's keeping in continuity.
  • Nobody who's seen Babylon 5 would dispute that Delenn is the love of John Sheridan's life. She is his second love; he was a widower for some years before they met. Then the tension goes through the roof for a while when there's some dispute over whether the first second wife is really dead.... note  Sheridan is also Delenn's second love, not through authorial intent, but because her character was intended as the Love Interest of the main character, and that role got passed from Sinclair to Sheridan in the second season.
  • The Barrier: Luis and Emilia both genuinely love the partners with whom they had children, but their past relationship with each other is heavily implied to have been very meaningful for both of them. Luis is shown to not be completely over the day Emilia told him she was going to marry Ramón more than twenty-five years later, while Emilia's response to a visit from him is to start preparing a dish she used to make for him, minus the meat that has become hard to find.
  • Downton Abbey: Very common. In the Crawley familiy we have: Mary has a happy marriage with Matthew, and after Matthew's death falls in love with Henry Talbot. Edith, meanwhile, is on her third or even fourth love: before the series even starts, she pines after her cousin Patrick who dies on the Titanic, after the war, she attempts to marry Anthony Strallan, later has a relationship with her editor, Michael Gregson, and finally marries Berty Pellham. For the servants, there's John Bates, who is unhappily married to Vera Bates, but after her suicide and sundry misadventures and murder accusations marries his fellow servant Anna, and (possibly) Richard Ellis for Thomas, who's first love was with the very manipulative Duke of Crowborough.
  • Friends:
    • Ross's rarely seen ex-wife Carol might count as his second love, following as she did after his teenage crush on Rachel (or Rachel herself could be the second love, as their relationship did not progress into actual romance until after Carol).
    • Chandler was Monica's third love; her first love was Richard and her second love was Pete. She had other short relationships, but they were the only ones she seriously thought about marrying. The writers specifically hammered it in, when Richard returned wanting to marry her and she decisively picked Chandler, showing how people do move on and your first love isn't necessarily the love of your life, a label she specifically gave Chandler.
    • Monica was also Chandler's third love, as he had serious relationships with Janice and Kathy and was devastated when they ended. Flashbacks reveal both Chandler and Monica had crushes on each other the first and second time they met, respectively, but it wasn't until they got to know each other and had been friends for almost a decade that they fell in love.
    • Monica was also this to Richard. His first love was his ex-wife, who was his High School Sweetheart, and after they got divorced, he fell in love with Monica.
    • Mike is this to Phoebe, her first love being David. Like the Richard/Monica/Chandler triangle, both of them proposed to her at the same time, and she turned David down despite being in love with him for years.
    • And, interestingly enough, Phoebe might have been this for Mike, as it was established that the latter had been married before, and the divorce was harsh enough for him to give up on the institution of marriage until he met Phoebe.
  • Happens to a number of characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Usually their second loves don't last either, but that's Joss Whedon for you.
    • According to the Origin graphic novel (the canonical version of The Movie), Buffy's first real love was Pike. However, Pike feared that he would get Buffy killed, so he left her. Buffy's next serious relationship was Angel.
    • Those who consider Angel to be Buffy's First Love, however, also consider Spike to be her second (ignoring the writers' poor attempt to get her together with soldier and demon hunter, Riley). They get together in the comics.
    • Willow had a serious relationship with Oz for almost two years, until he left because he was afraid the werewolf in him would harm her. She later established an even stronger relationship with Tara... Until Tara died that is. After Tara she got together with Kennedy, though Tara has always been portrayed as her One True Love.
    • Xander's first serious relationship was with Cordelia. After they broke up, he entered a relationship with Anya. Their relationship officially ended when he left her at the altar, although season seven was largely about them struggling with the fact that they still loved each other. Anya's death in the Series Finale was the real end.
    • Although he had been with at least one other girl before starting a relationship with Willow, Oz has said she is the only one he ever loved. After their near-two year relationship ended, he fell in love with another werewolf, Bay, with whom he has a son.
    • Dawn's first serious boyfriend was a demon named Kenny, until she cheated on him and lost her virginity to his roommate. She is now in a relationship with Xander. However, Dawn has been shown to have had a childhood crush on Xander, so one could argue he is not technically her Second Love.
  • Battlestar Galactica is full of these. Since we are dealing with only 50,000 human beings left, most people ended up with people they might not have picked initially as a second choice.
    • In some cases, it leads to the love of their lives, such as with Laura Roslin and Bill Adama. Just before the attacks, Laura had ended a decade-long affair and Bill had found out that his ex-wife (long-divorced) was remarrying. Forced to work together to protect the rest of humanity, the two eventually developed a close friendship that grew into real love. When Laura is kidnapped and presumed dead, Bill quits his job to stay behind on the slim chance she might still be alive, telling his grown son "I can't live without her."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Initially, Tyrion fell in love with a girl named Tysha until his father intervened. Later, Tyrion feels this way about Shae until she testifies against him.
    • Catelyn really loved (and was originally betrothed to) Ned's eldest brother.
    • Daenerys slowly accepted Khal Drogo as her husband until she had to give him a Mercy Kill after Mirri Maz Duur put him into a vegetative state. Later, she was enamored with the mercenary Daario Naharis, whom she took as her lover during her time in Meereen, though their relationship seemingly wasn't anything serious, since she didn't have any trouble leaving him behind once she set sail for Westeros. In Season 7, Daenerys meets Jon Snow, who had also lost his first love Ygritte and the two gradually begin to develop feelings for one another. By the time of the season finale, they both have fallen for each other though neither of them knows that they're actually aunt and nephew. The Reveal comes in the final season.
  • Charlotte in Sex and the City is a firm believer in this trope, stating at one point that she thinks everyone has two great loves in their life, later proving her theory with her happy marriage to second husband Harry (who was her divorce lawyer from her first marriage).
  • On Gilmore Girls: Rory had three loves: Dean, Jess and Logan. According to Word of God, she and Jess would have found their way back to each other had the series continued the way ASP had wanted. And her mother Lorelai hooked up with Luke, her Second Love after Unlucky Childhood Friend Christopher. (Though Luke was actually her Third Love, if you count Max.)
  • On The O.C., Ryan had three loves, though the first mostly took place before the start of the series. The first was with his childhood friend Theresa that was never more than on and off again but left them with strong feelings for each other. The second was with Marissa and was stormy and passionate and ultimately tragic, the great romance of his life. The third love with Taylor was never as comfortable as with Theresa or as passionate as with Marissa but it was the first truly adult love and - depending on how you interpret the enigmatic ending series ending- the one that might have lasted.
  • Reid is this for Luke on As the World Turns. Well, was.
  • In a rare telenovela example, Simplemente Marãa. Marã­a ends with her second love, a humble teacher who had been near her since she arrived from the country, on all the road she went to be a famous fashion designer, instead of the rich, somewhat jerkish father of her son, a rare move back in the day. Other writers would have applied Love Redeems on the rich dude, but here they glanced towards Single Woman Seeks Good Man and built towards it.
  • Technically, if you throw away the "first person I've ever loved for real" excuse, Betty's second love is Armando, and vice versa.
  • In a supernatural example, one Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction segment shows us a man who has lost his wife. He soon meets a new love who looks and acts very similar too her. When she ends up dying as well, he happens upon a third love who is exactly the same. It's implied that this cycle keeps on going, and that it's the exact same woman's spirit.
  • Republic of Doyle:
    • After her husband went to jail and she filed for divorce, Rose hit it off with Malachy, who is a widower with three grown children.
    • Jake tends to be The Casanova but it is clear that Nikki was his first big love and it took him a long time to get over their divorce. Leslie is his second big love and while the feelings are reciprocated, she breaks up with him a numerous occasions due to the illegal stunts he pulls. They end up Happily Married in the series finale.
  • On Glee:
    • Kurt Hummel and Finn Hudson are both raised by single, widowed parents. When Kurt introduces Burt and Carole, they fall in love almost instantly, and get married in the second season. And it is adorable.
    • Will was married to Terri, his high school sweetheart, and while they were obviously once in love, by the time the series starts it is a very unhealthy relationship that is hanging on by threads. Will's only other major love interest is Emma, with whom he eventually marries and has a family with. Emma is usually portrayed as his true love.
    • An interesting example with Rachel. Her first love is Finn, and he has been portrayed as her true love. While they were broken up in season 1, she dated Jesse before getting back together with Finn by the end of the season. Finn was supposed to be her endgame, but the character died when his actor Cory Monteith died. As a result, Rachel eventually (after a long period of grieving) marries Jesse and is shown to be very happy with him. So Jesse is her second love, but in a roundabout way.
  • Chuck is this to Blair on Gossip Girl, whose first love was Nate. Nate's first love was Blair and his second was Serena.
  • On The Vampire Diaries, Stefan is this to Elena. Elena's first love was Matt, also her childhood friend whom Elena broke up with four months before unexpectedly meeting and eventually falling in love with Stefan.
    • After Elena and Stefan break up, she eventually falls for his older brother Damon, and he becomes her third love.
    • Elena herself is the second love of both Damon and Stefan after they have spent over a century in love with her ancestor and doppelganger Katherine.
  • Ianto of Torchwood finds love again after the tragic fate of Lisa. Actually, Torchwood being what it is, most of the characters fall under this trope, losing people they loved before hooking up with or at least getting a heartbreaking Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment before dying. Gwen is really the only exception.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has three notable examples, each involving the deaths of the previous loves.
    • Kasidy Yates, whom Benjamin Sisko marries after years of mourning for his first wife, Jennifer.
    • Jadzia Dax, whom Worf ends up marrying several years after the death of his first love K'Ehlyr.
    • Odo pines after Kira Nerys for years while she's with Vedek Bareil Antos (and later Shakaar Edon, but this is a less serious relationship) before eventually confessing his feelings and entering a relationship with her.
  • For The X-Files, the dying doctor Scully revisits in season 7's "all things" seems to have been her first love when she was a student of medicine. (Phoebe Green, mentioned only in one first-season episode, was Mulder's.) She still has some feelings for him but rejects the idea of restarting their relationship, all but telling him she's moved on and has somebody else.
  • In Farscape, Chiana was this for D'Argo.
    • Crichton was also Aeryn's second love, though both had recreated with plenty of others before.
  • In Merlin, Arthur is Guinevere's Second Love after Lancelot.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Although she had been in several relationships before, Ted was the first man Robin ever fell in love with, while Barney was the second. And although, after she and Barney broke up, she had two other serious relationships, she has been in love with Barney since before the second one started (she even cheated with Barney on him) and there's something like a 95% probability that she and Barney are going to get back together for good in the end. They get married, but they divorce after three years.
    • Robin is Barney's second love as well, his love before Robin was Shannon. He dated Shannon in college and loved her with all his soul, but she broke his heart when she left for a wealthy suit. Barney then took up his womanizing ways. He fell for Robin, his close friend.
    • The Mother is the second love for Ted. Ted dated other girls before and after Robin, but he thought that she was his destiny and his one true love. Meeting her helps Ted move on from Robin. None of the other girls he dated were ever serious because he was always obsessed with Robin.
    • It turns out that Ted becomes the Mother's second love as their meeting allows her to move on from grieving her first love, who died when she was 21. She spent several years being single and later was in a relationship with another guy, but it wasn't love. She and Ted are soulmates.
  • On Lost, Sayid's first and second loves Nadia and Shannon became the subject of disagreement among fans that wasn't limited to shippers. Both were killed; Shannon in season 2 and Nadia in season 4 or 5, depending on your perspective. Sayid was then reunited with Shannon in season 6 courtesy of the "sideways universe" while Nadia ended up with his brother, which annoyed many fans who believed the character whose name happened to be Nadia was the "truer" of the two loves.
  • In The Dead Zone, Sarah and Johnny are engaged and eager to start a family together, until Johnny is in a car accident which leaves him in a coma for six years. Sarah meets Sheriff Walt Bannerman at the hospital, and they fall in love and marry, raising the son Sarah and Johnny conceived just before the accident as though he were their own. When Johnny awakens, Sarah is clearly still in love with him, but she is also in love with her husband and would never think of leaving him for Johnny. (The writer's bible for the series openly hinted that future seasons might see the three of them come to some mutual accomodation but the series creator died before that could reach the screen.)
  • Bones: Brennan is Booth's second love. Rebecca, Parker's mother, refused to marry him and they did try getting back together but fought too much. Then he fell badly for Bones, only to have her reject him for a while before they got together. Hannah was in there as well, but she was a rebound thing, a woman he met and turned to when Brennan rejected him. Brennan also had a brief thing with Sully, another FBI agent, before he bought a boat and left, and she refused to join him.
  • CSI NY: Christine Whitney, for Mac Taylor. His first love was his wife Claire, and her death on 9/11 devastated him. Peyton was a bit of a subversion; they seemed in love for a while, but it became clear Mac was still not ready, and comparing then with now, it does not seem he was in love with her the way he is with Christine. Especially since he and Christine get engaged during the series finale.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Detective William Murdoch's fiancée died of consumption before the beginning of the series. He falls for his colleague, beautiful pathologist Dr. Julia Ogden. He has to struggle to let his first love go and acknowledge his deepening feelings for Julia, his intellectual equal.
  • In the revived Doctor Who:
    • Rose Tyler is in a serious relationship with Mickey at the beginning of Series 1, but by the end of Series 2 she has fallen in love with the Tenth Doctor and ultimately marries his half-human clone at the end of Series 4.
    • Clara Oswald and the Eleventh Doctor's relationship was becoming platonically romantic by the time he regenerated, but when he became the much older-looking, broodier Twelfth Doctor he decided that this was a mistake and pulled back. Clara subsequently fell in love with fellow schoolteacher Danny Pink, but was now torn between ordinary human life with him and her risky-but-exciting life with the Doctor, whom she came to realize she still loved for all that he had changed. At the end of Series 8 she decides to stay with Danny...but he dies in an accident just as she's giving him the news by phone, ends up a Cyberman, and makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save the world. The Doctor and Clara separate over mutual I Want My Beloved to Be Happy lies after this, but the events of "Last Christmas" bring them back together and, having realized they are soulmates, they become an Official Couple in Series 9. But Clara never tells the Doctor she loves him, at least not onscreen, to maintain her promise to Danny that she would never say the three little words to any other man.
    • After Clara is Killed Off for Real, then rendered Only Mostly Dead while the Doctor loses his personal memories of her at the end of Series 9, River Song becomes this for the Twelfth Doctor. Although his eleventh self married River at the end of Series 6 and they had offscreen adventures after that, "The Husbands of River Song" reveals she never actually believed the Doctor loved her, or anyone else for that matter. But Twelve is delighted to cross her path again, subtly jealous of her other husbands, and in the end proves his love for her by preparing the final night they spend together at the Singing Towers of Darillium, and staying with her for that whole night, which turns out to last 24 Earth years. If that's not love...
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • It was magically revealed by Tinkerbell that Regina and Robin Hood are destined to be each other's second loves.
    • Emma is Killian/Hook's second love after Milah.
    • Killian/Hook himself is Emma's after Neal/Baelfire.
  • In Teen Wolf, the Official Couple of Scott and Allison breaks up in the season 2 finale. Then in season 3B, Scott begins to fall for new girl Kira, and Allison gets together with Isaac. However, on her deathbed, Allison confesses that she still loves Scott.
    • By the final season, Scott has found a third love in Malia Tate, with him being her second love after Stiles.
  • Chuck: Sarah is Chuck's second love after he has spent four years trying to get over his old college girlfriend Jill. Later in the series, Casey's daughter Alex becomes this for Morgan after his original girlfriend Anna leaves him. Before Chuck, Sarah also had a relationship with his former friend Bryce.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and her beau (and later husband) Sully are this to each other. Her backstory includes a fiancé presumed dead in the Civil War, while his includes a wife who died in childbirth along with their baby.
  • Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls were in serious relationships and in love with the Kane siblings, Duncan and Lilly, respectively. Duncan's unexpected breakup with Veronica and Lilly's death set off a course of events that lead to Veronica and Logan falling in love with each other, though their relationship is very much on again/off again until the movie where they finally commit to each other after spending nine years apart.
  • Grimm: Adalind, to Nick after having his baby. Their long adversarial relationship always had an element of Unresolved Sexual Tension, despite their mutual loathing. A case where the Second Love and First Love, Juliette, spent much of the series as mortal enemies. Becomes inevitable after Juliette becomes a Hexenbiest and makes a Face–Heel Turn. Later, the reformed Juliette, now known as "Eve," rightly perceives Nick's love for Adalind even when he is still reluctant to fully admit it. Adalind has by this point made her own full-on Heel–Face Turn. Nick's unexpectedly chivalrous treatment of Adalind after she reveals her pregnancy causes Adalind to fall deeply in love with her former nemesis, and she confesses that love much earlier than he does. Nick and Adalind also had arguably as many as three instances of Their First Time (when Adalind, disguised as Juliette, took his powers; when Juliette, disguised as Adalind, got them back for him; and when they knowingly and passionately made love for the first time in the loft—well after Adalind gave birth to their son Kelly). At one point, Juliette/Eve and Nick both admit to wonder how thing would've turned out between them, had things been different, but, ultimately Julitete/Eve accepts that Nick is with Adalind now.
  • Lewis has the titular Robbie Lewis, whose wife Valerie was killed during the gap between Inspector Morse and this series. After years of mourning her, he falls in love with resident pathologist Dr Laura Hobson, with whom he has been close friends for years. It's hinted, though not outright stated, that Laura has been quietly in love with him for quite some time before they finally get together, but never said anything as she knew how much losing Val had hurt him.
  • At the beginning of Call the Midwife, Dr. Patrick Turner, the local GP, is a recent widower. Over time he falls in love with Sister Bernadette, one of Nonnatus House's resident nun-midwives. Needless to say, the whole "nun" thing complicates their relationship significantly despite her falling just as in love with him as he is with her, but after a bout of tuberculosis she leaves the Order to marry him and they remain happily married throughout the rest of the programme.
  • Agent Carter: After losing her first love, Steve Rogers, in Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter spends several years grieving his loss before falling in love with Agent Daniel Sousa, who works with her at the SSR. The show ends with their Relationship Upgrade, and Word of Saint Paul (in this case Enver Gjokaj) confirms that Sousa is indeed the mysterious "husband" mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Though Peggy never gets over Steve (as he was the love of her life), and carries a torch for him all her life, she does move on enough to live a long, happy life with Daniel, whom she clearly loves quite deeply.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Alex Cahill is this to Walker, whose backstory includes a fiancée who was murdered.
  • Amen: Thelma is apparently this to Reverend Reuben Gregory; his backstory includes a fiancée who left him at the altar.
  • The Flash (2014): Iris West is a weird case, as both her major love interests are technically this for her. While she started a relationship with Eddie Thawne first, and loved him quite deeply, her One True Love is her best friend Barry Allen, and Iris herself admits that she had loved Barry long before she had even met Eddie (they fell in love when they were kids, according to her), and just hadn't realized it yet. Thus, both men can function as this and as her First Love. Barry also had a serious thing going with Patty Spivot, but his refusal to admit to her that he's the Flash leads to their breakup and her moving away.
  • With their omnipresent love triangles and super couples, soaps are rife with these. People's opinions even frequently vary on what character deserves this title. For example, it's a tossup as to whether Brooke or Taylor is this to The Bold and the Beautiful'''s Ridge following the death of his beloved first wife Caroline.
  • Supergirl has Kara falling in love with Mon-El. Unfortunately, she's forced to send him away, after unleashing a lead-based weapon to drive off the Daxamite invasion. His pod ends up being sucked into a wormhole that throws him into the 31st century, where he lives for 7 years (as opposed to the 7 months that passed for Kara). Unable to send any messages back in time, he resigned himself to a life without her and ends up marrying Imra Adeen, Saturn Girl. He still wears the pendant Kara has given him, but it's a reminder of their lost love and everything she has taught him about being a hero. Kara also had some previous attempts at a relationship with James, but it never went anywhere.
  • On The Golden Girls, Blanche disapproves of her father's engagement to a much younger woman, but her father explains that if you can even think of marrying again after losing the love of your life, you're incredibly fortunate. She thinks he's referring to losing her mother, but he tells her that his fiancée was widowed also and that they're both so grateful to have found love again that their age difference is irrelevant.
    • In the final episodes of the series, Dorothy finds a second love with Blanche's widowed uncle, Lucas Hollingsworth.

  • In the Child Ballad The Famous Flower of Serving Man, the heroine goes to serve the king as a serving man after her husband and baby have been murdered; there, the king falls in love with her. In some variants, her dead husband, in the form of a ghost, tells the king what had happened to her; in all, the king executes her mother, who had arranged for the murders.
  • Sally, in Smokie's Living Next Door to Alice, who too had waited for 24 years... though it's not known whether or not she and the narrator actually do hook up.
  • Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers" tells about a guy who runs into his ex and thanks the heavens that they didn't end up together.
  • "If I Fell" by The Beatles.
  • "You Got It All," by the Jets, praises one.
  • Both played straight and inverted in the Love & Hate trilogy of Vocaloid songs. Initially, Len is in a relationship with Miku, but when her career forces her to move to America, they break up so they don’t have to deal with the stress of a long distance relationship. A year later, Len’s personality completely changes and he develops feelings for Rin, and they start dating. However, when Miku returns, she still has feelings for Len and is crushed when she discovers that she has no chance of rekindling their relationship. Despite this, she holds no hard feelings towards Rin and gives the couple her support.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the supplemental novels for BattleTech, Victor Davion, a central character, loses his beloved Omiko Kurita to an assassin in the employ of his wily sister, Katherine Steiner (who also had their mother and youngest brother assassinated as well). Isis Marik, the illegitimate daughter of Thomas Marik who was exiled and was traveling with them, gives him a "get a hold of yourself" talk in the aftermath to shake him out of his despair. Eventually, the two fall in love, marry, and have three kids. And Vic later finds out Omi had a son by him.

  • Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has Romeo's first love Rosaline, who only gets mentioned a few times before Juliet's appearance makes her utterly insignificant.
  • Miss Saigon. Chris's wife Ellen, the woman he marries after returning home from the war.
  • Bandstand: Donny is Julia's second love; her first was her late husband Michael.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy:
  • In Xenogears, Fei's first love was his childhood friend Alice (who was engaged to his other childhood friend Timothy). However, both Alice and Timothy were killed. Later, Fei ends up with Elly.
    • Later in the game, it is revealed that Elly really is Fei's first love, as they have been lovers for 10000 years via reincarnation.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Meryl's first love was Solid Snake. Unfortunately for her, Snake was too concerned with his Heterosexual Life Partner Otacon. She eventually marries the game's Butt-Monkey Johnny Sasaki.
  • BioWare seems to have a thing for this trope:
    • The Player Character to Jaheira in Baldur's Gate 2.
    • The player character of Knights of the Old Republic to Carth.
    • Neverwinter Nights:
      • The player character to Aribeth, and possibly a different player character again to Aribeth as her third love in Hordes of the Underdark.
      • Any love interest you could possibly end up with in the The Bastard of Kosigan series is going to be your character's second at least, after Alex's unavoidable plotline death.
      • The player to Anera in the Shadowlords/Dreamcatcher/Demon arc.
    • The player character to Sky in Jade Empire, and possibly (alternately) Silk Fox to the player character. (Complicating matters a bit is that they're both bisexual.)
  • Mass Effect:
    • The player character to Thane or Jack in Mass Effect 2.
    • Shepard him/herself can have one in the second game, if you romance Ashley/Kaidan/Liara in the first game and move on to someone else in the second. This can cause tension in the third game... unless your Mass Effect romance is dead, of course.
    • In the third game, Male Shepard can be one to Gay Option Steve after helping him move past the death of his husband.
    • Potentially, Jacob in Mass Effect 3 hooks up with a new woman after his relationship with Shepard. He states that he believed they wouldn't be able to be together after her incarceration by the Alliance and that he still has feelings for her, but stays with his new love.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The player character to Zevran or Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins. Furthermore, if the player character is a female Dwarf Noble and the origin was played with her being romantically involved with Gorim, he finds a second love, gets married, and is expecting a child by the time they see each other again. She can then become involved with Alistair, Zevran, or Leliana, making them this trope. The same arguably goes for a City Elf (of either gender), who was betrothed prior to becoming a Grey Warden, and a Dalish elf, if the player chose dialogue options that suggested s/he was in love with their hunting partner Tamlen. Additionally, the player can help Oghren win over his second love following the death of his first wife, Branka; if his approval of the Warden is high enough, he asks them to accompany him on a visit to old flame Felsi, whom he can end up marrying if the mission is a success.
    • The player character to Anders or Isabela in Dragon Age II. If Hawke is a female mage, a letter arrives during the first act which indicates younger brother Carver had a girlfriend back in Ferelden named Peaches; in Kirkwall, he becomes infatuated with Merrill, making her this trope. In the second act, Hawke can help their widowed friend Aveline woo the man who, if it's done right, will become her second husband. The player character's mother will also have a conversation with her eldest child about the possibility of her finding this trope. That, however, ends disastrously.
    • The player character to Cullen or Cassandra in Dragon Age: Inquisition. (In Cullen's case, however, it will only be mentioned if the imported world state has a female mage as the Hero of Ferelden.) This could also be the case with Dorian, as party banter with him and Cole implies he was previously in unrequited love with a man named Rilenius; depending on player choices, his second love could be either the Inquisitor or the Iron Bull.
    • In the franchise background, King Maric of Ferelden had at least three serious loves. The first was his elven lover Katriel, as seen in The Stolen Throne; the second was his wife Rowan, the mother of his son Cailan, whose death sent him into a depression for a few months. The third was Fiona, an elven Grey Warden mage who became the mother of his younger son Alistair.
  • The player character to Casavir in Neverwinter Nights 2.
    • And Gann or Safiya (depending on gender) to the player in Mask of the Betrayer. Though, given the soul-juggling mechanics, Safiya is a male player's first love and Elanee was his second.
  • The Player Character to Atton in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, depending on how you interpret his feelings for the woman he was talking about.
  • Princess Peach to Mario in the Super Mario Bros. series games. Mario's original love interest is Pauline, from his debut game, Donkey Kong.
  • Atoli from .hack//G.U. Games to Haseo, at least in the G.U. Film Trilogy. The games themselves have no canon pairing.
  • Harvest Moon: Animal Parade has Jin, one of the few and only characters in the series who is a marriageable bachelor and had a previous wife. She was an Ill Girl who passed away, and Jin, despite being a doctor, couldn't help her. Whether he ends up with the player or his Love Interest Anissa depends on the player, however.
    • The original SNES version has Ann's father marrying Nina's mother, if you marry Ann.
  • The Player Character can be this to Professor Grabiner in Magical Diary.
  • Isaac spent almost all of the original Dead Space trying to find his girlfriend, Nicole only to find out that she had been Dead All Along. In the sequel, he meets Ellie Langford; they help each other survive for a while, and Isaac eventually manages to overcome his guilt and sorrow over Nicole's death. Sometime between 2 and 3, Isaac and Ellie had a relationship. His relationship with the two women serve as Book-Ends for the series; the opening of Dead Space had Isaac watching at a recording Nicole had sent, and at the end of 3 as he plummets without sign of rescue he looks at a picture of Ellie.
  • In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, General Camus of Grust falls in love with Princess Nyna of Archanea after he protects her from being taken by the Dolhr Empire. It ends in tragedy when he's forced to fight Marth during the War of Shadows out of loyalty for his nation, and is defeated and presumed dead. He actually survives but loses his memories and washes ashore in Valentia, where he's found by a cleric named Tatiana, who nurses him back to health and the two fall in love with each other. Camus asumes a new identity as Zeke and decides to stay with Tatiana even after regaining his memory, although he does come back one last time to free Nyna of Medeus' control in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem.
  • Any guy who marries Cordelia in Fire Emblem Awakening, since she's had feelings for Prince Chrom for a long time and her romantic supports are, more often than not, about her trying to deal with it. And this certainly includes a male Player Character.
    • This may be the case in regards to Cordelia's best friend Sumia too, but it's much less harped on since she does have a chance to be with Chrom if the player so desires and her possible feelings for Chrom receive less focus than Cordelia's own.
    • And possibly gender-flipped in in regards to Lon'qu, if his thoughts and feelings regarding his dead Only Friend Ke'ri were romantic in nature. (This includes a female Player Character, of course.)
    • Also any guy who hooks up with Lissa (the aforementioned Lon'qu included) save for Frederick, her First Love.
    • In regards to the kids from the future, Cynthia implies in her supports with Inigo that she's had a crush on him since they were children, so any guy save for Inigo will be this for her. This may also be the case for Owain and maybe Gerome, in regards to Cynthia herself, as both boys imply that they might have harbored feelings of their own for the girl in their respective support chains with her.
  • This happens a bit in Fire Emblem Fates as well:
    • Camilla confesses that she's been in love with the male Avatar since she first saw him, so any other guy she marries will be this to her. In the localization, things are... a bit complicated in regards to Silas - he once had a crush on her and she almost liked him back.
    • The male Avatar is this to Flora, and probably Scarlet. Flora is stated to be in love with Jakob, whereas Scarlet is strongly implied to have feelings for Ryoma; however, the male Avatar is their only romantic partner.
    • Any guy who pairs up with Oboro, who's been enamored with her friend and lord Takumi for a long time.
    • Saizo and Kagero are Amicable Exes who work together as Ryoma's retainers, so any guy who romances Kagero and any girl who falls for Saizo and is loved by him will count as this.
  • Pretentious Game 2 is about the blue square moving on from the bright pink square and getting romantically involved with the light pink square. It doesn't end well.
  • In Queen at Arms, if Marcus romances the court mage Rubus, she is this for him; he tells her that part of what draws him to her is how much she resembles his old mentor, who was also his first love.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Zora commoner Kodah was in love with Link and competed for his affection with Princess Mipha. Kodah mentions that at one point she demanded that Link make a choice between her or Mipha; it's not clear exactly how Link viewed either of these two Childhood Friends, what with him being a Heroic Mime and traditionally a Celibate Hero, but it's implied that he did reject Kodah as a romantic interest. Following Link's near-death in the Great Calamity and subsequent century-long slumber in the Shrine of Resurrection, Kodah eventually married a Zora man named Kayden; a recently-awakened Link can act as Romantic Wingman for their daughter Finley. The Sheikah scientist Robbie also has one with his current wife Jerrin. His first love was a woman named Cherry, after whom he named his mechanical "ancient oven" (though he stopped referring to it by that name after seeing how much this upset Jerrin).
  • In the IGA continuity of the Castlevania franchise, Dracula became an immortal due to the death of his wife Elisabetha in order to spite God. Several hundred years later, he would fall in love with a woman named Lisa and have a son named Alucard. Unfortunately, this relationship didn't go well for poor Drac either.
  • In Life Is Strange, the Player Character, Max, eventually falls in love with her childhood best friend Chloe. Rachel Amber (whom Chloe befriended when Max moved away prior to the game) is heavily implied to be Chloe's first love. The prequel, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, confirms this (although exactly how close they are depends).
  • In the God of War series, Kratos's only love was for his wife Lysandra and daughter Calliope. After Ares tricked him into killing them, he became the bundle of Unstoppable Rage we know and love. He occasionally has one night stands, but that is just meaningless sex. Centuries later, in God of War (PS4), Kratos finally moved on and married Faye, having a son named Atreus. Unfortunately, Faye dies of undisclosed causes before the game starts, but his comments indicate he loved her as much as Lysandra.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yukitsuki is the unfortunate first love in Fragment's Note. Thanks to Miu's intervention, Yukiha ends up with someone else.
  • Discussed in Kanon with the Official Couple. Yuuichi jokes that he hopes Ayu retracts having said that he was her first love, as everyone knows it's only the times after your first that the relationships work.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, there are a few cases of this.
    • Emi has this happen twice. The first time was with her team captain, who turned out to be gay, and she later had a boyfriend at Yamaku, but they broke up because she kept him at arm's length (a problem Hisao must resolve to successfully complete her route).
    • Lilly had a crush on her English tutor, but never acted on it.
    • Hisao himself had feelings for Iwanako, the girl who met with him for a Love Confession in the first scene, just before he suffered a heart attack. She stops visiting him in the hospital after six weeks and later sends a "Dear John" Letter, meaning that any girl Hisao winds up with is going to be his second love.
  • In Sunrider, Kayto Shields was in love with his childhood friend Ava Crescentia when they were in high school. She left to join the military right after graduation, and when they finally meet again twelve years later as captain and first officer of the Sunrider, Ava is determined not to renew their relationship on the grounds that it could compromise their judgment. Her rejection drives Kayto into the arms of his chief engineer, Chigara Ashada, and the two of them become the Official Couple. Then Chigara gets hijacked by the Big Bad and dies.
    • In Sunrider Liberation Day, any woman that Kayto hooks up with in the post-game [RE]turn scenario is technically his Third Love (except for Ava, naturally). In the good endings, Chigara even gives Kayto her blessing to be with his new Love Interest since she herself is being held indefinitely in solitary confinement to prevent her from causing trouble if the Prototypes take control of her again.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair:
    • It turns out that Momoko is her best friend Kamen's second or third love, after a female classmate in elementary school, and possibly Raiko, the main character.
    • Runa briefly went out with Hiro before he dumped her for Momoko. She eventually gets together with another boyfriend in the good ending to the story.
  • In Heart of the Woods, Abigail is this to Madison. Before meeting Abigail, Madison had an ill-fated experiment in dating her best friend Tara, as well as at least one romantic relationship with another woman, the latest of which ended badly.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Taiyang Xiao Long was married to his teammate Raven Branwen. She gave birth to a daughter, Yang Xiao Long, but then Raven disappeared shortly thereafter. Taiyang then fell for his other teammate, Summer Rose, and she raised Yang as her own even as she and Taiyang had their own daughter, Ruby Rose. It wasn't until Summer disappeared as well that Yang found out about all this—she had thought Summer was her biological mother for most of her childhood.

  • Many of the main couples in Kevin & Kell fall under this trope. The titular couple itself is one: Kevin was a divorcee, Kell a widow. Others include Dorothy (divorced) and Douglas (widower), Martha (divorce) and Ralph (unmarried widower), Angelique (Kevin's ex) , and George (Martha's ex).
    • George is a bit complicated though. His second love was Danielle, Kevin's sister, who died during an attack on Rabbit's Revenge, but her human counterpart ended up crossing over into Domain, falling in love with George herself, and eventually married him. So, depending on whether you count the formerly human Danielle as a separate person from the original Danielle, George is either on his second or third love.
  • Makoto is Miharu's second love in Red String, after her disastrous breakup with Kazuo. Miharu, for her part, is Makoto's second serious relationship after his first girlfriend dumped him and his attempts to love and woo Karen failed. Hanae is Fuuko's second love after Maya figured out she didn't feel the same way for Fuuko.
  • In Sunstone Ally is this to Lisa; her relationship with her first love ended due to Lisa never getting the confidence to explain her intimate interests to him; despite them discussing engagement before it turned sour; this causes her moments of doubts and guilt early into her relationship with Ally.
  • In TwoKinds: Flora is Trace's second great love after his deceased wife (whose death sparked Trace's original Start of Darkness).note 
  • In Something*Positive, this is the backstory of Davan's parents, Fred and Faye. Fred's first wife and son died when he was still quite a young man, and Faye was his second wife. It's made clear, in the strips that explain this, that Fred loved his first wife very much; however, the rest of the comic makes it equally clear that he truly adores Faye. Her death hits him very, very hard.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: We've met Jean's ex-boyfriend, Slick Simmons. Handsome, charming, and successful, but also a lying, arrogant womanizer; she cites her bad experience with him as the reason she fell so quickly for a modest nice guy like Bob.

    Web Original 
  • In A Loaf Story, an entry from The Wanderer's Library, after Emilio is eaten by a pigeon, Elizabeth finds happiness with this in the most tearjerking way possible.

    Western Animation 
  • On Adventure Time, Flame Princess was the second love for Finn, since his old crush Princess Bubblegum considered herself too old for him (even before the reveal of her real age, seasons later.)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Although he met her first, Sokka only fell in love with Suki after his first love, Princess Yue, Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence.
    • Aang to Katara, as the first guy she had a crush on (Jet) was a freedom fighter who wasn't all that concerned about collateral damage.
  • In the sequel series The Legend of Korra, Korra and Asami, who both dated one other person before getting together in the Grand Finale. Ironically, the first loves of both of them were the same: Mako.
  • In The Dragon Prince, Callum starts off having a young crush on the dark mage Claudia. It is unknown whether or not Claudia felt the same way, but she did at least enjoy his company to a degree. Regardless, once Claudia made her allegiances clear (against Callum and his brother), those feelings he had for her clearly disappear. As his adventure continues on, a romance buds between Callum and Rayla, and the two officially become "a thing" by the fifth episode of season 3.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Before Timmy Turner's parents got married, Mrs. Turner's first love was Sheldon Dinkleberg. Yes, the Dinkleberg. He ditched her in the name of money once a bunch of scientists decided to invest in his parachute pants, and that's when Mr. Turner swooped in. He even lampshades it by introducing himself with "Sorry to catch you on the rebound, but will you marry me?"
  • On Phineas and Ferb, Linda and Lawrence are Happily Re-Married, each having been a single parent before they met. The creators are specifically vague about their previous spouses.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Razer became a Red Lantern because of his wife's death, but he slowly falls in love with Aya during the first half of the series. And then he completely fucks it up by telling her he loves her and taking it back. Everything goes to hell after that.
  • In My Dad the Rock Star Willy falls for his best friend Alyssa in the last episode. Alyssa was the second girl he fell for in the series, with his first love being Angela D'Angelo. While mutually interested, Willy and Angela's relationship never even technically got started due to the actions of Angela's extremely protective parents, with said parents moving the entire family out of town just to prevent said relationship.
  • Rugrats: Chas Finster (a widower) and Kira Watanabe-Finster (a divorcée) are this to each other.
  • Sofia the First: Miranda and King Roland are this to each other.
  • Gargoyles never shows us any of Elisa's past relationships, but Goliath's ex-mate Demona features prominently as an antagonist throughout the series.
  • Marco from Star vs. the Forces of Evil has Jackie as his first love and dates her for awhile but eventually realizes Star is his true love and they become an Official Couple in "Here To Help".
  • It looked like Thundercats 2011 was going to do this when Cheetara turned out to be into Lion-o's brother Tygra and he meets a new girl. Then she, Pumyra, turns out to be Dead All Along and revived by his enemies to infiltrate his gang and betray him.
  • Emma Frost was set up to be this to Cyclops on Wolverine and the X-Men after his first lovet Jean Grey disappeared (after chastising him for getting into a fight with Wolverine no less), but the series didn't follow through on it.

    Real Life 
  • In modern (especially Western) Civilization, serial monogamy is so common that some evolutionary psychologists think humans evolved to favor such relationships.


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