Breaking up sucks.
It especially sucks when it’s with the first person who ever taught you what it felt like to be in love.
It’s hard to see a “last” come from a relationship that brought you so many “firsts.”
Your first love may have been the first person you ever felt nervous and comfortable around at the same time.
Maybe this relationship was the first time you ever felt intimate pleasure, or maybe it was the first time your heart literally ached whenever you were not next to this special person.
It’s impossible to deny that experiencing such a drastic change as a big breakup is terribly difficult and intimidating.
My first love and I broke up last year as he was heading off to Europe, and I was stuck in my senior year of high school.
But despite how rough it was, I learned some very important things from my breakup that actually made it a transformative time for me.
It has made all the difference in helping me move forward with my life.
Once you realize how much you can learn from your first big heartbreak, it actually doesn’t suck as much as it seems.
Sure, this person may no longer hold the same place in your life, but the effect he or she had on you can last indefinitely if you let it.
Here are the lessons I learned after my breakup with my first love:
1. Change can be good if you want it to be.
Yes, it’s scary, and no, it’s not what you’re used to.
But isn’t that the whole point of change?
Now that you’ve probably got more time on your hands, see what you can do with it.
Find a passion and fly with it.
Spend more time with your family.
Pick up a new hobby, one that you’d never have thought of before.
Your life is going to be a little different now, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Personally, I used my extra time to hang out with my little sister and write more, both positive changes to my lifestyle.
2. You shouldn’t be afraid to voice your feelings.
Having many confusing and passionate feelings is only natural, especially after such a life-altering change as your first real breakup.
Feelings are meant to be felt and expressed, so don’t be afraid of what you’re feeling.
Talk to your friends. Write it down. Cry if you need to.
Expressing your feelings doesn’t make you weak; it only makes you human.
3. You will not find someone just like your first love.
You just can’t expect to.
You have to be open to the new experiences and people you will meet.
Don’t be so caught up in the past that you don’t value the present.
You were lucky to have someone so special, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other people out there if you just allow yourself to be open to finding them.
4. Cherish the strong relationships you have.
A breakup is like a wake-up call.
One of the most prominent relationships in your life is no more, unfortunately, but weren’t you lucky to have had it in the first place?
And aren’t you lucky to have other good relationships in your life?
Don’t discredit them.
5. In time, you can be friends.
If your first love is someone who was so special that you want to keep him or her in your life, it’s undoubtedly possible.
Of course, your wants have to be requited, but as long as that’s the case, a strong friendship can form.
There may be boundaries within your friendship, and it may take some time to get used to having a different kind of relationship, but that’s totally normal and (hopefully) worth it.
6. You should always work to be the best version of yourself.
If you are the best person you can be, then you will attract other genuine, insightful and captivating people.
I don’t mean to say you should live your life trying to attract people.
I mean that if you hope to have another relationship — or even just friendship — in the future like the one you had with your first love, you have to be so in tune with yourself that you’ll be able to be in touch with someone else again in the future.
The curtain may have closed on your first love, but it will rise again.