There's nothing quite like the first time you fall hard for someone.
You'll most likely experience many kinds of love in your lifetime. Some will disappoint and hurt you, while others will make you feel so damn alive and free.
Your first love is the big, beautiful kind of love no one can ever take away from you or try to replace.
No matter the age you experience this type of love, it undeniably impacts your entire world. It has the power to leave a permanent tattoo on your heart that'll always be there, long after you've moved on.
For most of us, one of the hardest things we'll ever have to do is say goodbye to our first love. It's hard no matter whether one person fell out of love with the other, or you both embraced two different paths in life.
But for others, the fear of breaking up and not finding someone else – or even the simple fear of letting go – can be all-consuming.
Here are 12 signs you're settling for your first love, and it's time to move on:
1. You fear the unknown.
You've been with this person for so long, you're kind of terrified of what's out there. You know what you have, but you don't know what you're going to get.
2. You question whether you love him, or whether you're IN love with him.
There's a huge difference, gal.
3. You constantly wonder if the grass is greener on the other side.
If you can't help but feel this way, it's definitely time to cut ties and explore your other options.
Know the grass is not always greener, but you're not being fair to yourself or him if you're holding on just because. It's time to take that risk.
4. You feel major FOMO when your friends are making plans, and you have plans with your boyfriend.
You used to not give two craps about missing out because you were so excited to spend time with your boyfriend.
But now, things feel so different.
5. You're not the confident, happy girl you once were at the beginning of your relationship.
… and it's showing in every aspect of your life.
6. You feel terrible for liking the attention other guys are giving you.
You hate feeling guilty.
7. You pick fights over random, minuscule things.
You're just hiding your real problems.
8. You feel comfortable when you're with him, but not excited.
Comfort can get boring.
9. You feel like he's bringing more to the table in your relationship than you are.
... and you don't know what to do about it.
10. You feel anxious and confined when he wants to make plans.
You should feel excited about hanging out with your significant other, not want to roll your eyes at the mere thought of it.
11. You're venting more and more to your squad, rather than keeping things between you and your boyfriend.
He deserves to know.
12. Everything he does seems to get on your nerves.
If you begin to experience any of these red flags, it's better to break up than remain with someone simply because he's your first love.
Your first love HAPPENED, and it will forever be a part of you. But it's important to know when you're staying with that person out of habit, and when it's time to move forward.