The Thing About First Loves

I used to say that I could never imagine a life where ‘he’ wasn’t there. I was able to see my entire life planned right before my very eyes, even if the thought scared the living crap out of me. He was going to be part of my life. End of story. That’s the thing about having a first love, you think that they might be the last. 

I fell in love for the first (and only) time when I was 15. Being the scared little freshman that I was, it was an exciting and slightly scary experience. I thought it would never end, despite all the rough patches we would go through. Sadly, it did. That’s the unfortunate thing when it comes to love—the inevitable end of it. But try telling that to someone who’s in love for the first time. While in some cases, they end up being your first and only love, in others they end up just being a first. First loves take a lot out of you. No matter how many people we love, how many dates we’ve dressed up for, or the number of relationships we go through, there will be this reminiscence of our first love.

We learn a bit about ourselves. We’ve all grown up with this certain image of ourselves. We see ourselves in a certain light and judge our own actions, what we say, and how we go about things. But when someone else loves us, it makes you see yourself in their eyes. It’s different than when your parents compliment you or when your best friend tells you they love you, your first love isn’t required to love you. They don’t have to love you and yet, they do. Somehow, in a world filled with over 7 billion people, you found someone who loves you for everything you judge yourself on. You begin to see the small things that you never recognized about yourself and you carry that on with you. For everything you dislike about yourself, they love you despite that, for that, and because of that.

It’s a first. Everything is brand new. And while it might not mean your first time having sex, it’s a first in being a part of someone’s world for a bigger purpose than as just “friends”. There’s the first time you hold their hand, you meet their family, you lay next to someone you love, and the first time you say those three little words. Those things will happen after your first love, but it won’t be the same. It won’t be your firsts, and the firsts are what we remember the most. 

And that’s the thing about first loves, is that the memories never fully go away. We may create a dating blueprint for our next relationship or may be afraid of another bad breakup afterward, but they have some sort of effect on us whether we like it or not. We arrange our idea of love and what it entails through our first relationship, and we grow from there. It’s our foundation. And I think that’s the most notable thing about first loves, is that we can grow to still love them and no longer be in love with them.