First loves almost never last forever, except a lucky few. When you meet someone at a young age, it’s nearly impossible to predict that the person you’ve found at 16 will be the same person you want to be with at 26. But despite its fleeting nature and possible heartbreak, your first long-term relationship is a lot more important than you think.
Inspite of the length or depth of your first love, it always teaches you a lot of facts that get you prepared for a later stage at life.
1. Don’t Be Too Clingy
When you fall in love for the first time, the boundaries between infatuation and healthy relationship aren’t always entirely clear. If one or both of you have ever accused the other of being “too clingy,” you quickly learned that your constant presence wasn’t always as appreciated as you may have thought.
2. You Need to Love Yourself Before You Love Someone Else
When you’re young, your self-confidence is at an all-time low. When you don’t value your own self-interests, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of prioritizing your boyfriend or girlfriend’s needs above your own. You can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself.
3. Be Yourself
You may have met covered in makeup or dressed head-to-toe in branded stuff, but after those first few awkward times, you probably saw each other in a more truthful way. You might be attracted to the way someone looks or dresses at first, but real love comes after the façade fades and you consider one another honestly.
4. The Importance Of Communication
Your first love is the usually the first time you are so intertwined with someone, that you have to openly communicate with them. You learn, through trial and error, just how important it is to communicate your feelings. Even more importantly, you learn HOW to communicate your feelings in a mature, calm, rational way.
5. Arguing Is A Natural Part Of Relationships
First love teaches us how to argue and, ideally, resolve things. We’re forced to realize that you can’t always be on the on the same page about everything and that’s OK. Arguing with the person you love is completely normal.
6. You Need To Learn How To Balance Your Relationship And Your Friendships
One of the downsides of first loves? Totally forgetting about everyone else in your life so you can be with your love ALL THE TIME. While it’s a mistake we all make the first time we’re in love, it’s also a mistake that we learn from, or at least we should learn from, because your family and friends are more of a sure thing.
7. Love That Ends is Still Important
As the years pass, people will come in and out of your life at a near-constant rate. Relationships end, people move away, and even strong love can fade. Just because you two didn’t work out in the long-run doesn’t mean you can’t look back on that relationship fondly.
8. You Will Love Again, And It Will Be Even More Special
There are those moments after you break up with your first love where you believe you will never love again. You just left the one person you loved more than yourself, and there’s no possible way you will find that again. Eventually, as your heart heals, as you begin to love yourself more, you find your second love. And, unimaginably so, it is the perfect blend of everything you expect from love.
The biggest problem with a having a first love is that in being the “first,” it means there are other loves to follow, but they can’t happen until you have that first breakup. Losing your first love teaches you that, although it’s pain like you’ve never ever known before, you can survive a lost love. Not only can you survive it, but you’re stronger, wiser, and all that other stuff that your friends, family, and therapists will tell you after every breakup for the rest of your life.