Everyone remembers their first love. There is just something about the feelings and memories of that first love that can never be forgotten. Firsts of any kind are often memorable, but there is something uniquely special about your first love. Maybe it’s that it was the first time you ever experienced such strong feelings about someone, maybe it’s that you remember how happy you felt when you were with him or her, or maybe you’re filled with wonder about what ever happened to that person or what if you had stayed together.
The passion and intensity that teenagers are known for definitely plays into their relationships. Most teenagers believe that their very first boyfriend or girlfriend is “the one” and they allow themselves to imagine and even plan their future with this person.
In reality, very few people actually marry their high school sweetheart. In 2014, less than 2 percent of all marriages were between high school sweethearts. Nevertheless, it is a dream that many teens hold onto, and many even ponder or even obsess about ‘the one that got away’ many years after.
With the kind of intensity that is typical of teenaged love, it is no wonder that when that first relationship ends, it really tends to throw you for a loop. It can feel devastating and seem impossible that things will ever get better, that you’ll ever feel happy again, or that you will ever meet someone new or love anyone as much.
I promise you that you can and you will. There are a lot of things you need to know, though, about dealing with the end of your very first relationship. Here is quick guide to getting through your first breakup.
• It is okay, healthy and normal to be sad and cry. You might even retreat a bit and isolate yourself from others, just choosing to be alone in your misery. This is okay for a reasonable amount of time.
• Resist the urge to attempt getting back together right away. Most often, there is a reason why this relationship didn’t work out, and it is best to move one. Occasionally, you will get back together, but only after some time has passed and you resolve whatever issue or issues led to the break-up in the first place.
• Don’t cyber stalk your ex. It can be very tempting, and really quite easy these days with the use of social media. Obsessing over everything they do, everything they post, and who they are with can really hold you back. It is actually best to block them from all social media.
• Give yourself some time to grieve. The end of a relationship is a real loss, and deserving of time to feel the pain, process it and eventually heal. There is no need to pretend like you don’t care or nothing is wrong.
• Reach out to and rely on your support system. Your family and friends want to be there for you and help you through this. Let them.
• Take care of yourself. Don’t allow yourself to go days without bathing or grooming yourself. Eat healthy food, exercise, and get outside. Nobody is worth you sacrificing your own well-being.
• After a while (some say a good guideline is about one month per year together, or one week for every 3 months together), get back out there. This can be really hard and you might not be very motivated to do it. Do it anyway. Tell everyone you know that you are available for something new. You have to convince yourself that you are available before anyone else will believe you.
• Get involved in something you love or try something new. Whether it is jumping into a sport, joining a club or youth group, or volunteering somewhere, this is truly the best way to meet other people with similar interests.
• Focus on yourself and feeling great. Surround yourself with people you feel happy around and do things that you enjoy. With the exception of school, try to avoid things that you don’t enjoy.
• Don’t focus too much on finding someone new. You don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy and fulfilled. Stay open to the idea and allow it to happen in its own time.
• Keep an open mind. Sometimes, people are only initially attracted to a certain type of person, and they’re not always good for you. You never know what might happen and with whom. Don’t be so quick to judge. I know many people who ended up with someone that they never imagined they’d fall in love with. Love can be strange, and can show up when you least expect it.
• Stay confident and love yourself. This has to happen before anyone else can love you back. You must always know how beautiful and lovable you truly are. Everyone is deserving of love. You will find it one day. You might kiss a lot of frogs first, but you will eventually find your prince (or princess)!