There are a lot of firsts we encounter in life, like owning our first car, having our first drink, and our first day at school. Firsts are some of the most memorable moments in life, and depending on the situation can either bring us a feeling of ecstasy or a sense of devastation. Either way, one thing most people remember is their first love.
Love is always special, but your first love moves you in a way that is inherently unique. It introduces you to feelings you have never had before, for better or for worse, and is accompanied by a sense of wonder, intrigue, and excitement. Even though your first love may not have lasted, it will be a part of who you are for the rest of your life.
When we think about our first love, there is a mixture of emotions we all feel which can be hard to explain. But why, even though our first love may have happened 5, 10, 15, or even 50 or more years ago, do a lot of us still think about it today?
Here are 10 reasons why our first loves are unforgettable:
1. Your First Love is Powerful
The first time you fall in love can feel practically earth shattering. All of a sudden, you realize you care about someone else in a way that you didn’t fully understand was possible. Even though we are aware of love, the first time you experience it in the romantic sense opens up a world of possibility and excitement, coupled with a hint of fear. It is unlike anything you have felt before, making the person associated with this discovery a permanent fixture in your memory.
2. Your First Heartbreak is Powerful, Too
The only thing that rivals the intensity of your first love is your first heartbreak. Often, these feelings are surrounded by memories of the same person. For those who didn’t remain with their first love for the rest of their lives, the ending of that relationship was likely very painful, regardless of who initiated the end or whether it was amicable.
It’s hard to let go of your first love, to walk away from those early feelings that were almost magical. The amount of effort required, and the amount of pain felt, will likely stick with you for a lifetime.
3. Your First Love was Innocent
For most people, their first love was innocent. It was free of manipulation on their part and often developed organically over time. It wasn’t something you were trying to do, it just happened. The lack of motive or intention makes it seem even more special.
After our first love, we are highly aware of what outcome we desire from any subsequent relationship. We may put more pressure on these relationships as we attempt to find something that brings us back to those initial feelings we felt the first time. This can cause us to act differently as we actively pursue that kind of connection again.
4. Your First Love Came with Other Firsts
Your first love was likely not the only first you experienced with the person who captured your heart. They may have encouraged you to try new things and take on new challenges, and were at least partially responsible for some of your personal growth. You also bore witness to the changes you incited in them and saw how people could support each other in a positive way.
In some cases, your first love may have also been involved in various physical firsts, and the emotional and chemical reactions that come with them. Whether it was a first kiss or the loss of virginity, these physical firsts are also memories we tend to carry with us throughout our lifetimes. Even in cases where things were clumsy or uncomfortable, most of these memories are looked at with a level of affection.
5. Your First Love Was Part of Your First “Us”
Though you may have identified as part of a couple before, your first love is often the first time you actually felt like you were part of an “us” or a “we.” This may represent the first time you made decisions based on what made sense for you as a couple, instead of you as an individual. You may have even prioritized the other person’s thoughts, opinions, or feeling above you own when faced with a decision, relinquishing a few your preferences in favor of someone else’s.
6. Your First Love May Not Have Ended by Choice
It isn’t uncommon for first loves to be pulled apart more by circumstance than pure choice. For example, two students preparing to attend different universities may end a relationship instead of trying to make it work over a long distance. The same may also occur when presented with a job opportunity that would prove significant for one person’s career.
First loves are often young loves. During our youth, we do not always have the highest level of control over where our lives take us. Before reaching adulthood, we are tied to the activities of our families, which may require us to relocate based on the decisions made by our parents. Educational opportunities and early career options may also be a factor, as it may not be feasible to sacrifice one’s future in order to stay together.
7. Your First Love Represents Your Youth
Over time, thoughts of your first love don’t just refer to them, but to where you were at that point in your life. It may bring back memories of your youth, of a time that may seem much simpler when viewed in hindsight through the eyes of an adult. Longing for your first love may represent a longing to return to that simpler time.
8. Your First Love Represents Possibility
Along with representing your youth, your first love may also remind you of a time when the possibilities seemed endless and much of life felt new and exciting. Thinking of your first love may conjure up a variety of what-ifs, as you consider what could have been had you made different choices at key points in your life.
9. Your First Love Changed You
Part of what inspires a first love is the positive effect you have on one another. A first love is often marked by a period of personal growth and development, a time of new experiences and facing your fears. As a result, the relationship helps shape who you are and how you proceed through the world, and may represent the first time you allowed someone else’s influence to have such a significant impact on who you are at your core.
10. Your First Love Only Happens Once
The biggest reason your first love will always be with you is that, no matter what, it is always your only first love. The first of any event can only happen once in a lifetime, making it special in it exclusivity. No matter who you later love, or how you change over time, your first love will always be the first, for the rest of your life.