Four years ago, my life imploded and then fell apart. My first love, who I’d been married to for 21 years, announced that he no longer wanted to be married to me. What followed was the horrible necessity of splitting our assets and working out custody and maintenance for our child. At that time, to be honest, I was in pure survival mode.
Once the divorce was finalized, I could mourn the fact that my first love was over. And I’m glad I did. I got to process and deal with my grief over the end of the relationship on my own terms and at my own pace.
Losing your first true love is devastating no matter when or how it happens. Your relationship could have lasted for 20 months or 20 years. It could end over infidelity, mutual agreement, or death. But its loss remains overwhelming. I didn’t know until it happened to me that it physically hurt.
You may feel cast adrift after your first love comes to an end. It’s scary to contemplate a road ahead alone. Your comfort zone has been destroyed, and you’re forced to face a new reality. Your first love represents your youth, your hopes, and dreams for the future. Losing it can be a major setback.
Lessons to learn from losing your first love
Losing your first love brings you to your knees emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As broken as you feel, you find the will to regroup and rebuild. That strength of character is a valuable asset in all facets of life.
You have time to evaluate your first love objectively. You may realize that you ‘settled’ for less than you deserved. Losing your first love teaches you not to wait and hope that things will get better when you know they won’t. It’s okay to let go of something that is broken. Some things are not meant to be fixed.
Losing your first love makes you find yourself again. You can look at where things went wrong and resolve to never let that happen again. There’s a chance to redefine yourself as an individual.
Why you shouldn’t look at losing your first love as a failure
We all envy those couples who are each other’s first love and manage to make it work. But you may be at an advantage having lost your first love.
You’ve faced adversity and survived it. You know that you can have everything around you fall apart and find the strength to pick up the pieces. A person who has lost their first love has learned to face heartache and let it make them, not break them.
Losing your first love is a chance to set your own agenda for your next relationship. You are less naïve about love and what it means. You will conduct future relationships on your own terms. You experience has made you wiser and less likely to suffer fools gladly.
An alternate perspective
Don’t look back on losing your first love as a negative experience. It hurt, of course. But it’s an event in the journey that has brought you to this moment in your life. Your first love will have a place in your heart forever. But they won’t continue to own it unless you allow them to.
When you are able to look at losing your first love more dispassionately, you can see it for what it might be. Not a failure, not a punishment, but rather an emancipation. Look back on it with nostalgia, but not with rose-tinted glasses. It ended for a reason. Don’t romanticize it and blot out the bad memories. It will make the relationship harder to get over.
When your first love is ending, it’s so heart-breaking you might not see it at first. The horizon is so clouded by dark thoughts and fear. But the lessons you learn from the experience are invaluable and character-building.