You never forget your first, even if sometimes you maybe wish you had. For good or for bad, getting your heart broken for the first time is almost as important as falling in love for the first time.
Here, brokenhearted people share how they got over their first love. Enjoy! And check out the sources for even more chicken soup for the lovelorn soul.
1. She left with just her scent on my pillow.
I’m old (50). My first love was 30 years ago. That’s a long time.
In short, yes: I got over her. I moved out west, fell in love with other women, lived with a few, played the field. She stayed in my mind for quite a few years, but as we both got on in life, she faded.
But I do remember one day, about 10 years ago, shopping at the mall. I walked past the fragrance section and BAM. It was HER scent. All these memories flooded back into my head. Laying beside her on a winter’s night. Watching hockey with her wacky mom. Laughing when her closet bar broke – again. Spending the weekend in the Poconos in the rain. It was a blast of fond nostalgia and I nearly stumbled from its impact.
We’re not in contact so that’s the last “contact” I had with her.
I can say this to young people: the broken heart hurts but the hurt does not last. You will be amazed at how broadly your life and your loves will replace that hurt. It’s like a pitcher of water into a small paper cup. Yet there will always be this standard of affection that was set by that first love. It can’t be replaced. Don’t forget it, but use it as a standard, a starting place. You will build on it. And what you build won’t seem as “pure” or “perfect” as that first one, but it will be stronger, more adaptable, and more satisfying.
2. I hear you clear as a Bell.
I think about her some times but I also remember a quote from Alexander Graham Bell:
When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Remember your past, learn from the experience, and follow the opening doors.
3. Confronting hard truths.
Two and a half weeks ago, she told me she cheated on me. During our (5 year) relationship, we were always very clear about this scenario: Cheating ends it all. However, once it had happened, I needed time to think. I realized fully that she was my first real love. I’m 23 and never felt anything like what I felt/feel for her.
However, this made me angrier when thinking what she had done. I felt like she ripped my heart out and stepped on it. I went to confront the guy, but he was a real piece of work. Yes, I wanted to bash his face in, but he was not worth it. I still do not understand why she chose him, it just didnt seem right. Could have been that he was (at least to her) a very nice person, but at the moment I confronted him he just behaved like a jerk. (Story continues…)
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After one week I saw her again and told her it was over. I told her I do still love her, and am still in love with her today, even when I am typing this, I feel the butterflies. Followed by an intense attack of hate for what she has done. Anyway, a relationship with her is not an option anymore; I have to remove her from my life. It is still hard and I think every second of her, of us, of what could have been. But it is time to let go. Who knows, if we were indeed meant to be, our paths will reunite someday. Though at this point I believe that this is something I keep telling myself to make it easier to let go now.
The easy road I could have taken was to forgive her. Of course I wouldnt really be able to forgive her, but I would try convincing myself that I could. I would not trust her anymore, but convince myself I would, too. Easiest would have been to keep it to ourselves and try making it work again. This would have been like driving a car with a punctured tire; you try to convince yourself all is fine, but you know well enough that soon it will come to a standstill and youll need to throw that tire away. I took the hard road, I told her to move out.
To answer your question: no, she is not married. It does hurt me to think she is still working with that guy, and it hurts to think about her with someone else. But I’m still glad we met. We had 5 beautiful years for which I am greatly thankful.
4. McMuffin massacre.
He slept with another girl while I was on vacation, I found out about it, the girl harassed me for 6 months. They’re still together and work at a fast food place.
I found out where she lived…I egged her house.
5. What tangled webs we weave.
It took me getting married to the woman I actually love to get over what I thought was my first “love”.
My first love was my best friend’s girlfriend. They were terrible together and when me and her hung out it was great. We had so much fun together and hardly ever argued, basically everything him and her weren’t.
I knew she was going to leave him about 3 months before he knew. She wanted to go back to where she moved from and do her own thing. She begged me to come along and I seriously considered it, but in the end I started thinking it was less about her wanting to be with me and more about her wanting to hurt him as much as possible. She left him one day while I was at the coast, about 5 hours away from home. She knew I was coming home within a few days and didn’t wait for me. It really hurt me for a long time, more so than I think it hurt him.
A year of serious depression followed all that. I left the house for groceries and work. One morning I woke up and realized that even if I was wrong about her wanting to hurt him and not be with me, it didn’t matter. It was pathetic and wrong of me to even entertain the notion of thinking she would leave my best friend for me.
About 5 years later I met a woman who would become my wife. I don’t know how to put it, but I knew from the first date. Even in all the time I spent with my best friend’s girl, I never felt as comfortable and happy as I have in every moment I spend with my wife.
6. Last Christmas I gave you my heart.
It was winter time during my 8th grade. Few girls decided they wanted to make this Christmas special rather than usual celebrations we had in school. They wanted everyone to put their names on a bit of paper, Fill a basket with those scribbled names. We had to randomly pick a name, whom we have to anonymously give a gift. I really hoped I wouldn’t get a girl. I being a shy early-teenager was really nervous to buy a gift for a girl. Unfortunately, it was a girl. (Story continues…)
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Not only that, but this was a popular girl. As always I tried to avoid that and find a way out of playing Secret Santa . Sadly again teacher made it compulsory for everyone to participate.
I figured out I wasnt the only one under this dilemma. There were some guys like me. Gladly some wanted to be Santa to their crush. Well I helped those desperate lovers. I was kid who used to do lot of favours. People had a problem? I would sort them out. Want your crushs number? I got your back. I knew how strange everybody was, especially me. I exchanged my girl with theirs, not the girls of course just their names. I sorted out everything and finally got some guy’s name. Now I wont have to tell anyone at home that I have to buy a present for a girl.
It was around Christmas. Vacations were about to start. I kept the gift safely in the guys bag. I already got my gift few days back. I don’t even remember what the gift was. I just remember walking down the corridor and entering the classroom and being welcomed by warm smile. That was beautiful. Some guy brought a really nice present for the girl I was originally Santa to. Most of the girls were surrounding her while she was hugging her gift that she just unwrapped. Everybody assumed I gifted her that wonderful thing she could not get away from. Maybe everyone thought I was that mysterious Santa because I had asked lot of kids to exchange names with. But I knew I wasnt the one who gifted her. Things went on, she kept staring at me, smiling. I think her smile did it.
Everything around me felt good. I started loving everything. It was the first time I felt I looked good. You know when you look in the mirror, you dont see a sob story anymore. Every day was good hair day. I started participating in life, and stopped filling my mind with useless thoughts. Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life. And now I know how dumb and stupid I was. That was the first time I felt how being obsessed for something felt. It wasnt head over heels thing. It wasnt like in movies, you felt dying for someone is a great idea. It was plain and beautiful feeling toward her. She found many different ways to spend more time with me. I just wanted to talk to her, and feel someone was listening to me. I never thought of doing those cheesy things young kids do, holding hands, engraving their initials with a heart on desks. This reminds me of something, how someone can engrave their names on trees and wall, unless they came on date with a knife or something sharp. Its weird.
But sadly all those things started dying slowly. We passed our 8th and went onto next class. All the students were shuffled. She went to different section than mine. And that was the end of my puppy-love. And things were back to normal except I learned so many things. That was the first time I got in touch with music, it was not because of her though. That experience just made me try new things. Songs never stuck a chord inside me like they were supposed to before that. I started with listening to Linkin Park and Rage against the Machine. I could connect to those lyrics and those werent even love songs. I felt what the artist wants to share. What all those songs meant. And I thought how many people have loved those songs. And how many had great time listening to those songs. I wish I would write a song like that someday just to know how it feels to make so many people happy.
That was the first experience of liking a girl. Though I dont even remember how she looked or where is she is now. Now I remember I didnt even love her like young-me used to think. I just loved feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere. It was just experiencing something for the very first time. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon. Thats why I love first times. I want my whole life to be composed of them. Though I didnt learn most of these things because of that experience in my early-teen years. But because of all those experiences that happened last summer. Due to which I was able recall all that account of Secret Santa. Because of which I was able to write these things down, and think clearly.
I read somewhere how important it is in life not necessarily to be loved… but to feel loved and I love yourself. After previous summer I found a new self-inside me that I dont hate. I think maybe part of what got me into trouble was that I did too much thinking. Sometimes I tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often. I made a radical change in my lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which I may previously never have thought of doing. People who try to control situations all the time are afraid that if they don’t, nothing will work out the way they want. Living in present and doing my best. I stopped being concise about my life and started drifting away like a feather to wherever the wind may take me.
7. What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me.
Dated a girl for 7 years, thought she was it, then we broke up. I’ve since started a new relationship that’s been going on for almost 3 years now. It’s a much healthier relationship and things are just all around better.
Buuuuuut, it somehow doesn’t feel the same. It’s not that I love her any less, just that I suppose I’m more realistic about what love is. (Story continues…)
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Love back then seemed like this special thing that selected you and you were just there for it and it was like all the movies and it was wonderful and great and the sun was always warm. Now, I realize love doesn’t choose me, I choose love. I choose to love this person and to make it work no matter what, etc.
It’s kind of a lot nicer because I know it’s my decision that I want to be with this person and I can decide what kind of loving relationship I want to have with her. But it’s also kind of like your first Christmas after learning Santa isn’t real. There’s just something not quite as magical about it in a sad, growing-up kind of way.
8. You never forget your first.
Sadly, I suspect I will never get over her completely. I had never loved anyone that much before. I really gave her everything I had, but in the end it wasn’t enough for her.
To be fair, I should have known. Though in a way, I suppose I did know. We were only kids. I was 18, she was 16. I told myself it wouldn’t work for four months while rejecting her advances. She was too young, too nave, and besides, how could she love me? I quickly fell victim to her charm and gave in. From that moment, I was hooked.
I truly loved her. You could say I was obsessed and I wouldn’t fault you for it. In retrospect, I kind of was. Which made it that much harder when we split. To make matters worse, everything that I had told myself before we got together was continuously being confirmed and I pretended not to notice to avoid facing the reality of our inevitable break up.
Fast forward to now and it’s been six years. I’m still a bit jaded. I’m practically married, I have two children that I adore, yet I still think about her. I still miss her. I still love her. Despite knowing it would have never worked, and despite it feeling completely irrational, I still love her.
Part of me hopes it will just go away at some point, but I don’t think it will. And part of me is happy about that.
9. That’s why they call it puppy love.
We met on the school bus, I was 14 & he was 15. He was the cutest guy I’d ever seen- shaggy brown hair, flannel shirt & hole jeans, big ice-blue puppy dog eyes, and a goofy lopsided smile that just melted my heart. It was love at first sight- the first time I laid eyes on him all the breath left my body & my stomach fell out of my butt. (Story continues…)
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I fell madly in love with him & looked forward to the bus ride home every day just so I could ogle him. I began to suspect that he liked me too when he started sitting closer to me every day, and the clincher came one day when I had a bad day & boarded the bus scowling, and out of nowhere he whipped out a marker, drew a line down his face, and said to me, “Hey look, I’m a butt!”. It sounds silly, but that’s how I new he liked me. Long story short, we dated for 5 months. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, and my first love. It ended with me not being ready to lose my virginity & him being a sweet but typical 15 year old boy, if you get my drift. He cheated on me constantly but did a very good job of keeping it hidden & keeping the relationship going. I only found out when I called his house one day & some girl answered the phone. He admitted everything that day & clearly felt horrible, saying that he really did love me but he blamed it on his hormones. I of course was heartbroken & we split up.
That was all back in 1995 (I’m old, heh). In late 2002 we reconnected through a mutual friend (my best friend at the time) & the first thing he did was sit me down & sincerely apologize for all the grief he put me through when we were together. I had forgiven him for all that long ago of course, but all the love I had for him was rekindled by the fact that he actually still cared enough to apologize after all that time. He was such a kind, loving person. Unfortunately though, he was unstable & had a lot of issues with drugs as well so I hesitated to let myself get too close to him again. But even so, we started hanging out a lot & I grew to really look forward to our time together. Despite all his problems, when I looked in his eyes he was still the same sweet, silly boy I fell for as a girl. Soon I began to consider a relationship with him again & it looked like he was leaning the same way as well.
In early May of 2003, I got a hysterical phone call from my best friend. She kept screaming “Chris is dead! Oh my god he’s dead!” into the phone & at first, I thought she was playing some kind of sick prank on me. But sure enough, he had been found dead in his bed that morning. He was only 23.
It was horrifying enough that he was dead, but I felt partially responsible due to the fact that I had been planning to call him on the day that it happened but ended up doing something else instead. The combination of drugs and medication he’d taken stopped his breathing. I can’t help but think that if I HAD just called him & invited him to go do something, he’d still be alive today. I made sure he knew he was forgiven after he apologized for all the cheating, but I never got to tell him how much I still loved him. I will be haunted by this for the rest of my life.
A part of my heart died that day & I miss him so, so much still. It’s been 10 years since his death, but I’m nowhere near over it. I’m tearing up as I write this, in fact. I still have dreams about him and I always wake up crying. Every time I hear someone say that young teenagers don’t know what love is, I wanna throat-punch them. What I felt for Chris was & is the purest, strongest love I’ve ever felt for anyone in my entire life.
10. Making peace with your past.
I still love her and I think about her every day but it’s different now. Her and I are very similar. Extremely low self esteem, abandonment issues, unknowing co-dependence. But the way we handle them are different and resulted in a lot of fighting. Our relationship was awful. First we fought. Then the fighting escalated. We never got physical (she pushed me a couple times, claiming that I was intimidating her), we yelled at each other a lot, she spit on me. It was all around a terrible year and a half but not because I didn’t love her but because looking back our problems only exacerbated each other’s problems. We knew this would happen, it’s why we called it quits the first time we dated but we quickly realized we were in love and ended up back together. I miss her every day but I know we can’t be together. We messed each other up pretty bad.
I know she’s still single but it’s by choice. She’s a smart driven women who is already a leader in her field and is only bound for greatness. I hope whomever does come a long doesn’t break her heart like I did.
11. Happily ever after?
We met in college in Ohio while we were dating other people – mine was long distance. I was playing the Pogues in my dorm room, and she popped her head in to say she liked it. Her boyfriend was a bit of a meat-head, and whenever he dropped the ball, I picked it up. (Story continues…)
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He didn’t want to go to the Ani Difranco concert with her, so she went with me. He didn’t sign up for ballroom dancing, but I did (before I knew she’d be there) and we were dance partners. He wouldn’t watch Wim Wenders movies, so she watched it with me and my friends. She got sick, he went out to party, and I was on night-guard duty with some Mrs. Grass soup.
By the time I broke up with my girlfriend, She left Ohio to go to New York, so I never got to ask her out. My heart broke for the first time. A few months later, a visiting friend from Scotland needed a ride to NYC. I drove him there with a stop off to see Her in Rochester, NY. We all hung out for two days, and as we left to complete our trip to NYC for my friend’s flight, it dawned on me that I may never see her again. It would add 5 hours to my return trip to Ohio if I stopped by to see her. We hugged goodbye, and I looked her in the eyes and said, “I love you.” I felt like it was still goodbye, and I wasn’t trying to accomplish anything by it. I just wanted her to know. I turned and drove away.
We drove through the night, and at 2 AM, we arrived in NYC at JFK airport. My friend, David, said, “If you don’t go back and see Her, you’re useless.” We said goodbye, and I hopped back in the car to drive back to her house right then.
5 hours later, I pulled up to her house, ready to boldly ask Her out. I could see her through the screen door wrapped in a blanket on the couch, so I opened it and walked over to her, thinking I had a lot of explaining to do for why I was driving 5 hours out of my way to see her again. I didn’t have to say a thing as she just jumped up to give me a hug. Then we kissed.
After that, it was about 6 months of wonderful before we hit some reality. It was just hard to manage the distance, and I was losing my confidence. I was financially strapped, and I was exhausted from working, studying, and travelling. I didnt see a way ahead for us, so I started to let it go.
I spiralled down into depression, thinking that I didnt deserve the girl I loved because I couldnt make it work financially with her. I didnt return her calls. I didnt answer the phone. I became something of a jerk.
I also became a teacher, and I worked in some awful (but great) schools to help pay for grad school. I dated other people, and I heard from friends that She was dating too. My depression got worse until I hit rock bottom. I made a choice about living or dying, and I decided that I would live, and make it my goal to be the person who wouldnt have let her go the way I did. Not to get her back, but just to not screw it up if it happened again.
When I reached a place where I could honestly say I wasnt depressed, I wrote to her. I apologized, and said I was prepared to give her anything she needed in order to get closure. No response.
She called me up months later. I heard her voice say my name, and my heart raced. We talked for a while about everything. She told me about the guy she was dating. (He was from Sudan one of the Lost Boys.) We said goodbye, and my heart broke again. It felt like an actual goodbye. I looked up her boyfriend and he was in the news as a genuine hero. It was finished. But I was happy for her.
A few months later, I went on a cross-country trip to make amends with other friends whose bridges I burned. I drove alone from Chicago to Denver to Vancouver to L.A. to St. Louis, making amends with my friends, and stopping at every National Park that I could. In the words of Tom Waits, I was never more alive, or alone. It felt wonderful.
Out of nowhere, on this trip, my uncle in Lake Placid contacted me to invite me for a visit. That trip would take me right through Rochester, NY. I called her up to ask if I could stop by for a visit. I didn’t know it, but she had just broken up with her boyfriend the day before. She invited me over, and I drove there within a day. My heart melted when she greeted me with the biggest smile. We talked for hours upon hours. As I drove off to Lake Placid, she told me to stop by on the way back.
One month later, we had our second “first kiss”. We’ve been married for 9 years this Christmas.