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5 Things I Could Have Only Learned From My First Love

Every “failed attempt” is a learning experience – and relationships are no different.
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The dating world can be hard. There’s no doubt about that. Sometimes you’ll think someone is perfect for you, only to find out that they weren’t actually as great as they seemed. It’s actually pretty unlikely that your first love will be the one true love you stay with for the rest of your life. While that’s a harsh reality to accept, it’s actually a valuable learning experience for those who are willing to change their goals.

My first love was a whirlwind of emotions, and part of me regrets that I can’t “undo it”. However, if it wasn’t for her, I never would have learned some of the important lessons that I have learned in my life. Read on to see if any of these are things that apply to your own relationships.


She’s not perfect just because we want her to be.

I’ll admit, I am a bit of a control freak sometimes. I strive for perfection in everything I do, and I get a bit upset when I can’t have it. The truth is, perfection is an illusion – you can’t simply will something into being free of mistakes and errors.

My first love was someone I was hung up on for years before we actually began dating. I thought I knew her inside out from the start – after all, we had been friends for a long time. But the truth is, you can never fully know someone. There’s always a chance that they’re not the person they represent themselves as.

Furthermore, you can’t really control anyone but yourself. Sure, you can apply pressure to try and help mold them into what you want them to be – but this isn’t fair to either of you. The person doing the pressuring will be disappointed if things don’t go the way they’d like, and the person being pressured will be disappointed and feel that they’re not good enough unless they meet your criteria. They’ll have to “earn” the pedestal you’ve put them on – and that’s not fair.


A heartbreak won’t actually kill you.

When we go through an especially tough break-up, we might feel as if we’re going to die. Sometimes, the pain is so much that we may actually seek to end our lives – but it’s important to realize that this isn’t how it’s “supposed” to be.

Humans, by nature, are not designed to have one partner for their entire life. Sometimes it happens, and it’s magical – but usually this is in fairy tales and romance movies. In the real world, we’re built to have multiple relationships and multiple experiences.

If we build our entire lives around someone, we may feel that we’ve lost our life when they’re no longer in it. It’s important to take some time to heal, re-learn who you are without that person in your life, and get back to being you. Usually we feel the most pain if we have made tremendous sacrifices in order to make the relationship work. We may have sacrificed things that were super important to us, even. It doesn’t mean that we wasted our time, but it may mean that we’ve settled in the wrong areas.


We can’t be perfect just because she wants us to be.

This ties into the want for her to be perfect. Just because you’ve changed yourself to match your partner’s preferences doesn’t really mean that you’re a different person – it just means that you’re adaptable.

Repeat after me: There is no such thing as perfection.

If you have to change many things about yourself in order for your partner to think you’re perfect, you’re with the wrong person. Rather, you should find the person who knows you’re not perfect – and wouldn’t have it any other way.


We shouldn’t sacrifice who we are or what we want in order to be “happy”.

If we’re sacrificing a large part of ourselves, we’ll never be happy. It’s just human nature. We want to be ourselves, and we strive to be accepted – but we often overlook the chance that these two are not enemies.

If the lady you’re with doesn’t approve of who you already are as a person, or what you do with your life, she may not be the right person for you. Of course this doesn’t mean you should never change yourself to be better, but make sure that you’re actually changing to be a better person and not a better other half. When we focus on being “right” for a specific person, we are limiting our chances of being with the right person for us.

She’s out there – that woman who doesn’t want you to be different. Find her and don’t worry about the people who would ask you to change.

The same thing goes for your core values. If the person you’re with doesn’t line up with your core values, you shouldn’t try to change them – there’s someone out there for them. It’s like if you apply to a job that you’re not qualified for, and you don’t want to be held by the terms they have – but you want to change everything to make it work. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?


A relationship isn’t the be-all and end-all of our happiness.

If a relationship isn’t making you happy, for whatever reason, you shouldn’t be in the relationship. Nothing will be all sunshine and roses all the time, but if it’s more bad than good, it’s easier to let the relationship go than to force yourself to remain unhappy.

With my first love, I started off incredibly happy – but it didn’t last long. I stayed with her when I was no longer happy because, after all, she was my first love – the one I’d wanted to be with since I was a teenager. But we weren’t teenagers anymore, and we had both changed.

Sometimes, the things leading to your unhappiness can be changed easily. Maybe your partner doesn’t communicate like you’d like, so you tell her and she starts talking to you more. Maybe your partner skips foreplay, and you consider it vital – so you tell her and she tries harder to make it happen.

We should always strive to be happy, whether it’s in a relationship or not. If we can be happy with our partner, it’s natural to seek this out – but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if the two can’t coexist.


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Author

Barbara is a 26-year-old lesbian living in California with her partner (and their “fur babies” – an adorably chubby puppy named Porkchop and a ball python named Ru). In the spare time she pretends to have, she enjoys horror movies, music of all varieties, reading, and complaining about the weather.

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