Young love. It's such a powerful thing, and each person feels it in their own unique way. It's the first glimpse into what loving someone wholeheartedly can be like, because when we are young, we don't know the capacity at which we can love someone, but we can start to see the impact that the love we already have can have on those we choose to give it to. With love though, comes heartbreak. At one point or another in everyone's life, they will have their heart broken. It's a very hard feeling and it can alter the way you think about love.

I have been lucky enough to love and be loved. And yes, I have also had my heart broken by the boys I chose to give my heart to. And to the boys who have broken my heart, I must tell you thank you. Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today. I have learned so much from you and our relationships, and I have learned what I want from a significant other and what I should expect to uphold of myself.

To my first boyfriend, thank you for teaching me the impact of a breakup and the friendships involved in that relationship. Though I wasn't in love with you, I loved you, and I learned what a breakup could do to a friendship. We lost our friendship when we became boyfriend and girlfriend, and you taught me that to have a healthy relationship, I need to keep that friendship alive because you want your significant other to be your best friend. You also taught me that just because I break up with someone, doesn't mean I have to stop being friends with the people I have met through and because of them.

To the boy who I thought I loved, but who ended up playing with my feelings, thank you for teaching me that not everyone who is interested in me is interested in me for me. While I've forgiven you, I have also taken the lessons I have learned from our time together and made sure to never let a boy play with my heart the way you did. I lost myself for a bit because of you. I looked down upon myself and thought so low of myself because I felt that I wasn't good enough for you and that the reason you treated me the way you did was because I was only worthy of that. Thank you for teaching me that I need someone who is supportive and loving, and who treats me the way I deserve.

To my first love, thank you for showing me what real love is. I loved you and I was loved by you. I learned what real love is because of you. I learned what love feels like, and how being loved by someone can change you for the better. I learned self-worth and self-love from you because you taught me to see myself that way. You always made sure to make it known how beautiful you thought I was, even if I was in my glasses, leggings, an oversized t-shirt, a messy bun, and no makeup. You taught me that my opinions matter and that even when I don't feel like it, I am important and I have value.

You also taught me what things that I want in my future significant other. You had so many qualities about you that made me fall for you and made you an amazing significant other. And finally, thank you for teaching me that even though something doesn't work out, for reasons that were out of both of our controls, be thankful that I had the chance to love and be loved. I look back on our time with nothing but appreciation and love for you as a person, and I can only wait for the day that I feel that kind of love again, and I have hope for that because of you.

So to all of the boys that have had a piece of my heart, thank you. Thank you for teaching me about love and about what I want from love. Most of all, thank you for helping me to become the woman I am today.