Falling in love is never on your "to-do" list, so if and when it happens, it isn't a surprise to find yourself confused as to how to pursue a relationship with that person.
The first love truly is the best and worst. They're the one who makes you realize what love is, and pulls the rug out from underneath your feet. It's the one you aren't expecting, and the one you couldn't prepare yourself for.
I found mine in high school, and he truly changed my life.
Like many first loves, ours didn't last. But this article is not to diss him or his amazing friendship, he truly did make me a better person. My first love taught me to fight for myself, to find the best parts of who I am, and to learn that I'm allowed to be happy. Between the friendship that guided me through the worst times, I'd ever experienced, to the love that helped me love myself, he was the guiding light for so many years of my life.
He was around for everything, made sure I felt loved and was a constant support system for whatever I wanted to do. We were together when we really needed one another, as we grew up, the things we wanted just didn't mesh anymore.
That is not putting the breakup lightly, because it wasn't. All you want is for this person to be happy, and in the process of trying to help them, you are forgetting about yourself. The feeling of losing the person you thought was going to be in your life forever is debilitating, but the backlash you receive from society is a different type of debilitating entirely.
After the breakup, I was in such an awful headspace, focused on what I did wrong, and why it was my fault. It took me months before I even felt okay saying his name. I could vividly remember almost everything about his life: his favorite movie, what he did in his free time, his mom's favorite songs, the trips I would take with him and his family, it was like I was trying to connect the dots as to when everything fell apart. After months of my head playing cruel games with me, I finally was told to "get over it" by someone that was a supposed "close friend."
Here's the thing: you never truly get over it. Not with your first love. The pain just becomes easier to handle once you realize that you deserve a love that won't end, and you deserve to be happy - even if that means you don't have that first love in your life anymore.
Nobody can tell you when you'll feel better after a hard breakup. Especially if the love was something so true to you. You just have to know yourself well enough and love yourself deep enough to handle what you're feeling. You're not forced to figure everything out in the quickest amount of time possible, regardless of what other people will tell you.
You know what is best for you, you know yourself better than any love ever could. Putting yourself in a box won't help heal your heart, so don't pretend that it will. Let yourself cry, let yourself hurt, just know that you're strong enough to handle it.
To my first love, and to his amazing family: thank you for teaching me to love myself, I wouldn't be the same person I am now without your guidance, kindness, compassion, and love. You all deserve the world and its entirety. Thank you.