When First Love Goes Wrong

When First Love Goes Wrong

It isn't always as magical as it's cracked up to be.


First love usually never works out. If it's your first relationship or your third, first love will change everything you know. It starts fuzzy and warm, almost like you're in a haze, but with my first love, the haze blinded me from all the wrongs of my partner. When he was gone for long periods of time, I thought nothing of it. When I heard rumors of him, I brushed them off because I trusted him with all my heart.

Bad idea past me.

After two and a half years with him, things came crashing down. Two fights, and one break during finals, yet I still couldn't see what was wrong. When he officially blind side dumped me in March despite reassuring me that he loved me just the night before, I felt like I lost everything. So then when we decided to just be friends, I thought I could still have some love in my life despite having moved on, but how wrong was I.

To recount old memories and laugh again, we went out for coffee and I brought with my old journal that I had written down in during our relationship. It was a Nicholas Sparks-style confession of love in this small notebook that I had held close to my heart and I believed that if he read this, I would finally receive closure after what had happened. However, the exact opposite happened. When we parted ways, I left the book with him. "I'll read it when I get home," he told me. Besides, I was leaving for Italy in less than 36 hours, so I thought nothing of it. Later that night, everything I thought had happened, changed in an instant.

I received his text that he had read my book and that he had something to confess. Most of me didn't care too much about what he had to say because I had moved on from him, but there was a part of me that wanted him to say that he made a mistake, that he wants me back.

I was not prepared for what he said that night.

"I cheated on you."

I'm sorry, what?

Two hours later, I have been filled in by him that he had cheated on me four times with four different people for various lengths of time and did various things that we had never done together. The first time he cheated on me was a mere eight months into our two and a half year relationship that meant the world to me. One of those girls was a close friend of mine that had just left for college. How convenient.

That next morning, I got on a plane with my mind swirling with new information and my notebook back in my hands that had an apology written in the last ten pages in scratchy handwriting that wasn't mine.

Being cheated on by your first love leaves a bad taste in your mouth for a while. Anyone who comes afterward doesn't get the treatment they deserve because of the anxiety that filled the cracks in your heart. They don't deserve the outbursts, the accusations, the overthinking, the pain that someone had created in your heart. It takes a while to either forgive them for what they did, which was the path I took, or to just take the time to heal. The right person will come along and help refill those cracks with love, instead of doubt.

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When We Get Swept Up In The Idea Of Love, We Fail To Understand The Meaning Behind It

We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it.


Love is something we celebrate year round. That is why, despite Valentine's Day having passed by the time you read this, I am still choosing to dedicate this article to it. We strive to love and be loved. We know that it's important. We idealize what it feels like and spend our whole lives speculating about what it truly means.

Unfortunately, the price we pay in being swept up in the ideas of love that are presented to us is that we find ourselves more enthralled in our idealization of love rather than love itself.

We seem to enlist ourselves in a battle to love and be loved. To love and be loved. You see, in embarking on this journey, our motivation lends itself to more selfish terms. People begin to treat love as a transaction where they love with the condition of feeling that love in return. Love has never been a game, yet that is so often what people make of it. They are blinded by the idea that there should be a certain degree of "fairness," an even exchange, of actions and emotions. Couples keep score. Should I tell him I love him before we part ways if he didn't initiate it the last time? Do I buy him a nice gift for his birthday when he forgot to buy me flowers last Valentine's Day? Maybe if I don't do x, y and z he will realize he needs to "step it up" and treat me the way I treat him.

Love doesn't involve scores or holding out on giving someone our best just because they are not meeting our expectations.

Real love carries no expectations and builds and flourishes solely on itself. This being said, you cannot go out and truly love someone unless you have built that relationship of love and caring for your own needs with yourself. A loving relationship consists of two whole people, not two halves looking to be completed by each other. Two people with the mutual understanding that the responsibility of generating the other's happiness is not their own.

For some reason, we tend to view love as the ultimate end goal. Love is not a static destination, but rather a living breathing entity, constantly evolving. We feel a spark, an intense feeling of endearment, and are quick to label it love, a product of our desperation to have it. With time the feeling fades and because we were hasty and mislabeled the feeling, we automatically assume we have fallen out of love. You have not fallen out of love, you have merely reached the crossover between your idealized version of love and what it actually is.

People will nod their heads when they are lectured with the idea that love isn't easy yet will quickly become lazy once things are no longer as simple as they once were. They bow out when things become too hard and blame it on the fact that "they just weren't right for each other" or that "the world was against them." People find comfort in the idea that they can always find someone else and they traverse from relationship to relationship with new expectations built upon ones that hadn't been met in the previous one.

This is not love. To label this as such disgraces its true nature.

I don't really know what love is, to be honest. These are simply things I've learned and drawn from my own encounters with love, or what I think love is. Above all else, I believe that love is a vessel for growth. Real love is about learning and growing together. It is absent of "keeping score," there are no preconceived notions. It's about relishing the happiness you have when you're together. We should love not in exchange for love, but because we can. Because we want to, without restriction or expectation.

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