I always thought that my first love, would be my one and only forever. Like most young and naive girls, I threw caution into the wind and engulfed myself into a reckless love. A love full of "forevers" and a love full of "always." He was a part of me, and I was a part of him. I couldn't imagine a future that didn't include him in my life, and I don't think I ever allowed myself to wonder that possibility. But sometimes, the person you think is your forever, wasn't meant to be. But that doesn't mean that relationship was a failure.

My first love changed me, and as much as I wish we were still together now, there's a reason we're not. He broke my heart, so truly and deeply. I still love him, and he'll always hold a place in my heart. I refuse to hate our relationship, not for him, but for my sake. He changed me. I learned what true love in a relationship was like, and how to open up to someone again. I never thought that I'd have a love like I had with him, and I now know that I can find that again.

Love is truly a drug. Once you get a taste, it's all you feel that you want and need. So when it's taken away you go through withdrawals. You imagine the good times you had with that person, and are tortured by the fact that you can't go back to those moments. Yet, you also remember what brought you to this point, and wish you never had a taste of that love. But truly, any relationship teaches you a lesson. Although I'm hurting immensely, I know that I was supposed to go through this withdrawal from love. Everything happens for a reason, even if in the moment it doesn't make sense. The relationship I had with him wasn't a failure. Our love wasn't a failure.

The hardest part of moving on, is accepting that the relationship is over. It's hard to not wonder what you did or didn't do, or to take it personally. I still check his social media to see if our pictures are still up, and wonder if he thinks as much about me as I still think about him. It's okay to miss your ex, but it's not okay to allow this breakup to define how you feel about yourself. I know that I'm worthy of being loved. I deserve respect, I deserve to be able to trust, and I deserve to be appreciated for the person that I am. My breakup was a product of someone who was too cowardly to do things the right way. The only fault I had was trusting that the boy I loved would do right by me, and that's not my fault at all.

People change, and that goes not only for relationships but beyond. In my case, I felt like the person I loved died. In a way he did, and it's okay to mourn the person you were with and the relationship you had. It's hard to accept that your best friend was not meant to be your person. Life has an odd way of teaching us lessons, some harder to swallow than others. But each day that pain will subside, and the immense emotions you feel now and even myself as I type this article, will slowly fade. I'll be able to reflect back on this relationship as a learning experience, versus a failure.

I still wish my ex the best and believe that he isn't a bad guy. I still have thousands of questions that run through my mind that'll never be answered. Accepting that you need to move on is tough, and it hurts. It hurts to let go of that piece of yourself, but with that loss I've found that I've gained experiences. I've learned that people change, I've learned how to love another with all of myself, I've learned how to open myself with no promises of a future, and I've learned that sometimes things end and that's okay.

What hurts me more than this breakup, is realizing how many other girls and guys have gone through similar experiences. I wouldn't wish this pain upon anyone. The feeling of rejection and loss is inevitable, and no matter what your ex says, nothing will take away the pain of a breakup like this. But bottom line, you will get through this. God has a plan for us all, and if you're not religious, life has a way of teaching us lessons that we never thought we needed to be taught.

I will never forget my first love and the way he made me feel, and no matter what, I'll cherish the love he showed and taught me. I thank him for teaching me so much about love, and even becoming alone again. I wish him the best, and will never forget the lessons of love and heartbreak that he taught me.