First loves normally turn into failed relationships. I for one have experienced this first hand. It starts out with puppy love and then dwindles downs slowly and painfully. The constant arguing, sitting in like an old married couple, and fearful thoughts of being left are what I endured in the last year of the relationship. As much as this relationship has affected me negatively, I did leave it with life lessons I can use in my future relationships.
1. Independence is key
Before this relationship, I had been in only one prior to this which only lasted a few months. I was fresh out of high school and barely knew what freedom was. During this relationship, I used him as a crutch and every time something negative would occur, I would lean on him to make myself feel better. Before this, I would have cheered myself up, or not count on anyone else to make myself feel better. It became to the point where I depended on him for everything, which screwed me up mentally. At the end of the day, you really only have yourself. Never lean on anybody else for full dependence.
2. You get what you crave
At the moment I was just craving affection and attention. I just was starting college and working two jobs so I wanted someone I can come home to after a crazy day. I even lowered my standards to be with this person, all because I craved romance and it was convenient at the moment. If you give into every person that throws themselves at you, will you ever find the right one? It was convenient because of how close we lived and how our schedules matched up. At the end of the day, we were not compatible and it really showed. If you wait for the right one, they will find you at the right timing.
3. You can't change the unwilling
I truly needed someone who can match my level of motivation. Whether it be to get a better job, quit smoking, or motivate someone to enroll in school. When I tried suggesting these I got slandered with very nasty names. I was just trying to better both our futures. I can't motivate myself while being with someone who can't be bothered. The little white lies, name calling, and promises that were left empty never changed. Just because someone says they will, doesn't mean they will follow through with it. You can't change the unwilling.
4. You need true support
I suffer from severe anxiety so when I had a panic attack, I would get called crazy. I never really felt depressed until I was in this state of mind feeling helpless and unwanted. I wasn't supported like I should have been. The excuse was he thought I was trying to start an argument. I felt full of rage and panic because he just wouldn't sit down and listen. It was me always "attacking him." So when push comes to shove, my next relationship will help me become better as a person. I will find someone who can support me in all that I do, and actually care.
5. Knowing when it's time to let go
This relationship should have been over within the first six months. I just wanted to feel loved so bad. I was weak and now that I am older and more mature I know better than to hold onto the past. Just because something or someone feels right in the moment, does not mean they are right for your future.
I was mentally and physically drained during my first love, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I learned lessons that I can preach for years to come.