Love is a powerful thing, but none are quite as unforgettable as your first love. Whether it was in fifth grade or it is still yet to happen, you'll never forget the exhilarating, euphoric, butterfly sensation you felt or will feel when it comes. You'll also never forget the crushing blow of it ending — your first heartbreak. Whatever the end result is, though, it's an unforgettable experience.
Below, five people share stories about their first love experiences:
1. The Jock
"He was a guy I had met freshman year of high school. I was (and still am) the flamboyant, androgynous, and outgoing gay kid and he was a sheltered, religious, conservative jock, yet we became friends. Over time, my feelings began to become much stronger, and by sophomore year I was swooning for him. However, he always kept his emotions behind a steep wall and was very much straight. I didn't want to spoil the friendship, so I swept my feelings under the rug. Flash forward to junior year, my feelings were stronger than ever, but our friendship had drifted apart. I started to become bitter and resentful toward him and eventually, I snapped. I blew up, angrily questioning why he didn't like me anymore and he ended up telling me he didn't care about me anymore, and I was heartbroken. Love should be mutual. You deserve someone who can reciprocate those feelings. My message to queer youth — don't set yourself up for failure in this way."
2. The On Again, Off Again Love
"There was a guy, let's call him N. I loved him because he accepted me for everything I was and because he was so intrigued to observe me. It ended because we were really on and off. I wasn't in a good emotional state in my life. I didn't think I was worthy of this love and I was scared he would leave me. I tried to push him away but he was the one who always wanted to talk things out. Until he didn't. Until he met someone else. I won't ever forget him because our connection was so bright since the start of what we had. I felt like I had known him forever even though I had just met him. I still love him. It hurt when it ended, but it just wasn't meant to be. But that's OK because first loves are lessons to understand how to love and be loved by somebody."
3. The Best Friend
"My first love was my best friend in middle school. I didn't realize I loved her until after I moved schools. I loved her selflessness and passionate attitude. She helped me discover who I was, even if she didn't know it."
4. The DMer
"A boy who messaged me on my art account five years ago. We talked for hours any time I had something on my mind and I fell in love. It ended because of immaturity at the time, but we are still best friends. We text every day!"
5. The One Who Was Ghosted
"There was this girl who I just had a special connection with. She made my heart melt when I thought of her. She made me blush and feel nice. I just wanted to have her in my arms all day, but I never told her I loved her because I was dealing with my own internalized homophobia. I felt so ashamed when asking my mom if I could go on a date with her. My mom was very homophobic and because I didn't want to deal with her, I started distancing myself from the girl, making excuses, and nitpicking at her little flaws just so I could distance myself. Homophobia basically caused me to ghost my first love."
First love, whether it's your best friend, your first relationship, or just a fervent crush, is an unforgettable, heart-pounding, potentially gut-wrenching experience that you'll hold onto your entire life. Your first love teaches you what love is. It isn't perfect, but it teaches you about yourself, whether it be your flaws, insecurities, or sexuality, and it helps you grow into a better person.
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