If you look back to your first relationship, you can probably pinpoint what you learned, where things went wrong, and what you changed in the relationships that followed. Although your first relationship isn’t solely about lessons, it does provide a sort of foundation for all your relationships to come. It’s likely to be your first venture into love, your introduction to what it means to be a partner, and probably teaches you how to handle a whole boatload of emotions that you’ve never experienced before, but will be experiencing for the rest of your life.
When it comes to your first relationship, everything is brand new and because of that, it’s intensified. And while you’re in it, you may not see just how much learning is going on, but when it’s over you can look back and realize every little bit of it was a lesson in life and love. You are forever changed after your first relationship, and changed in a good way. You have a better idea of what you want not just from a relationship, but for yourself. Your first relationship defines you in many ways and prepares you for what’s ahead. It also teaches you what it means to feel the pangs of heartache for the first time, too.
But of all the learned things that come with your first relationship, there are some you should take to heart more than others. Some things are meant to be forgotten, while others are meant to instill something in you for your future relationships. Here are those nine things.
1. Take It Slow
Relationships are not a race. You shouldn’t be in competition either with your friends or yourself to get to some imaginary finish line that doesn’t exist. In taking it slow, you can actually give your relationship a chance to last longer and have a higher success rate. So, take your time in getting to know someone. Don’t be the first one out of the gate, because then you miss out on all the little things in between.
2. You Don’t Have To Tell Your Friends Everything Little Detail
With my first relationship, I realized the hard way that you just can’t tell your friends every single detail. Whenever I did, it always came back to me, via my boyfriend, because we were in a circle of friends. (Apparently, he didn’t like my impression of his orgasm face, among other things.) While it’s fine to share some details, realize that some things are sacred and are exclusive for you and your partner alone.
3. Having Opposing Opinions Is OK
You don’t want to date someone who is exactly like you ― I mean, how boring would that be? In having things that are different, you introduce each other to new ideas and concepts. Yes, you want things to overlap, but you also want things to be different, too.
4. Butterflies Will Come And Go
One of the saddest, but truest facts that you learn in your first relationship is that butterflies come and go. The butterflies you feel in the early the days will fade, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. In fact, they show up when you least expect them to and that’s the stuff that keeps you going back for more.
5. Always Make Room For Alone Time
Your first relationship challenges what it means to make time for your partner and time for yourself. From a psychological standpoint, alone time is absolutely necessary in making your relationship healthy, but it’s in that first relationship that you learn what it means to create a balance that works for both of you. It’s something that you can never lose.
6. Never Put Your Friends On The Back Burner
One of the major things you learn with your first relationship, is that you can never, ever put your friends second to your partner. Although it may seem like your partner is the whole damn world, the reality is that when shit falls apart, you need your friends there to help you get everything in order again. Abandoning them for your partner is, literally, the worst idea in the world. Sometimes those friends don’t come back to you after they’ve been tossed aside and it’s a loss you don’t want to have to bear.
7. Over-Analyzing Will Be The Death Of You
Ugh! In this day and age of texting, it’s so hard not to over-analyze every little thing that is exchanged between you and your partner, especially through technology. Even when you’re secure in your relationship, it’s hard not to over-analyze things, but you can’t do that; you will drive yourself mad. In your first relationship, you're forced to learn that actually communicating with your partner is the best way to avoid trying to read between the lines or making up things that don’t exist.
8. Sometimes Love Isn’t Enough
The problem with your first real relationship is that it’s probably your first real love, too. Because this is the case, it’s not very likely that you’ll ever stop loving your first love. They’ve imprinted something on you that no one else every will, but that doesn’t always mean that you’re right for each other. It’s in your first relationship that you learn the painful lesson that sometimes love just isn’t enough.
9. Always Take The High Road During A Breakup
Your first breakup is always the worst. I remember throwing up for days, being unable to eat, and firmly believing I was dying. I wanted to lash out; I wanted to make a mess of his life, despite still loving him, and watch him whither in pain. But what I learned was that the anger and bitterness passes, and you don’t want to be remembered as the woman who threw eggs at his car, which I may or may not have done. You want to be remembered as the one who took the high road, and walked away with her head high even though you felt like you were dying inside.
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