How It Feels To Have Lost My First Love (And Why Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For It)


Everyone tells you how much it will hurt when you go through your first breakup. You see it in movies, you hear about it from your parents, and you watch your friends go through it. But no amount of sappy movies or stories from other people can prepare you for what it feels like when it’s your turn to experience it first-hand.

My ex and I had first met a couple of times at parties and what not but I had never really noticed him until one night in particular. It was late in May and the weather was just starting to get warmer. A bunch of us had gathered in our friends’ backyard for some drinks. I remember looking at him and wondering where I had seen him before – something about him just caught my eye. I pulled up a chair and we started talking. We just clicked so well almost instantly. It was as if I had known him forever even though we had just met. I couldn’t tell you what we were talking about but I remember laughing and laughing and laughing literally all night. When everyone was leaving he me asked for my phone number, and we were literally inseparable since that day.

We fell in love so fast. We couldn’t get enough of each other. I wanted to do everything with him. There was nothing I could think of that would be more fun than going on an adventure with this incredible human being. We just had so much fun together. He was always there to help me when I needed him and I was always there to help him, too. Falling asleep in his arms was the greatest feeling there was. If I was sad or scared or having anxiety all I had to do was feel his arms around me and none of it mattered anymore. Months and months went by and these feelings just never changed for me. If I’m being completely honest, they still haven’t.

Of course we had our fair share of fights. If you don’t have arguments in your relationship then you don’t care enough about the person your with. There were definitely times where we got carried away and maybe said some things we didn’t mean, but at the end of the day one of us would apologize and we would spend the rest of the night making it up to each other. I never could have predicted that one day that wouldn’t be how it was.

One day in late January we got into the silliest little argument but for some reason it just wouldn’t blow over like these things usually did. He seemed to have shut down. He didn’t want to talk or work it out and I couldn’t help but feel confused. That night he drove to my house at 2am with tears streaming down his face. I came out of my house and sat there in the car next to him. After a long period of silence he stopped crying long enough to spit out the words “I just don’t think I love you like I used to.” At first, I felt everything go numb. Then, I went into a state of complete denial. I put his head on my shoulder and held him close, telling him that wasn’t how he felt, he must just be confused because of an argument we had gotten into earlier that day. He agreed with me and amazingly we stayed together after that.

I should have let him break up with me and drive away that night. I was wrong. He really didn’t love me like he used to anymore – but I couldn’t force myself to accept it. The next couple of months were really difficult. We started fighting almost every day because we wanted different things. He grew a sort of distain for me because I couldn’t let go of him, and he didn’t want to hurt me, so he stayed. He was unhappy. He wanted to be single so he could party with his single friends and hit on slutty single girls at parties, and I was the only thing that was standing in his way.

It’s crazy and unfair how love can be unrequited. How could he have just fallen out of love so fast? It didn’t make any sense to me and I guess that’s why until the very end I had tried to tell myself it couldn’t possibly be true. Picturing my life without him was a terrifying thought. When you have one person right there with you every day for a long period of time, being without them is scary. He was the one person I told everything to, and I couldn’t accept the fact that he just didn’t want to be that person for me anymore.

Eventually all of this blew up and he just decided it was time to let me go. He had gone on long enough pretending to be happy with me when he wanted something completely different and this time I didn’t beg him to stay. I mean, what’s the use of continuing to love someone with all of your heart if they can’t do the same for you?

Being without him was worse than I could have ever thought it would be. Nobody will be able to prepare you for the emptiness you feel when you lose your first love. I felt physically sick, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I was just a complete and total mess. I was crying everywhere I went – on the bus, at work, in school, in the shower, and especially when I was alone in my room. It isn’t like they make it seem in movies. You know how it goes. The girl who got dumped is sad and depressed, and then the guy wakes up one morning and realizes he made the worst mistake of his life. Next thing you know, John Cusack is standing outside of her room blasting “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel on a boom box, refusing to leave until she takes him back. That doesn’t happen in real life. In real life, the only boy I have ever truly loved left me because he just really wanted to be single and experience his 20s, and he doesn’t regret that decision at all.

At times like these it’s important to remind yourself that it isn’t your fault. There was nothing I could have done to change his mind. Sure I could’ve cried and begged for him to stay – and he probably would have – but it wouldn’t have changed the fact that this relationship was something he didn’t want to be part of anymore. One day he woke up and realized that the path he was on is nowhere near the path he wanted to be on, and who was I to hold him back from that? Besides, if he thinks he’ll be happier getting with random girls at parties than he would be with me then he’s kind of a douche anyway, right?

It’s been a week since the last time I spoke to him and I’m still not okay by any stretch of the word. There are pieces of him everywhere. His old soccer t-shirts and all the presents he’s ever given me are still scattered around my room. It’s ridiculously hard to let him go, (maybe because I didn’t think I’d ever have to). My favorite quote from John Green says “You can love someone so much, but you can never love people as much as you can miss them.” He will always have a special place in my heart, and I will never forget him or the love we shared. I don’t regret a minute of loving him because it was the best feeling I’ve ever had and it was nothing short of an adventure. They say time heals all wounds and I have never hoped more that this saying is true. To any girl who’s going through the same thing, you are definitely not alone. Heartbreak is a very real feeling and right now the only things that can help are some sappy movies, a really good breakup playlist, and surrounding myself with friends and people who remind me that everything is going to be okay.

Because eventually, it really is going to be okay.