The first cut truly is the deepest. With that however, comes an opportunity to learn the most from this first heartbreak than all others. And yes, many more will come. But none will be as significant as that first shot through the heart. When we fall in love for the first time, we’re quick to assume that our partner is the one. When he decides that we’re not the one, or even worse, he tells us that we’ve never been the one, our world shatters around us. We enter a space of inner chaos, perhaps resulting in a total meltdown, chocolate binge, starvation protest, series of revenges, etc. Ultimately, whatever went down following our first heartbreak has shown us a lot about ourselves, love, relationships and life. Here’s a list of 13 lessons we learned from our first real heart break.
13 In retrospect, he wasn’t that great.
Day by day, you start to realize all of the drawbacks of your relationship. Remember all those times your plans fell through, that time he flirted a little too hard with his ex, insulted you in front of his friends, the list goes on and on. For some odd psychological reason, we block out all of these bad memories when we are broken up with.
12 Things seem more important in the moment than they are in the grand scheme of life.
We realize that the pain we suffer through heartache, which takes over every aspect of our lives, is multiplied in perceived magnitude in relation to how significant it really is in real life. Of course, a heart break will change your current situation, but five years from now you know you’ll look back and see the event as a drop of water in the ocean.
11 No one can help you but yourself.
We learn that trying to break through to our friends and family members who experience heartbreak is almost pointless. That’s because when others did that for us, we barely could hear what they were saying. No one can get you out of a heartbreak other than yourself.
10 Don’t quit your friends when you enter a relationship.
For many first time lovers, we’re quick to forget about our girlfriends and drop all of our plans for a guy. When he stomps on our heart and blocks our number from his phone, we turn to our friends. Sometimes, we understandably get the cold shoulder, especially if the guy was the A-hole that they warned us about. Next time, we’re not so fast to quit our friends, and we make sure that throughout our next relationship we stay close with our girlfriends. We see the importance in scheduling frequent girl’s nights out.
9 Heartbreak sucks, but it’s better than not feeling anything at all.
We need the ups and downs to be able to truly embrace the good times. We learn not to take moments of happiness for granted, because we understand the depth of heartache. In the moment, we may wish for it to go away, but in the end we’re glad we have a heart capable of so much love and so much heartache at the same time.
8 We can have gratitude for our pain.
We have the power to turn negative situations into positive ones. Some blessing come in disguise in the form of a terrible breakup. With our first heartbreak, we learned that sometimes what seems like a tragedy will set us up for something even better in the future. When one door closes, another opens.
7 There’s more than one fish in the sea.
At first, we’re surprised by how fast we move onto the next one. Although our first love seemed like Mr. Right, we realize that there are many who fit the Mr. Right profile. Understanding that there’s tons of guys out there in line for us is one of the most empowering things we learn from our first heartbreak.
6 We’re more resilient than we think.
We’ll go through your every day routine and be back - and better - in no time. We are stronger than we know and we’re growing stronger by the day. Katy Perry said it best, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
5 He’ll usually come back to us. (But he won’t change).
Chances are, he’ll come back begging for forgiveness. Don’t be so naïve. We change our style, our careers, our apartment situation – but we don’t fundamentally change who we are. If we do, it’s very rare and comes from within. You can’t change him, and despite what he tells you he probably hasn’t changed himself.
4 People grow apart from each other
After your first heartache, you start to accept the fact that some people grow apart from each other and need to set out on separate paths. The guy who was once perfect for us may now have nothing in common with us. That’s ok. Move on.
3 You overreacted.
When I went through my first breakup in high school with a long-term boyfriend (one year was really long at age 16), my mother had to physically take my phone away from me. I was crying, yelling and acting like my life was over. I seriously thought it was.
2 We learn to accept change
The only constant in life is the fact that nothing stays the same. By grasping onto relationships, people, situations, and ideas of how our lives should be we limit our ability to enjoy life. After our first heartbreak, we learn that everything, from our friends to our emotions, is subject to change. We learn to let go of the false sense of control.
1 Heartbreak doesn’t get easier.
Heartbreak is one of those things that just doesn’t get easier with practice. We learn that each time we are heart broken will be different, just as it will teach us different lessons pertaining to love, life, ourselves and the world around us.
Instead of crying over spilt milk, we begin to look at heartbreaks as opportunities for learning. When our mother first comforted us with those words – talking to crying faces streamed with eye-liner - we thought she didn’t understand. After our first heartbreak we learned more than any to come in the future. We recognized how we can trick ourselves to thinking a guy is significant in our lives, and that we’ll most likely forget about him (or laugh at the fact that we even found him attractive) in a few years. Most importantly, we’ll discover the power of our own resilience, and learn to let go of our false concept of control. We don’t get better at dealing with heartbreak, but we learn to embrace the experience and appreciate our own vulnerability.