Today, I’m going to tell you about the first love and why it’s unforgettable, beautiful, violent, passionate, tender, why it rips you apart, rushes you from tears to laughter in no time, from happy to sad, from solid to unstable. First love is strong, untouchable, immortal, indestructible. It gets you throught a whole range of poignant emotions, it tickles your heart, lights up your eyes, gives a meaning to life. And then it falls apart. Brutally.
Here is what I had written (a long long time ago) to define my first love, after it had fallen to pieces :
Lovely eyes. Seductive smile. First kiss. Life lights up. First signs of tenderness. Growing complicity. First time. Messages. Letters. Overflowing love. Magical life. Bewitching eyes. Passionate hugs. Sincere and moving words. Sensual caresses. Many phone calls. Meetings at the train station. Acme of happiness. Trips. Laughter. Crying. Jealousy. Yells. Arms around you, wearing off. Breakup. Hurt. Rip up. Harsh words. Just friends. Seeing. Fucking. Doesn’t work. Line drawn. Depression. Messages. Phone calls. Insults. Forget it. Who cares. Missing you. Talking. Seeing. Doesn’t work. Hate. Messages. Cry again. Faking it. Hate. Disappear.
When I reread this text, I thought it was a good summary of first love. But why is it so strong, so brutal? Why is it so hard to leave it in the past?
The first love : why first love is unforgettable
First love is all about discoveries. You learn together, you gain momentum, you build up step by step, and all of that with no means of comparison because it’s a first. In your future relationships, you will always be taken back to that first love because you won’t forget it, it will stay in a corner of your mind wether you want it to or not. And that’s the beauty and magic of these first stirrings of love : you don’t compare first love, because you can’t. The Story is yet to be written : your Story. And how wonderful inventing this novel together, as lovers, is. And discovering each day what love is, feeling your heart beating so fast you start thinking it might jump out, dreaming of the other, missing him terribly when he’s far away from you.
The innocent obstacles
The first love is passionate because it’s full of obstacles : distance, studies, internships, parents… As some modern Romeo and Juliet, you complain : “I hate my mother, I want to die, why doesn’t she want me to sleep at your place tonight???!!!!”. And if I’m half laughing as I’m writing this sentence now, I can tell you that a few years back, when I actually said it, it was with a feeling of losing all sense of purpose, I was helpless, empty, in tears. What was the point of suffering for a week if you weren’t rewarded by going to see your sweetheart on the weekend. Everything is unmeasurably blown out of proportion. And in the end, these small obstacles are what maintains your couple alive, because they give you a sense of always fighting for the other, and even if you suffer, they spice up your relationship.
Read also : What is love all about in a relationship ?
The big step
The first love marks the end of childhood and the arrival into the adult world. You’re at a turning point, you’re still looking for your true self. Innocence is still present as reality starts knocking on your door. So the first love is the transition between these two distinct worlds, which is why it remains etched in your memory.
Even when it’s over, even when you haven’t seen him in ten years… the first love is one of your references because it helped build you up. Wether positively or negatively might I add. In any case, this Story allowed you to grow up, you know you will never repeat the same mistakes, you know what you want now, and especially what you will never want again. For example, if you have encountered an extremely jealous and possessive guy, you will now know how to spot such a person and it won’t happen again. So in a way, every relationship that follows the first love is in a way compared with it.
The idealization of reality
The first love is a fantasy, an idea you’ve made up of what true love should be. The first love is extremely strong because you love Love itself. You refer to clichés from romantic flicks and you try to identify yourself to the characters, or even to reproduce their actions. Kissing in a fountain, making love on a beach, running in a corn field – no wait that’s a horror movie – running in a wheat field hand in hand, jumping in each other’s arms at the train station, shouting out “I love you“ in the middle of a crowd… In short, you don’t care about what other people think, you are both “one”. That’s the difference. The first love is not the result for 1 + 1, it mixes up two personalities in passionate fusion.
The first love represents eternal youth, the innocence you will always want without ever finding it again. It is emotional purity incarnate, it is unique.
The shocking breakup
When it crumbles to the ground, you feel like you’ve lost it all, just like that, a single word was all it took. Life loses it’s sugary taste and you have a hard time moving on. It’s especially true for the one getting dumped, because he hasn’t necessarily seen it coming. So you often try to see each other again, you wish your feelings would come back, that your Story would start again where you left it. But no. It’s really gone and innocence has evaporated with it. You can feel that you grew up. And it hurts. Like when a human becomes a mutant (yeah you get that in movies), the sudden change makes you suffer, as if you body and mind were mutating as well.
And then with time, sometimes a lot of it, you look back at this romance and remember the good times with a hint of nostalgia in your heart. But you know full well that it couldn’t have lasted forever and that you had solid reasons for bringing your novel to an end.