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I have an advice page on this blog where anyone can anonymously write to me. I have received a massive amount of requests pertaining to the loss of a first love. I read your posts with a heavy heart. This is for you girls.

I would like to first smash all credibility you may think that I have in giving advice on this subject. This being because when I was faced with this predicament, I handled it in all of the wrong ways. I suppose that also establishes credibility, because I understand very concretely how to advise you on what not to do. Girls, when I read your letters, I hear my own voice. I read about your brokenness and erratic behavior. I read about your loss of self-confidence and detachment from the world around you. I read all of the demeaning things you say about the person you were with. I read your words, and I hear my own. I am writing this article to tell you that you want to be everything that I wasn’t in this situation. That is the truth. One that is difficult and vulnerable for me to say. But life is about being vulnerable with others; it’s how you learn from each other.

One of the best friends that I have ever had wants absolutely nothing to do with me. To put it very frankly, I am quite certain he hates my stinking guts. And while we are being frank, I would also like to add that my crazy ass deserves it. While immaturity and pettiness were also hefty elements to my behavior, the largest regret that I have was my inability to handle my grief and to understand the necessary changes of life and love. It took me almost a year to even come close to understanding that. It took me that long to step outside of my own self-created reality. This reality is one that we all create when we are young and lost in painful confusion, even if we create the pain. In order to get through this very difficult experience, you have to be able to remain in touch with your values, confidence, and understanding of the beautiful complexity of life. That is the lesson that I want to leave with every young woman out there reading these words.

When you are young, mistakes are inexorable. They are unavoidable. Being in high school and trying to formulate relationships with others can be a lot like when you’re a small child and you first get dropped into a kindergarten class with a bunch of other little people. You’re wide-eyed, a beautiful combination of terrified and intrigued. There are little faces and sounds all around you and all you want to do is get close to them. You want to pick up every toy and look at every face. You want to laugh. You want to be loved. That’s all you really want. But every one of the other children wants that as well, and you aren’t quite sure how to interact with one another. Toys are thrown, cookies are shared, laughter is released, and tear filled tantrums are torn apart by teachers. That is high school, little grown-ups trying to find out what it means to be who they are.

You need not feel that you are a failure because of what has happened to you and your first love. You were in essence set up for failure. You’re both changing. You will change for years following high school. Trust me. It is really difficult to deal with your own transformations as you grow up, let alone those that someone else endures as well. I know this doesn’t heal your pain, but I hope that it illustrates to you that though there are probably a million different variables involved, it’s no one’s fault. It’s not a fault at all; it’s a part of life. It’s a special and important part of life.

That is reality. The way you girls feel right now is not. You feel that there is no one else out there for you. You feel that your entire world will never be the same. You feel like there’s something tragically wrong with you and that is why this has happened. You feel like a failure. You feel like everyone is out to get you. You feel like you have been broken in a vindictive and hateful manner, like the other young person that you loved sought out to destroy you. Those feelings are not abnormal at all, but they aren’t the reality that I am telling you about. They’re wrong. The best advice that I can give you is to discover reality. Look at your life and see its grave potential. Think about all the people that will come in and out of it. Think about all of the ways it will change in only a few years. Think about all of the remarkable parts of who you are, and seek out what gives you happiness. Find yourself. Don’t find yourself in anyone else. Understand that you are young and so is the person that you are either longing for or resenting. Let them be happy. Let them find their self too. If you love something, sometimes you have to let it go. Hold on to your values and don’t lash out at them. There’s a reason why you loved them, don’t ruin what could be a very special friendship. Don’t make them hurt more, that isn’t fair. Work towards forgiveness and peace of mind. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again, it’s worth it. Don’t be afraid of anything. Get involved in your life. Build relationships with others. Most importantly though, build love for yourself. Be thankful and stay strong. There is no science. You don’t need one. The truth about getting over your first love is that it is a journey and one you need to embark upon with the strong motivation to discover more about yourself. You are young and beautiful. Find reality, and thrive in it.

More About the Author

Lexi Herrick
Lexi Herrick

Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also an SEO Nerd living in New York City with her cat and collection of cheesy coffee mugs. Lexi contributes to a number of online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She’s an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She’s addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.

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