Controversial opinion here, but it's a fairly well-known fact that your first love will enduringly mean the most.
No, I don't mean that you will have loved them the most that you will ever love someone. Or that you won't love again, or in the same way, but for better or worse, that person makes the first imprint upon your heart.
Their initials are carved together with yours both on the tree outside your childhood house and in each of your hearts. Aww.
That sounds like a sappy love song, but it's no less true for being cheesy. After all, who doesn't love cheese? I always hold that if romantic advice can't be embroidered on a throw pillow in my grandma's front room, is it even romantic advice? Answer: no.
I'm getting sidetracked. Don't mind me.
Here are 4 reasons why your first love will stick with you forever:
1. It sets the standard of comparisons
All other relationships will be compared to each other, and exist in relation to what has come before them. The first time someone asked you out, or you had sex, or you met the parents. You will have likely covered a large selection of the traditional relationship milestones in your first relationship and that is overwhelming, bewildering, and huge fun. Unfortunately, with it, by definition, comes the harsh reality that you also experience your first heartbreak...
2. Heartbreak is hard, however, it happens, however old you are, and whatever the circumstances
You were young and innocent and didn't know what you wanted. You probably still don't, and that's absolutely fine. Bless your little heart, whether it was Chris from Accounting that moved to Wales or Phil from pre-school that sat with Kathy for lunch instead one day. Or whether something unspeakable like cheating or abuse cropped up, it really put you through the wringer. Your heart might be a little more of a fossil now than it was then, a little hardier and more able to take a hit. But there will be a little scar still from the first time, I assure you. Maybe even a big one.
3. You still don't have your favourite jumper back
And you can still see a stack of their old Adele CDs that you hate that you haven't thrown away yet (it's been decades, damn it!). No, we're not still bitter, how dare you? You're clearly over it, but also, dude, it was cashmere. Have a little respect!
It got you to exactly where you are today. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
4. Let's not get sucked too far down memory lane in the yellow brick road of sad stories
Remember that whether you subscribe to the notion that there's a reason for everything, or that nothing has meaning - either way, you're where you are right now. And you have highs and lows no matter what you do or who you're with, and that's okay.
You may even still love your first heartbreak, just a little bit. But that's not anything you need to admit to yourself (who needs emotional transparency, anyway).