As much as we’d like to believe romantic movies and television shows, real love is something wonderful, but complex. Moving from childlike romantic ideals to real life love is exciting and challenging. Your first love will open your eyes to adult relationships, plus show you a thing or two about loving yourself. Regardless of where the relationship ends up, your first love comes with some incredibly important life lessons.
Conflict can be healthy
No relationship will be smooth sailing from start to finish. No matter how much you care about someone, or how much you have in common, there will be times when you disagree. The difference with someone who truly loves you is that the focus will be on resolving the conflict, not winning a fight. When fights turn into discussions, which grow into heart-to-hearts, you know you’re handling confit in a productive way. Sacrifice, compromise, and communication will soon take the place of quarreling or arguing. There’s nothing like loving someone so much you’d rather lose an argument than see them upset.
Your body issues aren’t really issues
All of us have hang-ups about our appearance, but being with your first love will make you view yourself in a different way. Experiencing love will make it clear that what you think is wrong with your body isn’t a big deal. In fact, significant others will often adore the qualities you think are flaws. Most importantly, your first love will teach you that perfection isn’t what is attractive, and people come in all sorts of stunning appearances. Your first love will surely teach you to see your body in a more positive way, regardless of the road your relationship takes.
Selflessness is a virtue
If you’re like most of us, the biggest concerns in life are things that affect you. While a self-centered approach is often valuable in career and education endeavors, selfishness is a healthy relationship’s Kryptonite. Learning to share your time and space long-term will be absolutely crucial to a successful love life in the future. First loves challenge our selfishness.
You’re too hard on yourself
Many of us hold what we think are high standards for ourselves, but they are in fact impossible standards. Having an outside perspective from someone who truly cares can help you see your flawed logic. Ultimately, if you would be soft on a friend in the same situation, there’s no need to be hard on yourself. If your relationship’s a healthy one, your first love will undoubtedly challenge this habit.
Relationships need love too
Maintaining a relationship is much different than casually dating or starting a relationship. To truly care for someone else takes effort and longevity. Your first love will undoubtedly make you more thoughtful and active in sharing your affection. Unfortunately, sometimes love alone isn’t enough to maintain a relationship. As much as we wish they wouldn’t, exterior factors have a big impact on our relationships. Your first love is likely the first time you’ll meet these challenges, making it a true learning experience. Learning how to care for someone over time, and how to make the right decisions for your situation, is a critical lesson we take from our first love.
Alicia Prince is a writer, filmmaker, and artist, splitting her time between Vancouver and Los Angeles. A screenwriting major, Alicia published her first ebook in 2014. Keep up with Alicia’s antics on Twitter @alishuhsaurus.