We all remember the firsts in our lives. Our first day of school, our first day in college, and our first day at work but out of all the firsts what really sticks in our head is our first love.
“A first love is something that lasts forever in your heart. It’s something that marks you.” – Elodie Yung
But why is first love such a big deal after all?
According to Art Aron, the Psychology professor at the State University of New York, “Our first experience of something is going to be well remembered, more than later experiences. Presumably, there’d be more arousal and excitement, especially if it’s somewhat scary. And falling in love is somewhat scary — you’re afraid you’ll be rejected, you’re afraid you won’t live up to their expectations, afraid they won’t live up to yours. Anxiety is a big part of falling in love, especially the first time.”
First love experience is also magnified in our brain because our brain and bodies are flushed with all the chemicals and love hormones for the first time and the novelty of the experience sticks in our head.
"I think from a biochemical point of view, you are experiencing certain hormones you haven’t felt before. It's like going through puberty; it's physical, it's emotional, it's intellectual. It can even be spiritual for some people," explains dating expert and psychologist Melanie Schilling.
Our first love relationship is also “formative” because it becomes a blueprint for how we define love. It becomes a sort of template against which all our successive relationships are measured.
Whether we get to spend the rest of our lives with our first love or not, these are the beautiful gems of wisdom we can take away from our first love experience:
1). It shows us what it feels like to deeply connect with someone.
Our first love experience shows us what it feels like to deeply connect with someone and what emotional support and intimacy feel like.
Regardless of how the relationship ends, it gives us a chance to experience the entire spectrum of all the beautiful emotions that love entails.
2). We learn how to put others before ourselves.
Our first love teaches us to look beyond ourselves and extend ourselves for another. It teaches us what it feels like to love someone unconditionally. It teaches us how to put our ego aside and grow together.
These are invaluable lessons that help us in any successive relationships that we form in life.
3). We learn how to communicate and work out our problems.
Our first love is the learning ground where we navigate how to communicate and work out our problems.
We get to learn what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. It teaches us how to create a safe and loving space for healthy communication…
4). We realize what we want in a relationship and what our deal breakers are.
Our first relationship helps us to explore ourselves and increases our self-awareness. It helps us to discover our liking and preferences.
It makes us realize what we want and value in a relationship and what our absolute deal breakers are.
All these learning help us to choose our partners wisely next time.