Whether you fall in love while young or old, you will have your first love at some point. A first love is that special someone who leaves a lasting mark on your life.
To a girl, a first love is that person she can open up to and be herself with, someone who will forever impact her life and who she is.
Feeling love for the first time is one of the most unique and intense experiences in a girl’s life. And, usually, with first love comes your first heartbreak, which is a painful experience.
It’s unusual to marry your first love, but it does happen for some lucky people. Have you ever wondered what “first love” means to a girl?
The psychology of first love
What is romantic love, and how does it impact a woman’s life? According to Helen Fisher’s 2005 study, romantic love is more about motivation than it is about emotion.
Therefore, the feeling we have when we fall in love can easily be compared to experiencing addiction.
The hormones that are released when you fall in love are dopamine, oxytocin, and norepinephrine.
Oxytocin is commonly labeled as the hormone of love and is responsible for feelings of intimacy and attachment – this hormone helps new couples bond with and trust each other.
Dopamine is responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, and motivation – it’s released when we see the object of our love and is responsible for that feeling of addiction.
In that sense, being with our loved ones becomes addictive, literally. The brain sees this person as the ultimate reward, as someone we need to see and be with no matter what.
You might have heard people say that they couldn’t eat, think, or sleep when they first fell in love. Their entire life revolved around thinking about their first love.
Last but not least, norepinephrine – similar to adrenaline – is responsible for that racing heart, excitement, and “butterflies in the stomach” feeling you get when you see the one you love.
Unsurprisingly, research also found that people in love have lower levels of serotonin, which practically means that signals from one part of the brain are relayed slower to another part of the brain.
This is common in people with OCD – and in people who are obsessing over a person, they are in love with.
To say that hormones are solely responsible for you falling in love might be an oversimplification.
However, it’s important to know what’s at play when you first fall for someone and how that feeling changes over time.
Feeling “in love” is rarely an emotion that you can sustain for longer than a few months or years – it simply wouldn’t be practical to remain absent-minded for long periods of time.
One of the benefits of falling in love when you are young is that it will set the foundation for falling in love later in life and help you understand how it’s different, and in most cases, better.
Beyond first love
When a girl falls in love for the first time, it is usually so intense that she might, later in life, believe that she’ll never love anyone else that much.
The intensity of first love can rarely be replicated, but that doesn’t mean that it was the only “real” love ever felt.
One of the issues of fixating on first love (post-breakup) is that you might struggle to find someone else to fall in love with and romanticize the past.
If you hope to rekindle things with your ex, make sure you know exactly why you feel that way. It might just be nostalgia for your first love.
The positive news is that multiple researchers claim that first love is unlikely to be your best or deepest.
Often, you are more attached to the intensity of the memory than the actual person you were in love with.
Yes, your first love will likely impact all your subsequent relationships and that’s because it will teach about love, yourself, and life.
When you fall in love for the first time as a teenager, you will also associate your first love with a lot of other firsts.
Adolescence is one of the most important times of your life, a time when you truly grow and develop as an individual. First love is a huge part of that growth and development.
First love and heartbreak
The majority of women heal from a breakup within a few months, however, a breakup with your first love will, naturally, hit differently.
As that period is marked by so much personal growth, knowledge, and change, the relationship will become extremely formative.
Some say that if you say, “I love you”, then you are bound to have a tougher breakup because you are a lot more invested emotionally.
It’s hard to let go of your first love, mainly because you have no room for comparison. Your first love was everything to you. It may have also been:
- The first guy you kissed
- The first time you had sex
- The first guy you said “I love you” to
- The first guy who told you he loved you
This is a big deal, so it’s normal to grieve that loss. Adults may tease or make fun of this heartbreak, which can be difficult to understand.
It’s normal for parents to say something along the lines of:
“You will have many more loves in your life.”
“Chin up, it’s not the end of the world.”
“You’re too young to know what real love is.”
These statements (no matter how true for your parents) will be hurtful to hear. At that very moment, the last thing you want to hear is anything bad about your first love or the prospect of falling in love with someone else.
You are probably thinking: I will never love anyone the way I loved him.
It’s okay to experience the dramatic intensity of a breakup, as long as you don’t fall into complete despair.
Why don’t forget your first love?
One of the beauties of first love is its ultimate innocence. You have nothing to compare it to, so you are free of emotional baggage and burden.
You are your authentic self, in love with another human being, no pressure from society, no expectations.
First love feels so unique because it truly is. Years later you will look back on it and probably think fondly of him, no matter how the relationship ended.
That’s the power of first love. It imprints on you and remains one of your most formative life experiences.
Another reason why you never forget your first love is because it reminds you of your youth.
There is something so special about those first days of hanging out with your boyfriend, sharing secrets, kissing in public, getting to know each other.
It almost feels like it will never be this good later in life!
Sometimes thinking about your first love will also remind you of decisions you made as a young adult, where you ended up in life, and maybe even some what-ifs.
And of course, most of all, your first love can only ever happen once, so it will always be extra special, no matter what.
How is your second love different from your first love?
Second love is a whole different story – and that’s a good thing. However, it comes with certain baggage and potentially can be a rebound from your first love.
You might still be mourning the loss of your first boyfriend and just feeling like you have to try things with someone else just to see how it goes.
Second love can be powerful, but usually, it’s just a steppingstone after your first love.
With second love, you will also be more experienced and have certain expectations.
One issue could be that you try to do the things your first boyfriend enjoyed, and it doesn’t work with your new one.
This is when you learn that all men are different, and they like different things.
You may also find yourself comparing your second boyfriend to your first, which isn’t a healthy thing to do either.
If you are lucky, you will still experience emotional intensity and butterflies in the stomach with your second love, but more often than not, it can just disappoint you.
When you fall in love for the second time, you might not trust your boyfriend as blindly as you trusted your first love.
Things are different this time around. You are more mature, and you are likely more guarded.
Were you meant to be with your first love?
Sometimes, first love feels like the only love we should have ever had. Years later, you look back and regret breaking up.
You follow him on Facebook and keep thinking, what if? Were you meant to be with your first love for the rest of your life? Some women are.
Here are some signs that you are meant to be with your first love.
- You still have feelings for each other
If you’ve stayed in touch with your first love and you two still communicate with warm feelings towards one another, it’s normal to wonder whether you should give it another try.
If many years have passed since you dated, it may feel awkward, like trying to turn back time, but if Jennifer Lopez and Bed Affleck did it two decades later, then so can you.
- You keep thinking about him
One of the signs you probably let a good thing go is that you can’t stop thinking about your first love, even when you are with someone else.
It’s that nagging feeling that he was perfect for you. You keep thinking about texting him and confessing how you feel.
- The reasons you broke up were situational
Just because you broke up with your first love at the time doesn’t mean that there’s no chance for the two of you.
Especially if the reasons were largely situational. Maybe one of you had to move away or college kept you apart.
Now that you are older and more financially independent, perhaps things could be different.
- When you are with him, it just feels right
Staying in touch with your first love is a big enough sign that there’s still something there.
Most people don’t put the effort into remaining friends with their first love. Not only that but whenever you hang out things just feel so natural and right.
- You had amazing sex
A part of you still vividly remembers how your first love made you feel when you had sex.
And it was more than the sex – it was the intimacy, the closeness, the trust you had that you just can’t seem to replicate with anyone else since.
- You have a gut feeling
If women trusted their intuition more, they’d be happier. That’s a fact! If you know in your gut that you need to give your first love another try, then just go for it.
What do you have to lose?