Your first kiss, your first blowjob, your first fart, your first contraception scare, your first awkward utterance of ‘I think I kinda maybe love you.’ Yep, your first love. Sweet, awkward and something that we always hold onto (and all those love letters that you keep scattered throughout your diary). Us twenty something humans cherish these beautiful memories to get us through the cynical and sometimes desperate times of our twenties. What is it about our first love that makes it so special? Surely it’s not just the fact that they’re your first, because I remember the I farted in front of my first love and there was nothing special about that.
Is it the fact that we’re young, naive and innocent af when we fall in love for the first time? Time and experience hasn’t ruined how we view relationships and sex (yet). We truly believe the person we’re with is our Prince Charming or Emma Watson (let’s be honest, she’s basically a princess) who will never hurt us, never let us go and all that other fairytale shit. When we get older, we start to realise that romance, dating and sex isn’t so innocent. You get fucked over, fucked up, get hurt and move on. Maybe there’s just something beautiful about that nauseating innocence of your first love that makes you want to hold onto it.
OK so you’re finally over them. You’ve stopped checking their socials, you feel relaxed when you go to your old date spot, life is going great and you’re moving onto bigger and better things. Hallelujaaaah. And then you see them at a party, practically radiating a halo their ass and they’ve magically become everything you always wanted from them. Oh so now you’re wearing a button up shirt? Now you like that band I loved? Now you have a proper adult job? Oh now you love giving head?! Over the course of a few short months and years, they’ve got their shit together and flying high whilst you’re idea of success is being able to afford burritos two nights a week, pay your energy bill on time and keep your succulents alive.
Or maybe our first loves are so special because it reminds us of every rom com ever. The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, The Little Mermaid and even the saddest of them all, My Girl. As a young hopeless romantic growing up in a media saturated society, we are immersed into the rom com world at a very young age. And we grow up thinking that Patrick Swayze will notice us across the room and ask us to dance, or that we’ll finally be ‘apart of his world’ and give up our voice to be with our Prince Charming. When we’re with our first love, our heads are in the cloud and we’re riding that love high. And when that love end, we crash back down to reality where a girl gotta look after herself and a boy gotta work on those Swayze moves.
Maybe we never really get over our first love. Maybe they will always have a piece of our hearts with their name branded across it. But without them, would we even believe in love? Would we even bother with the Tinder, Grindr and blind dates? Despite the heartbreak, mid life crisis’ and awkward sexual experiences we have with our first love, we need them to know that love does exist and it’s out there. It may have taken a twisted form, but it’s there, and that’s what we’re searching for at the end of it all. And if we can’t find it, then at least we’re happy with our burritos.
*This post originally appeared on TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS*