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Author Topic: First Loves Lost - Landmark
Member # 7900

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Most of you don't know me but I've lurked here for awhile. With so many bright minds, its hard not to be intimidated.

I haven't reached any important number of posts but I have hit a landmark in my life.

I lost my first love.

Ironically, I had planned for a much happier landmark...a future engagement. A few weeks ago my boyfriend, now my ex though I find it hard to accept, proposed with much sincerity but little ceremony over the phone. We had been together ten months and had spent the last month long-distance while I finish school, though I found it easy to visit often the first few weekends I was gone. I didn't believe it was the right time and he regreted spilling it over the phone so while saying "no" was the right thing to do, it was still sad. We continued to plan for a later official engagement and I have reason to believe he bought me a ring for our one year anniversary on Oct 20th.

I had thought my landmark would be a formal announcement. I remember feeling so excited for the moment when I could share my joy with anyone who paused long enough for me to tell them.

Not long after though, things began to go downhill. My boyfriend had moved to a new city about the same time I started school. He was overworked and burning out. Last week we tried to give each other space to enjoy our separate lives. We lasted all of 48 hours before he reconnected with me, though the damage to our relationship still lingered.

The cause of the breakup was the one issue that has been the one and only cause for all of our arguments. As much as we connect on a deep level, we have very different perspectives in regards to risk and stability. I struggle with the unpredictable while he likes adventure and is constantly making huge changes in life. I had believed and I think at one point he shared this vision, that we balanced each other. I gave him a rock to hold onto and was always there as his rational conscience. He opened my mind and introduced me to things that I'd always been too afraid to experience. Unfortunately, maintaining this balance has cost us our well-being. He felt stressed with the responsibility to act against his nature for the sake of my need for stability and I felt overwhelmed by his rollercoaster emotions (which is how we've gone from almost-engaged to separated all in one month.)

We talked twice this morning first at 11am and then at 4pm. First I was in shock, looking for any reason to be angry with him if only to stop the pain. During the second discussion I had him explain to me his reasons for wanting to end our relationship. We both cried and though I hate to lose him, this is likely the best for us right now.

The significance in all of this is that he was my first love. I met in August 2005 and we were dating by October (I was 20 years old). He was my first kiss, the first who told me he loved me, the first I said that I loved, and everything else that comes with love and long relationships. He was not all these firsts for lack of male attention. I joke that I'm picky or that I never felt the need for a relationship. But mostly, for so long in my life I was miserable and unable to control my depression and anxiety. The summer before we met my youngest brother was diagnosed with diabetes and his bravery inspired me to take hold of my life. School started, I was a person reborn, and there he was, a classmate for two years in a school of less than 250 and we had never crossed paths until that day. From the very first moment I met him I knew that he was someone I needed to have in my life. I feel blessed that the relationship ended up being romantic, especially given my natural inclination against dating and his reputation for being a commitment-phobe.

I don't regret our time together and I'm not angry that we're apart, only sad. Its hard especially at this time of night when we would usually be having our daily chat. Its hard knowing that the phone won't ring tonight or tomorrow or the day after, and so on. It hurts even more that because of our distance this happened over the phone. We have tentative plans to meet for lunch during Thanksgiving. We still care for each other and I hope that with some time to heal, we can oneday be friends.

I am so thankful for him. He gave me the confidence to test my independence, to stand up for myself, to believe in my own self-worth, to open up to others, and to know that there are people out there who will love me for me.

In part this post is in celebration of the time we had together (11 months and 8 days) and the life we will each have apart. He is a wonderful human being, even if he doesn't believe me, and his presence will be missed.

I've heard it said that a person never completely get over his or her first love. Even now I find it hard imagining a day when I will not love him.

My moral support while I write my honors thesis is gone and so are my plans to move in with him following graduation in Mary. I thank him though for the courage he has taught me and while I know it will be hard to go on without him, I believe I have the will to succeed.

So a toast to first loves, loved and lost!

Thank you for letting me have a place to reflect on this time in my life.

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Member # 9549

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Awwwww, Man, that's tough. I'm thinking of you. One thing that caught me - you guys were living close to each other until not too long ago or you've been long distance for a while?

That's really hard that you couldn't even hug to say good bye. The phone, while a wonderful invention, is really hard at conveying true emotions and can definitely not give you the 'human touch' that's so important in a relationship.

Be strong. A good friend is hard to come by - if he is one then work hard to keep that friendship working. It's especially tough when a very real relationship comes to an end over the phone - it just doesn't seem like real closure.

I hope you can see each other over Thanksgiving, if for nothing else than to look each other in the eye and know what you say is true.

(if i've misread anything in this post and replied wrong because i've misread it, i'm sorry).

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Member # 4859

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Long distance relationships are really hard, no question.

I'm glad you have such a positive outlook. That can't be easy either. Good luck!

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Member # 7900

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We weren't long distance until this past August. We attended the same school and met at the beginning of my third year and his fifth. Our apartments were less than five minutes away from each other. Even when we went home on holiday, our parents lived in neighboring towns so we were never more than 15 minutes apart. This summer we had a 3-week stint living together while I took physics and he finished his final class for graduation. This past August, I returned to school for my senior year and moved to New Orleans with some old friends. We were about 4 1/2 hours apart and I was the only one with a car.

The only thing I'm struggling with now is closure. We almost broke up right before I went off to school (the living together experiment was too soon for us) but talking face to face made us decide to continue on. This time it feels final, but there's this tiny hope in my heart that prays for my phone to ring, to hear him say he was wrong and he misses me. It happened just last week.

Even worse, I dream that if we can save our friendship that there's a chance we could be together again romantically with some additional personal growth under our belts. It can't be counted out, but I also can't hold on to it if I ever want to stop crying.

Thank you for you thoughts, cmc. I really appreciate your kind words.

EDIT: And you too Rivka, thanks! Personally, I'd love to blame the long-distance but if anything is only focused an existing vein of problems in our relationship.

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I understand every one of your struggles and wishes. I've been there and I've seen others in those situations. The thing is, there's no cut and dry solution. Some relationships do start over once people mature a bit, but I won't lie to you: most don't. Or if they do, they don't have a long life.

I'm glad though that you have such a positive attitude toward this. You seem much more mature than I or my first ex were; proof again that age has nothing to do with it. [Big Grin] (we were both 22)

The thing is, it's especially hard with first loves. You're telling yourself "maybe I will be one of the rare people who finds true love the first time around". It's hard to think you won't hold that person again, that things will not be the same. The "happily ever after" mentality is what makes us so vulnerable the first time. I hope you can step over it and understand that every person and every relationship is special in its own way. Most of the time it's true that the first love will always have a place in your heart. But don't let that be a shadow on future relationships.

Thanks for sharing and good luck!

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Storm Saxon
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Good luck to you, Shanna.
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El JT de Spang
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I'm glad you seem to have it all in perspective. I know it's easier to say than to do, but as long as you stay busy and have a good support group (aka friends and Hatrack) you'll be fine.

We really need to have an LA get together, now that I'm in New Orleans everyday. I know pH is ready.

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Member # 827

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*hugs* I'm sorry, Shanna. It's really hard. I second staying close to friends, venting here as much as possible/necessary. It is sad. Does sad poetry help? Sad poetry helps me. I'm going to link to it here but not quote it, just in case.
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see, i'm the opposite...sad poetry/movies/songs just make me break down sobbing.

i know what you're going through, Shanna -- my first love broke up with me in May, and it still feels like yesterday. It has gotten easier with time, though.

edit: i guess those two things seem contradictory, but they're not. it is easier now. [Smile]


[ September 29, 2006, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: Leonide ]

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Shanna, that is really tough. You sound like a strong person, though. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you the best.

Even worse, I dream that if we can save our friendship that there's a chance we could be together again romantically with some additional personal growth under our belts. It can't be counted out, but I also can't hold on to it if I ever want to stop crying.

I know exactly what you mean. Some people seem able to cut ties/hopes/dreams just like that -- that was never me.
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Member # 693

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[Group Hug]

Parts of your post really resonated with me.
Originally posted by Shanna:
I've heard it said that a person never completely get over his or her first love. Even now I find it hard imagining a day when I will not love him.

I remember feeling this way nearly five years ago, but I can honestly say that I've been well and truly over her for some considerable time. On the order of three years, I'd say. I feel similarly to you in that I'll always be grateful to this particular girl for helping me through an important phase of personal growth. I learned a lot about myself in the time that we dated, and I've spent the subsequent years applying that knowledge. It sounds like you're set to do the same.

First, though, I think it's important to take some time for yourself. You seem to be doing that, so you're probably way ahead of me. When I went through the breakup I referenced above, I was living alone in the middle of nowhere (quite literally -- I was in rural Newfoundland), so I was essentially forced to spend four months alone working things through. By the time I moved back to civilization that summer I had myself together and was ready to start putting the results of all that introspection into practice. [Added: What I mean is that I essentially looked at my life, decided what I wanted to change, and then set about changing it.]

Corwin's advice is sound. Treasure what you had, but don't let it keep you from committing to future romantic entanglements.

I wouldn't worry about staying friends right now. You need to get used to being single, and that's hard to do if you see or communicate with your ex regularly. My view is that you should take some time off from him to get yourself sorted out, and after that you can see if you can remain friends. [Added: I've never been one to stay close friends with past entanglements. Friends, yes; close, no. But then, I'm actually a very private person in some respects.]

Whatever you do, it sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders, and I wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing your landmark. [Smile]

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[Frown] I'm sorry. That is really rough. I know it doesn't feel good right now, but this will probably turn out to be for the best. I have another friend who recently broke off her engagement with her fiance for the same reasons - the stability/risk thing. As hard as it was for her to do, she now feels that she's free to go out and find somebody with whom she can have the kind of life she'll feel good about, instead of one where she'll feel threatened by all the "adventure."

I hope you'll come to feel better in time. Here is a cyber hug for you: (((((((((((((YOU)))))))))))))

You can vent on us any time you need to.

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Member # 8376

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I am quite amazed by the display of rationality in your post. Bravo!

When I lost my first love, I was clouded by emotion for FAR too long, thank you for sharing with us.

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Member # 9722

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I've been in shoes with the same fit and know your pain.

They say time heals all wounds. There is truth in that. But, I still get little pangs to think about my first love. It was intense and gratifying and then ended so painfully. But I cringe at the thought of what my life would have like had I married him. It wouldn't have been bad. But it wouldn't have been as wonderful as what I've got now. Thank heavens for the spectacular husband I have.

Hang in there. Indulge in things you like and cry whenever you want to. New things will come into your life to fill the void you feel now.

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