1. “I was only a sophomore in high school when I fell in love for the first time. Romantically, the relationship didn’t last long. Maybe 5 or 6 months. But we have remained good friends for the last 7 years. I feel that we still love one another, but it’s totally platonic. Falling in love for the first time is a beautiful thing because you are totally unaware of the dark underbelly of love that can hurt you. You just throw yourself into it with no hesitation. Truly believing that it will never end. And unfortunately when the relationship with your first love inevitably does come to an end, it hurts the most as well. You’ve never been tested like that before emotionally. When it’s all said and done, you walk away with an entirely new perspective. I don’t know, love is a crazy thing. It’s ugly and beautiful all at the same time. No one knows why, but we all long for it in some form or another.” — Aaron, 22
2. “I think I’m still in love. I dated a girl for about 6-7 months and it was amazing. Everything from the day we met, to our first kiss, to the first time we said I love you, was like a movie. Things ended because of distance. She lived here and I was always on tour and would only be here for like a week or so every month. As perfect as everything was, for some reason I never tried to get her back. I guess I just respected her decision. Since then, I haven’t found anyone that compares to her. I guess that’s why I’m single.” — James, 26
3. “I’d like to think we fell in love from the moment we saw each other in our high school drama class. Once we were together, it diminished every other type of affection I had ever felt, to the point I was embarrassed I had ever acknowledged anything lesser. It took 4 years for us to get together and less than 1 year for me to break up with him. He loved me freely, deeply, and honestly with every fiber of his being. I couldn’t stand that I was guarded and loving him less than he deserved. We recently spoke on the phone and combed through the details of our breakup. When he told me he would never love me the same way again, I realized I always would.” — Brie, 20
4. “I still love them but it’s going away. I would say about three months long, they just don’t want it. I think just like a plant, if you don’t water it, it dies. I’m not sure though. It’s my first time so we will see.” — Ian, 21
5. “It was three years long but not mutual. It was freshman year of high school and he was a year older than me, the first time I saw him I was like “who is THAT?” But he was very hipster and I was too nervous to talk to him and when I finally did, he wasn’t very nice and I was crushed.” — Brieann, 23
6. “My first love was at 18 and lasted about two years on and off. But there’s no time cap on that, you will always love someone once you start, no matter what happened. Shit hit the fan and that was fine, you can’t hold a grudge no matter what a person did. There was so much shadiness, the kind where it keeps you up at night long after because you never want anyone to go through what you went through, even though it happens all the time. To the point where you see them shake and your stomach sinks. It’s the best and worst feeling.” — Luke, 23
7. “I think we have different soul mates for different stages in our lives. If you think back, you’re not the same person you were when you were 17. That was when I loved my first love and in my head, I definitely believed he was my soulmate during that specific time in my life. He was a little bit older than I was, and lived in a different state, about one thousand miles away. We were still pretty determined to make it work with phone calls and Skype dates where we would prop the computer up so that we both could see the movie from one of our screens, it was always laggy and we never really watched the movie but that was just our excuse to talk more. He wrote me songs and I wrote him poems, he would drive 6 hours to see me. It was pure bliss for a few months, we were like teenagers playing as adults but not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into.
The funny thing is, when it ended, I can’t pinpoint one specific thing that made it end. It was like every tiny problem just added up into this big monster of bitterness that just would third wheel us all the time. The Skype calls started getting shorter, pretending we were tired at 9:45P.M., we no longer were each other’s muses. Naturally, as most couples do, we tried out the whole “friends” thing after a while, where you’re not acquaintances because you’ve already seen each other naked, but you’re not necessarily best friends because some people just don’t work out and that’s okay. Fast forward to now, we have both moved to Los Angeles, we never speak, we occasionally text each other if there’s ever a bad storm or something bad happens, just to kind of look out for each other. So in that sense, I don’t think you ever stop loving someone. You both just grow into the beings you want to be and watch from afar, and respect each other.” — Julia, 22