5 Love Lessons You Learn From Your First Big Heartbreak

It doesn’t feel real, a relationship ending with just a few words. And yet your hands are tingling, your chest is tight, and you feel like you’re going to cry at any moment. You’ll be faced with innumerable heartbreaks throughout your life–they come in all shapes and sizes–yet it’s that first heartbreak that sets your life on its course. There was your life before, and now you’re life after. You’re different now. You’re somehow stronger and more fragile at the same time. But with this heartbreak, you can learn lessons that’ll stay with you for years to come.

1. You don’t magically stop loving them.

Even if they did something heinous, something that makes you sure you never want to see them again, you’ll be surprised to learn that the love you had doesn’t just filter away. It doesn’t slip through your fingers like sand, but instead sits inside you like a ghost. You feel its presence strongly at first, then the love fades only to a whisper in the background.

2. You see them everywhere, even if just in the way the sun moves.

You’ll be reminded of them every day. Your song will come on and you’ll feel that heartache anew. You’ll pass the ice cream parlor where you had your first date or hear their name in a stranger’s conversation and it’ll be yet another reminder of what you lost. While it’ll sting at first, you’ll come to look on these reminders fondly, because they show you a glimpse into the past that shaped who you are in the present.

3. Your true friends will hold your hand through the rough parts.

When you’re in the very middle of your heartbreak, your entire world is turned upside down. The things you found fun aren’t important anymore. You just want to spend your time trying to heal. The real friends, the ones who always have your back, will step up to be with you for the hard times. They’ll show you that they have your back, even when you’re a sniffling pile of heartbroken sadness.

4. The physical toll of heartbreak is real–and it hurts almost as much as your emotions.

They call it heartbreak for a reason. The physical symptoms after the breakup are very real. Your chest will hurt, you’ll experience exhaustion and a massive headache from crying yourself to sleep. You might even feel general pain from head to toe. During this time, it’s just as important to take care of your physical body as you’re taking of your complex emotions.

5. Even though it’s hard, your heart will slowly heal.

The biggest lesson of all, the one that will stay with you for months, years, decades, is the incredible power you have when it comes to healing this impossible wound. In the first moments after your first big heartbreak, you’ll feel like you’ll never recover. But you will, bit by bit. And before long, you’ll start to feel yourself again. You’ll know that, no matter what new heartbreak happens in the future, you’ll survive that, too.

About the author

Trisha Bartle

Trisha’s your resident tarot reader, rom-com lover, and horror connoisseur. In addition to using her vast knowledge of all things cinema for Thought Catalog’s TV + Movies entertainment section, she also offers her astrological and tarot expertise to Collective World. Trisha splits her time between making art and being awesome.