How do you get over your first love? This is the question all of us have wanted the answer to at least once in our life.
It could be the first person we dated back in high school as 16 year olds, someone we shared our first kiss with, the first person we said “I love you” to, or that special someone we thought was our soulmate. Whoever it is, losing your first boyfriend or girlfriend is never easy.
If this is something you’re dealing with right now, we have a solution to your problem. Here are 13 steps to follow if you’re trying to figure out how to get over your first love in the healthiest way possible.
1. Accept that it’s the end
The initial step to getting over your first heartbreak is to convince yourself it’s really over. You can’t expect to forget them and to kick them out of your heart if you keep hoping that they’ll come back to you and that things will be the way they used to be.
That is exactly what many people do when they first break up: they’re in denial and refuse to face the harsh reality.
I know it’s easier to keep on pretending that nothing has changed than look at the truth and the pain in your eyes, but you simply have to do it sooner or later, if you want any progress, and it’s definitely better to do it right away than to give yourself more false hope.
Destiny won’t magically bring you and your ex together (and even if it does, it would never be the same), this is not a phase or a test every relationship goes through. This is it-this is the end and the final goodbye.
So, instead of putting your entire life on hold while you patiently wait for this one person to come back, invest all of your energy in getting over them.
2. Stop seeing your breakup as the end of the world
This is another thing that happens to most people after their first heartbreak: they think it’s the end of the world and that they won’t recover in a million years. This is your first experience when it comes to this type of emotional pain, it hits you right in the guts and it is perfectly natural that you don’t know how to handle it.
At first, you think you’ll die. Your life is over and everything besides this person is pointless.
However, this is far from the truth. The Earth will keep on spinning even though you’ve lost someone you love and you will continue living, even though it doesn’t seem that way now.
Please, stop being so pessimistic. First relationships end, people grow apart and it’s up to you to accept this as a part of life-nothing more and nothing less.
Besides, I won’t lie to you-these things will continue happening. You’ll make mistakes in love and you will be heartbroken again but the difference is, the next time it happens, you’ll know you’ll survive it.
3. Stop romanticizing your first love
If you want the answer to the question: “How do I get over my first love?” it is actually pretty simple: you just have to stop romanticizing it.
What makes first loves so difficult to overcome is the fact people tend to romanticize it, as it is your first experience when it comes to romance.
How many times have you heard someone telling you that you never actually forget the first person you ever loved? That you’ll forever remember your first kiss and first experience with the opposite sex?
How many movies have you watched about people rekindling their high school romances when they grow old?
You might not be aware of this but we’re surrounded by the cult of first love. Everyone sees it as the most pure, the cleanest, and the most intense form of romantic connection.
However, it’s about time for you to break that myth.
Let me tell you something: the feelings you have for your first love only seem to be the strongest simply because you’ve never experienced anything similar. You give yourself entirely to the other person just because you still haven’t learned to be careful about the way you open your heart to others.
The first time you break up with someone seems to be the most painful because you still haven’t had the chance to learn how to process it.
Therefore, there is nothing special about first romance. It’s actually just like any other relationship you’ll have during your lifetime.
In fact, the last one is the one that counts!
4. Go no contact
After you’ve sorted out the basics in your head, it’s time for some radical moves. The first step towards your complete healing is going completely no contact with your ex.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the no contact rule: you block your ex’s number, unfriend and unfollow them on all social media, and stop any kind of communication with them. People usually follow this rule to make their ex feel their absence and to get them back.
However, even though you’ll stick to the no contact rule, you won’t do it for these purposes. Instead, you’ll do it because it’s the only way to kick your ex both out of your life and heart.
Yes, staying friends after a long term, committed relationship is a nice, civilized thing to do. Nevertheless, it is possible only in cases when both of you are completely indifferent towards each other and have no romantic feelings left.
On the other hand, as soon as you start trying to figure out how to get over your first love, it becomes more than apparent that you haven’t gotten over your ex. Therefore, the last thing you should be doing is tormenting yourself and pretending you can be best friends just to “do the right thing”.
5. Cut all ties with “their people”
Many people don’t know this but there is a difference between going fully no contact and cutting all ties with your past relationship. However, let’s be real here: is there any point in you finishing all communication with your ex if you’ll continue doing some other things to be around them?
Yes, this might be effective if your goal is to make them afraid of losing you and if you just want for them to think that you’ve moved on.
However, if you really want to get over this person, you won’t care what they think-what will be important is how you feel and if you’re making any actual progress.
That’s why your life has to stop revolving around this person. First of all, cut ties with their friends and family. I know that this is quite difficult, especially if we’re talking about some mutual friends you also love and who are important to you.
On the other hand, when it comes to your ex’s family, you are probably too shy to start avoiding them or to block them everywhere because you don’t want to appear rude. After all, none of these people has ever done you any harm and it’s not fair for them to pay the consequences for your ex’s action.
However, this is not about them-it’s about you. You have to find a way to make yourself feel better and this an amazing starting point.
Besides, this doesn’t mean that you have to erase these people from your life permanently. You can just explain the situation, ask them to understand and to give you some time, and I’m sure most of them will.
6. Limit the time you spend thinking about them
So, you’ve physically removed your ex and everyone who reminded you of them. You’ve narrowed down the people you can talk to about them, but despite that, this person is still constantly present in the back of your mind.
The worst part is that you’ve started thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it.
You’ve stopped going to places where you know you could meet them, you’ve cut ties with everyone they know, you’re not reaching out to them, you’re not stalking their profiles, you’re not asking around about them…
But despite all of this, it looks like you’re not going anywhere. This person is still the one you think about from dawn till dusk and naturally you feel helpless about it.
Well, the trick is in limiting the time you’re allowed to think about your ex. Of course, it would be ideal if you could just snap your fingers and stop thinking about them.
However, since that is impossible, it would be great if you could begin with some baby steps. For starters, give yourself let’s say half an hour a day when this person is allowed to exist in your brain.
Every time you think about them outside of this time frame, remind yourself of your decision and leave your thoughts for later. Of course, you should be reducing this time with each day or week that passes.
7. Have hope
Whenever you’re going through a tough time in your life, including the breakup of your first relationship, the crucial thing is to not lose hope. Instead, try to be optimistic and to have faith in a better tomorrow, no matter the problems you’re facing.
This is quite important when it comes to overcoming your first true love as well. No matter how you feel now, you need to be aware that you will love again and that the right person will come.
Whether you believe it or not, someone will come along who you’ll love more than you loved your ex.
Someone who will heal your broken heart and help you raise you from the ashes; someone who will make you forget all of this pain you’re facing now and who will help you leave all of it in the past, where it belongs.
I know that hearing this now makes you think that I’m just trying to comfort you and make you feel better but it really is the truth and you have to put all of your strength into believing it.
Your new life awaits you and sooner or later, this will be nothing but a distant memory. In fact, you’ll remember your first true love with a smile on your face and nothing more.
8. Focus on self-care
This is the time when you need to focus on self-care first. For a couple of years, you loved this person with all of your heart and you gave them first place in your life and now you have to learn to break that cycle.
Maybe you changed to suit them better. Maybe you lost the person you used to be but now is the time to regain your self-esteem and to find yourself all over again.
Instead of wasting entire days on thinking about your ex, focus on self-improvement. Work on your appearance, intellect, emotions, career…whatever helps.
The bottom line is that you should invest your energy into becoming the person you’re destined to be. Work on personal progress, do all the things you’ve always wanted to do and please all of your heart’s deepest desires.
Spoil yourself, boost your self esteem, practice self care, and do everything you can to make yourself happy because nobody will do it for you.
9. Ask for help
Listen carefully: there is no shame in admitting that you can’t handle some life situations on your own and that you could use a hand while going through them.
No, this doesn’t apply just to things like the death of a loved one, a divorce, or job loss-you’re allowed to grieve someone who is still alive and over the heartbreak your first relationship left.
You have the right to feel the way you do and nobody can tell you that your suffering makes you weak, immature, or that it’s irrelevant.
First of all, try seeking help from your best friends and family. It is likely that most people around you have already been through the same situation in the past, so their valuable experience can definitely serve you as advice.
I’m not saying that you should blindly follow their patterns of behavior, since we all heal in a different manner and at a different pace, but what you can do is look up to them. Besides, other people’s stories will make you see that everyone gets over every possible pain, sooner or later.
If this doesn’t help, don’t be embarrassed to look for professional help. Go talk to an expert who will give you the push you need to start rationalizing things and to begin your healing process in a healthy way.
10. Learn from your relationship
Instead of seeing this breakup as the worst thing that could have happened to you, try observing everything that went on from a different perspective.
First of all, your loving relationship wasn’t all bad things-it had its beautiful moments. Please don’t allow those moments to be wiped from your memory and for all the bad things that happened lately to erase them.
No matter how it ended, it still had its value and that one person you dated for so long deserves to remain in your memory. Yes, it ended but it was nice while it lasted.
Secondly, if you’re wise, you’ll use your failed romance as a tough but valuable lesson. It will help you learn about love, about the opposite sex, about life and relationships, and most importantly-about yourself.
See this as a chance to observe your toxic dating patterns. What were your mistakes during this relationship?
What are the things you’re looking for and the ones you won’t tolerate again? What is your preferable type of partner and what are your deal breakers?
How can this help you find the right person?
Out of all the lessons your break up can teach you, this one is crucial: you don’t need anyone to survive-you just have to convince yourself of that. After all, for all this time, you were convinced that you couldn’t make it without your partner and that you would die if they left your side.
However, there you are, safe and sound. Yes, you’re going through your first heartbreak but what matters is that you’re still whole and complete.
So, I guess you’re way stronger than you assumed.
11. Don’t rush yourself into a new relationship
Asking for advice from your loved ones doesn’t mean that you should go against your heart’s desires. This especially applies to the situation when everyone tells you to fight fire with fire and that the best way to forget your ex is to get yourself involved into a new, loving relationship ASAP – like that’s a piece of cake.
Even though there is nothing wrong with falling in love again, please don’t force yourself into doing anything you’re not ready for. Don’t rush yourself into a new relationship because that will only make you feel worse than before.
Besides giving your emotional baggage from your past relationship a chance to ruin your new beginning, there is no way it will succeed if you start it for all the wrong reasons. After all, nobody deserves to be your stitch-it would be unfair for you to drag a third person into your emotional rollercoaster.
It doesn’t matter that you have broken off for good with your ex-you still have some unresolved issues with yourself and that is not fruitful soil for a new healthy romance.
12. But be open to new love
However, there is a difference between putting your guard up and sentencing yourself to a loveless life and not jumping from one relationship to another. There is absolutely no point in running away from potential love and this kind of approach can cause you much more harm than you might think.
Therefore, if love knocks on your door, don’t push it away. Be careful but embrace it openly.
Don’t get me wrong-I’m not here to promise you that you’ll never get your heart broken again. The truth is that there is no way to protect yourself from that possibility.
Yes, love is always a risk. However, it is a risk worth taking.
Another thing you should pay attention to is to not compare other people in your life with your ex.
To be honest: I don’t know which is worse: thinking that they were the best and rejecting potential partners because they’re not your first boyfriend or girlfriend, or being convinced that everyone will hurt you the way your ex did.
Either way, by doing any of these things, you’re only giving them power over you. You’ll sabotage your new life and future relationships right from the start if you’re looking for your ex’s replacement.
13. Give yourself time to heal
Yes, all of this is about getting over your past relationship and moving on. However, in order to know the answer to the question: “How do I get over my first love?”, you have to fix your broken heart.
Healing is a process which takes time, devotion, and energy. So, please don’t expect it to be done overnight.
No, I’m not saying that you should dedicate your entire life to this person and that you should allow yourself to grieve over them for the rest of eternity. However, you can’t repress your emotions and pretend that everything is in perfect order either.
A good idea would be to set yourself a deadline. Mark a certain date on your calendar and allow yourself to suffer up to then. Then, when that date comes, you’re no longer allowed to think or talk about that person. No, you won’t be completely healed then either, but you will have made significant progress and you’ll have the answer to the question: “How do you get over your first love“?