Boy Advice: First love survival guide

Boy Advice: First love survival guide

The easiest part of falling in love for the first time is ... nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. The whole thing is a big, confusing ol' mess. Not to mention the hole it leaves in your chest if you break up. But on the plus side, it's also heart-racingly, mind-blowingly, somebody-hand-me-the-Tim Tams-ingly awesome. So whether you've been crushed or you're currently crushing, here's what you need to know in order to survive your first love.

That's why you're so attached to your 'rents and siblings. However, in terms of romantic feelings, Jacqui explains, "Any real form of intimacy that goes along with the 'falling in love' experience would occur during or after puberty, when the body is prepared for reproduction."

So remember in second grade when you totes fell for that kid who put glue in your hair? That was just a crush, and is nothing in comparison to what you're feeling now. 

Jacqui describes the first stages of falling in love as being mostly physical in nature. You could have symptoms like a racing heart, sweaty palms, flushed skin, sleeplessness, increased energy and loss of appetite. You also might start to obsess a little. OK, a lot.

But after this, things begin to settle down. "After the initial stages of a romantic relationship develop into a more committed relationship, these 'high' feelings decrease and our feelings of bonding and attachment increase," Jacqui says. Or in other words, you hit the 'mature relationship' stage.

You don't need to be told that breaking up with your first love won't be easy. "With our first love we tend to put all our trust in that person and don't have the life experience yet to be cautious," Jacqui says.

"What people often don't realise about relationship break-ups is that they are actually experiencing grief that results from a deep sense of loss." After your break-up you might experience anger, sadness and a fear of never finding love again. Jacqui advises that during this time you should stay busy, spend time with loved ones and look after yourself; that means eating well and exercising regularly.
Breaking up with your first love is hard, but after grief comes perspective. Rachel*, 15, says, "Our relationship was magical. We kissed in the rain, talked while lying in bed, and I sang him songs I wrote for him. I honestly don't regret it." Despite breaking up just before their six month anniversary, Rachel explains, "Everything happens for a reason. I couldn't be happier being happy!"

So although you might not be able to see it now, all those precious memories are there to learn from and to help you grow. First love? Yep, you got this.


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