QQ,QA #1: About First Love

“Is it true you never forget your first love? If so, how can you be sure of your partner’s feelings… especially if you’re not his/her first love, wondering if they are making comparisons?”

First love… how do you define first love? Does puppy love count? :)

I had my first crush when I was in kindergarten! I can still remember I was approximately 5 or 6, so was he. And during playtime, we will play-pretend. And he was He-Man, and I was She-Ra. Haha… yes, don’t ask. I think we must look really cute together, as even our teachers tease us. Haha, two toddlers, I guess that’s really what we are then? When it was time to move on to primary school, we promised to keep in touch… but as all puppy love stories go, we lost contact.

If that does not count, then what about my “boyfriend” at primary school? We wrote endless letters to each other, even though we see each other like everyday! And there’s even an unique way that we fold the letters! Haha! And then it was time to go to secondary school, and we promised to keep in touch too, but as we went to different schools, that fizzled out to.

I think I was probably among the last of my girlfriends to get a “real boyfriend” at secondary school. Many of my girlfriends starting date in Form 2 or Form 3. And I was getting really worried actually. What’s wrong with me?

Like most girls in school, I have numerous crushes. Some of them do not even know of my existence. Haha! And some of them become my best friends. And some… the worst types… the ‘what-ifs’. I really hate those!

So anyway, I started my so called first grown up relationship when I was in Form 4. I guess technically, you can call that my first love? We went out for 2 years plus. And in those times, 2 years plus seem like the longest time. Imagine 2 years plus over 19 years… seem like eternity doesn’t it?

Coming now to the question… is it true you never forget your first love? I can still remember my He-Man’s face. Yeah – amazing isn’t it? Haha… considering I was merely 5 or 6 then? And I can still remember vividly folding those letters in that special way. And I remember my first real relationship… the heartaches of having your heart broken for the first time.

The funniest thing I think is… when you get out of one relationship, especially your first real relationship; you think that it is the end of the world. You think that you can never move on. You think that you will never be able to give your heart to someone else again.

But, the truth is… you can.

Even though I cringe at some of my older memories… thinking “Oh my gosh! I did that?”, or when I am out with old friends, and we talk about the old times… some of the memories seem so surreal… yet, I believe all these experiences make me who I am.

And without all my crushes, my infatuations, my ex(s)… I might not be who I am today.

Often, I think we worry we are being compared because of our own insecurities. :) And there’s no easy way out of it as there is no easy test to find out.

We just have to trust. If we are going to be totally paranoid, and start nit-picking each and every thing our partner says or does, wondering if he/she is comparing us to their ex/first love, then we are indirectly sabotaging our own relationship. Because even if our partner is really not doing any comparison, we will eventually believe that he/she is simply due to the fact that we keep reinforcing that in our mind.

Hence, coming back to the question, if you ask me… I think we just have to accept our partner with his or her past relationships and past histories. We just have to respect that there are parts of his/her life that we might never be able to share, or parts of his/her life that he/she shared with someone else.

We have to realize that those experiences and memories are part of which he or she is – the very person we fall in love with.

Share your experiences. Is it true that one never forgets one’s first love? Do you compare your current partner with your first love? Have you been in a situation where your partner constantly openly compares you to his/her ex? Tell us! :)

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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4 Comments

  1. Carol Loh /

    Hmmm, let me see where should i begin..

    Yes, so far it is true (on my account) that one can’t be able to forget his/her first love no matter how bitter sweet it is. It will always be a part of one’s life, hidden somewhere in the very bottom of the heart. Once a while, it will appear out of nowhere, and u will be taking a ride down memory lane yourself.

    People always says “The first time always the sweetest”. How true is it? Well, I guess there’s some truth in it as till now, the sweet memories still linger in my mind as I tend to forgo all the heartache moments in the end.

    My first love begin very late if compared to my girlfriends. In fact, it’s not that long ago, when im in my early 20′s, completing my degrees in the UK, innocent and unexpected whilst he’s here in M’sia awaiting for my return. I would say, it’s fate that bring us together in a unique kind of way, but sadly, we are not meant to be together. Ironically, the long distance relationship was not an obstacle to us as we survived the distance between the oceans of Europe and Asia, but not the distance between towns which was just a few kilometers away. I guess timing is a pretty important element in a relationship as well as the saying that goes, “Distance make the heart grows fonder”.

    My opinion, its human nature to make comparison. Sometimes, you already mentally comparing without realizing it. It is indeed unfair to compare as everyone is unique in his/her own way but sometimes we can’t be able to escape from a slight comparison if not too much.

    Although, I have yet to know whether will I compare my future partner with my first love, as I have remain single since then, but sometimes I do make some small notes mentally once a while when situation triggers. But somehow or rather, I do promise myself that no matter what, try not to compare as the feeling of being compared is not a good one to have.

    Every relationship should begin with a fresh start with no burden from the past. Comparing will only shows that you have not let go of your past completely. You cant find two persons alike as even twins hv their differences. They are perfect in their own way as its all goes down to the degree of acceptance that we have for our other half.

    I always believe that, when u love someone, we trust and believes, and understands and learn to accept each other to build a strong relationship together.

    For me, I personally dislike people who compares openly and constantly, especially… “Lastime my ex did this and that, how come you are not like him/her?” “My ex used to do this or like to eat this” This kinda words was like a knife pierching through your love ones’ heart eventhough you didnt really realised you have done that.

    Well, the truth is, we love the person for him/her and that was what makes us attract to them in the first place. Not the person that we are going to turn our love ones into.

    Cherish the person beside you, who’s always there for you.. is what matter most.

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Carol,

    Thank you for being the first contributor ;)

    I think you brought up a good point. It is human nature to compare… whether it’s comparing ex-es, or comparing salaries, or comparing children… haha! :)

    And it’s true… sometimes, we always think about how we can change the guy/girl we are dating. E.g. “Ok, it’s ok he is of this behaviour now, I will change him when we are married…” But, it does not work that way. We should love the person for who he/she is. :)

    [Reply]

  3. Not being your partner’s first love is tough and it hurts when you realise you love him and are not sure if he loves you the way you want him to. And knowing that your partner has a life/memories before you came along with someone else hurts as well. Especially if one thinks too much, like I do.

    I won’t deny that I’m a ‘victim’ of the comparing game. Although I’m fully aware that it will destroy the relationship if I do not stop comparing. It’s tough when I see photos of the ex and my bf very happy together, or hear her name being mentioned in conversations, or know that some of his memories are inexplicably tied to her, even when her name is mentioned only in passing.

    How do you compare with someone who has been in his life for 8 years and who he was going to marry? With someone he would still be with if she didn’t change her mind? I just find it quite daunting.

    I guess time will tell. I just hope that our relationship will be able to stand the test of time (and distance).

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Kea,

    Well, 8 years is a very long time when we are merely 26 or 27 years old. But it is nothing compared to 40 years of marriage (using the yardstick that most people live to about 70 years old). :) And I think for most of us, we plan to stay married for 40 years at least right? :)

    I used to think that being with my ex for close to 3 years was eternity… well considering the fact I was only 19 then… 3 years was eternity!!! Haha! :)

    Like you said, if you compare, it’s endless. Why not put the time to better use e.g. creating more wonderful memories.

    You cannot erase the past that haunts you, you can only build the future that you want. :)

    [Reply]

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