If you could go back before you fell in love for the first time, what would you tell yourself?
Dear Unloved Me,
This is a difficult one to cover. Ideally, I want to reveal what I wish I’d known before I fell in love for the very first time. I guess if that love had have lasted this wouldn’t be difficult to write at all. We’ve all heard it before; it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. You might not believe this yet, but it is true – well kind of, at least.
You’re going to learn a lot from that first love, kiddo. First of all, you’re going to realise quite suddenly how quickly you can fall, and it’s a hard fall. (The landing isn’t what we’re concentrating on here – that’s a letter all of its own, unfortunately.) But the fall, oh the fall, it’s terrifying and exciting all at once. Prepare yourself to feel an entire rollercoaster of emotions on an almost daily basis.
This love itself isn’t going to start in the traditional fairy tale manner you’re expecting, so there will be little warning before it hits you like a wall. Really, my only advice for you while you’re at this stage, is to enjoy it. Go with the flow and roll with the punches. It’s the first time so it’s not going to be the smoothest for you, but that’s okay because you’re learning.
Another thing you’ll learn over time is that the amount of love you give out isn’t always the same as the amount you receive back. It’s not got its own patented return system, sadly. This is made all the worse due to the amount of time you considered yourself unworthy of love. It was a ridiculous belief – of course – but it still plagued you for a solid twenty years of your life, so you’re going to have to expect some repercussions from that. You’re going to lose it a little bit, terrified that if you don’t convince someone you love them just enough they’ll turn and leave with no warning.
Because of this, you’re also going to lose a little self-worth. Far too quickly your own happiness will rely on the actions of another. Here’s some advice on that matter – and I mean this with the most sincerity – stop. You can’t place all of your chips on one bet – well you can, but it’s a foolish decision with so many variables. What I mean is that it’s not fair on you, and it’s not fair to him to expect him alone to make you happy. You can’t fall for someone and live as though they’re the only thing in the world – or even the only thing in your world – that really matters. Don’t lose yourself for someone else, because that isn’t love at all. Love would never require you to do such a thing – it makes you more of a person, not less.
You’ve spent a solid chunk of your life watching romantic comedies that have convinced you that a mid-story struggle is to be expected. This is the part where you have to prove your love with a ten-minute monologue, a bare-knuckle fight, or perhaps a church hall dance off. In your own version of events, this is going to be a prolonged up and down of emotions, a hell of a lot of radio silence, and a handful of broken promises. It’s not romantic. It’s not sweet. It’s not fair. Erase these movie scenes from your mind, and ignore every Taylor Swift lyric that works to convince you that anything worthwhile is worth a fight. While my advice for the first stage of this love was to go with the flow, this is where you really need to wake up and pay attention.
This love is going to royally throw you in the deep end. As I mentioned, you’ll fall fast and hard, and hopefully, that will never be a part of how you love that changes. It’s the middle and the end of this love that you really have to learn from. Giving someone your everything doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive this back. You don’t have to fight to feel worthy of someone’s love. And perhaps most importantly, a love should never destroy you more than it can rebuild you.
Don’t lose yourself in love – not in this one, or any other – so much that you’ll struggle to find yourself again. It’s an interesting one that’s coming up, so enjoy the ride for as long as you can, but make sure you know when to get off.
The Loved, Unloved, and Loved Again You
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