We all remember our first ‘proper relationship’. I was in year 7. We met at a school disco. I turned him down but then a few weeks later we decided to ‘go out’.
It was one of those weird relationships where we only held hands. At the time I thought they meant the world to me. We were a proper couple like in the movies.
But a month later I got dumped by text.
It sucked but I wasn’t as heartbroken as I first thought.
No my first heartbreak came in year 9. Again we met at a school disco. I had my first proper kiss. I thought I was falling in love. We were planning to be together forever. It was my first serious relationship.
We were together for 3 months I think. I met his family. We got to second base. And then it all came falling apart and we made the ‘mutual’ decision to break up.
All I can remember is crying at our dining room table with the lights off thinking that my life was over.
Little did I know I’d go on to have a number of boyfriends over the years. Some good, some bad. But I’d end up with Paul. A boy I’ve known for years and never thought I’d end up with but here we are.
I’ve had an experience and a half when it comes to love and relationships so I thought it was about time I shared my horrors in the hope it helps someone else.
DON’T LIE TO YOUR PARENTS – THEY FIND OUT EVERYTHING
If I’m going to be a ‘role-model’ then that title should just be don’t lie to your parents in general. Lying is bad!
But when your 15 and fancy someone who’s 19 lying to your parents seems like a good idea.
Our parents will always see us as their child no matter our age, so the thought of us dating someone even one year older than us isn’t their idea of fun.
I’ve lied to my parents about having a boyfriend. About who I was meeting up with – telling them it was a friend and leaving out the boy part.
I’ve lied about their age and how we met. I’ve lied about how far I’ve gone with a boy – because nobody wants to have that conversation with their parents!
But the truth is no matter how big or minute the details are your parents always have a way of finding out the truth. And that confrontation isn’t fun.
YOU CAN’T CHANGE SOMEONE – AND YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO
I’ve been in plenty of relationships where I’ve tried to change them or they’ve tried to change me. It took me a while to realise it but you can’t change someone.
The only person who can change them, is themselves.
There’s also the point that if there are that many things about a person you don’t like then why are you with them? Why are they with you?
Sure there are loads of little habits that Paul and I don’t like about each other, but we just get on with it. There will always be the occasional ‘stop snoring’ nudge at night but it doesn’t stop us from losing sleep.
We love each other and that means loving each other’s flaws.
If you’re constantly complaining about them or trying to change their habits then why are you with them? It just causes negativity in a relationships and from my experience the relationship doesn’t tend to last long anyway.
YOU CAN’T MAKE SOMEONE LOVE YOU
We all have that one who got away. The unrequited love. That person you just wish saw you in a romantic way.
I’ve had two friendships like this. It’s not fun. It makes you wonder what’s wrong with you for them not to want to be with you in a romantic way instead of just friends.
The truth it there is nothing wrong with you and there is nothing wrong with them. They just don’t see you in a romantic way. That doesn’t mean that nobody will see you in a romantic way.
In fact there are probably people out there who fancy you but you don’t see them like that either.
I spent a good part of my teens chasing after boys who didn’t want to know, which actually meant I wasn’t able to see the people who were right in front of me. The people who wanted to be my friend or more.
Love is relative. Don’t take rejection from one person as rejection from the whole male species.
RECOGNISED WHEN YOU’RE BEING USED
In our teens we have so many hormones circling our bodies. We have no idea what we’re doing or what we want except human companionship.
Which means it can be super easy to be led astray and for people to take advantage of you.
I’ve been in a ‘relationship’ before where I thought we were going to be official. We would be boyfriend and girlfriend and live happily ever after. But the truth is they just wanted a no strings attached kinda thing.
Now there is nothing wrong with physical relationships if that floats your boat. But make sure that you’re not being used.
Even in relationships that are purely just about sexual connections there still needs to be a level or trust and reassurance.
And at the end of the day if you’re not happy or uncomfortable then you CAN leave and you should leave.
Make sure that they have respect for you and you respect yourself as well.
THEY’RE AN EX FOR A REASON
The amount of times I’ve gone back to the same boy hoping that this time round it will be different. This time round it will work. This time round I won’t get heartbroken.
It’s easier said than done, because feelings are still feelings no matter how old they are. But hun, they’re an ex for a reason. Don’t go there!
There’s a reason why you left them, and if they left you then it’s their fault for walking out on you. They don’t deserve to have you back if they didn’t see what they had in the first place.
Relationships are messy. They are heartbreaking. They’re funny and romantic. And sometimes they’re just down right silly.
But we go through it all because we’re human. We’ll do anything for love – despite what Meatloaf says.
Hopefully though my ghosts of relationships past will help you with your future love quests.
Let me know in the comments what 1 thing you’d tell your past self about love.