My first love was the best and worst thing to have happened to me to date.

We met in high school. He was insanely intelligent and charming and was the first person to ever make me feel special. He wooed me – said all the right things, did all the right things.

We even had the perfect amount of imperfections. The very few arguments were mature ones for a couple of teenagers, and only happened because our passion for each other got in the way of reason.

We were so incompatible in so many ways, but at the time we saw that as us complementing each other’s personalities. Because when you fall in love for the first time, it’s almost impossible to recognise any reasons why you shouldn’t be together.

Don’t get me wrong, my first relationship was almost perfect. I was so in love, he was so in love and we were convinced that this was it. Because who wants to fall in love twice? Isn’t that the dream? Meeting the love of my life at 15 and never having to worry about dating ever again – that process of opening my heart to someone, getting to know them, working out their quirks, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. etc.

It is so much easier to have already gotten that stuff out of the way. Knowing that I had somebody that loved me with all of their heart, and that always would, was the best feeling in the world. I not only felt loved, but safe. My heart was protected from any harm that might come its way. I knew that other people had obviously fallen in love before, but not quite like this.

This was different.

This was unique.

This superseded any love that anyone had ever felt towards another human being.

Because when I looked into their eyes, the overwhelming flood of emotions that came over me could barely be described in any coherent sentence, and was far too special to be common to all first loves.

The relationship I built over a number of years was one of pure bliss. I had never been happier, and could not bear to even imagine what my life might look like without them in it. It was unthinkable.

They also happened to be my first everything, including my first kiss. I remember being so incredibly nervous, and you know what? It was actually terrible. I froze, barely moving my mouth at all, and it felt really weird. But then I got the hang of it, and I felt pure elation whenever I got the chance to kiss them – and it wasn’t because, you know, kissing is quite nice and all. It was because it became an expression of my love.

Opening your heart to someone is being at your most vulnerable. It’s when I decided to trust them with me. My emotions, my annoying habits, my baggage, everything that made me me was now theirs to treasure and to keep safe. It is not something that I did lightly, but the feeling of sharing myself with another person was the most intimate feeling there was.

His family were my family. They welcomed me with open arms and I truly felt at home there. His dad even used to joke that I was his favourite ‘daughter-in-law’. Bit intense maybe, but it made me feel so accepted. I loved my family so much but now I had two.

It was knowing that someone was always putting me first. No matter what was happening, they had my best interests at heart, before anyone else’s. They were the one I could call at any time and know that they would pick up.

It was knowing that no matter what happened, even if I lost everyone around me, they were the one that would still be there.

It was the feeling of actual physical pain I felt in my chest at the thought of any harm ever coming to them, or me being separated from them.

It was that all encompassing, never-ending spiral of emotions that wrapped itself so tightly around me that I couldn’t possibly escape – and I really didn’t want to.

Falling in love for the first time opened me up to emotions that I did not think I had the capacity to feel. It exceeded any expectations I had by a mile. But that also meant that when it ended, the intense high that I had been on for years came crashing down. The disappearance of everything I have listed above as feeling, did not just leave a gaping hole in my heart but was filled with the antithesis of joy. The overwhelming happiness I felt blinded me to signs that we might be nearing the end, so when that end arrived, no matter how inevitable it was to an objective eye, I did not see it coming.

My first love made me experience more than I could ever hope for, but its ending also made me experience that which I never hoped for, because I did not even know such pain could exist. When I opened my heart for the first time, I not only opened it to the good but to all the bad as well.

My first love was the best and worst thing to have happened to me to date.


The first of many pieces from our series Relationships: the love and the hate, exploring a wide array of people’s experiences, with regards to their interactions and relations with others. Click on the link for more information about the series, or contact me at if you are interested in sharing your story. 

– Kulsoom Raza, Comment Editor

Image kindly allowed for use for this series by Ece Clarke

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