An Open Letter to My First Love

Dear first love,

I've imagined this letter in my head many times. Sometimes written with anger, sometimes written with a heavy heart of regret. I'm happy to say that now I'm in a place in my life where I am neither of those, but very thankful.

You were my first for many things. With that said, you will always hold a special spot in my heart. We had some really great times and some really awful times... I guess more awful times than great or else we'd still be together. But with the good and the bad, I learned a lot. 

I learned how to love - wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Through all of the petty fights that fifteen year olds could think of, we decided to make things work and stay together. Not only did I learn to love you, but I learned to love myself. Having someone love me back taught me that I was worth someone giving me their all. 

Thank you for giving me a second family, a safe haven to go to when I didn't want to be around my own. Your parents and siblings accepted me as one of their own and that taught me that family is not just about who you are biologically related to. Family are the people who treat you with unwavering love and accept you for who you are, flaws and all. 

You taught me how to compromise; that it wasn't okay for me to get my way every time. I needed to learn to take into consideration that my actions would affect others, not just myself. I'm sorry I wasn't very good at it during our relationship, but I have since learned the error in my ways.

If you learned anything about me during our time together, it was that I believed in the best of people.  This is something that you kept chipping small pieces away from me. I trusted you to always tell me the truth and be honest, but you failed me many times. Even after all of those times, I gave you another chance... after chance... after chance. It's okay though, I forgive you. I now take things for face value and don't underestimate them.

You showed me all of the qualities that I don't want in a relationship and for this, I owe you the most gratitude. You are a wonderful person inside and out, but many of your qualities clashed too hard with mine. Because of our failed relationship, you sent me on the path of finding myself away from you because you were all I knew for so long. You showed me that I could be strong, that I didn't need a man by my side to be happy. I learned that I could be independent, that having friends that loved me was more than enough.

And most importantly of all... You showed me that I was strong enough to love again. To not only love again, but to find a man with everything I could ask for and more and not settle for anything less.  You would like him, too. He takes care of me. He treats me with the utmost respect and looks at me with eyes so full of love and happiness. None of this would be possible without you. I wouldn't be the woman he deserves without learning the very important lessons you taught me.

I hope one day you find someone who loves you the way he loves me. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve.

I wish you the best of luck in life,

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