How can our first love influence our love life?

6 out of 10 people always think of their first love and 4 in 10 still harbor feelings for her, according to a British study published in 2020. It’s a fact: first love often leaves an indelible and irresistible impression. How is first romantic relationship does it build us up? Does it influence our loves to come?

First love, first emotions and discoveries

“Any first time is important,” explains Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant, psychotherapist and romantic relationship specialist. For the specialist, first love is defined above all by the context in which it is born, which is the period of adolescence. “It is a time where we are very permeable to everything that happens to us, where we are not yet mature because of experiences, so we are more raw. Events will leave a track on us, good or bad, a deep and lasting track, ”he said.

“I am 18 years old, love at first sight. It was an exciting and passionate relationship, it was magic, “recalls Isabella, 28.” Now, I’m married and my husband is like Kevin, indifferent, independent, he lives for his passions. I’ve always been. think of Kevin, ”the mother admitted. If first love can be very upsetting, it’s because it marks beginning of our lovelife. It became a reference, a point of comparison. “This is the first event to originate, Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant analyzes. This relationship could create a kind of similar tone in our next encounters, and that’s how the repetitions sometimes start. ”

The idealization of first love

Some want to live again feeling first love. This is the case of Sabrine, 25, who remained in a relationship for 3 years with her first boyfriend. “I was 17 years old, we met in high school, we went back and forth and then we went to college together. I told myself that he was the man of my life, we did a lot of projects together, we went on vacation, I knew his family. He is really my best friend, ”he said.

First love is filled with novelty and above all, intensity and magic. A first love relationship which now leaves Sabrine feeling that any other relationship is boring or bad. “We understood every point, we laughed, could spend days and days together without getting tired. Now, everything that isn’t fusional, everything that doesn’t go beyond my love, I reject it, ”the young woman admitted. “People who sublimate the relationship or don’t mourn it will want to give back the same thing to others”, says Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant.

“I have a somewhat idealized, imaginary image of love. A temperate relationship doesn’t interest me”, Sabrine admits. The young woman has not had a serious relationship since end of his first great love. “I only had one, a bandage relationship, after him”. “We seek, unconsciously, to solve the enigma. Let’s try to find what we can’t accept is lost, to see what happens when what didn’t happen the first time. Even if we make sure the story is different, or we systematically try to repeat the same thing, just because we know that, because it reassures us or because it resonates with our beliefs, our stories. , psychotherapist details.

Patterns Repeated by First Love

First love can leave a much more painful and less pleasurable trail than the magic and indifference of early times. Sara, 28, had a first abusive relationship that left marks on her own love of life. “He’s the perfect man in my eyes. Everything was ruined in the first year of the relationship. He was already starting to be violent to me in word, in action, in action. He cut me off from the world, no more friends, no more family, I had to quit college because I could no longer handle this grip and this tension, I couldn’t tell anyone. I stayed 4 and a half years with this man, ”he said. As a couple and happy, he went on, despite everything, ten years after the consequences. “I have wounds, evils within me that cannot be erased. TCAs (eating behavior disorders) that I have developed and sometimes come out of. The lack of trust in the person I love persists, even if it’s small. The worst is because I can’t forgive myself for not leaving right away ”.

Emma*, 28, also had a toxic first relationship. “Quickly, his dominant attitude took over: he always humiliated me in public to show others that I was his. I thought it was just normal and he just wanted to mark his territory. Then very quickly, damaged. He made me believe he was cheating on me. , which I was ugly, not ‘good’ ”, he recalls. “He was all unnecessary, and released a part of me that I didn’t know about, that never came back and that I hated.”

For Géraldyne Privot-Gigant, first love can also help build good or bad self-esteem. “Lthe way in which one is desired, loved, sublimated, or rejected and abandoned, will condition man in his relationship with himself. If we are deceived, ghosted, betrayed, humiliated, it will leave a mark and it is important to know it. ”“ I always repeat the pattern of the bad guy, the guy you have to try to treat, you have to help to be healed. I date tortured men who need attention, which can be filled with my pity and my altruism, which is useless, ”said Emma, ​​who admits to taking the time to avoid this pattern of repetition.

“Whatever the reason, there is a kind of unconscious system that illustrates that some people are not chosen by chance. We choose the one that resonates with our first love,” Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant said.

Distance yourself from your first love to improve your relationships

When we experience a damaging bond, we can endure its wounds, and we can develop defense mechanisms. “I have a lot of trouble trusting, I am very guard and I will ruin my relationships because I try to take two steps ahead rather than mu-let go and just admit that we don’t rule everything out in love”, Emma explained. . Mike, 22, struggles to forgive himself for the mistakes he made in his first true love. “This relationship left me with an immeasurable sense of guilt, because I was the source of the break. A sense of guilt accompanied by an endless questioning of my nerves to be happy and to be happy. of a woman over time.

Staying attached to this memory can ensnare us with eternal guilt, which can keep us from moving on. To learn to take the image of his first love, being able to dictate our expectations, psychological work with the help of a therapist is needed. “Consciousness is not enough, it releases the extreme and prepares the ground to pose. new character and have a different relationship with self, others and love. It allows you to allow yourself to move towards innovation, ”points out Géraldyne Prévot-Gigant.

In addition, the psychotherapist systematically asked the question of first love to patients who met with him for romantic issues. “I’m not ignoring that, because there’s important information you have to look at if you want to help the person understand their pattern of love, to understand what they’re putting in unconsciously.”

However, as the specialist reminds us, first love does not define the whole sentimental life. “Like any experience that leaves its mark, self -work only allows us to retain its memory and is no longer something that is instilled in us to condition us ”.

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