Relationship Firsts: How Team SN Handled Our First Breakups

There's no heartbreak quite like your very first breakup. 
After all the milestones you experience in your first "real" relationship, the ending can be particularly painful. But luckily, time heals all wounds, and looking back, you can learn from the breakup. Below, we asked Arielle, Nikki, Bailey, and Maggie to reflect on their very first breakup stories to share what they learned in the process–read on for their experiences. 

Arielle's First Breakup Experience

My first boyfriend was in 11th grade. We dated for about two years. As it was a young relationship, we were on and off constantly! The breakups were initiated by both of us depending on which fight we're talking about, haha. The end of the relationship was when I went off to college and I ended it because I wanted to be single and free at school. I realized that I had so much more to learn and experience. I was in such a bubble growing up and I had no idea what was out there. I also began learning so much about myself. 

The hardest part about the breakup was hurting someone you care about. We had built such a strong bond and knew everything about each other and while you may not be in love with someone anymore, you still love them and they will always hold a place in your heart. I'm not sure what I wish I knew. I wouldn't go back and change anything. I was in the learning process of who I was, what the future held, and what an important role he played in my life. I knew there was so much ahead and out there that I had to let go of that relationship, otherwise it would have held me back. I'm proud of the decisions I made.

Nikki's First Breakup Experience

My first real relationship was in my junior year of high school. He was a year older than me and ran in a completely different circle, so finding time to hang out was never easy. When we first started dating, everyone had warned me that he probably wasn’t someone I should trust but I was stubborn and always thought I could change him. Though he was my boyfriend, I also remember how strange it was that we didn’t text often and barely hung out but the second he left for college, something changed. We felt the impact of no longer having the luxury of seeing one another when we wanted or being in school together and saying hi in the hallway between classes. We would go weeks without talking, he would come back home for a weekend or holiday and we would act like nothing was different. Things got so confusing at one point that my phone broke and I didn’t replace it for almost two months because I really had no desire to continue the cycle we were in and we were always finding ways back to square one. We were on and off for a while until we realized that it just wasn’t and would never work between us. We were two different people looking for very different things. I think the breakup was amicable but I remember so little that I genuinely couldn’t tell you.

Looking back, I wish I had listened to my gut. I knew that he was wrong for me, but I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it. To be honest, though, I don’t even remember that TRUE breakup feeling when you feel lost and can’t imagine how life could go on without that person. Each relationship I’ve been in, I think my main takeaway was learning what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a partner because it truly does help lead you to the person who just fits in seamlessly and accepts you no matter what.

Bailey's First Breakup Experience

I was “dating” a boy much older than I was and it was my first relationship if one would even call it that. He was a Senior, the quarterback, and I was that freshman girl who had never been kissed by a boy. You all know how this goes—I was head over heels obsessed with him, however, I’m not too sure the feelings were completely reciprocated. We saw each other for about 3 months before he came over unannounced and flipped my world upside down by ending it with me.

The breakup was inevitable because of the age difference but it totally knocked the wind out of me, considering I was already mentally picking out my wedding dress and his matching tux. I knew deep down that even though it wasn’t going to work, that I would somehow, against all odds, make it work. What made it the hardest on me was that he was such a gentleman about it. It would have been easier to get over if something had gone wrong or if there was something or someone I could blame. The hardest part for me was that I couldn’t be mad at him, it wasn’t justified. So, all there was left to do was listen to breakup music on repeat, lean on my friends to wipe my tears, and clap politely in the stands whenever #8 threw a winning touchdown. As Taylor Swift once eloquently wrote, “in your life, you’ll do greater things than dating the boy on the football team.” 

Maggie's First Breakup Experience

My high school boyfriend was my first “real”-ish relationship. We started dating in my junior year–he had dated other girls before, but I was new to the entire relationship thing! Even at that time, we both sort of felt like we had an expiration date since college was on the horizon (and we were not the kind of couple that would try long-distance as college freshmen). When the actual breakup rolled around before we each left for school, I was completely in denial and felt like we could make it work, while he was really sure that we should go our separate ways and embrace college as single people in a new experience. The whole situation was devastating to me!

Looking back, he was completely right about going our separate ways at that time, but I was really insecure and anxious about starting a new chapter of my life and I so desperately wanted to hold on to something familiar and safe from home. At the time, I wish I knew that the best was yet to come and that this was just supposed to be my first relationship, not my end-all-be-all, plan the wedding on the first date, love at first sight relationship (that one started three years later, but that’s a different story!). College is such a short amount of time, and I’m really grateful I went into it single, with a little relationship and heartbreak experience in hand.

Cover Art via: @nymphana_