My Heart Still Breaks When I Hear Your Name

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How It Feels When You Never Get Over Your First Love
Love, Heartbreak

Maybe I shouldn’t have believed in us so damn much.

If you ask anyone who has casually brought you up in conversation with me during these past few years, they’ll tell you I’ve shrugged and offered the standard, “We don’t keep in touch anymore, but I hope he’s doing well.” That part is true, actually — I’ve always hoped you were doing well.

This, more than anything, is why my heart shatters when someone mentions you.

I always believed that you and I would be doing well together.


That seems more than idiotic given our story. I knew we were doomed at least halfway through our time together. We not only weren’t a match, but you did some awful stuff to me that I could easily put in my memoirs for a cash grab of the laughs your antics would elicit. And I take full responsibility for the fact that I both tolerated it and entertained hopes of our relationship improving purely out of my own doe-eyed immaturity.

I’m not upset about it any of it anymore. I know we were kids who thought we were in love because we had great physical chemistry when nobody else around us seemed to. It’s a standard coming-of-age story that just played out too long because we were both horny and stubborn. C’est la vie.

However, none of this stops the feelings of attachment I developed during those formative years. When you have enough dumb, twenty-something peers agreeing that You guys are totally soul mates!” for the better part of a decade, it’s hard to shake that level of accidental brainwashing, even years later.

Maybe we shouldn’t have talked so much about our certain futures together. Maybe we shouldn’t have painted such an elaborate picture of what our lives would look like when we followed through on the steps it would take to get to “forever.” 

Maybe I shouldn’t have believed in us so damn much. See? Like I said. Idiotic.


It’s weird that I feel sad when someone mentions you because it was my choice to cut off contact with you and it’s one I've been proud of every day since. I’ve found a better love than I thought possible and my life has moved way, way past our time together. If anything, I’m embarrassed and angry with myself that I still feel anything at all when I hear your name. 

Yet, here we are, me wasting time entertaining those problematic “what ifs” and revisiting the imaginary life we’d constructed all those years ago. I wonder if the changes I’ve made as a person since the last time we spoke would be more compatible with the adult you’ve grown into, and I dabble with the fantasy that maybe we were just victims of bad timing.

Just like every comic book nerd can attest, our childhood love for things doesn’t magically vanish as we get older.

Even though I know I wouldn’t choose the version of you that I knew over the life I have now, there’s still a sense of sadness that something I hoped for and dreamed about didn’t happen. We can philosophize all day long about how some things crumble to make room for something better, but it’s natural to feel a sense of loss when something you’d worked for falls apart.

This is why I always say what I do when an old mutual friend mentions you. I do hope you’re doing well and hope you’ve found the happiness we’d always talked about having at this age. And then I change the subject because I don’t ever want anyone to see that I still cry when I'm left to think about you too much. Because in the end, I never got over my first love