20 Women on Getting Over Their First Heartbreak

Kathleen Wong | Sep 21, 2018 Love & Sex
20 Women on Getting Over Their First Heartbreak
Image: pecaphoto77/iStock

alone woman breakup

As Sheryl Crow once sang, "The first cut is the deepest." Does anyone care to disagree? Our first love is a thrilling whirlwind of emotions and experiences we've never had before. From our first kiss to, ahem, some other firsts, our first love often provides us with memories that last a lifetime. So, as Crow states, when that love severs and our hearts break, it can be pretty dang painful. Something so pure and wonderful suddenly turned dark and agonizing. But hey, we can't deny that just like how our first love helps us grow, so do our first heartbreaks. In fact our first heartbreaks can shape the way we deal with relationships for the rest of our lives!

In the beginning, our first heartbreaks can feel unshakable. How will I ever love again? Who will I ever love again? And in a way, they do shape the way we go about future relationships. But with time and some other stuff, we're able to somehow move past them, meet others, and enter future relationships. (However, one can argue that we never really get over our first love.)

So what's the magic trick? How can we get over our first heartbreak? Well, that's subjective. It totally depends on the person. 

Thankfully, we enlisted 20 women to share their lived experiences on getting over their first heartbreak. Some methods were a little more comical than others, while some might make you cringe. Each experience of loved loss is as unique as the way it blossomed. And everyone has their own way of dealing with it. Anyone who has ever experienced their first heartbreak will sympathize with these stories. 

  • Cold Turkey

    woman alone breakup

    "Complete separation. Cut them off and it is easier." -- Abby M.

  • Getting Under Someone Else...

    couple bed

    "I had lots of sex with a lot of people. Including his best friend and his older brother." -- Jordan T.

  • Writing It Out

    woman journaling

    "Being cheated on isn't an easy thing to digest. Getting over it gives you a lot of heartburn. To heal from this heartbreak I journaled... This list kept my inner love addict sober. I referred to it often if I slipped into nostalgia. He turned out to be a narcissistic alcoholic. It took me 15 years to realize this. When I took him back (thinking that it would heal my heart to be with the one I loved), it was a mistake... That never healed me. His loved never healed me. But self-love did!" -- Grace W.

  • A Good Ole Makeover

    haircut woman

    "I stayed in bed a solid few days, aside from the necessities, shed a lot of tears, but eventually I realized I could move on. I read in Cosmo, yes, lame, but anyway the best way to get over a guy is to cut your hair or do something drastic. I always had long, long hair and I literally woke up one day, went to the salon and chopped it all off a cute little bob. It was so freeing and refreshing, I spent that next summer having the best time of my life with my best friends, some rebounds and some partying helped. If I'm being honest he still holds a piece of my heart, he always will he was my first everything." -- Caitlyn Z.

  • Relishing in a Support System

    friends dancing

    "That amount of emotional pain can be very dangerous. Don't push people away ... keep them close to you. You don't even have to talk about it, just be with them. Let them hold you. Watch TV. Stare at the wall ... whatever. Just don't go at it alone." -- Lindsay H.

  • Time Heals All

    woman outside

    "We didn't date for very long, about 10 months but I wanted him to want me so bad because so many other girls wanted to date him and I just felt more confident that he chose me. So when we broke up I remember I was just empty and hollow feeling ... a few months after, he was begging for me back, and occasionally he will message me asking for another chance, but he just does it because his recent fling didn't work out. I just woke up one day and went outside and it was beautiful and I didn't feel hollow anymore." -- Kendra G.

  • Date the Best Friend

    couple outside

    "First heartbreak, I was 14 and dated a guy for eight months. He cheated on me with his ex a few times and eventually told me because 'I was too nice of a person to hurt.' A little too late but I was heartbroken but didn’t know any better and forgave him. Then a month or so afterward I went out with his best friend." -- Courtney G. 

  • Forgetting Pain

    woman walking

    "I will never not love the person I fell in love with, and I had to come to terms with the fact he was no longer that person. He had become someone I didn't recognize. The pain was awful because I had to break my own heart and be the one to walk away. The pain never goes away, you simply forget about it." -- Jennifer A. 

  • Solo Trip

    woman outside

    "When I was dumped sophomore year of college, I decided to backpack Southeast Asia like I had always wanted to! I met some new faces, made some great memories and forgot all about my ex!" -- Annie K. 

  • Refocus   

    woman library laptop

    "Buried myself in work, school, and friends. Ended up finding the love of my life two years later." -- Lindsey L.

  • New Boo, Who Dis?


    "Dated from 16-19. He cheated after three years. I was heartbroken. Met my friends brother, started dating him." -- Caitlin V.

  • Let It Lead to Someone New

    expecting couple pregnant woman

    "My first heartbreak was awful. He didn’t treat me right but I still stood by him. In the end, we were both unfaithful but still took me a while to get over him. Cried, wouldn’t eat and couldn't sleep and the only way I would fall asleep was to FaceTime my best friend at the time and cried until I fell asleep. It was only a nine-month relationship but we did everything together and he was my first for a lot of things. Such as my first kiss in the rain. It was the little things but that heartbreak led me to the best guy I could possibly imagine and he is the father of our little girl who is gonna be here in December. I can truly say I will never regret my past because it led me to him." -- Alexandra M.

  • Music for the Soul

    woman headphones

    "When my ex, probably the first guy who I really, truly loved, broke up with me out of nowhere, I turned to music. I curated some serious getting-over-you playlists and had them on repeat. Nothing like empowering music!" -- Elizabeth W.

  • Bottoms Up

    woman drinking

    "Ohh thats easy! Alcohol and isolation." -- Rachel S. 

  • Staying Strong

    woman solitude

    "I don’t think I ever really did. I know if he called me today, I’d still answer. I think it’s more of its over, I’m better off, I still got mad love for you, but stay the fuck away from me because you’re toxic." -- Halle B.

  • Much-Needed Retreat   

    woman backyard

    "My first relationship was toxic and on-again, off-again. After it finally ended when I was 21, I took a week off of work to go home and just decompress with my parents. It was so nice to physically and mentally get away from things!" -- Marie W. 

  • New Hobby

    woman painting
    Vladimir Vladimirov/iStock

    "After years of toying with my heart, I finally cut him out and turned my frustration out onto a new hobby: painting." -- Kendra M.

  • The Prank Call

    friends phone
    FG Trade/iStock

    "OMG, I thought I was in love. Guy cheated on me seven times, all with friends. Well, I got a girl to get him to 'fall in love' then three-way call him with me on the line to break his heart. He cried." -- Haley A. 

  • The List

    woman writing list

    "Oh God, keeping a list of every shitty thing he did." -- Amy P.

  • Not-So-Love Letter

    woman writing

    "I wrote him a strongly worded letter about how I feel and how his cheating hurt me. I never sent it though." -- Emily B. 

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