letter of advice i wrote to my 17-year-old friend today who got her heart broken for the first time.

I wish I could tell you that in a few years, you'll never even think of this guy anymore. Well actually, you might not. You def won't be worrying about it anymore and it won't bother you in the same way. Certainly, once you meet the right person, it will only exist in the back of your brain.

The prob in my life has been that I have been pretty much alone ever since John & I broke up, which happened in college. Because noone has replaced him yet, I still think of him often and miss him. And, of course, I've had pretty terrible dating experiences since then, and those have all shook me to my core and reminded me of John too.

Relationships, for me, are the hardest part of life. School, career - that was always the easy stuff. But friendships, family and boyfriends have always been the sharpest edge of the table. Life is weird in that way, because most of my friends are in [and have been for awhile] great, committed, life-long relationships already. You just don't know what you're going to get in life. Some people meet the love of their life at 18 and stay with them forever, some people marry at 22 and divorce by 29 and some people, like me, are almost 26 and have never been anywhere near a serious relationship [though, to be fair, I do think my case is more rare.]

The pain, however uncomfortable, is such an essential part of growing up and learning about yourself and what you need. All you can do now is look the pain in the face and decide what to do with it. You also need to decide if this guy is someone healthy for you to have in your life. When things ended with the last guy I dated, he deleted me off Facebook and Twitter and refused to speak to me. He wants nothing to do with me - and HE was the one who ended things with ME!! But that's how he deals. I have friends who are able to take some time off and then retain friendships with their exes. It's all about how you deal, and throughout your life you will rediscover this a million times.

Inevitably, the person who will make you most happy in your life is the person who will be on your team, have your back and will make you feel like the best version of yourself. If this guy makes you feel like the worst, most insecure part of yourself - then it doesn't matter how much you used to love him. It's not healthy to be around someone who brings you down. I know you know this.

For me, one of the easiest lessons I ever learned [though I know it to be a hard lesson for many of my friends!] is that you don't have to be close with everyone. Not everyone has to like you, or get along with you, or think that you're "normal." In life, you need to love yourself first. You have a great relationship with your family, a handful of good friends, a dream - that's all you need.

Break out those coping devices! Mine include writing about the problem, watching movies to escape, crying in the shower and long walks listening to my favorite music. And remember that the only thing that really heals all wounds is time. Which sucks, in a way. But as you get older, you realize how time [and in my case - and soon to be yours] - distance, can make all the difference.


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