They say we never forget our first love and, in many cases, it is true. However, the time may have come to let our emotions and memories go, as sociologists have learned that holding on to them can make us not appreciate future relationships for what they’re worth, always looking back to our first, much too idealized romance.
A new research has showed that people who hold on to the memories of their first love, and somehow try to recreate that euphoria and seemingly undying enthusiasm in future romances are more likely to have a wrecked emotional life. What happens, studies say, is that, by living with our eyes fixed on the past, we set a standard, a benchmark that is too high to ever be attain.
However, said standard is not only high but, most likely, unrealistic, being made up by a heated imagination and memories altered and beautified by the passing of time. As such, it is only normal that someone to meet all the conditions that we require is nowhere to be found. “The best way to ensure long-term happiness in a relationship is not to fixate on how you fell head over heels the first time,” researchers say as per the Daily Mail, adding that having a pragmatic view on what we need from a relationship is actually the winning ticket, and not glorifying that which we no longer possess.
“Remarkably, it seems that the secret to long-term happiness in a relationship is to skip a first relationship.” Dr. Malcolm Brynin from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex says. “In an ideal world, you would wake up already in your second relationship. If you had a passionate first relationship and allow that feeling to become your benchmark, it becomes inevitable that future, more adult partnerships will seem boring and a disappointment.” he adds.
Nevertheless, it’s not only striving to attain the same excitement and intensity of the first love that spells trouble for a more mature relationship, Brynin says, but doing so while also trying to have an adult relation, with everything that it entails. “The solution is clear: if you can protect yourself from intense passion in your first relationship, you will be happier in your later relationships.” he says. Sadly, as we all know from experience, this is easier said than done.