Marrying Your First Love: Pros And Cons
It’s the thing of fairy tales. You grew up together, went to the same schools, have friends in common. You were together during the ugly years – the braces and the puppy fat. You’ve probably seen each other through the worst of it.
Now you’re finally ready to make the ultimate commitment, and who better to do that with than your first love?
Marrying your first love is one of those rare things that many (most?) people at one time or another have desired. Not just for romantic reasons, but for ease. You can’t deny that it would remove several of the obstacles people face when looking for that special someone.
Sounds like a sensible thing to do, right?
Well, not necessarily. Sure, it works for some people, but there are a number of reasons why it could be the worst decision you’ll ever make.
Should you marry your first love? Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages.
Your first love is special
Falling in love for the first time is such a profound feeling that it stays with you forever, no matter how many times you fall in love in the future.
Being able to marry the person responsible for that brand new, exhilarating emotion adds a certain “aww” factor to the marriage that you simply can’t get any other way.
You already have a history together
More often than not, your first love is someone you dated when you were young, which means that you know each other in ways that newcomers don’t.
Whether you were high school sweethearts or not, you’ve been through the awkward stage of falling in love for the first time together, and you obviously have plenty of fond memories (otherwise you wouldn’t be together).
This shared history creates a level of understanding between you that can be really comforting when things get rough in the marriage.
No one will be tempted to be something they’re not in order to make the other person happy, because you already know what it’s like to be with each other.
You can be the real you, warts and all, in a way that you couldn’t with anyone else.
You won’t waste your time with losers
This assumes that your first love is your only love. If that’s the case, then by marrying them, you save yourself the trouble of dating the wrong people.
Think about it: you get to avoid Crazy Priscilla, the one who’s obsessed with her ex; or Peculiar John, who’s a little bit too familiar with his dog…
You avoid the trials and tribulations of modern dating
Looking for love is more exhausting than spending an hour on the treadmill!
The dating apps, the fear of being catfished, the constant wondering whether this date, just like the last one, will be a psycho with an arson conviction… (I’m not speaking from experience, I swear).
It’s an endless, tiresome slog through the sludge that is modern dating, and you can avoid it all by going back to what you know – the first person that made your heart skip a beat.
You’re already familiar with their family and friends
Their nearest and dearest know and (hopefully) love you, and vice versa.
You’re likely the first serious person they brought home to meet the parents. You’ve been shown the embarrassing baby photos. You’re skilled in the art of pretending to like his/her mother’s casserole.
This reduces some of the stresses that new relationships face.
You can avoid unnecessary heartbreak
This is an offshoot of the previous point about dating the wrong people.
Unfortunately, we human beings aren’t born with the ability to see into the future, which means we won’t know that we’ve made a bad decision until everything goes kaput.
This also applies to choosing our partners. Getting into unsuitable relationships will always lead to heartache, because of the incompatibility issues. By marrying your first love, you skip past all of that messiness.
You’ll be more inclined to put in more effort
Due to your shared history and the emotional attachment you have to them as your first love, you’re more likely to go above and beyond to make your marriage work.
You’re invested in the fairy tale, so the last thing you want is for the marriage to fail and for you to have to endure the pitying looks from those who were rooting for you.
Thus, you’ll be sticking that sucker out till the wheels fall off.
And now let’s consider the disadvantages of marrying your first love.
First love doesn’t always mean true love
Sometimes the first love is just that – the first. The first of many, in fact. Sure, it’s usually more memorable than those that follow, simply because it’s a new sensation for you. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s your Big Love.
First loves are designed to get all the kinks out and prepare you for true love. You learn how to love (and how not to) during this period, things that will make you better-prepared for your soulmate.
You’re not supposed to take Johnny the Jock you dated for a semester, or Stacey the redhead you met in summer camp with you to the altar!
You’ll put up with bad behavior
Whether it’s abuse, infidelity, or anything in between, you’re more likely to put up with bad behavior from your spouse, more than you would anyone else. This is because you’re still tied to the past and that early sensation of butterflies in your stomach.
Even if they’ve turned into a monster, you’ll usually overlook that and forgive their transgressions, when really you should have left long ago.
You’ll be tempted to stay even if you’re miserable
That inclination to work things out for the sake of shared history is also a negative, because it usually means you endure a relationship that’s making you miserable.
Your commitment isn’t so much to your happiness, but to holding onto the romantic notion of being among the anointed few whose first loves are their soulmates.
You’ll stick out an unhappy marriage just to keep the dream alive, which is a terrible thing to do.
You could end up losing a good friend if things don’t work out
If you reconnect after time apart, but during that separation you stayed friends, that friendship would be in jeopardy if the marriage breaks down.
Or even if it doesn’t, the dynamics of your relationship will inevitably change. Although couples are supposed to be able to talk to each other about anything, that’s not always the case. You might find that you can’t approach certain topics with your old friend now that they’re your spouse.
People change and outgrow each other
If you’ve rediscovered each other after a period of separation, this can be especially problematic, because the person you were back when you were together might not be the one they’re marrying, and vice versa.
Your partner could have a rose-tinted memory of the person they fell in love with, but so much might have changed that you’re now two completely different people. And these new people could be terrible for each other!
The temptation to cheat will be heightened
If you guys met quite young – maybe in high school – and never dated other people, you or your partner might feel like you’re missing out.
And you most certainly are!
Settling down with the first person you meet is like driving your first car for the rest of your life. (If your first car was anything like mine – cheap, hideous, and barely functional – you’ll see my point.)
You haven’t experienced enough of the world or what (and whom) it has to offer, so it’s only a matter of time before those eyes – yours and your spouse’s – start to wander.
High chance of divorce
Divorce is a result of two people who are wrong for each other, at least towards the end of their marriage, getting hitched.
There’s a certain level of naivete associated with marrying your first love, because the feelings you have for them are oftentimes connected to a glamorized, fictitious past.
You remember those early feelings of love, and you want to recapture them, so you ignore all of the negatives about each other. These negatives eventually come back to bite you both in the rear, before sending you to divorce court.
You’ll miss out on meeting your true love
Marrying your first love when they’re not right for you could mean that you’ll miss out on meeting your true love.
As mentioned before, you’ll be more inclined to stick this marriage out, which means when your soulmate comes along, you’ll be taken.
And if they have any sense at all, they’ll steer clear of you, because they know you and your spouse have a lot of history.
You might have this romantic notion about marrying your first love, but you should be focusing not on the past and how you felt the first time you fell in love with them, but the quality of the person you’re marrying.
Don’t just marry them because you think it will make life easier, and the thought of looking for love elsewhere makes you come up in hives. Marriage isn’t a first come, first served arrangement; your first love should still tick all or most of the boxes.