Do first relationships every really work out or do you view them more as a learning experience to prepare you for future relationships/marriage?

I ask this question because I've been doing some thinking lately. I'm a couple months removed from my first relationship and now that the hurt is less I've been doing more thinking about what I could have done different. Being in a relationship for the first time was an absolutely amazing feeling. I loved being with her, holding her, kissing her etc and never wanted it to end. As much fun as it was though, I will admit that I felt overwhelmed at times and wasn't quite sure if I was doing everything "right". Well with hindsight 20/20 I've identified some things that I could have done better and will do better in future relationships.

My situation just got me wondering, are first relationships ever really supposed to work out or are they more for the first timers benefit to make their future relationship (s) as good as they can be? Please share your opinions and maybe even your experiences. Did your first relationship work out and lead to a very committed relationship/marriage or did it not work out so great and instead you took some things from it that helped you with future relationships?

  • They can definitely work out and be successful
    Vote A
  • They are more of a learning experience
    Vote B
Select a gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Interesting results. It started out very much on the side of learning experience but now more people are saying they think a first relationship can have a good chance of working out. Would love to get some more opinions too!


Most Helpful Girl

  • while first relationships can last, it's definitely not the case for 99 percent of people.

    did mine work out? nope.
    am i grateful for it? you betcha.

    every relationship i've been in has taught me something about myself that has made me a better person or helped me to figure out what i did/n't want in a life partner. all of those relationships led me to the one i'm in now, and i've never been happier.

    • I agree with your outlook. I definitely learned some things about myself and relationships. Did I want it to last? Yeah. But hopefully lessons I learned will help me to have a completely happy, healthy relationship in the near future. Thanks for sharing!

    • you're welcome, and best of luck to you :)

    • Thank you :)

Most Helpful Guy

  • Relationships are a learning experience, and 99.999% of the time they do not (and should not) work out in the long term.
    Your first relationships are about learning how relationships work, learning what you want or don't want, like or don't like, how to have fights and disagreements and get over them, how to communicate with each other, etc.

    Use the good and the bad experiences from your early relationships to prepare you for when you meet the RIGHT partner further down the road.
    It's totally unrealistic to expect your first (or even second) relationship to be the one that lasts a lifetime (or even just a few years)

    • You're right. I didn't know what exactly to expect or if I should expect it to last very long (it was only about a month and a half). I just hope she wasn't the RIGHT partner as you say because then I will feel like I missed out if I don't find someone better. Hopefully all the lessons can be put to good use though. Thanks for your opinion!

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    • Yep, that's normal... Give it a little time and you'll be fine. I can almost guarantee that in 1 or 2 years you'll look back and think "Wow, what was I thinking?". Not that you won't look back and have fond memories of your relationship with her, but you'll realize that while it was right at the time, it ultimately worked out better for both of you to go your separate ways.

    • Yes I think you're right, its just hard to picture right now. A lot can happen in a matter of a few years and I guess that could include finding someone much better for me. As hard as it may be, I will try to apply your way of thinking and hopefully things turn out for the best.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 4

  • Its up to you. A 1st and only relationship can last by you already doing the right things in your life, and you will attract the right people. It is never healthy to have multiple relationships, especially if they were sexual in the past. You bring more damage and baggage to a unhealthy relationship with a person who was and still is unhealthy as a person. That is why it is wise to observe and communicate more than just straight into intimate things. Because you have too many people using others for experience instead of doing life right together. I would never use anybody for experience, that is immature. That is why I suggest that if your not ready for a serious relationship, stay out of it. And always know the intentions of the person for that relationship before your official.

    Find out their morals if any, belief system or religion. Wither or not their sexually active or not IF you are looking for a sexual relationship. Are they interested in premarital sex? What are their relationship goals? What are their future ambitions? What would they like to do? Do they want to get married? If so, within how long of a relationship/ what age? Think about that carefully, before you end up in a relationship for years and years and your deprived, stressed and frustrated with the person your with. Do they believe in abortion? Do they want kids? Do they believe in having children out of wedlock? All these things including finances, family obligations, career prospects, personality, character traits, been tested for STDs, virgin or not, partner count, general health, living conditions, do they believe in divorce or not, wither or not they agree with cohabitation is extremely important!

    • Thanks for your comment, you make some really good points. However, I think you may be slightly confused on what I'm asking. I not implying you should use the first person you date just to learn about relationships, but rather pointing out that since so few first relationship ever work that it could be considered to be more of a learning experience because chances are it won't last. Take my example, I went into the relationship only with the intention to have the best relationship possible and hopefully it works out, I had zero intentions to use this girl to learn and nothing more. I really liked her and wanted it to work, but clearly since she left me I wasn't doing everything as good as I could have. Well, I've learned from it and it just got me thinking that since so many peoples first relationship doesn't last maybe learning is just as important as finding if you are right for each other the first time around. Again I'm not condoning using people at all, I think that's wrong.

    • @Cc1234 Not a problem. I wasn't even saying that you were. Its just that I had to place it out there because all of other people do not understand that.

  • My parents have literally never dated anyone else in their entire lives and they've been married for 29 years so far.

    I on the other hand dated several guys, experienced many a heartbreak, and now I've finally found my hubby😊 I wouldn't have been the entirety of the person he fell in love with if I hadn't gained experience from those other failed relationships. He has dated a few girls as well and thinks the same about how it helped him.

    • Your story shows that it can go either way. I think that's cool your parents didn't date anyone else, maybe it worked because they were both in their first relationship and learned together? You dated many guys and learned that way and had the same happy ending. It was my first but the girl I was dating had had multiple relationships, and I guess maybe didn't want to deal with my inexperience I don't know. But as long as we all get the happy ending that your parents and you got I guess it really doesn't matter how we get there :) thanks for your opinion!

  • I know a few people who married their 1st love, but most times the 1st relationship doesn't work out. Of course I was heartbroken when I left my 1st love, but what I learned I have used to do a check on how the relationship is doing. I started dating another guy and got emotionally invested. His actions did not match his words and I could feel something was off. When I felt something off in my 1st relationship I dismissed that gut feeling for a little while. W/this other guy I jumped on it right away and after a little bit I found out he was confused about his feelings and no longer wanted to be w/me at that moment. That hurt, but I'm glad I didn't waste a couple months stressing over how much he didn't care while telling me he does.

    • That's definitely one of the things I learned too. I didn't always know how she was feeling about the relationship and now I wish I would've asked her. I was emotionally invested but clearly she was not as much and I wish I would've known that so I could change something I was doing and/or move on. Communication is very important and now I've learned that (the hard way, unfortunately :( ).

  • If people took time to get to know each other well and didn't rush then yes, I vote a

    • I think that's true, and it'd be nice if more people did that, I know my former girlfriend didn't. Unfortunately it sometimes seems that its going in the opposite direction where people only care about sex or they cheat on their bf/gf. I don't know why so many young people are like that though, I personally would never be like that, I want to find a close, meaningful relationship and have it last.

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    • I could see why you'd have those thoughts. However if you know he's the one you want to marry and he's always there for you, I would think when times are tough you would be able to work together to sort out problems. I mean there would likely be hard times with any other person out there so I guess it comes down to who you want to go through the hard times with.

    • That's true but that's the thing, how would I know

What Guys Said 2

  • They can indeed work out however this is extremely rare. My first relationship didn't work out because I was naive and let the wrong woman into my life. I learned from this and started dating only university educated girls. When I got into my second relationship I learned two things: (A) I lean towards asexuality and (B) I am rather unhappy being in relationships.

    I now only date short term/casually and am satisfied with life. So I'd say the first and second relationships are important for both learning about the other gender and yourself. Only after can you decide what you want in life.

    • If you are happy dating casually that's great, glad you found that out. I would however, say that you should make that very clear to the other person. If they get deeply invested but you still view it as casual and can end it any time you want that may make them feel unimportant. That's kind of the feeling I got towards the end with the girl I was dating and it sucks.

    • Great point and this is something I struggle with actually. Since I don't push these girls sexually, they tend to slot me into relationship category over hook up category. The first "short term relationship" after my second actual relationship was disastrous. I told the girl I don't take dating or relationships seriously however she started doing things like holding my hand in public, etc. After a month we dissolved and she became irate, accusing me of leading her on, etc. Anyhow while I don't want to flat out shut these girls down, I do block any sort of excessive affection attempts they throw at me because I don't want to give them the wrong idea.

      I don't want to turn this into a gender war but from the first "asexual" casual relationship I understood what guys meant by the "double standard". This girl took being led on so hard and yet most guys I know have been led on 10-20 times. Almost as if girls are allowed to lead guys on but the reverse is not allowed. Odd!

    • That's good that you do that, it can avoid a lot of hurt feelings when it ends.

      Also I do kinda get what you're saying about being led on. It hurts us guys just as much as it hurts girls. Really people shouldn't do it at all, it messes with peoples emotions when one is thinking they're getting into a serious relationship and the other is in it casually or possibly not really looking for a relationship at all. That's where communication is super important and I'm glad I learned that in my first relationship because in the next one I'll know how important it is.

  • There is too much "noise" in the sense of social media, hook-up culture, and FOMO, (among plenty of other things) for first relationships to work out. The younger you are, the more likely things are to fail.

    • I could understand that point of view. It would also be nice to think there are people out there who are caring and committed enough to make a first relationship work out. You're right though, those are definitely some difficult challenges that young relationships can go through.