First loves are unforgettable. This is especially true of first loves ending tragically. We all have reasons for stubbornly holding on our first starry-eyed relationship. Some subconsciously bookmark a time when romantic love is first awakened. Others remember just how sharp of an arrow Cupid’s bow shoots.
Whatever the list of reasons for memorializing those early relationships, we must guard our hearts to ensure the pain of youthful or inexperienced love does not negatively impact our future relationships. Grace’s story is an excellent example of how experiencing a bitter relationship at a young age can form defective or flowed patterns for future relationships:
“Matt was my first love. He was my boyfriend, high-school crush, and senior prom date. I remember all too well the extravagant dress my father paid a small fortune for and the excitement I felt leading up to Friday night’s dance. My emotions were high and my heart totally unprepared for the pain that was to follow.
“Can you imagine the rejection I felt, arriving at the dance only to watch Matt flirt and dance with every other girl in the room? Crushed, embarrassed, mad, and confused I questioned what was wrong with me. Was I not pretty enough? Did my breath smell? Did I look like a freak dancing?
Three-quarters of the way through the dance I left with a friend in a full-blown rage. To make matters worse, the next day I found out Matt had taken another girl home and had sex with her. My outlook on love and relationships was forever tainted. This crushing encounter with my first love set the tone for decades of wrong decisions. Thoroughly convinced all men were unreliable, liars, cheaters, and only out for sex, I expected nothing less in future relationships—and that is exactly what I experienced.”
A similar story may have happened to you. It may not have occurred at your prom, but somewhere in your past, a negative relationship experience formed your expectations for future relationships. Although rejection is unavoidable, how it affects future relationships is entirely your decision. Rejection is like a two-sided coin, with one side branded “bitter” and the other side stamped “better.” Only you can decide if the fingerprints of rejection will leave trace marks of pain or lead you to a higher purpose.
Like photos on a time line, rejection is a proven memory maker. The memories you call to mind most often give shape to future thoughts and actions. A constant stream of negative memories is similar to pouring blood into a shark tank. It attracts hungry predators who seek to consume the broken and bleeding.
I use this illustration to emphasize that negative thoughts breed negative reactions. If your goal is to prevent wrong relationships from affecting future relationships, you must rinse away the bitter aftertaste of relationships gone wrong from your thought life.
Are you gaining a sense of peace from Dr. Tracey’s godly advice? You might also enjoy Loving and Leaving
A national conference speaker, Tracey travels 40+ weeks a year, sharing Biblical principles and wisdom. Her real life experiences – though painful and challenging enable her to identify with the hurting, lonely, and rejected. Whether speaking corporate CEO’s or the homeless, Tracey’s passion for re-writing the lives of the brokenhearted makes her messages relevant and empowering.
A frequent television guest and host of “Today With Tracey”, she is an advocate of those having experienced rejection, poverty or emotional abuse.
Her new book release, “Downside Up”, via Thomas Nelson Publishers, will be available spring 2013. To learn more about the author please visit Tracey Mitchell