Lessons Learned From First Breakups

First loves are magical. You enter a whole new world of holding hands, kissing, dating ... and it can also be an intense and emotional time. But with first loves comes the inevitable first breakup. Most first relationships do end, leaving teen girls to deal with a whole new set of emotions, including heartbreak. The good news? There is a silver lining in all of this: The lessons girls can learn from that first breakup.

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First breakup lesson #4: What they really want

Before you've been in a relationship, it's hard to say what you really want in a guy. But after being in one, teens can begin to narrow down what you are looking for. That's a good thing!

"They can learn more about what they do and don't want in a relationship by 'sampling the buffet.' They also can learn to love and respect themselves, so their self-esteem is not dependent upon a man's opinion of them. I remember well the breakup of my first serious love relationship. When he cheated on me after 2 years of dating, I broke up with him, then took him back after he promised fidelity. A year later, when he cheated again, I told him, 'My feelings about you have not changed at all. I love you as much as I ever did, but my feelings about myself have changed a great deal, and I deserve to be treated better," says child and family psychologist Katie McCorkle, Ph.D.

First breakup lesson #5: They will survive

Survival is one of the more baser instincts, and it's one that is largely reinforced when a girl falls in love, gets hurt and survives the whole thing. "If she can allow herself to feel the hurt and rise above it, in time she will learn that she can go through anything with grace and belief in herself. This will take her a long way in her life and help her develop self-esteem, which is so important in any teen's life," says Love.

What parents can do

As a parent, you want to shield your child from hurt and pain. But some hurts are necessary to development. The key, as a parent, is to listen without trying to fix your child. You aren't there to change what happened -- you're there to be a sounding board and perhaps even relate to the experiences of your child.

"Do not judge her or the boy. Reassure her that she is loved and lovable, and that loving and respecting herself is the path to finding the relationship of her dreams! When girls (and women) realize that they attract men who mirror back to them what they think of themselves, it becomes inspiration to love and respect ourselves more," says McCorkle.

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Comments on "Teen girls and breakups: Helping them move on"

ButterflyCurls October 19, 2012 | 11:59 AM

Dr. JYOT Falling in love as a teenager does not necessarily mean it's caused by ual hormones. Love, Is Love-- Not . Really! Are you really a doctor or trying to be taken seriously...

cleopatra June 29, 2012 | 11:54 AM

A teenager is at a very tender age where they get very attached an emotional and sensitive about every thing they are dealing with. At this age parents need to play a very important role...to show that they are always there around their teenage kids not bossing over but just being around. Also i believe that falling in love is a very beautiful feeling and breakups are a good lesson. If a relationship does not last its just not worth it. I have seen so many young gals all heart broken and depressed after a breakup. Yes it does take time to get over but once that time is up you need to move on. It is very easy to say but difficult to follow but time heals all the pain. Every individual is important and every person has his own value. If someone does not understand and respect you its just not worth being around that person.. Every girl needs to understand that she can do anything and does not need a guy to laugh or to cry too..

Dr. JYOT November 11, 2011 | 2:19 AM

Teenage emotional development is the results of ual hormones which make the their reproductive system, primary & secondory reproductive organs MATURE for REPREODUCTION> It is normal and will happen sooner or little letter, but duting teenage..

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