Notes on surviving your first heartbreak, from famous ladies who’ve been there

You never forget your first love. I know, I know, this is cheesy but some things are cliché for a good reason — they’re true.  There is a reason songs (or entire albums!), films and novels are dedicated to the magic of first loves. While some first loves last, they sometimes dissolve as couples grow older and apart. And though the love fades away, the experience is often significant in shaping who we become.

Everyone’s been there. Everyone. In a recent Today interview, Jennifer Lopez called Ben Affleck her “first big heartbreak.” She also came away with some wisdom from the experience. “What you need to know is, nobody can save you or heal you,’” Lopez said. “Only you can do that for you.” Ain’t it the truth. Here are some more truths from women who’ve gone through the worst, the hardest, the very first broken heart and survived — triumphantly.

1. Taylor Swift

“The longer you’re with the wrong person, you could be completely overlooking the chance to meet the right person.”

2.  Rashida Jones

On Celeste and Jesse Forever, the perfect film about navigating a relationship with your first love. 

“So, in a way, this is a story about your first love. And what do you do with the love you feel for your first love? Can you take it with you, can it still be a part of your life, can you integrate it into your life? Do you have to let them go forever to move on? Can you be friends eventually? It’s complicated. And it’s something I relate to strongly.”

3. Amy Poehler

4.  Anne Hathaway

“I think the thing that I have learned is that a bad love experience is no reason to fear a new love experience, but you have to be very honest at every single stage with the person about how you’ve been hurt, and hopefully they will be supportive about whatever it is that you have to go through. . . Everybody has bad relationships and, at the end of the day, they are just a great way to set yourself up for a good relationship.”

5. Carey Mulligan

“I don’t think [first love is] overrated. I think in retrospect you probably see it differently. But at the time it is everything to you. It is the greatest feeling in the world. I think it’s only when you look back on things that you think maybe they were not as real as you believed or weren’t as significant.”

6. Ellen DeGeneres  

“There is something that you learn when you have a broken heart. Not that I didn’t cherish love before but I really treasure it now, I really understand how hard it is to find. I think being the person I am now, if I met her tomorrow I probably wouldn’t be with her. But I was a different person then, and I’ve learned a whole lot.”

7. Jessica Simpson

“You go through the mourning stage, then the rebellion and then all of a sudden you have to find life by yourself. Once you do that, you feel complete — and that’s the only time you can truly fall in love again, and give yourself over completely to another person.”

8. Jennifer Aniston

“You don’t want to shut your heart down. . . You can survive anything. Compared to what other people are surviving out there in the world, this is not so bad, in the grand scheme of things. Human endurance is unbelievable.”

9. Lena Dunham

“You will find that there’s a certain grace to having your heart broken.”

10. Alexa Chung

“Nobody goes through life without having their heart broken and one day you’ll wake up and it will be okay.”

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