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-> ''Behold four little white doves''\\
''Perched on a rosemary bush''\\
''They were saying to each other,''\\
''"There's no love like the [[TitleDrop first love".]]''
--> ''[[Literature/AmericanGirlsCollection Josefina Learns a Lesson]]''

Ah… first love. The love that is remembered the most fondly by the [[AllLoveIsUnrequited participant]], as this is commonly what people experience when they first have a first crush, but it is also the love before the SecondLove, if that should ever happen, and for a guy, he usually holds her memory very close to him if he is a widower whereas for young girls, the memory of the First Love they ever had is a special memory to them, especially if he later becomes the boyfriend they've longed for.

On the other side, if the relationship with the First Love doesn't turn out the way they hoped for, the girl or boy might end up having a revelation that the SecondLove is in fact better for them even though memories of the First Love linger.

There is also the story arc that comes along with the First Love when it turns out well for both involved--that "special, sweet, innocent first love" that often plays a major part in ComingOfAgeStories like ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'' for instance.

The phrase is somewhat common in [[RomanticComedy Romantic Comedies]], where the heroine is likely to say with a sigh, "Oh, he was my First Love!" or something along those lines. In action films, the concept of the First Love tends to pop up as TheLostLenore for any action hero, male or female.

Compare TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest, where the first love is hard to get over and SecondLove, where the lover who has been in mourning for his First Love finds love again with his SecondLove. Also compare WrongGuyFirst, where the First Love turns out to be wrong for the lover, and FirstGirlWins, where the girl the boy first meets in the story ends up becoming his first and forever love, although sometimes this is turned on its head and she is actually his SecondLove, since this trope is mainly about how a boy meets a girl (or vice versa) within their series, but meeting someone first doesn't necessarily determine true love.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/CandyCandy'', the protagonist Candy's first love was Anthony Brown, a PrincelyYoungMan who treats her well and kindly [[UptownGirl despite their social differences]]. They even get to share a DanceOfRomance! [[spoiler: But that ended badly, when Anthony died in a riding accident ''in front of Candy'']].
* ''Anime/InuYasha'''s first love was Kikyou, and he was hers. Unfortunately, their plans to be together were ruined by Naraku, who turned them against each other, leading to Kikyou's death and Inuyasha being sealed away by her. Eventually, she is sort-of-revived from the dead, enabling them to resolve their issues before she eventually dies for real, and Inuyasha ends up together with his SecondLove Kagome.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' had a one-sided shallow crush on Sakura, but it was ''never'' romantic love. [[ShipSinking He also stopped having a crush on her after Chapter 469]]. Even before that chapter, [[LovingAShadow his crush was more about his rivalry with Sasuke, whom Sakura always loved and whom Naruto wanted to beat out at something for once]], which was implied back in [[http://www.mangapanda.com/naruto/3/17 Chapter 3]]. It was established in ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'' (a canonical {{Interquel}} bridging the two last chapters of the series) and confirmed by [[WordOfGod Kishimoto himself]] that Sakura was his first crush, while [[spoiler:Hinata]] is both his FirstLove and [[OneTrueLove only love]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[ComicBook/TheFoxHunt Paul Patton Jr.'s]] First Love was one Linda Peggy. Who just so happened to have grown up to be the villainess Dream Demon.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'': Gwen Stacy was this for Peter Parker. While he dated other women before her, Gwen was this first woman Peter had truly loved. [[ComicBook/TheNightGwenStacyDied Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'': Before he actually fell in love with Ellie, Manfred the mammoth is actually revealed to have a first wife and child in a flashback sequence who unfortunately end up being stabbed to death by humans, which explains why Manfred not only hated humans because of this, but also started to think that he is the last mammoth on Earth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* In the film ''Film/FiveHundredDaysOfSummer'' this leans heavily on the positive end of the SecondLove idea, where boy finds girl. Boy falls head over heels for girl. Girl breaks up with boy. Boy is heartbroken because he has failed to win his First Love, but he recovers once he realises that the SecondLove is not only better but that fate had had a hand in getting them together, and they live happily ever after.
* ''Film/ImGonnaGitYouSucka''. Jack Spade's mother Belle was once in love with John Slade and almost married him. They broke up because he spent so much time fighting crime, and she married the man who became Jack's father. Near the end of the movie she falls in love with John Slade again.
* ''{{Film/Miao Miao}}'' has this for the main characters, as explained by Miao Miao's monologue near the end of the movie.
* ''Film/TheImitationGame'': Christopher is the first boy the teenaged Alan Turing develops romantic feelings for.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Given the quote above, this trope is referenced in one of the Literature/AmericanGirlsCollection of stories, this one being Josefina's, whose [[MissingMom mother has died]] before the series began, and it turns out the poem was a favorite of hers, even though she could not read, although the reader is allowed to infer that Josefina's papa read it to her mother, and their relationship was very close, as it takes Josefina's father some time to grow to [[SecondLove love her aunt, Tia' Dolores]].
* In ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'', Anne Shirley was always Gilbert Blythe's First Love since that moment she cracked a slate over his head, and he faithfully waited for years for her, hoping she would realise his love.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Harry's was Cho Chang. Although it was not so much love as a crush that got ''really'' complicated, not helped by the fact this relationship started while Cho was morning the death of ''her'' first love, Cedric Diggory.
** On the flipside, Harry was ''Ginny's'' First Love, and he even ends up with her when the series concludes in a triumphant case of FirstGirlWins. While Ginny dated other people before Harry, she fully admits that she never quite got over her crush on him.
** Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who dated other people before getting together. They just really only loved each other, as the other relationships were shallow or to make the other jealous.
** Albus Dumbledore's first love (who was also his ClosetKey) was Gellert Grindelwald, the previous Dark Lord before Voldemort. Grindelwald was also his ''only'' love, mainly because he was such a ManipulativeBastard that he used Dumbledore's attraction to him in hopes of keeping his one intellectual and magical equal chained by his side. [[TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest Dumbledore swore off falling in love ever again for fear of losing his moral compass like he had during the brief time spent together in their youth]].
* ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'': in this TearJerker of a novel, this trope is subtly implied with the friendship between Jess and his friend Leslie, a girl who introduces him to the titular Terabithia, and this variety of the "special, sweet, innocent" type of first love, on both Jess and Leslie's parts, as Jess realises it was not his teacher he was really in love with, but Leslie. [[spoiler: Thus her death hits him hard.]]
* In the ''Literature/CassonFamilySeries'', Rose Casson's First Love has always been American [[FirstGirlWins boy]] Tom Levin, and fans are waiting eagerly to see the long-anticipated [[RelationshipUpgrade resolution]] to their relationship.
* In Creator/CharlesDickens' novel ''Literature/DavidCopperfield'', this is an important element, used both ways, [[spoiler:since David marries his first love, Dora, only to realise that they are not well-suited. He loves her but she can't be a partner to him. Upon her death, he marries Agnes, who considered ''him'' to be her first love, and who had loved him the whole time. A rare case of both the unhappy First Love type and the triumphant First Love type, for Agnes, who ultimately ends up marrying David - in one story]].
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry's First Love was Elaine Lillian Mallory, a fellow apprentice of a wizard he learned dark magic from. Given Harry's [[CartwrightCurse luck with women, or lack thereof]], it ended somewhat badly, and when she reappears in a later novel, Harry is feels pangs when he sees her again.
* An important element in the novels of Creator/JaneAusten, who uses the First Love trope often under the role of WrongGuyFirst, and her examples are as follows:
** In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Lizzie is infatuated with Wickham before she eventually realising that he is not a decent person and that Darcy, a man she scorned, is a true gentleman. The concept of the first love is also humorously undermined when Mr Collins rapidly transfers his affections from Jane to Lizzie to Charlotte Lucas.
** In ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', Marianne has to move past Willoughby before appreciating the worth of Colonel Brandon. Prior to the story beginning, Edward Ferrars has imprudently gotten engaged to Lucy Steele, which prevents him from courting Elinor.
** These are all examples of First Loves going wrong, but Austen also has a few examples among her repertoire of First Love turning out right:
*** In ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'', Anne's early romance with Captain Wentworth had been scuttled by her family, but she never forgot him. Their paths cross again years later and she has to watch him court others before eventually winning him back.
*** In ''{{Literature/Emma}}'', Emma thinks she's in love with Frank Churchill, but when she discovers her true feelings for another she realises she never really loved Frank. Meanwhile, she persuades Harriet that her first love wasn't good enough for her, so Harriet sets her sights on various unobtainable men before gratefully accepting her first love's proposal again.
*** In ''Literature/MansfieldPark'', Edmund has to burned by Mary Crawford before he recognises Fanny's worth and Fanny is almost tempted away from Edmund, her first love, by Mary's brother Henry.
* Creator/GeorgetteHeyer uses this trope several times in her novels. One notable example is ''Literature/BathTangle'' in which one main character has to recognise the shallowness of her attachment to her First Love before accepting a match with [[BelligerentSexualTension an antagonistic friend.]] The issue of First Love versus SecondLove is even more seriously in ''Literature/ACivilContract'', in which the main character is unable to marry his First Love, but ultimately develops a deeper (if less passionate) emotional bond with the wife he married for her fortune.
* Captain Paul Tankersley for Literature/HonorHarrington. He was the executive officer to her biggest enemy in the first book, ''On Basilisk Station''; they met again in ''The Short Victorious War'' when he oversaw repairs to her battlecruiser ''HMS Nike'', and became sparring partners and subsequently lovers. His [[spoiler:death and her grief in ''Field of Dishonor'']] drive her character arc for the next several books, and it takes her years to fall in love again. Though she ultimately ends up [[spoiler:HappilyMarried to her SecondLove Hamish Alexander, Earl White Haven (and [[{{Polyamory}} by extension his wife Emily as well]]), she keeps Paul's memory in her heart all her life]], naming her private yacht after him.
* Early in ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses'' is the story of Apollo and his first love, Daphne.
* In ''Seeds'' by M. M. Kin Persephone is Hades' first and only love. He was FriendsWithBenefits with Leuce and Minthe before, but Persephone is the first woman he loves for real. Unfortunately this means he often acts like a lovesick teenager and do stupid thing in order to keep her by his side.
* ''Literature/SavingCharlie'' is about Hiro's time-traveling shenanigans in order to win and save Charlie, the first girl who has ever even so much as given him the time of day. They've both had crushes on other people, and Charlie has [[GreenEyedMonster a jealous ex]], but neither has felt anything quite like this relationship.
* Deuce and Penny in ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}''. Despite the fact that both of them are completely wrapped up in the experience of First Love, they're disastrously wrong for each other.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{iCarly}}'', Freddie Benson's first crush and his first love will always be Carly Shay, and he is so sincere in this that he has told her that he will be her second husband if necessary, implying that he will always stay true to his First Love.
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Finn is Rachel's First Love, while Quinn is Finn's First Love. Cheating, breakups, hypocrisy, DatingDoSiDo and RelationshipWritingFumble ensue... HandWaved with the phrase "You can forgive your First Love anything".
** Kurt and Blaine are each other's first loves. They even call each other that while they are breaking up. They get back together, of course.
** Brittany is Santana's First Love as well as her ClosetKey.
* In ''Series/WildPalms'', Paige Katz is Harry's first love from college. His wife, Gracie, is of course suspicious when Paige and Harry become close again after years apart.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Buffy and Angel: Angel never really loved anyone before, being a drunken wastrel when he was alive and demon after his death. Buffy never loved anyone before, as she was sixteen when they met (and [[{{Squick}} fifteen]] when he first saw her).
* Lancelot was Guinevere's first love, and is explicitly identified as such on ''Series/{{Merlin}}''.
* Matt for Elena on ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. They were childhood friends who began a romance during their high school years.
* Will was Ingrid's first love on ''Series/YoungDracula'', he's also pretty much the first person to get to know her properly [[spoiler: Ingrid even has fond memories of him four years after his death]] She even refers to him as the closest thing she could get to a soulmate.
* Series/{{Arrowverse}}
** ''Series/{{Arrow}}'':
*** Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance. Even though they never really get back together, it's fairly obvious that they still love each other. [[spoiler:When Laurel died, it drove Oliver closer to a breakdown than ever before. His complicated feelings for Black Siren, Laurel's Earth-2 counterpart, specifically his desire to redeem her, is partially motivated out of the love he still has for his Laurel]].
*** Nyssa al Ghul's first love was Sara Lance, and her actress outright states that Sara was the love of her life. It gets deconstructed during Nyssa's first appearance: because Sara was the first person she ever loved in such a fashion, Nyssa was determined to make Sara come back to the League of Assassins by any means necessary, including poisoning Sara's sister Laurel and kidnapping and threatening to kill Sara's mother. It was only after Sara nearly committed suicide to ensure she'd never have to go back that Nyssa finally relented and released her from her vows.
** ''Series/TheFlash2014'': Barry Allen's is Iris West. He's loved her all his life, before he even knew what love was, and while he's tried to move on from her (with Linda Park, and later Patty Spivot), it always comes back to her in the end. With Iris, it's a little more complicated -- while she started a relationship with Eddie Thawne first, and did love him, it's more-or-less confirmed that she loved Barry long before she had even met Eddie, and that she just hadn't realized it yet.
** ''Series/Supergirl2015'': While she did have a crush on James Olsen first, Kara Danvers/Zor-El's first true love was [[spoiler:Prince]] Mon-El of Daxam. It goes both ways -- [[LadykillerInLove before he met Kara]], Mon-El was TheCasanova. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, they're also StarCrossedLovers. After Queen Rhea refuses to stop the Daxamite Invasion of Earth even after being personally defeated in TrialByCombat by Supergirl, Kara has no choice but to infuse the Earth's atmosphere with lead, making it poisonous to Daxamites and forcing Mon-El off-planet]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/JustinBieber: "My first love broke my heart for the first time, and I was like BABY BAY BAY OH"
* "TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest" by Cat Stevens [[CoveredUp and later Sheryl Crow]] is [[LampshadeHanging all about this trope.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'':
** Aerith and Zack. After Zack's death, Aerith initially felt attracted to Cloud because he reminded her of Zack, [[DeadPersonImpersonation with good reason]], though she eventually comes to realize that the two men are indeed very different in terms of personality and comes to appreciate and love Cloud as his own. [[spoiler:In ''Advent Children'', she and Zack are reunited via TogetherInDeath, but there's no longer indication of romance between them.]]
** Cloud's first love was his childhood friend Tifa, whom he can optionally fall for again, though all subsequent materials deliberately choose to keep the status of their relationship up for debate.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', if [[BodyguardCrush Frederick and Lissa]] get together, she specifically points out that Frederick was her childhood crush.
** If [[spoiler:Lissa's son]] Owain gets together with Cynthia, he will tell her that she was his first love. Same goes to Cynthia, if she hooks up with Inigo. Both cases double as ChildhoodFriendRomance. (It's also implied that Cynthia ''may'' have been Gerome's first love, but it's not clear.)
** PlayedforDrama in the backstories of [[spoiler:Lon'qu]] and [[spoiler:Cordelia]], though [[SecondLove both of them can get better.]]
* In VideoGame/TheLastOfUs, [[spoiler: the Left Behind DLC is the story of Ellie's short lived and tragic first love with her best friend Riley, and how it has affected her outlook in the present day.]]
* The Warden can be this for Alistair or Morrigan in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' (Zevran and Leliana, the other two love interests, are a case of [[SecondLove Second Love]]), and it can turn out [[HappilyMarried well]] or... [[HeroicSacrifice bad]][[DeusSexMachina ly]].
** Notably, a Trevelyan or Lavellan romancing Cullen in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' is likely his First Love, given his background with the Templars--but, depending on the backstory, she can also be the [[SecondLove Second Love]] due to Cullen's crush on an Amell or Surana Warden.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect'', the player can be Liara's first love if they choose to romance her.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'', Ava Crescentia was Kayto Shields’ childhood friend and first love, although he’d dated other girls before her. Unfortunately their relationship didn’t pan out, as she left for the military right after graduating from high school and they wouldn’t see each other again for twelve years. By the time they meet again, they’ve become officers aboard a military starship and Ava won’t renew their past relationship because it would make them InappropriatelyCloseComrades.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComic]]
* ''Webcomic/CheckPlease'': Has a situation that is heartwarming to some and heart breaking to others. While the OfficialCouple [[spoiler:Bitty and Jack]] are heavily implied in year 3 to be this to each other, the same comic that implies this also implies that Jack [[spoiler:was this to Kent, who is still hung up on him, while Jack believes that their relationship was doomed to fail and never much more than physical, something he intended to end for the sake of his career, while he is more than happy to make some sacrifices in his career now that he is with Bitty]].
* ''Webcomic/AlwaysRainingHere'' has [[spoiler:David]] as this to Adrian, before he finally moved on to [[SecondLove Carter]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/a-loaf-story A Loaf Story]], an entry from ''Wiki/TheWanderersLibrary'', chronicles this for two young loaves of bread.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'': Protagonist Danny Fenton aka Danny Phantom had a massive crush on Paulina, but wised up after becoming more aware of her unpleasant personality. And eventually he starts a romance with Sam.
* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'': Margaret was this to Mordecai, before [[spoiler:he moved on to C.J. and later on his unnamed bat wife.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Middle school and high school crushes are very common occurrences of first love in real life.
* Also, in some rare cases, the PuppyLove can cause this between one or both of the participants in the relationship, although it usually happen in the case of the First Love turning out wrong for both participants.
[[/folder]]
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