Why Can’t I Get Over My First Love? Advice Column

Ask a Witch is StyleCaster’s advice column offering sage advice and practical magic for modern problems. Every Friday, our resident witch Roya Backlund will answer your most vulnerable conundrums through the lens of astrology, Tarot, and spirituality. Submit questions to askawitch@stylecaster.com, along with your birth information—date, time, and location—as well as birth information for other parties involved, if you have it. Hex what vexes you: Ask a Witch.

Dear Roya,

I’ve reached a breaking point in my life.

I’m in my 50s and have always carried a torch for my first love. We fell in love in our 20s, and it ended when he left me. I think our relationship ended because he wanted kids and I didn’t. I had just started my career, and he got a job in a neighboring state, so we went our separate ways.

We continued dating long-distance for a while, but he ended up meeting someone else. On paper, they seemed more compatible than we were, but in my opinion, he didn’t marry for love and regrets his decision. After him, I had another long-term relationship, but it never reached the same depth as my first love.

30 years later, I was still thinking of him, so I decided to reach out to him online. To my delight, he confessed that he never forgot me and still loves me! However, he’s married, so we haven’t met up in person.

The main obstacle to us being together isn’t his marriage, because he says he’s unhappy and would divorce his wife. He can’t move forward because his family has recently gone through a truly terrible tragedy, leaving him spiritually broken and consumed with anxiety and depression. It’s become impossible for him to make any changes in his life, even if he wants to.

We’ve been talking online for a year, and I can’t seem to let him go. I cannot seem to feel the love I feel for him with anyone else. No one else even interests me or comes close to making me feel what he does.

I feel so lost and hopeless, and everyone around me thinks I should just be able to move on, but I can’t. I’m certain—to the very core of my soul—that he’s is the person I was meant for. We’ve started referring to each other as “the love of my life” and naming each other as soulmates. In 30 years, we have never forgotten each other, but it also feels too complicated.

Why can’t I get over my first love?

Sincerely,Timeless Timing

Photo: Alexander Bemis. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

Dear Timeless Timing,

Oh boy. You have a heart that blocks out all reason, which makes life feel technicolor when you’re in love. How do I know this? Because I can relate. You and I are both Cancer risings, which makes us deep feelers, hopeless romantics, and incredibly private individuals. Cancer risings are sensitive to even the most imperceptible energies, which means we often feel what others cannot feel and see what others do not see. The truth is that being so porous to energetic vibrations can be an incredibly isolating experience. Anyone who has an ascendant in a water sign—Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces—will always feel somewhat remote from the rest of the world. (Learn more about your rising sign or ascendant.)

When you explain your situation to others, they probably don’t understand it. You were together 30 years ago—why is it so difficult to move on? Cancer risings can’t just “move on” from something—or someone—they loved with every fiber of their being. Like me, your fifth house of love and pleasure is ruled by Scorpio, the zodiac sign of passion, intensity, and emotional investment. This part of you that yearns for deep, transformational love is emphasized by the fact that your natal Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are in Scorpio, living in your romantic fifth house. You crave magical, exalting, and out-of-this-world love or nothing at all, which makes it hard to let go when you’ve found someone who actually makes you feel something. The timing may be off, but it doesn’t change how you feel about your first love.

It’s not easy when your natal Venus is in Scorpio. In fact, Venus—planet of love—hates being in Scorpio. In Scorpio, Venus has to do a lot of work to feel loved, which means Venus in Scorpio people either have their hearts completely shut off or wide open, letting everything inside. There is no in-between. For you, love has been marked by effort, making it feel like it’s never been easy to satisfy the yearnings of your heart. Your birth chart also shows your Venus opposing your natal Saturn in Taurus. Because Saturn is the planet of karma and restriction, it has brought many delays to your love life. It’s no surprise that it’s taken 30 years for you to reconnect with your soulmate, and yet, the timing still feels off. (Learn more about your Venus sign.)

When I look at your relationship synastry with your first love, I see that he looks up to you and feels emotionally validated by you. However, I can also see that he loves you in secret. Your first love has his Venus in Gemini, and it’s situated in your 12th house of unseen energies and self-undoing. This means you share an incredibly deep connection in which you know each other completely, but the rest of the world has no idea. Love affairs live and breathe in the 12th house, but it can be arduous for that love to remain pure in public when on display for other people’s judgment. (Learn more about the 12 houses of astrology.)

Sometimes, people from our past get under our skin, and they’ll always remain with us. I can also see that you and your first love have a deep, unbreakable bond that will always be part of you. However, it will probably always hurt on some level. In your birth chart, Chiron—ruler of your deepest wounds and healing abilities—forms an exact conjunction with your first love’s natal Saturn. Because Saturn is the planet of boundaries and longevity, this binds you together forever. You feel a heavy responsibility to each other, as though you are supposed to be together. However, because Chiron is the planet of healing, it may always feel like you have a painful wound together that must be healed. Your first love is going through a major life tragedy, and your comfort and support is helping him through it. You will likely always be brought together by tragedies, showing up in each others’ lives during times of crisis.

You’ve been reconnecting with your first love for the past year, and during that time, these lifelong relationship dilemmas have been reactivated. Jupiter—planet of abundance and expansion—has been moving through Taurus, opposing your Venus in Scorpio and increasing your desire for love. And right now, it’s approaching an exact conjunction to your natal Saturn in Taurus. Not only do these restrictions in your love life feel more prominent, but so do your desires. Your heart is yearning for your first love in a way that makes these obstacles seem completely pointless. It’s making you want to overcome all odds and find a way to be together, even if the facts point otherwise.

The emotions you feel toward your first love are only getting stronger, and by late April, they are bound to reach a breaking point. Right now, Jupiter is careening toward a once-in-a-lifetime conjunction with Uranus—planet of revolution and sudden changes—which will be exact on April 20, 2024. This has the power to topple some of the structures that have held you back in your relationships, and while I don’t know how things will turn out for you and your first love, your perspective of the situation could change in some way within the next few months. And one thing is for sure—it’s teaching you a powerful lesson. (Read your 2024 horoscope for each zodiac sign.)

Even though it feels like everything is standing in the way of what you want, astrology shows us that we are also engineers of our own problems. You can’t control the circumstances surrounding your first love, and the impossibility of your situation is increasing the passion and intensity. In a way, what’s holding you back from finding love is also what’s inspiring you to find it. Love is just as much an action as it is a feeling.

As you continue to process this relationship, you may ask yourself a lot of questions. Should you be patient for the promise of love? Or do you need to be honest with yourself about what you’re willing to wait for and settle for? You have been given a link back to your first love, but you haven’t been given full access to him. It’s as if the door handle has been turned, but the door has not opened completely. And you’re still waiting to see if you’ll ever be able to fully enter his world. Is the passion leaking through that crack in the doorway enough to satiate you? Or are you simply choosing a form of love that feels familiar to you—a love that always feels held back?

You were born on a full moon, Timeless. People who were born on a full moon have lives marked by intensity and inner conflict, as the moon (ruler of your inner self) and the sun (ruler of your outer self) are in exact opposition with each other. To further complicate things, the ruler of your birth chart is your Gemini moon in the 12th house of subconscious energies and self-undoing. You’re someone who feels comfortable with secrets—someone who is good at keeping their cards as close to the chest as possible and putting on a front in order to protect your sensitive nature. Chances are, what makes you happy will not always align with what other people think “happiness” should look like. You’re not someone who easily fits into conventional ideas of love, existence, and partnership. You are someone who’s used to sacrificing themselves for the sake of someone else—someone who is willing to give up being “seen” for the sake of being “loved.” (Learn more about your moon sign).

Even though the people in your life are telling you to move on—that this isn’t good for you—only you understand what’s good for you. But the way your desires unfold may also keep you in a perpetual cycle of having to hide your true feelings. Maybe that works for you, and you need to make peace with the fact that not everyone will understand it. But if there’s a part of you that feels you need more than a love affair shrouded in secrets, the intensity of your relationship with your first love is simply bringing you to that realization.

Over the next year, you’ll peel back more layers of this conundrum, and as you continue your soul-searching, more answers will follow. Jupiter enters Gemini on May 25, 2024, and on October 9, 2024, Jupiter will station retrograde at 21 degrees (the same degree as your moon in Gemini). This will reveal major truths about who you are, what you want, and what you need to heal until early 2025. Only time will tell how you decide to proceed with this love story, but instead of focusing all your heart on your first love, his tragedy, and helping him heal, remember that your needs matter too. Even though it has always felt like your options are limited—especially when it comes to love—you need to know that you have agency. As Jupiter blesses you with continued personal growth, it will become harder and harder for you to suppress your true needs for the sake of your wants. The more you evolve, the harder it becomes to fall into familiar patterns.

This story’s ending is not necessarily about whether you and your first love will be together, but whether the paradoxical parts of yourself can find a way to align. All the obstacles standing in the way of you and your first love are also a reflection of your inner contradictions—the parts of you that can’t seem to agree with each other. In a way, this relationship is a manifestation of your own inner conflict and the way you’ve always kept parts of yourself a secret. As you continue to find common ground between your inner self and your outer self, you’ll be able to see your situation with your first love more clearly. And eventually, you’ll make a decision that’s right for you.


About Roya

Roya Backlund is StyleCaster’s Senior Lifestyle & Astrology Editor and a professional witch. Born in Los Angeles on May 26—the same day as Stevie Nicks—she’s been obsessed with the zodiac since she discovered she was a Gemini as a child. Her interest in mysteries and the occult began in the metaphysical section at her local Borders. If you’re a fan of astrology, spirituality, and witchcraft, you’ve probably read her horoscopes and lifestyle articles, which have appeared elsewhere in Elite Daily, PopSugar, Astrology.com, and more. Whether you want to delve deeper into your birth chart or interpret signs from your spirit guides, Roya’s got you covered.

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