If you’re lucky, you’re able to experience love for the first time and if you’re REALLY lucky, you’re able to experience love for the first time and not heartache. We’re all told how important it is to treat others how you would want to be treated, but that’s never really clear until you realize what it’s like not to be treated well. In most instances, the guy is always to blame, but not in my case. I treated a man very poorly, but didn’t realize it until someone new was already doing the same to me.
It begins early and it starts really quick. You’re 16 years old and think you have everything figured out. He’s a little bit older than you, he’s kind, passionate, driven, ambitious, and thinks the sun shines out of your ass. Could he be more perfect? The answer is no. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but now this is going to be ‘the’ guy. This is going to be the guy you compare every man to for the rest of your life. Here’s why:
You date throughout high school, lose each other’s virginities to one another, experience a lot together for the first time, and fall head over heels in love with one another. You continue dating early into college, but something doesn’t feel right. You feel consumed by this person. Suddenly all you can think about is barely being able to breathe without them because you are basically the same. The anxiety kicks in and the feeling of growing apart is real. You’re not the same person you are when you’re 16 so how are you supposed to love like you’re 16? Somewhere down the road, you both began growing apart while becoming who you were going to be, but neither of you wanted to realize it. You’re not happy anymore and suddenly you’re finding yourself faking orgasms, faking being asleep, spending more time with friends, and checking out cute boys on campus you never even knew existed. It’s happening.
You’re not that 16-year-old girl falling in love for the first time. You’re that freshly 21-year-old woman looking for excitement, fun, laughs, and compliments from strangers. At 16, your first love’s opinion is the only one imaginable to care about, but at 21, you only really start to care about your own. At this point, yours is telling you “you need to have fun.” It’s time to stop being so serious and stop planning your future with a boy who would rather sit at home and watch Harry Potter movies all night than go for a walk and enjoy each other’s company. You loved that about him years ago, but now it’s old. It’s time for something new.
You slowly start to feel yourself give up on your relationship and you don’t realize it now because all you can see is PARTY PARTY PARTY, but you’re going to regret the next decision you make/how you make it. You pack your shit. This is in a hurry, so naturally, you’ve forgotten some things which will make for a heartbreaking pick up 2 months later, but you get out as fast as you can. You do this so fast because you’re afraid of what’s happening in the world and what you’re missing as you’re doing this that you don’t care what you’re leaving behind or even worse, who.
You spend the next few months partying like a rock star and he’s texting you, calling you at odd hours of the night while you’re at your new “boy toy’s” house and you don’t feel a single ounce of sadness, regret, guilt. Absolutely nothing. When you left, you forgot things, remember? But the main thing you forgot was your heart. You went through the next couple years completely incomplete because you were a savage. You were heartless. You were ruthless. I said you’d regret this, didn’t I? And here’s when. You see him in a bar and he can’t stop looking at you. He tells you how great you look, offers to take you home, and you begin crying. Even the tin man gets his heart back, right? You’re not crying because you’re sad, you’re crying because even though all of the heartache, sadness, and hate you’ve put him through, he’s there. Suddenly that boy you fell in love with at 16 is now a man at 23 and he’s still just as kind, passionate, and sweet. That’s what makes him your first love and that’s the kind of first love that means everything.
You begin to feel okay. At first, you couldn’t picture facing him again. The thought of hurting him as bad as you did and then leaving him hanging destroys you. But you don’t say a thing. You left too long ago to deserve to say anything now. You left, never looked back, and moved onto a new relationship. I’m sure that made him feel even better. This isn’t to make you feel shitty, but it’s a sense of closure. It’s a way of putting everything out there and accepting your failures or things you could have done differently. This is your release. This is your release from that terrible person you were who ran when things got tough. Now you can appreciate what was and what will be. You can appreciate that you are no longer heartless. You can appreciate that you were able to find peace in your decision and let go of what was.
You don’t talk at all anymore and you don’t really care too. Do you still love him? Absolutely. Are you still in love with him? Not at all. Something triggers the thought of him every now and then though. It could be a song, a smell, a phrase, or a memory and you smile at what was and feel sad about what happened and how it ended. You’ve moved on, but that first love will always mean everything. It’s better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all, right?