It was in 8th grade when I first thought he was cute. I didn’t yet know his name, but I smiled at him with my oh-so-stylish rainbow braces and middle part as he walked around the cafeteria past my table. I whispered about him to my friends and wondered if I would ever have a chance to talk to him. What I didn’t know was that boy would soon change my life.
Our first kiss was the following summer. I still remember the exact moment his lips began to move towards mine. I felt like the world was slowing down and we were the only people who mattered in that moment. When his lips touched mine, everything in the world felt right. I had never felt such a strong feeling in my life and I knew I could never let this boy go.
As time went on, I fell hard. I didn’t think it was possible to be a freshman in high school and feel so connected to a boy. I was so in love with him that I was scared. I didn’t know how to handle my feelings. I was so comfortable with him in every way possible, and everyone around us would comment about how we were perfect for each other. These comments just scared me more. I knew I wasn’t ready for such a serious relationship as an awkward little 14 year old.
After a lot of thinking and crying, I decided I had to let him go. I didn’t want to know a life without him, but I knew it was the only thing I could do so that we could both grow as separate people. There’s a famous quote that says, “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.” I desperately wanted to believe that we were meant to be, so I let him go and prayed that everything would work out for the best.
I still remember the first time I saw him smile when he was with another girl. I was surprised when I didn’t feel jealous, but I was genuinely happy that he was happy. This is when I knew I truly loved this guy. I didn’t want what was best for me, but only what was best for him.
For the next 5 years, we stayed in contact as friends, but we both dated other people. We were able to mature and experience new things as independent people. We would check in with each other every once in awhile and ask about each other’s relationships. At one point, I even gave him advice on how he could ask a girl to be his girlfriend.
As I dated other guys here and there, I was always comparing them to him in the back of my mind. No one could compare. I went through the motions, but I hadn’t felt a fraction of what I felt when I was with him. I began to wonder if maybe my high school boyfriend was really the only guy I would ever love.
It was a cold, snowy day when we finally reconnected. When we hugged, I felt like my heart went from being a half of a heart to being full again. I was happier than I had been in 6 years, and I never wanted to let go of him. When we locked eyes, it was the end of it all. All the doubts in my mind went away and I felt like I was home again. At that moment I knew I was going to marry this man, the love of my life.
Letting the love of my life go was the best decision I have made in my entire life. Even though it was hard, it allowed us to both realize that we are perfect for each other and there is no one out there that could change that. Our time apart let us experiment with other partners and figure life out on our own, and through our failures, we were lead back to each other. Now, we have no doubts at all, and we can now grow together forever.
Those few years apart are nothing compared to the lifetime that we will be able to spend together.