I’m Grateful For My First Love, And You Should Be Too

image - Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões
image – Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Today, being a 20-something female is empowering. All my girl friends, including myself, have made it this far on their own, without anyone by our side. And when I say anyone, I mean a man. For years now, we have told ourselves that no man could define who we were, and we were perfectly content with having our girls nights out and our random flings.

We matter-of-factly said that we loved the single life, claiming how much easier it was and this way, we didn’t have a care in the world. We could go out, come home whenever, either alone or with a cute guy. And never get our feelings hurt. I had become so used to the routine, that even the thought of a relationship was a foreign concept to me. I was so comfortable with the on and off dating, I started to question if I would ever have real feelings for someone.

Sure, I had liked guys, but if it started to fizzle away into nothing, it never seemed to bother me. Friends in relationships would tell me periodically that one day I would latch my feelings onto someone special. That I would feel something real. And they were right. I met him. It sounds so cliche, right? You meet the guy that flips your world upside down, takes the blinders off, guts everything you knew before inside out.

I would later find out, that when I do fall in love, I fall hard. I couldn’t see anything past him, it was reckless. Though I had never given my heart to anyone, he made it easy. I didn’t even know that I had it in me. But what I wasn’t expecting is that the love I felt wouldn’t be reciprocated.

It’s not like I fawned over the guy for months and he never felt anything towards me- we spent almost every moment together, we were dating, and I couldn’t have been more smitten. But in the end, when I told him that I loved him, he told me I wasn’t the long term girlfriend that he was looking for.

Can you imagine? Finally feeling something, falling head over heels, him leaving his fingerprints all over the person you are now, and he doesn’t feel the same way? I was crushed. Heartbroken. Honestly, I think in some way, I always will be. I would have done anything in that moment to change his mind, to make him stay.

At first I was angry, I hated him. How could he not feel the same way? After all we’ve shared, all we’ve done together. And of course, how could he not consider that I had just told him I loved him? I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that what I felt wasn’t real- but it was real.

He explained that he knew I wasn’t the one for him, and the more I thought about it, I respect him for finding the courage to admit it. Sure, he probably could have told me sooner, but in the end he told me. L00king back, I knew he wasn’t the one for me, too.

He was strictly left brain. Kept to himself most the time and liked it that way. He had a serious job and didn’t have much of his blanks left to fill in when it came to the future. He knew what he wanted, but didn’t have much passion. As for me, I’m all that art is. I am a self-proclaimed free spirit and I will gladly go where the wind takes me, I look at my future as exciting and know I will love what I end up doing, even for little money. As long as I am beaming with happiness. And that bothered him. I replayed the great moments. And ignored the bad. He dwelled on negativity. And was always sticking to the books.

We were complete opposites, and because this was the first time I had been serious with someone, I didn’t see how big of a problem that it ultimately was.

Finding the courage to tell someone you love them for the first time is probably one of the bravest things you can do. And I don’t regret it. I thought that I would feel all this animosity towards him, that I would never want to see him again, and I would hate him forever. But I want him to know how much I care for him, I recognize the full worth of the time that we spent together. It completely opened my eyes. I didn’t think I would be able to love, but now I see all the possibility of the love I can have for someone. There is so much more that I am able to feel. And I know when I find the right one, it will be even greater. TC mark

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