1. He understands where you came from because your hometown was his hometown. You went to the same schools, had the same teachers and hung out with the same kids. Your house was just like his house and you got pizza and Chinese food from the same restaurants. Your after school options mirrored his and you often ran into him (on purpose) at your local library. His idea of “home” is closely aligned with yours because you grew up in the same environment and the same “side of the tracks.” As adults, you’ll be more likely to understand how and where you want to live because you understand where you came from.
2. He knows your family. Childhood crushes often get vetted by family members way earlier than adult relationships. Your sweetheart may have taken you on your first date, escorted you to your first school dance, or visited on weeknights for dinner. Since you probably couldn’t even drive yet when you got together, your relationship relied on your family’s ability to transport you to and from seeing your crush, even if they were just dropping you off at the movies and forbidden by you to come anywhere within sight. Your crush understands your family dynamics and your relationships with your parents and siblings so he understands you that much better.
3. He was your first practice at good flirtation. You didn’t know how to hide your red cheeks when he smiled at you. You thought of things to say to him at the off chance you’d pass him in the hallway or sat near him at lunchtime. You chatted with him for hours after school and seemed to have unlimited time to focus on getting to know him. As an adult, you know who he is. You have the basis for a natural attraction that can develop into the perfect combination of thrilling and dependable.
4. He had to ask permission to take you out. There were limits on how often you could see him. This made your time together more valuable. You would both look forward to it because it was hard to come by. In the adult world, not having barriers to jump into a relationship often causes regret and insecurity. By having those restrictions early on, you’ve grown to respect and appreciate your time together, which makes for a strong relationship as an adult.
5. You most likely grew up loving the same sports teams. This can be vital for the survival of an adult relationship. The likelihood of two diehard sports fans living together while supporting arch rivals, will prove very difficult.
6. Whatever drove you to each other as innocent kids will connect you forever. You always remember your first love—how you counted down the seconds to see him, how you thought about him when a certain song played on the radio, how you lived from folded note to folded note (or text to text). In your adult life, you yearn for that pure connection to another human being. As life gets more complicated, you’ll yearn for the innocence you once felt with your childhood crush.
7. You were probably great friends since you’ve literally watched each other grow up and know everything about each other. You know what subjects he liked at school, who his best friends were and how good he was at kickball. You gravitated towards each other for your similar interests, many of which have carried over into your adult lives. It’s easier to strike up the connection once again when you know and understand what makes a person tick.
8. You understand each other’s family values. You have similar objectives in terms of raising your own family since you were practically raised alongside each other. This familiarity has always enabled you to trust each other and it can be the foundation of an exceptionally strong future together.
9. Your ideas about what love is are based on your experiences with each other. You look back fondly on your childhood, envisioning yourself as the Winnie Cooper to his Kevin Arnold. You’ve found that the basic qualities about yourself and the people you held dear growing up have always stayed true. Your values have always been consistent and are extremely compatible with the person
10. Geography is in your favor, particularly if you both loved where you grew up. You won’t have to shift time zones or coasts to plant your own roots together, a tough predicament if you end up falling for someone who grew up on the opposite end of the country (or planet!). If your families have stayed put, this is great news for them as well—they won’t have to go far to visit you and you won’t have to travel far to visit your in-laws.
11. You always know what the other’s thinking. You’ve been reading each other’s minds for years already. When you encounter an issue, you immediately know what your mate is thinking because you’ve memorized every expression on his face and what it means. You’re best friends without even thinking about it and you couldn’t imagine facing life without your childhood soulmate.
12. He was the first person you were physically attracted to. No matter how old he gets, how much weight he gains, how much hair falls out of his head—he’s your person. He made your heart flutter. He’s the one you dreamed about at night, the one you swore you’d love forever. You have a song together. You have little gifts he gave you. That devotion doesn’t disappear with age and as an adult, you’ll look for those qualities and that feeling you had with this person in subsequent relationships. When you meet up as adults, your mind will still be wired to seek someone with his qualities. So why not let it be him?
13. You were probably each other’s first kiss. Will you ever forget that? You long to go back to that space and time where kissing was the most exciting thing you’d done that year. An easier time—when your home, electricity and meals were all paid for. That first kiss with that first love was pure magic—no matter how awkward it was. When you get to take your childhood romance to the adult level, it’s a whole new ball game.
14. Your family already knows him. This saves you from a lot of probing questions and a thorough investigation when you decide it’s time to fill them in on the fact that you’re dating an old crush. They most likely already know who he is and where he came from. They might even know his family. He’s not some stranger you picked up at a bar or met online. He was your first real boyfriend and potentially you’re last.
15. He knows your entire history and accepts you for it—even the braces, feathered bangs, and bad skin. You’ve both come to realize that there are an infinite number of attractive, smart prospects available in the world. But the love what brews between two adults who started out as childhood sweethearts is the most special love of all.