Dear First Boyfriend,
You were incredibly profound to me. A handsome guy who genuinely liked me, found me more beautiful than the girls that dressed provocatively, cuddled with me when I felt sick and unattractive, had the attention of all my female peers, and yet for some reason pursued me and made me feel wonderful every day…. You may have been the first teenage love of my life. It’s hard to tell when we were so young and it was so short-lived.
Dear High School Sweetheart,
You were an interesting learning experience. Never did I feel such naïve emotion and have as many “firsts” as I did with you. We created many memories together, some really good, some really bad. We shared a lot of experiences between us, quite a few that shaped my future; but in the end, you not only betrayed my trust, you made me feel as though I wasn’t worth anything. You gave other girls the attention I deserved, and you wandered. I can understand that now, as we were young at the time. I just wish you had treated me better. You were the first man to have me, and the first man to break my heart, and set me on a course of skepticism. It wasn’t all bad; I established many friendly and professional connections, from knowing you. But I am forever grateful for having met some of the people I did, through you. I hope in your future you can love, and be loved, in a way we all deserve.
You were a glimpse of hope for me. The escape from a relationship I felt I couldn’t leave. You were a guy worthy of feelings and trust, laughter, and long drives. I looked so forward to the days we could visit. I knew you were going to be deployed. I knew that was a big reason why you never wanted to go steady with me. I guess I felt as though that wasn’t reason enough to not be together: when your friends were proposing, you couldn’t even commit. I felt a third of the time, that we were just friends. And the other two thirds, I felt there was something much deeper. It was hard to get a read on you, despite the effort I put forward. And yet, every experience and memory I shared with you I still cherish – I’m not sure if I cherish it from a romantic or platonic perspective, but I don’t regret it. I felt a void in my heart as it ended. If not absent in distance, absent in emotion. But alas, it’s the nature of dating a soldier. I guess, like the strength soldiers have to learn, there is a strength the women who date them have to gain as well.
You introduced me to passion. With you, I felt intense emotions.You shared deep conversations with me, many difficult times, a majority of beautiful memories, and plenty of travel. I began a life with you. I fell in love with the city when I was with you. Because of you, I quit bad habits, and I felt the urge to strive to be someone better, working harder, studying more, being more communicative and more sincere — finding within myself a level of love and vulnerability I gave up on, or perhaps, thought I had lost, and I brought that to life once more. I saw a life with you, and for the first time, I looked forward to a strong future with someone. I thought I had never experienced more love in my heart…. But I’ve also never experienced such pain. With you, I lost my world. My dreams, hopes that rebuilt trust, years of my young adult life, my belief in lasting love and true soul mates, came crashing all around me, shattering into a million pieces. I have done the most of my growing, learning, and maturing, from what I shared with you. I discovered who I am, what I want in a partner, and what I want out of my own life, from the experiences I shared with you. I was lucky to have a lot of support and friendship from you, despite the broken relationship. I feel torn as to whether or not I should have ever pursued you, as it, for a long time, left me a shell of someone I once was. But in the end, I’d have to say it was worth it, for I learned valuable lessons about relationships and myself.
You were the first guy to make me feel butterflies since my devastating break up. I know I wasn’t initially emotionally available to the degree you may have wanted. I also know that when I finally reached out to you, willing to give it a try, I had missed my chance. Between the time you pursued me and the time I was ready, you fell in love with another woman. I wish you had been more honest with me from the beginning. I wanted badly to see where it would lead, for I was rather enthusiastic about getting back into dating and sharing a level of intimacy with you. But I never was able to let go of the fact you hadn’t moved on. Although I never personally met her, I am sure she was beautiful to you. And I can understand the difficulty in letting go of something that means a lot. You are a strong man, but there were areas I wish you stepped up and either communicated more or stood up to others when I needed someone in my corner. I believe a big reason for that was that you were emotionally unavailable. I’m not a mind reader, nor can I say I understand your position 100 percent, as you never fully opened up to me. And I’m sorry that that’s all I have to go off of. But I do wish to thank you for getting me back to feeling somewhat normal, and for the fun times we had, though short it may have been.
Dear Future Whomever I End Up With,
I hope to be to a point where I’ve figured all this out — where I’ve realized the value in taking chances before I’m “ready,” and for allowing myself to be vulnerable despite my disdain for being taken advantage of. I certainly hope you pursued me – men often show interest, but often the interest seems short lived, and not unique. Everyone asks for dinner, and yet, no one tries to provide reason as to why they should be the one worth my time — so quick to give up; I don’t understand what happened to courtship. It’s been a while since I’ve seen true romance, a guy sending me flowers, or writing me a love note. I hope you are someone that supports my goals and demands in life, but in the same regard, you are someone whom I find myself so enamored with, that I discover a strong reason to be everything and anything you could have ever asked for. I hope that we are a power couple, working hard towards our goals and our dreams, and yet constantly challenging and motivating each other to step outside our comfort zones, achieving and living new experiences and accomplishments we never thought possible. I hope that we can make each other laugh, even in our angriest of times, or that we can embrace forgiveness and compassion. That we not only hear, but listen to each other, out of respect for the other person. I hope that we share, and talk, about anything – stupid things, meaningful things, nothing, but that even when we sit in speechlessness, it doesn’t feel like silence between us. I hope that we aren’t perfect, because if we were, where is the adventure, and growth, that comes from learning and trying new things, and becoming better people? I hope that our love is passionate and intense, exciting and frequent — and that we understand that even when the flame gets dull as sometimes it’s bound to be, there’s always a way to rekindle that spark and reignite that flame. I hope that between us, we share a deep level of intimacy, trust, and vulnerability – one that consists of no harsh judgments, and always leaves us feeling like we’re never alone. I hope to have a good friendship with you, and that we can sit together, sharing stories of our past, respectful of those that helped shape who we are, and yet confident that we both deserve the best, and that we give the best to each other.
I hope to figure this out, because I still seem to be rather lost on this road of life and love. Despite the message that I’ve received from past experiences, as well as the standard societal norm that has been adopted in the general male population, I still refuse to believe that men don’t want love. We all do; it’s human nature to yearn for being needed, important, loved, and to have a sense of belonging. I know all too well the wrong kind of love. And I hope, for my sake, I embrace the right kind of love when it’s standing in front of me, before I let it slip away. Relationships at this day-in-age are complicated: We have instant access to so many, the divorce rate is through the roof, and we’re moving towards a lifestyle of showing little emotion, needing no one, and finding instant gratification in short-lived interactions. I personally, have a hard time saying “I love you.” I used to make a vow to myself, that I wouldn’t get close enough to anyone to feel love, to feel hurt, or to cause hurt. I’ve had a lot of growing up to do in that regard.
To all the men who left a mark on my heart; To all those in between who have sprinkled bits of hope, sparks off short-lived romance, curiosities, or proved lasting friendships; To the ones I may not have even met yet; And to the rest of you who are just trying to figure it out,
If there’s anything I can suggest, it’s to be honest, raw, and passionate about pursuing the person whom you want to get to know; and alongside that, to recognize that love comes in many forms and with many people, but the only way to experience it, is by embracing the opportunity to feel it when there’s a person who is deserving. It’s hard to take my own advice, but the advice I have to give, and the advice I should be more receptive to, is to not let the opportunity pass you by – it may be a unique experience and a love unlike any you’ve felt before, and though not everyone is going to be someone worth pursuing romantically, nor should that aspect be ignored, there could be one whom you decide to dive head first into love with, and never look back. Meanwhile, I think we’re all a little lost, just swimming aimlessly, hoping to find one in this collection of many fish in the sea.
This blog post was made in honor of the upcoming Over-Commercialized Single’s Awareness Day.