I fell in love the first time in May 1995 to the best, most splendid boyfriend I have ever, ever had. We both had a knack for foreign languages, loved reading, politics, working out together, drinking strong coffee and eating really good food. He was tall and had eyes just like mine, a great nose and pearly whites, great hygiene, and a European sense of style. We wrote love letters to each other in French. I danced. He applauded. He painted. I sat still. We loved each other. I loved him unlike anyone else I have ever loved. Our relationship could have inspired books, movies, paintings, and scores of orchestral music.
Every person I have dated, I have compared to my first love. It’s not fair, just true. I have never dated anyone since him that measured up to that relationship. That makes me so sad because I deserve to have a relationship like that again. We all do. I want a relationship like that first one.
I remember I had a friend once read my palm. She had come over for my birthday. It was after my first love and I had broken up, and I was dating someone else. She told me the next one I dated would be the one I would marry and stay with for the rest of my life. I said, “No, that was the last one.” The one I had dated, my first love, I believed I should have married him. A part of me still believes this. Writing this has made me feel light-headed.
I didn’t realize when I broke his heart that people stay together and work through issues to become stronger and more solid. Not everything is black and white. It is possible to meet in the middle, understand each other better. I was young and hadn’t learned this yet. Part of me feels really strong for telling him I couldn’t be with him anymore. Part of me feels like a complete and total moron for ever letting him go. I did. I let him go after two years together. I have felt off-track in my relationships ever since.
He was the first one to tell me that if I were older, he would marry me right then and there. He told me this as he drove us down the highway in his gray, two-door, Chevy Blazer. I burst into tears, happy, overwhelmed tears, when he said it. I cursed at our age difference. When this last one told me the same thing, minus the age part, I had the same reaction. I am glad the last one ended. No doubt about that. It reminded me of that time my first love said it to me, not that marriage is the point of dating. That verbal expression of wanting to commit to another for life can stick with a person, for good reason; it’s a pretty big deal.
Maybe that factors into why my first love has become the measuring stick. Maybe I haven’t really moved on. He still shows up in my dreams every now and then. I have always missed him. I ripped my own heart raw in 1997. I imagine I did the same to his, for which I have apologized in the last couple of years and to which he never replied. I didn’t need one, nor did I send the apology to receive acknowledgement. I sent it for me. When the last big breakup happened in May 2013, that’s when I understood that getting your heart broken that bad really sucks! A lot! I felt like I owed my first love an apology. Times infinity!!!
I’m grateful. I’m grateful for having had the first person I fell in love with be the best person I ever fell in love with, and that he and I are currently friends, not close friends, but on speaking terms. I’m grateful to have felt love like he gave me, and to have loved him back as much I did. I hope I don’t have to kiss too many more frogs before I meet someone who finally measures up.