You know when you hear a song that makes you think of someone you used to love dearly, yet they are no longer near, and sometimes the feelings are no longer there either. That’s how the song My First Love makes me feel! My first love will not be my last love and this is a reality I sometimes grieve. I am still grieving as I write this piece. I grieve not because my first love is no longer physically present in my life, but along with their departure went an idolized fantasy of what my life would be like once I made them my significant other. Growing up a church girl, I had pretty tight boundaries that I feel helped navigate the murky waters of adolescence and young adulthood. I had my life bible verse, I had my promise ring proclaiming to save myself for “my husband” (which I randomly lost in my bedsheets one night and never found again 🤔), and I had my first love.

What could go wrong?

In my mind, he was Godsent. He even went by the name “Romeo“ which I now have on a list of red flags because I feel God would never send me someone named after an immature adolescent boy who makes impulsive decisions and glorifies murder-suicide in the name of love. Nonetheless, he was mine and my first love. I was ready for whatever fatally tragic love story or lifelong fairytale God had in store for me. My first love could do no wrong in my eyes, and he knew it. My first love nurtured my savior complex, and he knew it. My first love was not my last love, and he knew it. Thus, the first couple years of our fairytale quickly turned into a nightmare. My first love and I dated from 17 to 21. I can remember this because we had conversations about what this would mean with him being a year older and our last conversation wasn’t really a conversation; more of an encounter that occurred on my 21st birthday ending with him throwing a drink in my face and slashing all four of my tires at my surprise hotel party. Why? Because I wanted to end the relationship permanently!

However when I was in my Senior year and a few months away from 18, WE decided HE was my husband. Bad idea. In retrospect, he hadn’t really proved himself worthy to be a husband besides being attractive and having an hourly-wage job, but a decade ago my standards were limited to say the least. I began to realize the limitation of my standards as I grew physically, mentally, and spiritually. The more I grew, the more stagnant he became until he reverted into a persona I had never met before. I was shocked and scared. It felt like I was with Jekyll & Hyde. The sweet head-over-heels romantic that I had already proclaimed would be my first and last love started lying to me, cheating on me, degrading me, abusing me, and then HE DUMPED ME! To sum it up, it felt like he had stabbed me in the back and twisted the knife. Betrayal felt like an understatement. I was also embarrassed because it was at this moment I realized my fairytale had not begun and would not end with him. Rather, my nightmare was just beginning. When he dumped me, I should have ran and never looked back, but since I had gotten him into the same college as me (I literally wrote his application, essay, paid the tuition, etc) I felt stuck. To make matters worse, he lived in the same student housing as me! My nightmare was indeed just beginning. However almost a decade later, the humiliation and instability that my first love left me with has prepared me for my last love. My boundaries are tighter and my standards are higher. I have not found them yet, but I can tell they are near, and I can’t wait to hold them in my arms on my wedding day as we share a first dance as husband and wife to the song, My First Love.