A Letter To My First Love, Nearly Two Years Later

A Letter To My First Love, Nearly Two Years Later

I hope you found what you were looking for.

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When you love and get hurt, you cope how you cope.

That is the justification I gave. That is what I told myself as I became this new person after I lost you. I was nineteen, grossly young, and certainly too young to be walking around talking about dying alone, or at least dying surrounded by emotional support cats.

To handle the pain I was dealing with, I partied, I drank, and I did things I'm not proud of. I became the person you, the boy I loved so fiercy, were. Maybe then, I thought, you would love me. Maybe you would come back.

Spoiler alert: you didn't, have yet to, and never will. But, you know what? That's okay, because what I have learned from the past two years without you is far beyond what I would have gained.

I loved you so much. I told you that all the time. But there was one night last year at three a.m. when I couldn't sleep that I couldn't stop thinking about that, how much I loved you. I asked myself why, and then starting thinking about all of your little quirks and laughed. I thought about the way you loved your mother and started to cry. I thought about the way you loved me and then just got angry. It was all of those things rolled into one that made me love you so much that nothing else mattered. Maybe that's why I got angry: I loved you so much that nothing else mattered, and I would have done anything for you.

I would have dropped out of school and stayed in our dead-end hometown if it meant keeping you.

But you knew that. And that is why you left. You wanted me to be better. Of course you did. You were always my biggest cheerleader.

You left because you had searching of your own to do. You couldn't do that alongside me, and you knew I could be who I was meant to be alongside you.

Thank you for knowing what was best for me, even if I couldn't see it myself. I have found love again, and then lost that too, only to think about calling you, and asking you what comes next because you always know.

Being in a town that has no traces of you was liberating. It was what I needed, more than you will ever know.

Thank you for pushing me toward it.

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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Long-Distance Relationships May Just Make You More Thankful

The wait is worth it.

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College dating and high school dating are two different worlds, and couples who got together in high school know this well, especially the couples who had to go their own ways for school after graduation. It's not easy, in fact, it's probably one of the hardest things some people have to go through, but it's definitely a valuable lesson.

My boyfriend and I got together the day after prom our senior year. Super helpful right? If we had both confessed earlier, we could've been together way before prom, but that's not my point. I was scared. We both chose our schools, mine is just a few hours from home and his being far on the East Coast. We only had the summer together and I didn't know how I would be able to survive being so far away from him, but he wanted to make it work, and so I decided I wanted to make it work too. I will admit that even after a little over a year and a half, it's still a struggle sometimes. I had never had a long-distance relationship with anyone before, just a friend or a boyfriend. When we both went to school our freshman year, I thought it was going to be a breeze. We Facetimed almost every night and sent each other gifts often…but I began to realize that it isn't as easy as I told myself it was going to be.

When our breaks rolled around though, it was absolute heaven for me. I got to see my boyfriend in person and actually hug him instead of just talking on the other side of a screen. It made me feel thankful I got to spend time with him in person, but my time was limited in college unlike high school, where I got to see him every day. This was a complete reality check for me, it still is sometimes.

Being in a long-distance relationship can test your patience to a whole different level. It can drive you crazy when there might be an issue that's better to talk in person, or when you are having a serious breakdown because they can't be there with you. I've never missed getting a hug from someone so much before. Having someone that will gladly try to work things out and talk about problems is someone that you need to hold onto and not let go of, those are rare and special people. I'm always the one that needs a good cry to get the stress out, but my boyfriend is always the level-headed person that will work things out, and I'm so thankful that I have him.

It still takes me a few days to get used to the distance after a break, but when I do have time with him, I try to spend as much time as I can, whether it's making pizza or going to the city. Our relationship has certainly made me more thankful for the things I have in life because I might only get a certain amount of time with someone or something before it leaves again.

All in all, being in a long-distance relationship is full of many struggles, but you learn from those struggles. Facetime is your best friend, sending surprise gifts is the best, and the time you get in person with your partner can make you appreciate things a little bit better.

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