I've never been a "guys" girl. I have had fewer relationships than I'd like to admit, and the number of men I've ever kissed is less than 10. Whether this was due to my complete lack of allure or my strict upbringing, I can't say for sure. All I can say is that it's easy for me to keep in mind every person who actually meant something to me.✕
I mean, I can't ever forget my first real boyfriend. I was 17 and it was the summer before my senior year of high school. We had had a truly terrible history before we got together. Mostly for me, and in hindsight, it's a miracle we became a couple and stayed together as long as we did. There was something there though, and it was a cute relationship. He understood me and I was truly able to be myself, and we went on a lot of adventures together.
Neither of us had a car so we walked everywhere. It was okay though because we lived right down the street from each other. We got cashier jobs, bought each other lame gifts, and I practically lived at his house. We had our rocky points but overall, really nice.
Also, he was the one I got. It's weird because first, he liked me, then I became obsessed with him and next, I'm pretty sure he hated me, and then puff. We were inseparable. Maybe it was the rocky start that led us to that point. We had gone through too much to not give it a shot.
We stayed friends after our split, but eventually, I couldn't hold on to him anymore. I sometimes regret this, because I miss him as a friend. He's unlike anyone I've ever met, and I love having unique people in my life. It was the best for both of us though. I think of him often and how we were just two kids who managed to take a garbage dump of a situation into something I'll remember forever.
I'll never forget him, and out of all of these guys I'll talk about, he's the one I want the best for.
Next, I obviously can't ever forget the boy that 100% changed my life, in the worst and best of ways. We had known each other since we were kids but didn't officially meet until I was nearly 19 years old. He was from Italy, so you know your girl was going to be smitten as hell.
The one thing I won't ever forget is how he looked at me the first time we saw each other. To be honest, I thought I had grown two heads or something. I had never had anyone look at me the way he did. Later, he told me it was because he thought I was beautiful. This was also something that had never happened. Someone awestruck by ME. I was nobody.
I felt like a nobody, but not anymore.
We had a love affair over the course of a year that was destined for failure, but I, of course, believed we would be different. "If you're truly in love, you can make it." We also lost it to each other, so you know, that didn't help the fantasy.
I didn't realize, though, that not everyone viewed love as something to never let go of. Maybe because he never felt starved of it, like I did.
I needed love. I craved it. So I put everything on the line. I left college, I worked my butt off for eight months so I could fly to Milan and see him. I thought this would seal the deal. I was an idiot.
"I'm sorry." He told me on my first day in the country that he was not planning to do the same for me. I was heartbroken but figured three weeks gallivanting around beautiful Italy would change his mind. Ha. Not only did it not change his mind, but he also revealed on my last night there that he kissed someone else while we were apart.
I don't think I have ever cried that hard before or since. It was the type of cry that no sound could come out. My perfect long distance fairy tale was a sham. Once again, I had loved more. Again, I was left in the dust while the person I cared for the most moved on without so much as a blink of an eye.
I went back home and my depression went from bad to worse. Worse as in, my mom came rushing home as I was throwing up from a pill overdose, too woozy to even tell her that I was sorry.
I spent a lot of time in the hospital thinking. And when I got home, I wrote it. I sat up for hours into the late night and morning, telling this boy that even though he had hurt me as no one had before, I still loved him. He once coldly told me "We can never have a love story." I told him that even though it was short, it was still a story. And I thanked him.
Looking back, that letter was so embarrassing. I probably sounded like a crazy lunatic. I get that. It was how I was feeling though, and you more so regret the things you didn't do than the things you did. I honestly thought I would never hear from him again.
He did something that I give him a lot of credit for. He wrote me back. A handwritten, two-page letter. That almost made me love him more. Most men won't even text you back. And here I had a letter.
He explained why he did what he did. "Just know, that I love you too."
I burned it, and with it, burned a bridge that gave me cuts and scrapes as I walked on it. It was a bridge that I needed though. That whole experience taught me that if I could love the wrong person that much, just imagine how much I would love the right one. I consider him my first love because I had never loved someone as much as I had loved him. It destroyed me. It took me a long, long time to realize that that wasn't true love.
True love doesn't hurt. True love doesn't make you chain smoke cigarettes and stare into the starry filled sky waiting for someone to tell you something. True love doesn't keep you guessing. True love gives you the love you deserve.
He pushed me to the limit and for that, I'll always remember him. I've seen him in person since then, and all of my romantic feelings are gone. It was an incredible thing. This person, who I thought I would never ever get over, was now just someone in the room. He was just someone I knew. Someone who made me feel like a somebody, once upon a time.
I had another brief relationship after Italy guy, but it just sucked. It was great at first. He was cute and had glasses and had a bit of money so it was different for me. Not that money makes a difference to me, but it was just something else I had yet to experience. He was immediately attracted to me and literally could not believe I was real. (We met online, so you never know with the internet). I still wasn't used to men finding me at all attractive so again, it was weird.
I blew it, pretty much. I showed too much of myself too soon, and he ran. I used to blame him for that, but I don't anymore. I mean, what would I have done? No one should feel obligated to stay with someone while they work their shit out. Life is too short. Hey, I wish you the best. Thanks for making me happy for a few weeks.
That brief whatever it was taught me that the one you're meant to be with, will love you exactly how you are. You won't feel psycho and you won't have to try. It'll just be there. That, ladies and gentleman, is how I knew my husband was it. He was just waiting. And I'm so glad I found him when I did. I felt calm with him. Life didn't hurt anymore.
The point of this article was, I remember all of the guys I've cared about and they all helped me get to where I am now. There were high points and really, really low points with each of them, but ultimately we started out somewhere. I prefer to remember the good times so I remember that deep down, they're all great people that have so much to offer.
I highly doubt any of them will ever read this, but if you do, just know that I will always care for you and wish you well. And if needed, you all have a friend in me. Thank you for making me feel like a somebody, even for just a little while. That's something that deserves a pat on the back.
And yet, so do I. For learning to not hold grudges, and to let things go with no ill will. Holding onto a rope hurts your hands the harder and the longer you hold on. When you let go, you're free.
Freedom feels pretty good.