Why don't we end with another day of the meme? :-)
Day 10: Discuss your first love and first kiss
Let's start with the first kiss, since that usually comes before the first love and is also a shorter story.
My first boyfriend's name was Scott. I think we started dating when I was 14? a freshman in high school, sometime in May. I can't remember what age I was about to turn, for some reason. Scott was a couple grades older and was one of the many older friends I was suddenly able to have now that I was in high school (middle school isn't particularly good about introducing kids to people in other grades). He asked me out backstage right before the performance of Crazy for You we were both cast in, while I wore a rather unfortunate pink dress with green butterflies on it and the entire female portion of the show's cast eavesdropped from inside the girl's dressing room (true story. The entire room erupted into girlish screaming when I agreed to go on a date with him, and he was terribly embarrassed). We didn't kiss until a couple days later, when we went to the traditional drama club cast party at IHOP. Scott was tired and was resting with his head in my lap, and we kissed. That's honestly all I remember about that. We dated for about a month and a half and then let it peter off, though we didn't actually break up for real until about 3 months later when we came back from summer break, and at that point I was just wondering when he was going to get around to doing it and wasn't particularly upset.
Needless to say, Scott was not my first love. Sure, I told him I loved him when we were together, because he said it to me and I didn't want to be rude or anything, and anyway I had no idea what really loving someone was like. My first love came sometime the next year, when I started dating Mike. We were together for a year and a half before we broke up the summer before my senior year, and it was the first time I really knew what it was like to fall in love with someone. I was kind of vaguely aware that Mike was dealing with a lot of things that were way out of my depth, but I was willing to be completely self-sacrificing because I thought that's what you did when you loved someone. He broke up with me when he left for the military, and I had always said I would never give up on him, but in my heart I had resigned even though I didn't give up trying to achieve that closeness that it was clear to everyone else I was never going to have with him. I think that love taught me that it really is a two-way street--you can help someone break down the barriers they've set up, but you can't do it alone. I could only pretend to be really close to Mike because there was only so far he would let me in, and if there was no willingness to meet me halfway, there wasn't going to be any success.
I feel like with each subsequent relationship since Mike, I've refined my love a little more and learned to love a little better. The person I dated after Mike was a wonderful person. We dated for 6 months until it became clear that we shouldn't be dating. We both pretended that we didn't care, but we did. Luckily we took that closeness we were trying to express romantically and instead fashioned it into what turned out to be one of my closest friendships. So that relationship taught me the difference between caring about someone deeply and feeling that draw to them personally, and being romantically compatible with them.
The most important thing I learned about love from Alex was that the wonderful, passionate love we had took a level of upkeep that was hard for me to sustain. It was the kind of love I'd thought was the epitome of love, the kind of love I'd been trying to attain with every other person I'd been with so far. It was the kind of lover I thought I was. But being in that relationship for 2 years made me realize that this wasn't the right kind of love for me. If it makes any sense, I just got so tired from loving Alex. More often than not I preferred to sleep alone than sleep with Alex because at the end of the day I loved him so much that I was exhausted. Sometimes I wouldn't be up to hanging out because it was taking so much pure energy to love Alex with every waking moment. I didn't have to try to love him, and it wasn't necessarily difficult, but waking up every day and having that love with me took more out of me than I realized. Had I been more skilled in how to approach love, I could have learned how to rein that in and our relationship would have been better for it. But I wasn't ready then, and seeing how much better of a person Alex is now that we're just friends made me realize that I made the right decision.
All I can say about Noah is that I feel more whole when I am with him because I can see a mirror of myself through him, and when I look in that mirror I see the person I've always wanted to be. When I look at him I realize that every single moment and experience of his life up to this moment has culminated into the living, breathing human being with me today, and it's like a microcosm of the whole world right in front of me. It is beautiful, and I am awed. And really, that-that-is what I had been looking for the whole time.