Can you remember that feeling? The first time you felt that someone else was the centre of your world. The first time you looked at someone else and felt that flutter, unfamiliar but immediately recognizable. Can you ever forget?
This piece is based on a number of AskReddit threads. Links on the last page.
1. Eyes on the prize.
I was 15, she was a bit older. The first time I met her, I was actually flirting with her cute friend. She was standing off to one side, watching, saying nothing. After her friend went to get a drink, she approached me. “If you really want to flirt,” she said, “You should try not staring directly at the girls boobs.”
I blushed. “I wasnt.”
“Yes you were. Its alright – everyone likes boobs. But you should be more subtle. Try looking at mine out of the corner of your eye Thats better.”
That was the beginning of an unforgettable summer. I can still feel that first rush of passion in my stomach as I write these words. It didnt work out, of course. But Im grateful to her all the same. She taught me a thing or two – and not just about how to use my peripheral vision.
2. Love is not a victory march.
I was 6. There was this really pretty girl who was 7.
I asked her out. She pushed me over.I cried.
She then proceed to beat me up and sit on my face. I didnt know what that meant. Then she farted. I cried harder.
I was thereafter known as the fart kid for the rest of primary school.
3. Shower together.
At 2am tonight, he’s going to text me so that we can watch the meteor shower together, even though we’re not physically in the same place.
On our first date, he told me about a meteor shower that would be happening in 30 years time. I said I’d never remember it. He told me that he’d remind me. For us, it’s never been in doubt that we’d be together.
4. Time traveller.
I’m old (50). My first love was 30 years ago. That’s a long time.
I got over her. I moved out west, fell in love with other women, lived with a few, experimented with many more. She stayed in my mind for quite a few years, but as we both got on in life, her memory faded.
But I do remember one day, about 10 years ago. I was shopping at the mall when something completely unexpected happened. (continued…)
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I walked past the fragrance section and BAM. It was HER scent. All these memories flooded back into my head. Laying beside her on a winter’s night. Watching hockey with her wacky Mom. Laughing when her closet bar broke – again. Spending the weekend in the Poconos in the rain. It was a blast of fond nostalgia and I nearly stumbled from its impact.
We’re not in contact so that’s the last “contact” I had with her.
I can say this to young people: the broken heart hurts but the hurt does not last. You will be amazed at how broadly your life and your loves will replace that hurt. It’s like a pitcher of water into a small paper cup.
5. You have to leave to know you want to stay.
Im currently dating her, again! We dated for a year back in high school. She broke up with me because her parents thought that it would be better for her to see other people and get more experience. It really hurt at first and I couldn’t forgive her for the longest time, but I’m glad it worked out that way.
After that I matured a bit, went through a few relationships and had my fun in college. Seven years later, she randomly friends me on Facebook and we started talking again. We’ve been together for 2 years this time around and it’s wonderful.
6. They don’t have to love you back.
My first, genuine love was a teddy bear called Emily. I was gifted her by my parents, and I loved her for three beautiful years until she was lost to the baggage carousel at Heathrow. I’ve never really gotten over her.
7. Continental drift.
I should have married her. I never been happier or felt more “whole” with anyone else. Every other relationship Ive had has reached a certain downturn. With her it was always fun. We could talk about anything forever. Even after we broke up, when we hung out it was really fun. We brought the best of us out of each other.
The only reason it ended was because I moved from New York City to California.
8. Hung the moon.
I was 12 when I met him. I was goofy and gangly, a year into puberty, so still pimples, no boobs. He was just before puberty, so still very boyish. We were friends. We continued to be friends as we both went through puberty, and things were definitely platonic for him. I, however, thought he hung the moon, and would have moved heaven and earth for him to kiss me. (continued…)
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The next year, in eighth grade, my boobs came in, I got rid of my acne, and I became “hot.” Other boys started to notice me, and not in a good way. Boys started calling me a slut, and so he started sticking up for me and getting in trouble for it.
We went to separate high schools. We still saw each other from time to time, but he never seemed to really “notice” I was a girl. Eventually, we drifted apart, but I still carried a candle for him in my heart. My Junior year of high school, 9/11 happened, and this whole wave of patriotism swept the country. A lot of people decided they were enlisting after high school, including him.
After graduation, his mom decided to have a big graduation party, and I ended up on the invite list. I decided to go, because I still felt for him. I remember when he arrived, he’d been working out all year to get into the marines. He wanted to be “ready.” He was hot as hell. I remember his mom taking my hand, and leading me onto the patio, and reuniting us. He looked up, and I realized as he did he hadn’t seen me in two years. He dropped his glass, and was very awkward about cleaning it up.
We spent most of the night talking. I stayed until 2 am, when he offered to drive me home. I let him, and he told me he had missed me. I told him I missed him too. He smiled, and said he’d come see me again when he was home on leave.
He asked me if I would be his girlfriend, and wait for him. I told him I would. I was still in love with him, and it felt so so so natural. We spent that weekend practically inseparable, like living in a dream. I promised I would wait for him to come home when he left. He promised to love me until the day he died.
9. Ring pop the question.
I liked the way she shared her brownies with me. We shared sweets everyday since the first day of kindergarten.
I proposed to her by putting a ring pop on her finger. She divorced me by throwing sand in my face.
I wish I was making this up.
10. No guarantees.
We argued just before she left for a vacation with her family. Went to school the next week and found out she was killed in a car accident. The worst part was that she was supposed to stay behind to be with me. Thats what the argument was about.
11. A third grade nothing.
It was third grade. Her name was Rachel
I was head over heels for her. I would have traded my whole Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle action figure collection for her. So the obvious thing to do was to “ask her out.” I don’t know where out would have been, but I had to take her there. I WAS IN LOVE!
I decided that the safest route was to ask her out the last day of school so if she said no, I wouldn’t have to see her again for 2 and a half months. (continued…)
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The last day, I kept chickening out as the hours went. Finally, I decided, the last 5 minutes of school I would pop the question. All day I thought of how to do it. I wrote it out, rehearsed it. Wonder if I had to call her father for permission first.
Then it happened…and hour left in class, “Rachel, please come to the office to check out.”
My face went white. “You’re checking out early?”
“Yeah, we’re moving to Alabama”. She left. I was absolutely crushed
I did not tell a girl I loved her for 20 years after this.
12. Night moves.
It wasnt much of anything looking back on it. But sometimes I miss those times. Sneaking out every night in high school, losing my virginity, going to parties together, graduating together. I don’t think I truly loved her, nor her me. I haven’t talked to her in 3 years, but I think about her often and I still miss the simplicity of it all.
13. Changed for good.
I think about her now and again. We started dating as high school sophomores and were inseparable. We only broke up because we went to two different colleges: her to a prestigious out-of-state engineering school, and me to a state school. We got together on breaks and summers and stayed close for a time, but eventually grew apart as our personalities changed and we found new crowds. We each began new relationships, and then had a major falling out almost seven years ago. I haven’t spoken to her since.
I regret the way we fell out and aren’t even friends any longer, but I understand that we both changed as people and it wouldn’t be the same today as it was back then. I still wish I knew what was going on with her though.
Part of me will always wonder where we’d be if we made more of an effort to stay together, or were at least spared the abrupt end of our friendship. Looking back, she is, and probably will always be, one of the most important influences on my life.
14. The wrong reasons.
We were best friends. He wanted more, I did not. Then my dad died and I was devastated. (continued…)
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We proceeded to embark on a terrible two-year relationship based on my co-dependency and his feelings of inadequacy with women.
I learned two important things: Never start a relationship after the death of a family member. Also, dating your best friend does not always work out.
15. Not everything changes.
He is currently trying to kill a hornet in our living room. Lots of banging and general unsuccessful noises.
But what has happened since we met? From the time we fell in love, he has: gained weight, graduated college, gotten fired, gotten rehired, totaled a car, lost his religion, rescued a kitten at his work, and helped deliver a litter of 13 pups. And more.
He was a good one when I met him, and he’s a good one now.
16. Unrealistic expectations.
Met her at 19. 31 years later, she is still my best friend. I can’t believe I found someone like her at such an early point in my life.
We have been through a lot together – and truly stayed loyal and supportive. Side note: The only downside, is that our kids (25 and 21) believe that this is a template for their life – and somehow feel they haven’t succeeded by finding their life long loves by now.
17. Stronger than ever.
We started dating when I was 18 and she was 16. We have been together between 5 to 6 years and are married with an amazing kid now. It has been really hard and we have done things extremely hurtful to each other. On the other side, we have had amazing times together that I wouldn’t want to give up for anything. To top it all of we know it is still just the beginning.
We are now at the point of realizing that having an amazing relationship isn’t about being able to love each other 100% of the time, but being able to work through those times you think you don’t love your SO at all, and further not making stupid choices during that period. It is hard and we have had times where we think we definitely won’t make it, but then we always kick back much stronger than before.
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18. Worth the wait.
She came to a party at my flat, invited by my flatmate who wanted to hook up with her friend. She had a boyfriend at the time so I left it be. But I knew that wasnt the end. Six months later she broke up with her boyfriend. Aaand 4 years later we got married. First and only love.
19. Surgical split.
She’s now an emergency/trauma surgeon.
I broke up with her because she was a nymphomaniac and after 3 years I just couldn’t keep up so she started seeing other men. But she married one of the guys she cheated on me with so I guess it all worked out for her. Im glad.
20. Love takes many forms.
He moved in with my parents when we broke up (I left for college in another town). My parents basically became his parents and after a few years we became like brother and sister. Just yesterday my husband and I stayed at his house when I was in my hometown and I told him I was pregnant and he was thrilled for us.
On the drive home my husband commented that we joke just like siblings. It was awkward at first, but I’m glad my parents were so kind and helped him get through college. He’s a great guy, upstanding citizen, and still calls my mom and dad on mothers and fathers day. We weren’t meant to be a couple, but I think him as part of the family works out pretty good for everyone.
21. Bit of a riddle.
Still in love with her.
I know she only has about a year left to live and I don’t know what I’ll do without her when she’s gone.
I just have to make the most of the time I have left with her. Like right now for instance, as she sits in my lap, purring and trying to swat the keyboard.
22. We are our history.
I regard my first love as a student regards history from a text book. Mostly indifferent. Sometimes a little embarrassed, and occasionally outright angry. Every now and then though, I think back on a memory of my first love and smile.