It might sound crazy but it's a part of my testimony. It took me 22 freakin' years to fully get over my first love. That doesn't mean that I didn't date. It doesn't mean that I didn't love other men in that course of time. But what it does mean — and I didn't realize this until well after the fact — is there was always a part of me who thought that when it was all said and done, the guy I chose to sleep with for the first time when I was two months shy of 19, would be the guy I was ultimately going to spend forever with. Even if that meant we would be in our 80s, rockin' on a porch somewhere.
A part of the reason why I felt that way is because, until 2015 when I looked him up and we spent a good six weeks doing what we should've done two decades ago, we never officially broke up. I know this because every 4-5 years or so, we'd run into each other or get each other's number through a mutual connection and entertain the thought of getting back together…again. And again. And again. I knew we needed to get to a point of looking each other in the eyes and saying, "No one can take your place, but your place is in my past" so that we could move on. Mind, body and soul.
Oh, it was so hard to do. I think it's because when your first love is someone you are extremely attracted to, plus an individual who you really like as a person, the connection truly is incomparable.
By the way, carrying a first love torch isn't a female-only kind of issue. I know a guy who is in his 40's who can't seem to make any relationship work because he's still pining for his first love. His first love who is now married to someone else. He can't even look at her on social media and, if he were honest with himself, he's been in an emotional affair with her because they still sneak on the phone from time to time and reminisce. Bless his heart. He may never get a wife of his own because the torch he's carrying for his first love is melting his heart away.
That's why I thought it was important — critical even — to address first loves. Most of us have had one, but here are some telling signs that you just may not be over yours:
1. You’re Still Holding Onto His Stuff
An ex of mine once said something about my past that I think is a healthy and mature perspective — "Shellie, I have no problem with your past, so long as it stays in the past." By that, he meant he didn't want to have a picture of me and an ex staring back at him whenever he came to my place and he didn't want to see me rockin' a sweatshirt of an ex when we watched movies on the couch.
Interior decorators say that if you haven't used something in a year, you should probably toss it because you're holding onto it for no good reason. Soooooo…those letters, that teddy bear and even old texts from your first love — what purpose is it serving to hold onto those?
Just something to think (long and hard) about.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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