Kamis, 12 Maret 2009

First Loves: Why We Never Forget Them

My first love? Mmmmm, that always puts tears in my eyes.

There isn't a day when I don't think about him and worry whether or not he's doing okay for himself in the world.

Do I remember my first love? You bet I do, like it was yesterday -- and it's been 19 years.

Do you remember your first love? Almost a silly question! Of course we do, intensely, passionately, maybe just a little sadly. Whether he's still by your side or just a memory that causes a sweet ache in your heart when you think about him, iVillagers' first loves are treasured parts of their lives. Here's what you had to say about the guys who first made your world spin.

He Still Lights My Fire
After so many years, just thinking about our first loves seems to send our hearts a-flutter. What is it about our first loves that grips our imaginations, even five, ten, twenty years past the fact? Whatever the cause and whoever it was, the one we first loved seems to be a permanent part of our consciousness. We can't forget him -- and who would want to?

"Oh yes, I remember my first love -- like it was only yesterday," Helma says. "It has been so many years, but I still remember what he looked like and how much I loved him. There was an age difference of about eight years -- I was 16 and he was 24 -- and he was afraid my parents would never go for it. To this day, when I feel a little melancholy, I find myself remembering his touch and his kiss. That's pretty amazing since I am soon going to be 42."

"We were passionate about everything -- loving each other, fighting with each other, even passionate when we were trying to hurt each other," recalls Mars. "I still think about him although I'm very much in love and completely happy with my husband. I saw him [my first love] several weeks ago, with his wife and baby. I looked at him and he looked at me and it was sweet for a moment. I hadn't seen him for a while; it was nice to see he's happy, too."

"We were the definition of 'not meant for each other,'" says Sasa of her college boyfriend. "My parents and friends couldn't stand him; we bickered constantly, broke up more times than I can count. But there was this thing between us. If you put us in a room together, there was just instant heat, undeniable attraction. When we finally broke up for good, I felt like someone had ripped my heart out. I still have his love letters and the tapes he made for me stashed in the back of my closet -- and it's ten years after the fact."

Dira first met her true love when she was 13, but it took another five years before her crush turned into a relationship: "We danced one dance, he took me home and we dated for two years through college. He was stationed in California and the long-distance thing didn't work out," she relates. "He's still in California, with a lovely wife, and I'm still single in North Carolina. He's definitely the one who got away ... but he will always be my first love."

When We Meet Him Again
Like Bogie and Bergman in Casablanca or Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass, every once in a while we're reunited with our first loves, if only briefly. These meetings can be bittersweet (and maybe a little off-putting to our current partners), but who hasn't wondered what it would be like to see him again?

Nia had pledged to marry her first love, but, what with one thing and another, ended up with another man. Twenty years after last seeing Jeff, he arrived at her mother's funeral. But even after so many years, the fire burned as brightly as it did when they were teens: "We talked about how we had loved each other so much. He told me how heartbroken he was when I went off and got married.... I often think about him and the purity of our live. We had never gone any further than kissing, but the closeness I felt to him was more than I feel today for my husband of 26 years."

Debbie was also recently reunited with her first love: "After 29 years," she tells us, "I just spent the night with my first love. We were just 14 when we first met at the swimming pool. Oh, it was true love, if there is such a thing at that age. Now, after all these years, we have found love again. This time, it's a different kind of love; we have had our past and now our present, and are looking forward to our future together."

Shopperlover's reunion with her first love happened online. "I get online in February, and here I am totally new to the PC. I was doing some exploring and who pops in with an Instant Message. Yes, him. My heart started to pound -- and, of course, my son had just walked into the room and my husband was passing by when I said, 'Oh, my God! It can't be!' So I had to explain who it was.... We have talked back and forth ever since. My heart flutters every time I get an email from him -- it makes me feel almost guilty, but I do love to hear from him."

He Was My First and Only Love
Some of us were lucky enough to get things right the first time. Once we found him (in the words of that old South Pacific song), we never let him go.

"My first love made my heart beat faster, gave me butterflies in my stomach and played the part of the bad boy," says Sela, "but he had a heart of gold underneath, which is what made me fall in love with him. In the end, he was the only one who could hold my heart. We've been together for eight years, married for six, and have an adorable little boy. My first love ended up being my forever love."

"I've only had one true love," confesses Lisa, "and I married him. We started dating senior year of high school and got married six years later. I just knew from the beginning that he was 'the one.' I don't know why, but I believe we were meant to be. I guess you could say he's my soul mate."

"The story of my first love is sort of an unusual one," says Jeny. "Believe me, I know how outrageous that sounds." After months of email courtship, Jennifer and her cyberboyfriend met in person early last year. "Soon after he arrived, any doubts we had about this relationship working out were gone. We've stayed in love ever since and do have plans for marriage in the future."

It Made Me Older and Wiser Sometimes first love teaches us a thing or two -- and not necessarily lessons we wanted to learn.

"He made me feel so wonderful," recalls Andri. "The 13 months we spent together were the happiest of my life -- until he broke up with me. Little did I realize he was cheating on me behind my back." On top of everything, her boyfriend had gotten her pregnant. "I was scared out of my mind and he wasn't much help at all. I finally gave in and told my mom, which was the best choice I ever made in my life. The experience made me grow up and I am such a better person for it. By the way, he got the other girl, with whom he was cheating on me, pregnant, then married and divorced her. He is single and has a 15-year-old son. Better him than me."

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