Don’t ask me why because even I don’t know, but while I was in school I never in a million years thought I would have a boyfriend. I don’t know if this has to do with the fact that I was still young and that was the last thing on my mind, or I didn’t think that would happen to me. Either way it did. I was 16 when I got my first boyfriend. His name is Ian (it really isn’t his name, but I don’t want to disclose it.) he was sweet, polite, and respectful towards me. Really what any parent wants their daughter’s first boyfriend to be like. Although if you ask my mom, she will tell you that we were more friends, than an actual couple. To me, it was real; at least as real as it can get at 16 years old. There was a boy who liked me and wanted to be around me. It was a nice feeling, and I was happy.
Fast forward to a year later, and things got weird. Like most high school relationships, we went through high school turmoil. There was a mutual friend of the both of us, and they started talking. Talking in a way that wasn’t appropriate for friends to talk. When I found this out, I confronted him about it and he dodged the question and told me it was nothing. I knew something had happened and things would never be the same.
The only thing I didn’t know was that it was going to hurt me more than I realize. It would stay with me and leave a residue that I wouldn’t recognize or admit for years to come. His betrayal left me feeling hollow and confused. Confused because things weren’t going bad between the both of us. At least I didn’t think that. So, what made him turn the other way and search for something more?
We talked about it as well as two teenagers could, and we decided to continue with our relationship. First big mistake! I never let the boy live it down, I never let him forget what he had done. See he had explained to me that they didn’t do anything, and he was innocent. At the time I was not having it. I saw what I saw, and I couldn’t be convinced otherwise. This put a strain on our relationship. This happened about a year in and we still survived two plus years of it. I say survived because it was traumatic for the both of us. We were damaging each other.
Time went on and we graduated high school. I remember after we graduated, I went a whole month without seeing him. This is why my mom would say we were more friends than anything. Without high school it didn’t seem like there was reason for us to be together. I wanted different things and I started to think about our lives together after school and I didn’t like where they were going. Because we both wanted different there were more issues in the relationship, issues that I don’t feel comfortable disclosing because that’s Ian’s life and it’s not my story to tell.
I had a pride so big that I couldn’t even admit it to myself that I was hurt, I didn’t know how to process my feelings and whatever I did “process” was not in a healthy way. I hurt Ian because he hurt me first. This is not ok, and I’m not proud of it. If I could go back and change things I would. But the truth of the matter is I can’t. This is how our story of being together went. He did things, I did things. It’s all very sad, and heartbreaking, but it’s also very appropriate for how old we were.
I don’t want you to get the feeling that our entire time together was miserable. Because it wasn’t. Friday nights during football season were my favorite! I got to live out my dream of wearing his jersey on Fridays, going to away games, and having scares when he would hurt himself during football season. Getting asked to prom in front of everyone, always having a dance partner, and most amazingly of all, a best friend.
Looking back, these are the memories that I remember the most. Not the pain, and that’s the way it should be. Yes, we ended, and yes it was painful when I found out what he had done. But now, years later I look at him like my first sweet boyfriend, and I’m happy that we were both able to share some of these experiences together. I haven’t seen him since the day we broke up, which is a miracle considering where I am from. Small town.
However nice, and however sweet this first relationship of mine was, it did damage to me. From both of us, things he did and said; and things I said and did. I guess what I’m trying to say is no matter what kind of relationship you have, there are things that stay with you. Things you take from a relationship, things that will move on to your next one, or thoughts that you think of that bore out of these circumstances. For me it was self-worth and trust. Those were shattered through this relationship. They impacted me more than I realized, and they did indeed carry on to my next relationship.
So, my advice to you is choose carefully because residue is hard to get rid of.