In reality, my first love was a pink, holey leotard that I used to prance around the house in as a child. I was given it at five, grew out of it by seven, still wore it at eight and verged on camel toe by nine when mum decided to throw it out and I went into mourning.
Much like my tatty leotard, first high school romances generally don’t fit properly. Hence why it’s a romantic rarity for couples to remain together from the age of nineteen to ninety, or why most girls blub at The Notebook (myself not included).
Me and my first boyfriend went to the same school. We found ourselves in the same friendship group. I lost my virginity to him while his mum had popped out for a Chinese. We stuck The Streets on, fumbled around for a bit and soon enough it was time for dad to pick me up. There was no fuss and it probably sounds a lot like your first time. And, probably not too dissimilar to your version, we loved each other a little too much. I, for one, was infatuated. In fact, if I’m honest, I was bat shit crazy. My MySpace was pretty much homage to him, we spent days at a time in bed and a two week holiday away from him felt like a twenty year stint in Holloway.
Never mind how serious your current relationship (or marriage) is now, that ability to love too much is something that cannot be recycled. Much like that teddy you lost as a child, you always hope that they are sitting safely somewhere, undamaged, with someone to love them as much as you did.
But do we ever really let go? Of course we do. However, just like your old toys that are stowed away in the attic, gifts from him are probably dotted around your room. You might not wear that bracelet someone bought you for your christening any more but you still have it, just like those disposable photos you took by the sea on that weekend away together. There’s a naivety that surrounds that first love that you’ll always want to protect. It reminds you of a time where cheating was only committed by the most wretched of humans and marriage didn’t seem so ridiculous. You’re basically reminding yourself that cynicism didn’t always exist.
It would seem that first loves bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood; no matter what age it strikes. It teaches you your capacity to love, exposes you to terrible loss and, of course, what to do with someone else’s furry bits.
So what would you say to your very important person if you could talk to them now?
I’d probably say thanks for teaching me at a young age that not all men are idiots. Oh, and for introducing me to capers.
Still with your first? You might as well write a book it’s so rare.
Wish you were still with yours? You could always put your faith in that cliché about ending up wearing the first thing you tried on…
Or you could just get out there a little more. They might have been the first but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re the one.