Most of us remember our first relationship, I would like to think, some have amazing memories and are still together, but for most of us, we eventually part ways and allow life to keep us separated for one reason or another. After my cat fish experience trust was difficult and I stopped communicating online with people I did not have mutual contacts with. I have always had a problem letting go of those in my past as I tend to genuinely love those that I spend the most time with. My first boyfriend was no exception, he was a friend and I had a crush on him before he graduated high school two years ahead of me.

We were both shy and finally our mutual best friend set us up for Homecoming that year. I never got dates to dances, or had many boys interested in me so at first I thought he was only going with me so he could go and be with our friends, as he was in college. We went to the dance, he picked me up stoned out of his mind, and our pictures prove it. My mom almost didn’t let me go, but she didn’t want to ruin my last Homecoming.

We left for the dance and actually had a great time. He brought me home afterwards, as all my previous dates had done before, instead of going out on the back roads to meet up with everyone else. To my surprise, he wanted me to change and come along with him. We basically started dating right after that night. It felt wonderful to have a boyfriend to share things with. I had plenty of friends, but most of them had relationships they were a spending time in and I hated being the third wheel so I felt alone much of the time until then.

He went to school in another town so during the week we would spend hours talking on the phone. I would even sneak around to change the phone ringers and have him call me and pick up when I saw the caller ID light up. My parents were fairly strict with my time and they did not like the group of friends that he kept. My stepdad would check the arrest reports each week as soon as the News Observer came out to determine if I would see him that week or not. I was only allowed to see him during the school week when we went to church together on Wednesday nights, but we always snuck in some fun no matter what we did.

I felt safe with him and quickly fell in love and several months after our relationship began I lost my virginity to him. This was a big deal to me as I had been raised Catholic and premarital sex, abortions, birth control, and other subjects were just taboo, you didn’t do them. My mom was a biology major, and she was always far more open minded in how teenagers actually behave. She did talk to me about sex and asked me to tell her if I needed birth control, but I never did. I was mortified that they wouldn’t accept me if I did, which now I know is rediculous.

Our relationship was great until I left to go to spring break on my annual trip to Pensacola Beach. I had started hearing from a mutual friend that another girl liked my guy and that I was going to loose him to her. I started distancing myself in preparation for the inevitable and he thought I was distancing myself because I had cheated on him. He broke up with me two weeks before senior prom and I was devestated. I did not want to go to the prom alone and I knew at that point I would never be able to find someone to beg to go as my date. As I scrambled to find someone, I called a guy I did meet in Pensacola and knew for a fact liked me. We started talking on and off, but he was unable to get leave for my prom. The week of prom, my then ex-boyfriend decided he would in fact take me as my parents were forcing me to go with a date or without one.

When I look at our prom picture now I can finally laugh instead of feeling the overwhelming sadness my expression has in the photograph. He was stoned and I had been crying. We stayed about thirty minutes after the picture was taken, left for his house, and he went to sleep until time for us to go to the Baptist church for breakfast and then to the after party at a friends field behind her home. That was the first time I ever got high and the last time I was ever really with him, except for a few days on/weeks at a time off occasions for the next year or so.

My life changed drastically after graduation. Some good, some horrible. Those stories will come later, for now I want to reflect on the impact our first relationships have on us. Depending on our raising and family traditions, our morals and behaviors are primarily dictated by the environments in which we are raised. I thought I was a horrible sinner for being with a man that in did not end up with long term. Although I have not been religious in many years, reflecting on my past, I know that I was devout in my religious practice to the Catholic Church. I let my sins eat me alive and I began to get depressed, anxious, and of course heartbroken.

My parents banned me from seeing him again after prom and every time I did afterwards was because of my stealthy ninja skills, basically is how he described them. I did want to be a criminologist; I guess I’ve always been good at problem solving. I snuck around throughout the summer to see him, but then I left for college. That is when religion service attending went out the door and full fledged freedom ensued (at least I thought so).

I let my thoughts about family acceptance interfere with my relationship and the emotions I actually did feel. I realize now that I placed him in a very hard situation because of my desire to please my family. I had always had questions about religion and what made our Bible more believable than the beliefs held by the scientific Greeks and many other cultures as early as the sixth grade

My parents do not like that I have let religion fall to the wayside, at least one set minds, but the older I got and the more educated I became, I felt it was important for me to make my own decisions and choices. I mostly identify with Pantheism at my present state in life and I try to make decisions so based on my morals and ethics rather than those set forth by any one specific religion. I’m glad I can finally feel comfortable identifying with what I feel best fits me and know that I am still accepted by my family. Had I made decisions made on these beliefs earlier in life, it may have turned out different but it could have been worse as well. I’m still content with my life and I’m no longer ashamed of my past, so maybe things do balance out in time when we stop trying to please others and begin focusing on pleasing ourselves. I may as well enjoy the rest of my time here rather than live stuck in a miserable place. I hope you are ready to move forward too.

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