... Here's the other part of the tale of my first love (FL). I would do this post differently and start to mention the things that I learnt from this particular experience. Some from the upheavals I experienced, while some are things that occurred to me with the fortune of hindsight (hope it makes sense!)
1. I always had a bit of an unrest in my mind about the fact that he wasn't a born again Christian but I was so into him, I was fine with him being just a good guy : Now the danger here is that there were certain things that I believed in that he didn't necessaray share the same values. Chief of that was my stance on pre-marital sex which was a no-go area and I wasn't willing to compromise. Truth is that he never did put any pressure on me but I believe the thought that he would have to remain celibate throughout the life of our relationship(!) was one of the things that contributed to us breaking up. The importance of being honest and open about expectations in your relationship at the beginning cannot be over-stressed. It would help to avoid heartbreak in future. Trust me, it's worth it! Don't avoid the 'serious' talk, face it full on and be prepared to act on the outcome..
2. From this relationship, I understood that love is real and can be a beautiful thing! Truth is I am grateful for this experience because even though after this, along the way I have come across a lot of love 'look-alikes', my relationship with FL made it possible for me to know first hand that 'that' kinda butterfly-inducing tingling sensation is VERY possible. It's not a myth as some love-cynics may suggest but it is very possible. I have had discussions with people who have lost faith in the possibility of true love as a result of things they have been through and they are quite adamant that there is no such thing as real love. Others have said that ALL men are terrible and that relationships/marriages are meant to be endured not enjoyed. Well I strongly beg to differ. Not only did I have the absolute delight of being in a loving relationship, I have seen marriages of many years to support my view! So, I am always grateful to FL that my first real relationship set the pace for me to keep on believing, keep hope alive! I refuse to settle for less than the best as I have experienced that the best IS possible :-).. Oh and of course with GOD all things are possible.. YES!!
3. Romance books can damage your sense of reality: Now, I am not against romantic novels or literature (Myne Whitman, I believe, I believe :-) but I would say that it is very necessary to not get lost in fiction and forget how to live in real life! I read a LOT! And 90% of my reading are romantic fictions (especially Mills and Boon and the likes at that time). Now, my favourite part of a romantic novel is that part towards the end when something will happen that will make the main characters have a disagreement (almost or actually leading to a break-up) and then something happens to bring them back and the reconciliation bit makes the time spent reading the novel worthwhile. I used to look forward to the fights! Oh la la! Usually after a 'successful' fight, both parties admit that they actually do love each other or there's a proposal or there's a tearful and beautiful reunion with a stronger affirmation and profession of love for each other *swoon* (did I forget to mention that I love love?? :-) Anyways, so when I was in my first real relationship, I had a serious case of 'UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS'... My goodness, was I infected badly! I used to instigate mini-fights and 'let's go on a break' just to spice up the relationship I SMH for myself! As you would imagine, it was very bad for the relationship! At first, FL would beg and accept and it would be just like in the books and movies but after a while it started getting OLD! Infact I have learnt that a good relationship is one in which both parties have realistic expectations of each other without given one's partner the impossible task of being like a fictional character.
Anyways, all these factors coupled with a few more (he never cheated, thank God!), the poor fragile relationship didn't survive.
Interestingly, I had the opportunity to ask him recently what didn't work out from his perspective and his response was that he wasn't able to handle how serious we seemed to be and at that age he couldn't come to terms with the fact that as he was newly in University, he wouldn't have options etc.. Ah well, like I teased him, he wanted to sow his university oats!