Relationship Extra by Emmanuel Odey
Sometimes in Life, we lose things that we later find again, but losing your first love, especially when it’s all your fault, may be different. The experience of the loss comes with life changing lessons either good or bad.
My wife really shouldn’t know this but I miss my first love – sometimes. But it’s all my fault that it didn’t quite work out the way we planned it. I was not ready, or better still, I didn’t know what I was doing. And by the time I was back to my sense, it was too late. Heaven knows I tried to remedy the situation. I tried to get back my love but till this day as I write this, I have not been able to make contact with my first love.
In the midst of my efforts to reestablish contact with my girlfriend that I last saw when I was in my third year in college, word got to me through a friend that she was already married. I was devastated. It took me quite some time to get back on my feet and move on but I have taken the lessons from that failure into my marriage.
Yes, I did find love again and I have three kids now with my wife. But I bring the lessons I learned from the loss of my first love into my life and marriage today.
1. Don’t take love for granted
J, as I would like to refer to my first love, blew me away. For once in my life, I was in love. No, I was no more a teenager. I was twenty and already done with high school. I met J, or better put, J and I met in my uncle’s house. She was very fond of my uncle’s wife and his kids.
J, who lived in a nearby block, will come to the house a couple of times a week. She will play with the kids and we’d say hi to each other. It wasn’t long before we were becoming fond of each other. Then one thing led to another and J had become my girlfriend.
I had noticed from the very beginning that J was into me. The way she looked at me and talked to me. And the way I felt any time she was around. Some call it chemistry. It was simply amazing. Having become my girlfriend, J was in love with me. I loved her too but I just wasn’t ready. I had to go to college. A few years into our relationship and I finally got into college. I was off to school in another city. I cared little about J by now. Life was waiting.
When I came back on holiday in my year three, Jane who was now in college too was also back on holiday. She was all over me. In hindsight, it seems to me she wanted to tell me something. But I would not listen. I was reading a book then by David J. Schwartz which I carried with me. She seized the book from me telling me to come for the book when I was ready. I did not show up. A while later I traveled back to school.
When I was finally ready for my graduation, I was now in search of J. I couldn’t find her anymore. They had relocated with no trace. J was gone from me!
2. Take your opportunities when you have them
J was my opportunity at true love. She cared. She was always there for me. But I didn’t really read much into her actions. It seemed normal to me and I had bigger fish to fry thinking about my future. So I barely took notice of her action until I realized I couldn’t find her again. Then it hit me like a stone on the forehead. My first love was slipping away from me. But now I was the crazy one. I needed her badly. I made every effort I could to reach her. Then a friend who happened to know about it finally broke the “bad news” to me; J was already married.
I had missed an opportunity of a lifetime. Who knows? Probably she was in a dilemma the last time we were together. Maybe she needed me to assure her I was there for her and had plans for our future.
3. Recognize the right timing
My timing was not J’s. When she was ready for marriage I wasn’t. But if I had paid attention at least I would have known what she wanted and we could have come to an agreement. I wanted to marry her. I was just not sure yet. I was waiting for the right time. But I did not recognize it.
4. You can miss your love forever
Like I said earlier, I still miss J – sometimes. I wish I didn’t but I do. More specifically, before I met my wife, I used to fantasize about J. I’ll drift away in thought and have to consciously bring myself back together. I’d blame myself for being so blind not to have seen the opportunity at true love and happiness I had right before me. But meeting another friend, who is now my wife, gave me a new chance at love.
5 Let go of the past and move on
I’m happily married and now bring all these lessons to bear in my marriage. I’ve found J was sweet but there’s life after her. I have a beautiful loving wife that has become my sweetheart. I have let go of J and moved on with my life.
I bring the lessons I learned from losing J into my relationship and find they serve as a reminder not to make certain mistakes. In a strange way, it now seems losing J was the best thing that ever happened to me.