Monday, February 13, 2012

Teen lover...where are you?

Happy Monday, everyone! It's Melissa, and I have the pleasure of introducing our next topic: what we've learned from our experiences with teenage love.

But first I want to thank you for all the congratulations and sweet comments left in response to Friday's post. I feel very loved. And don't forget you still have until February 17th to win a copy of DEVIL'S KISS. (By the way, I've finished reading, and it's a-maaaa-zing.) So scroll down to this post and leave your email addy among the comments. Good luck!

Okay, now back to the topic of...

YOUNG LOVE!

Ah, l'amour. Of all my teenage experiences, first love is probably what I miss the least, because it was hella painful. Who doesn't remember the ache of unrequited affections? And even if the boy of your dreams loved you back, it was bound to end--usually with the whole school looking on, chattering excitedly about who dumped who. (Or at least that's how it felt.) Then after the breakup, there was the pressure to snag another date before he did, so as not to look like a giant loooooser. Yeah, like I said, I don't miss that.

As I'd mentioned in a previous post, I was a late bloomer. Thanks to a rigidly religious upbringing, I wasn't allowed to start dating until I was sixteen. So my first boyfriend, Derek, was also my first love, my first kiss, my first heartbreak, and most importantly, my guinea pig.

Poor Derek. I had NO clue how to communicate with the boy. The feelings I had for him were so overwhelming and scary that no matter how many times I rehearsed the words, I could never manage to shake them off my tongue while in his presence. Seriously, we barely spoke. He talked, I listened, and we kissed a lot. A whole lot. And when conflict arose between us, (usually in the form of another girl), I responded by breaking up with him instead of initiating dialogue.

Over the course of the school year, we probably broke up and reconciled five times. It was nutters. After eight or nine months of on-again, off-again lovin', we split for good and he quickly wound up with another girl...one who wasn't afraid to talk to him. Though I never let it show, it killed me to watch them together, and it took years before I could honestly say I didn't care about him anymore. (sniffle, sniffle)

So, what did I learn from my first experience with love? Losing Derek to a chattier woman taught me not to be a Wussy McFraidypants. To speak up! To air my grievances and ask for what I want! It was a lesson that served me well, though it took several years and a little trial and error to find my voice.

You'll be happy to know that I have zero problems asserting myself in a relationship now. Just ask my husband, who thinks I'm bossy. I may have drifted a bit too far in the other direction, but that's okay. Because people who ask for what they want are more likely to get what they want, and Melissa Landers is a doormat no more!

Now it's your turn. What lessons did you learn from your first love?

14 comments:

Lorie Langdon said...

Great post, Melissa! It brings back all sorts of angsty, unhappy memories...which I'll share more of when it's my turn to write about this topic. ;-)
Glad to hear you are "Wussy McFraidypants" no longer! (Love that, btw. :)From what I know, I'm pretty sure your hubby adores you and is happy to comply with your "bossiness"!

Melissa Landers said...

Well, there are times when DH is thankful for my assertive nature, but it's definitely a stretch to say he's happy to comply, lol!

Jen J. Danna said...

Love this post! It's especially timely for me as I'm watching my youngest struggle with her first serious boyfriend, and, yes, there have been a few breakups and reconciliations. Hmmm... I think I'll send her this blog post as a broad hint to talk to him more!

Melissa Landers said...

Oh, Jen, I feel for your daughter. Have I mentioned that I don't miss those days? To Jen's youngest: Don't be afraid to tell that boy what you want and what you're unwilling to put up with. You deserve the best!

Kimberly said...

Melissa,
I remember clearly the drama of everyone's breakups, and--yes--the whole school looked on, speculating. It was crazy.
Yet, I wouldn't give up a minute of that time. Yes, I hated the drama, but I learned plenty of life lessons earlier on--before they were TOO serious. Heartbreak was painful enough with a few passionate kisses under my belt. Any more than that is heartbreak of a different nature. And I'm glad I didn't have to experience THAT.
Your post was a prime example of learning about life and love and how to tell yourself what you want for your adult self. What do we call you now, Melissa? Mrs. I-Know-What-I-Want Bossypants?
:-)

Melissa Landers said...

Ooh, good suggestion, Kim. I like Bossypants. It has a nice ring to it.

And I totally agree on experiencing a breakup after you've done more than the standard making out. That's why I didn't have sex in high school--I knew I wasn't equipped to handle the heartbreak of a "hit it and quit it."

Loree Huebner said...

Loved your post! I think what I really learned about my first love is that it was just a hard crush. I remember breaking up with him by writing him a note and giving it to him before I went into Biology class...lol!

Melissa Landers said...

Ouch! The note breakup. But I'd still take that over being dumped via text of Facebook. :-)

Tameka said...

Great post Melissa! I was such an awkward turtle in HS that I didn't really have a first love. I was just a spectator and sometimes messenger in the romantic goings on of my fellow students. Seeing how incredibly dramatic HS relationships could be gave me a very Cher Horowitz attitude about boys in high school boys and I didn't have my first real love until I graduated.

Melissa Landers said...

Hey, Tameka! You definitely weren't alone. I know several people who felt the same way and didn't fall in love until college, or even later. I call those people The Smart Ones.

Lea Nolan said...

Oh Melissa, this post brought back a lot of memories. I too didn't have the communication gene and simply couldn't express myself in a relationship, offer my own opinions or assert my needs/wants. I think I was so petrified of losing the guy that I didn't want to tick him off. All it ended up doing was short-changing myself. But I think you need to learn those lessons in order to become a better partner later in life. Now, like you, I've located my communication gene, and have no problem asserting myself!

Jessica Love said...

Oh yeah, I was afraid to talk, too. I thought I might say the wrong thing and ruin it all, so I said nothing instead. Not a good plan.

Carey_Corp said...

Great post Melissa. Being able to assert yourself is soooo important. It's a hard but invaluable lesson.

Melissa Landers said...

Lea, Jess, & Carey: It's good to know I wasn't the only one too afraid to speak up. Like Lea mentioned, I think the fear was I'd upset him and ruin everything...which, ironically, ruined everything.