Three years ago, when I was seventeen, I met a woman online and fell for her pretty much instantly. We wrote back and forth a couple times and then wanted to meet up since we both lived in Germany. So far, so good – but this is where it got complicated: She was going to leave for America in a few days and be gone for 10 months…not exactly an ideal situation to meet someone new. We kept writing anyways, sometimes about the most ridiculous things. We talked about the weather for a solid 15 minutes just to stay in touch. Imagine that: ’International weather friendships’ – that’s what we called it.
The more we wrote, skyped and texted, the more I fell in love with her. My first love. And one day, I had the courage to tell her. Well, I wrote an email – I’m not that brave.
Luckily for me she felt the same way. And while being 17 and in love isn’t unusual, long distance relationships were at that time. But we decided to try a relationship anyway, despite having never met in person.
Some said it wasn’t a real relationship – we didn’t see each other in person, so we didn’t really know each other. And this is where they were wrong. When you can talk all night about the most random things, and when you call them every morning for half a year just to wish them a goodnight (time zones and all that) then believe me, after 10 months, you know the person quite well.
Yes, the physical side was missing completely and it was bothering us – we were teenagers, after all. But we knew that we wouldn’t be long distance forever. We had a fixed date when we would see each other – and that day came sooner than I thought!
The time after that was just wonderful. It was the summer after my graduation, I was 18, had a car and my driver’s license, and the woman I was in love with next to me when I fell asleep at night. We took trips to the sea, went shopping and spent days just appreciating each other’s presence. We fought, we cried and we made up. Our kind of love was easy and light, and we just enjoyed what the moment brought us.
However, life kind of took over after the summer. I went to university, she was still in high school and things just got a little more real I guess. We split up after being in each other’s lives for a year and a half. There were no hard feelings – neither of us had messed up or anything. We just wanted and needed different things that we couldn’t give the other at that point.
For a while after the breakup, I thought I still had things to say to her. I had so much on my mind that I wanted to let her know and wanted to know from her. It took me a while to step back and just appreciate what we had: Something that’s entirely ours. No one can take the time, the laughs, the cries and the love away from us. We’re still a part of each other’s story. Surely, the priority of that part might lose importance and meaning over time, and sometimes I think about what could have been if we stayed together, but there’s no use in thinking that way. Everything that happened, including us breaking up, happened for a reason. I truly believe that with all my heart.
We’ve both moved on since then and are leading very different lives. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m doing what I love with wonderful people in my life. My first love may not be as conventional as others, but she’s still my first.