I didn't date much. Unlike my Gina, I didn't date for the sake of dating. I was always looking for that someone, and I wasn't interested in just dating anyone. To me, dating wasn't fun. To me back then, dating was the initial awkward and nerve racking 'accept me or reject' me part. I was always looking forward to getting past the awkwardness and self-conscious trial era...and get into the actual relationship. I didn't want a date, I wanted a girlfriend.
One of the big downsides to dating when your young is that you're young. Immaturity comes with youth and lessons learned are learned the hard way. We blindly and carelessly hurt one another because we simply didn't know what to do because of the ignorance of our youth.
My first love, I didn't want to let go of my first love. I didn't understand why she wanted to drop the relationship and so I thought I could make her change her mind. I thought I had done something wrong and figured that I could change who I was so she would stay. Learning to let go was my first bitter lesson.
"If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."
I made sure that after I learned that lesson in the most embarrassing and heart breaking way - to hold all following relationships loosely. No matter how strongly I felt toward another, I would try to be sensitive enough and love them enough to know when to let go. There were wonderful girlfriends to follow the first, but I always found myself having to release them. There was always pain, but it's not as bad when you willingly and lovingly let go. There was a sad longing, there was always pain, but there was also a peace that I did the right thing. God's grace was always there.
"The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost."
God made us with a free will. He made us so we didn't HAVE to love him, because he wants us to return to him and love him FREELY. Having made us in such a way, we each must learn to respect each other's choice when searching for our mate.
I didn't find my love until I was 25. The first date wasn't awkward, but so very easy. Gina and I got along from the start. She was a great date. From dating to relationship to commitment, it was a natural procession. We grew into this love and both committed to hold onto it. Very early on I experienced a time of having to let go of her - and finally - I had found someone who returned to me and will always mine.
I will always be hers as well.