Have we all watched movies like The Notebook, A Walk to Remember and The Best of Me? Nicholas Sparks was and is my favorite writer. I love going through the emotions with each character, crying and laughing and crying again. I love everything about love stories, I'm a sucker for love. When I started reading these books and watching these movies I was also 14 years old so I had no idea what falling in love felt like, I just lived what the characters lived and hoped for one day to experience it. I want to say that because of my choices of literature I longed for a love like it. I wanted to fall in love like in my books and I wanted to experience everything I had read. So, it finally happened for me, that year, at my young age of 14.
To not be so blunt and expose anyone, we will call my first relationship "The Gentleman" because I consider him to have been exactly that for me.
I don't remember the exact moment we saw each other or where we were but if love at first sight exists, it definitely happened with him. We were very young and had no business falling in love, or what we thought was love, but we went for it anyway. We dated while we were in Middle School all the way up to High School. At the time, I didn't know Christ. His family was and still is attending the church I started in and he introduced me to the word of God. The Gentleman was everything to me. My first boyfriend at that, but also my first introduction of what a man should do for a woman (I'm aware we were kids, stick with me). I grew up very sheltered, barely allowed to go out with friends but my mom trusted The Gentleman and his family so I was allowed to go out with them everywhere. Our relationship was pure, clean, loving, respectful, and everything in between. We talked all night, and saw each other all day (we were in school and had a few classes together). He walked me to class, bought me lunch, bought me chocolates, gifts, wrote me letters, defended me, protected me from other guys, he was everything. Our entire relationship was based on respect and love. He did everything for me and he was proud to be my boyfriend. After our breakup I was destroyed. I had no idea what I was going to do after that (I was only 16 then, so imagine, the world was crumbling).
The Gentleman set a standard for me. He was a great example of what a man can do for a woman and he loved me, flawed and all. He taught me that respect needed to exist for a relationship to have a solid foundation. He taught me that love has no limits; he also made me feel like I was the only girl in the world. At his young age, he had a clear idea of who he was and who he needed to be for me. We weren't sexually active and even though I'm sure all his friends were, he never pushed me or asked me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. True gentleman right? His family thought we were going to be together forever, we were it for each other and we felt that way too.
Dear Future Husband, Im glad for The Gentleman and the time we spent together. Although I don't regret our breakup I wish I would have been smarter or more selective with my choices after him. I thank God for his maturity because it showed me that to build a strong relationship it takes time and patience. The Gentleman is still alive, we have crossed paths since our High School days, even way after my divorce. I'm not sure of his relationship patterns now, but I'm glad he was who he was to me, at the time that I needed it the most. I don't measure you by this standard because as a 30 year old woman I know there are more things to consider than chivalry. As an over protected 14 year old, The Gentleman was exactly what I needed.