I consider myself a late bloomer. I was an average student, my boobs didn't come in until after everyone else's (but when they arrived, they ARRIVED) and I didn't really date much in high school. I mean, who needed real relationships when I was having girls' nights with my friends watching Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally?! (Some things never change.) While I was watching some pretty racy PG-13 movies long before I wore deodorant or shaved my legs, I still think I had a pretty sheltered life. I grew up with parents that love each other, in a nice neighborhood, playing Barbies and drinking Orange Juliuses. I never had to want for anything. Nowadays I think you'd call that #blessed.
This childhood teed me up perfectly for my first real boyfriend in college: Evan (no, that's not his real name). He was friends with my roommate, and was super outgoing, kind and a little fluffy, so I didn't feel insecure about that freshman 15 I'd gained—and to this day haven't lost. We dated for a while and he made everything feel like the '80s movies I'd grown up watching. I loved him for it. We danced in the rain, carved our initials up the street from my parents' home, and he was the perfect person to lose my virginity to. Roll your eyes if you must, but after living through the last 10 years as a basically permanently single person, I've come to really appreciate the time I had with him.
I give you this background so that, as we get to know each other better, you understand that I have had positive relationships with men and it's not all horror, heartache and drama. I'm cautiously optimistic that I will find this kind of love again, even if I never get to recline in the back of a pickup under the stars listening to '80s power ballads and eating chocolate-covered strawberries and Juanita's chips with another man.
Sound familiar? Tell me about your first love. Who's the Patrick Swayze in your story? Cheers to him! And while we're at it, rest in peace, Patrick.