Valentine’s Day always reminds me of one of my old boyfriends. Not that I still have feelings for him, but because we began dating on Valentine’s Day in 1975.
I’d had a crush on this guy since I was about eight-years-old. Crazy, huh? Maybe it was because he was two years older or because he had the same name as my beloved grandpa, who knows, but I had a severe case of “puppy love.” I watched heartbroken as he “went steady” with other girls, most of whom were his age.
After waiting for seven years, he finally chose me! Funny, you’d think I’d remember the how and where of that event since I’d been dreaming of it happening for all those years, but for the life of me, I can’t recall a single detail.
I remember it was a lot of fun, at least for the first six months, but then I began to enjoy being without him as much as I enjoyed being with him. We went to different high schools, so I only saw him on weekends, which strangely was just fine with me. I still liked him – a lot, but he wasn’t at the top of my priority list. To be honest, he probably didn’t crack the top five on that list. I began to ask other couples if the way I was feeling was normal. All I heard was a resounding, “No!”
In retrospect, as a senior he was concentrating on his future beyond high school and as a sophomore I was concentrating on my future on the cheerleading squad. We were out of sync, but I hesitated in breaking up with him. There wasn’t anyone else I wanted to be with and I didn’t want to hurt him. And what if I’d regret it later?
Finally, he said something that gave me the courage to end things. He said he felt I had been drifting away from him. If there was ever an open door, that was, and it was wide open. It was the hardest thing I’d done in my life up to that point, and yes, he was hurt (although his hurt healed much faster than I expected).
That relationship lasted a little more than a year and taught me that I wasn’t ready to have a relationship. For the next two years I dated and enjoyed being with my friends, and that’s what was best for me emotionally. I had time to be me without thinking about someone else, until I was ready. I determined that the next time I was in a relationship I would concentrate on the friendship rather than being starry-eyed.
Fast forward 38 years and I’m happily married to the love of my life, and the old boyfriend is happily married to the love of his life. The feelings of puppy love are real, but those feelings have a way of fading away. The love that forms in a deep friendship goes the distance. So, happy Valentine’s Day to Jerry & Mary Scott and an especially happy Valentine’s Day to my very best friend, my special blessing from God, my husband, Chris!