Feeling Nostalgic About Your First Love? Here's Why Your Teenage Boyfriend Totally Isn't The Way Forward
The Debrief: Staring down the barrel of a Valentine's Day spent alone? No matter how bad it gets, we still suggest you stay away from your first boyfriend...
If you’re staring down the barrel of a single Valentine’s day and you’d really rather not spend the evening of the 14th Googling ‘forever alone’ memes, then step away from Facebook, step away from your phone, and step away from your exes. Because pursuing your first ever boyfriend or girlfriend is less sensible than arranging to meet someone for ‘a quiet drink’ on the front row of the 02 during a One Direction tour.
When you’re in your teens (or twenties), you’re still evolving. You don’t know who you are yet, but you’re horny, hormonal, and on a promise. When I met my first boyfriend, I couldn’t believe my luck in meeting someone who I had so much in common with. ‘We both love MUSIC, and FRIENDS, and eating pizza!’ I shrieked. I may as well have added ‘And we both have HANDS!’ The sheer, giddy novelty of having a boyfriend, of jumping up when my phone buzzed, of sending five thousand word emails that didn’t really contain any information, of hearing songs about profound, powerful love on the radio and thinking ‘FINALLY, this is ABOUT ME!’ - well, the summer I was 15, I felt like I was constantly bathing in MDMA. How I loved love!
I recently caught up with an old friend and remembered about a weird teenage double date we’d been on. Her boyfriend stormed off because he didn’t want to go to a cafe, he wanted to go to Games Workshop. Then mine stormed off because he thought it was very pretentious of me to have ordered a cappuccino. Together, we nursed our coffees and sighed over our brilliant, brooding men. ‘He’s just complicated, you know?’ mooned Sarah, while her first love counted out his pocket money and paid over the odds for a small metal elf. We cackled at the memory. ‘If anyone pulled that sort of shit now, we’d just live tweet it. We’d tell them to shove Games Workshop up their arse.’ But we go into our first relationships expecting drama.
We want it to be complicated, because we’ve grown up watching people fall in love while overcoming adversity. We all thought we were Romeo and Juliet, but our families weren’t at war - we were just seeing sulky twats who would stop speaking to us if they thought we hadn’t said enough nice things about their new hats.
I believe that no-one actually misses their first love - what they want to recapture is the sense of being young, and filling their lives with passion and drama. I just had another press release claiming that the top ‘dumping day’ of the year is four days before Valentine’s Day. When you’ve been in a few relationships, you start to learn that they’re very boring. (Happily, my partner and I love being boring and we’re very big fans of any US show that has the word Wars in the title.) Basically, the more exciting your life becomes, the less romantic it gets. Relationships require a lot of admin. You’re coordinating two separate friendship groups. You have to go to weddings, and remember your parents’ birthdays. It might have felt a lot more special and intense when you were teenagers and had to campaign to be allowed into each other’s bedrooms, but basically first love is about novelty, which burns itself out eventually. If you still feel like giving it another go, ask yourself whether you’re still excited by the prospect of catching three different buses to get to their house. Thought not.
Occasionally the first one will be The One, and you might spend a few years getting to know yourself and making sure you’re ready to settle down before going back to your first love. But I don’t think most of us miss our first boyfriends and girlfriends as much as we miss our old selves. If you feel nostalgia snapping at your heels, you could try taking your current squeeze to the cinema, buying tickets to something you’re not bothered about watching, and snogging their face off instead. Or search Ebay for some Rimmel Heather Shimmer in the original packaging. But don’t feel obliged to give your first beau a call.
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Picture: Eugenia Loli
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