He waited breathlessly on the other side of the lunch table. As I took another bite from my tuna sandwich, I felt the room go silent. The poor boy awaiting my answer was not the only one who wanted to know the verdict.
“Okay, I’ll be your girlfriend,” I said before smiling shyly before taking the last bite of my sandwich. The students in the cafeteria seemed to sigh in relief and then went quickly back to business.
Boyfriends and girlfriends; they come and go. And try as we may, most of those high school and college relationships don’t make it to marriage. That being said, when I was a teenager, I decided that I would make a rule for myself: Don’t kiss a boy until you know he’s the one you will marry.
I know, it seems a bit extreme. But I am a very emotional and sensitive person. I had seen dating couples become very emotionally involved with each other the more physical their relationships became. They suffered extraordinary loss in the break-up because there was more between them to get torn in two.
I figured that I could avoid a lot of hardship if I limited physical intimacy with the men I was dating. It was a simple way to help me ensure I wasn’t getting too emotionally invested in a relationship too soon. I discovered that I knew guys who dated me liked me simply for who I was—not what they could get from me.
That relationship that began in the school cafeteria was a good experience for me, even though it didn’t last. We both understood that we were together because we liked each other. But some shade of doubt kept telling me to wait and be sure. And am I ever glad I did wait. It wasn’t long after those very serious conversations about a possible future together that we realized we were simply two very different people. Sure, it hurt when we broke up, but I can only imagine how much harder it would have been for me if I had given more than I was ready to give to him.
My rule about kissing isn’t for everyone. But for someone like me who is very easily heartbroken, I’m glad I eliminated the risk of a possible regret. Now I have no idea if that boy went on to carry out my “rule” in his own future relationships. But this I do know. He and I met and married other people with whom we started our own families. The intimacy I now share with my husband is ours and ours alone. That’s a beautiful thing.