I’ve always considered myself a late bloomer. Even now, as an adult I’ve never quite followed what society would consider normal milestones.
When I finally had my first boyfriend at the age of 32, I honestly thought this was it. I had been cautious enough with guys that I thought there was no possible way my heart would get broken.
My favorite thing to do for him was cook. Call me old fashion, or it might be my Mexican roots, but I felt like I was finally where I belonged. I absolutely loved when I would be in the middle of cooking, and he’d play a song for me. Then, he would take my hand and begin dancing with me in the middle of the kitchen.
I remember when he brought up the word “marriage” for the first time. We had been dating for only seven months. Even though I thought it was too soon, I knew I loved him. I could see a future with him.
When we started shopping for rings, I remember crying because every girl dreams of marrying their first love, and it was happening to me.
So, when he told me he had been unfaithful to me, I was in shock, so much so that I didn’t believe him.
How could the man with whom I was planning to spend the rest of my life lie to me?
How could he take my trust for granted?
How did I not see the warning signs?
As if being unfaithful wasn’t bad enough, I learned he was going to be a father too.
He gave me the option of asking him to sign papers to give up custody of his child. But I thought of my nephew who had grown up without his father his entire life. I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I even considered that option. So, I told him, “No. Your parents raised you better than that. They raised you to be a responsible adult.”
That was the moment I knew our time together was coming to an end. The thought of it was hard to deal with, but I knew it was better.
It’s taken a lot of hard work to overcome my first heartbreak. Initially there was a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment. Through counseling, I’ve learned that forgiving him is the only way for me to let go of the pain he caused me. And through my faith I’ve re-learned to value myself for the woman I am in the eyes of God. I’ve leaned heavily on my family, who have helped me see my worth even at my lowest points.
There were many things I loved and admired about my ex-boyfriend. Even now, after the heartbreak and the healing journey I’ve been through, I still have a special place in my heart for him. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not willing to let history to repeat itself. I value myself too much to allow that to happen.
I will always carry my first love with me and the many lessons it brought me. But I’m excited to experience my last love, my true love. If or when it happens, I will accept it with arms wide open.
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