Paua Series: Foolish Love
It was love at first sight. I never believed in such things until I first saw him. Metaphorically, there were fireworks everywhere, the scene was bright and sunny and it felt like time had stopped. I thought that he was the cutest guy I have ever come across in my life and to be honest, he probably still is. The first time I saw him was at a kids’ birthday party and never in a million years did I thought he would notice me, let alone be attracted to me. I met him during the summer of 2013. I was sixteen and he was twenty-one where he visited New Zealand for a while, before moving to the other side of the world. And thus for most of the relationship, it was long distance and complicated.
Although he did ask me to be his girlfriend, I said no because the timing was not right. It was during exam time, he was leaving in a couple of weeks’ time, I did not know how my parents would feel about it with the age difference and I was still young and naïve. At the time I regretted not having him officially as my boyfriend but looking back at it now, I’m glad he wasn’t because I could imagine that the feelings I would have gone through, would have been a whole lot worse than they already were.
I mentioned about being young and naive and I definitely was. I was naïve to think that he was the ‘one’, that all the constant fighting and breakups and make ups would strengthen the love we had for each other. I was also naïve to think that because I was ‘in love’, all of the unhappiness was worth it.
I was unhappy because I craved for his attention and love through passive aggressive messaging- no lie. I was probably obsessed over him but I was definitely attached to him. And for six months I was constantly left disappointed with the lack of communication which led me to not trusting him. Although the heavens kept sending me red flags that he was no good for me, I was just too naïve and blinded by love.
So for months it felt like a childish game to see who could hurt each other the most. When I reflect back to this period of time, I’ve never felt so cruel with the things that I would say to get back at him for the things that he did. Overall, the whole relationship was unhealthy and toxic for both of us.
But then one day, I just had enough. I had enough of being upset and crying all the time. I had enough of him taking advantage of my trust and playing with my heart. I just had enough of needing attention and love from someone else, when really, I needed love and attention from myself. So I ended things with him, although it was mutual at the end.
However, there were good moments and memories from the relationship that I will never forget. To be perfectly honest, he sparked my passion for writing poetry and he was also my muse for most of my poems which I wrote at first; in fact, some of those poems won competitions and were published in different places. So I can say that there were some positives and benefits from the relationship but they weren’t enough to make me stay. I’m not saying that he is a horrible person or that I hate him. I’m just saying that being in a relationship is like being in a team, you need to work together to win at the game of love. Also, I am also saying that it is always good to forgive, or else you will be stuck in the past and it will stop you from moving on entirely.
Nonetheless, there were a lot of life lessons that I learnt from my first love. Firstly, I now know what it means to ‘never judge a book by its cover’ as although they may seem innocent at first, once you get to know a person, they may be totally the opposite of what you thought they would be. Secondly, trust is so important in a relationship; without it, the relationship will never work as there will be jealousy and fights, where one person will always be hurting. Thirdly, if you are in an unhealthy relationship where you find yourself upset or crying all the time, the love you feel is really not worth it; rather than putting all of your energy draining yourself out with all of the bad emotions, it is better to use that energy to do something positive for yourself such as surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good and lift you up or doing something you love. Ultimately, I learnt that first love will always be bittersweet, sweet because it is the first time that you will experience being in love and bitter because it will always be a love that you will remember forever.