Why It's Okay to Have "A Past"

As much as it comforts you to think that you are the only person your significant other has ever seen, touched or been in love with, the reality is that’s probably not the case. And it's completely ok. You should have past dating experiences, “experiments" and a handful of flings or relationships under your belt before concluding you’re with your future husband or wife.

I think finding your one true love is a process of elimination. Not in the sense that you date everyone in sight until you narrow your list to one, but that you date different types of people at different stages of your life. This way you can discover which qualities you admire in a partner, and what you just can’t stand.

I was a bit boy-crazy in high school, and although there are a few embarrassing memories, overall I don’t regret it. I realized I don’t want to be with the quiet, preppy kind of guy who wears boat shoes and pastel shorts. Nor am I compatible with the mysterious guy who isn’t willing to open up and talk about difficult things. I’m not attracted to lip rings or tight jeans. Or girls.

I chased guys who never texted me back, who flirted with other girls right in front of me, didn’t take me to prom and some who didn’t even know my name. I’ve been through the bad boy phase, the quarterback phase, the theater geek phase and the Ivy-league-college bound phase. By my freshman year of college, I was so over all of them.

Then there was Bryan. He was muscular with an eclectic sense of humor. He was a simple dresser (often times, his clothes didn’t match) and family oriented. He called me every night, introduced me to his parents, told me his deepest secrets and took my brother fishing. I was so confused.

Why don’t I have to double text him to get a response? Why is he not posting pictures on Facebook with other girls? Why does he want me to bake cookies with his mom? It took me a while, but the answer eventually hit me like a brick. He’s mature. He’s a man, not a boy. He didn’t play games. He liked me a lot and actually acted like it.

This was uncharted territory for me. I had never been in a real relationship before, and was basically blind to how those types of things came to be. Because of his patience and determination (two qualities I learned I absolutely need in a boyfriend,) we’ve been in love for over two years now.

I’m not saying you should kiss or date everything with a pulse, but it’s healthy to relate to a Taylor Swift love lyric or two. If you have nothing to compare your new found love to, how do you know you’re actually in love?