What defines that moment when you first fall in love? How can you distinguish the true, profound leap from the knock-off sensation comparable to that feeling of sleep-falling commonly known as “puppy love”?
Before you stop reading this and assume these questions are coming from a shallow teenage girl smacking bubble gum and swinging her legs back and forth on her bed while reading Seventeen Magazine’s tips for how to have hotter sex and listening to Taylor Swift sing about hating the girl that totally stole her boyfriend, hear me out.
We’ve all had that first somebody. And no, I’m not referring to that VERY first somebody who proposed to us in kindergarten, or told us he wanted to grab our waists and sway back and forth with us to the beat of a Barry Manilow song at the Junior High dance. I’m talking about the first somebody that meant something to us.
For some people, they met each other in high school. Others remember bumping into their first somebody in college. Still others would tell you it was at work. Or at a coffee shop. Or a street corner. Or the airport. Regardless of where your two paths first crossed, the same thing happened: you fell.
Looking back on the time spent with that first somebody, you’ll admit that you fell. Whatever it was about them made you so happy, butterflies in your stomach and all. But here’s the catch: was it the deceptive “puppy love”, or was it the real thing, complete with background music just like the movies? Some of you will admit that you got caught up in the excitement, that you didn’t know what love felt like, that you were innocent.
And others of you will call it something different. Maybe you were young, but you know you fell. And it wasn’t a long fall, or a hard fall, or a noticeable fall, but one day you swear you stood up and realized you were somewhere much farther down than you used to be. And it doesn’t mean that the somebody stayed with you for a long time, or made you cry, or was any different than any other somebody, but there was an inexpressible something there, a something that made you feel vulnerable yet confident, mature yet naive: you felt loved.
So here comes the kicker: I’m a teenage girl. I’m in high school, I don’t know much about the world at all, and I have no idea where I’m going. I’m well aware that I’m innocent, but does my youth render me incapable of feeling love?
You know that first somebody that I asked you to remember? Well, I have a first somebody too, only mine isn’t a memory yet.
I have this theory (yes, teenage girls can make theories just like old European men from the seventeenth century): some people just “fit”. It is my persuasion that there are a number of somebodies, not solely one, that could possibly “fit” with each of us as our lifelong monogamous “match”. We are created to get along with others, so naturally, we should be able to feel comfortable with multiple people on an intimate level throughout our lifetime as “fits”, although only one somebody will be our “match”. And it all comes down to timing.
My first somebody and I will go our different ways soon. We met too early to be each others’ “match”.
We will only ever be a fit for the other, but unless a there is a secret hormone in the human body that enables adults to experience the sensation of love exclusively, I think I’ve fallen, and I am convinced that if our meeting hadn’t been in high school, that if our two paths had crossed at a later time, at the right time, we could have been a match.
We could have been each others’ last somebody.