Try to Date People Not Like You: My First Boyfriend and What I Learned.
When I was in my late teens I had three friends who were a lot of fun to hang out with. We would go to college parties, teen night at a local club, parties in the desert, even drive around drinking stolen peppermint Schnapps, chasing it with Sprite. Now, the idea makes me cringe. Whenever we would go out, all three of the girls would end up following these horny young guys to their bedrooms while I was always the one who opted for the company of the nerdy stoner, video game master, plopped on the ratted sofa. Now I’m not a shy or nerdy person by any means. In fact, if you met me, you’d probably think I was more likely to be the girl going to the bedroom to hookup, but intellectualism has always turned me on more than looks.
By the time we got to college I was still a virgin and these three girls had had more sex than I’d drank alcohol. I always wanted to be more like them. Open, carefree, beautiful, and fun, but I couldn’t bring myself to become intimate with someone that I barely knew, much less someone that couldn’t possibly “love” me.
My first boyfriend was a guy by the name of Shawn who wasn’t the life of the party by any means. We met at a party when I was seventeen, but he wasn’t there to do keg stands and beer bongs, he lived there and was simply passing through after getting off of work to go lock himself in his bedroom to do homework. I remember asking his roommate, “Who is that?” and he told me that Shawn works two jobs, goes to school full time and doesn’t even have a car. Not having a car and living in Arizona does not create an easy life so I was amazed at his tenacity and his drive. He was only a few years older than me but the fact that a full on party was happening right outside his room and all he wanted to do was study told me that I had to meet him.
The first time I knocked on his door he did not answer. I just wanted to introduce myself but he most likely had headphones on to drown out the incessant noise of intoxicated youth.
When we finally did meet he had just gotten off of work at one of his two jobs as a waiter and before he could make it to his room I had jumped in front of him. Since he was very shy, he wasn’t the most socially assertive and hanging out mostly consisted of watching him play video games, but I was still very attracted to his work ethic.
A few years of dating, teaching him to drive, encouraging him to forgive his father, a few months of being gone (because I thought going to Christian school in St. Louis was a good idea), and after countless frozen dinners and tons of video games later, I decided to lose my virginity. With the help of whiskey and some peer pressure (so romantic) I bonded my self sexually to him. Since it was my first lover and we were both so young, I would later learn what sex should really feel like (amazing) but this was the first and I couldn’t have picked a better guy.
Fifteen years later we have reconnected as friends and when we talk it’s like talking to the same person. Predictable, simple, shy, basic, but out of all of his friends his amazing work ethic and tenacity paid off; he is by far the most successful, the healthiest and the happiest.
We all like who we like and are attracted to people who speak to our souls. And I believe that we can choose who we want to spend our time with instead of being with people just like ourselves...sometimes it’s fun to pick someone who inspires us, teaches us and enables us to grow, especially when they couldn’t be more like us.
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