Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. For many, romantic relationships are the most meaningful aspect of life, a source of deep fulfillment. The need for human connection appears to be innate, but the ability to form healthy, loving relationships is learned.
Finding someone to create a love story with is often difficult. The stories of high school romance turned into a lifetime partnership might be the plot of dreamy movies, but it doesn’t happen for a lot of people. Finding love and losing it, now that one is common. Perhaps because people settle and become comfortable in relationships, disillusioned by the thought that they know their partners completely.
Dating in secondary school was quite the challenge. Having, in many cases, to keep it a secret from parents and teachers who considered dating at such an early age abominable. Regardless, relationships were formed, and some waxed strong beyond secondary school. While some got their dreamy ending, a lot more had to end for one reason or the other.
The end of a first long-term relationship is difficult to deal with. At this point reality hits you emotionally, and you begin to question a lot of things. People have different coping mechanisms; some might become indifferent towards emotional entanglements or dead set against it, while others pick themselves up and are raring to go again. We asked five people to share with us their experiences dealing with the end of a romance birthed in secondary school. Here’s what they had to say:
Michael and I were together from 2008 to 2011. He was my first real relationship, my first love. We were in a relationship for almost three years. Looking back I can hardly, believe we lasted so long. I guess there’s a certain honesty and innocence in a secondary school romance that most adult relationships lack. Being with Michael just felt right. Like we were two imperfect pieces that fit perfectly together. I remember waking up thinking about him or watching the doors to see when he walked in. I was a depressed, angry teenager and he was the only one who made me smile. When he made me laugh, I understood what joy really meant. Despite my regular sulkiness and sarcasm, he rarely complained.
Graduation came and he left the country to study. At first we were sure we’d make it, but distance helps some things die a natural death. As we gradually drifted apart, there were days that I missed him terribly, but then, new memories, new people push older ones into the recesses of our minds.
Our relationship showed me that two people can see past each other’s faults to truly care about each other. We still talk every now and then, but some things must come to an end. Though I may be single now, it’s only because I’ve felt true love, and I refuse to settle for less. In some ways, our past always influences our present.
– Peace, F, 25.
Tolani and I were cool right from secondary school. I met her when she was in JSS3 and I was only a class ahead of her. The normal routine set in: you like a girl, you approach her, and you ask her out. You know as as a fine boy, she said yes. After dating for approximately two weeks, she left for another school, and I didn’t set my eyes on her until my valedictory service ceremony. Dressed in my colorful blazers, I was so shocked seeing her again. She looked so beautiful. We couldn’t resist each other. We started dating again shortly after that day (she broke up with her boyfriend because of me) I felt a little guilt, but it was her choice to make. We were actually so cool together, from the keeping up, video calls, visitations, kisses, all relationship related stuff except sex.
I really liked her because she was never demanding. She understood all I had, and knew my pocket. But it all started going downhill when her sister got to know about our relationship and she kissed her best friend.
When she told me, I did not take it lightly and it almost led to a break up. She eventually broke up with me with a very silly excuse. I was not surprised because I saw it coming. My only regret was waiting, and it hurts because she was the first person I ever loved. Time has gone by and I still have not been able to move on from the hurt.
– Dapo, M, 21
We started dating a month before secondary school graduation. It was my first serious relationship and it went on to last three years. It was the best feeling in the world at the time, but came to an end in our third year in university because she met someone else.
There were days on end when I stayed awake wondering why I wasn’t enough. I dated someone else after, but she left me because, according to her, I haven’t gotten over the hurt and it was beginning to affect our relationship. So yeah, spare me a prayer. I am damaged.
– Caesar, M, 23.
We started dating in SSS2. It began all sweet and rosy: the long walks, holding of hands, first kiss, intimate talks and all. Until I started having doubts, feeling insecure, and continuously feeling sad because I felt unloved. I felt it slowly fading away, no more care. Turned out he was dating someone else. No, not someone, other people. Finding out shattered my heart. A whole year of my life gone down the drain.
Then I slowly got myself up. Time and prayers definitely healed my broken heart. The relationship made me understand that not everyone means well, and I should always be careful before entering a relationship. I am now in another relationship, and it has in no way affected how I relate with my boyfriend. The experience made me wiser and I make better choices now.
– Ruth, F, 20
He was the principal’s son and most girls in school wanted him. He was the most desirable boy to look at and the star of our football team. When he asked me out, I said yes on the spot and we dated till our fourth year in university.
I soon realised he was the scum of earth, misogynistic and without courtesy. I was embarrassed in public by his uncouth utterances many times yet the scum had the guts to cheat, and with my friend!
I have since moved on, with his cousin; there is some justice in this world after all. I learned that truly, not all that glitters is gold, and I am much happier and thankful for my boyfriend.
– Joke, F, 24.
Over to you BellaNaijarians, which of these stories resonates with you the most? Please share some of your most memorable lessons from long term relationships of your youth.