3 readers about the one they will never forget

Cliché, so true: your first love … you will not forget it. Three readers tell the story of their first love.

‘He is still very valuable in my life’

Esther (52): “I was a shy girl from a small village in North Holland, he was a tough DJ from the house scene – a music movement that was just popping up at the time. Every time DJ Dimitri came to play in our village disco, my friends and I giggled and danced in front of the turntable. By asking for pictures or getting him a drink, I tried to get his attention. It worked, for one evening Dimitri asked if I would take him to Amsterdam after closing time, where he was having a party. Of course, I thought it was exciting to go to the ‘big city’ in the middle of the night. My parents were less happy when I first got home at 4.30pm, instead of the usual two o’clock. Luckily, they forgave him when we officially started dating. I absolutely loved him. And he mine too, but his music always remained more important. Dimitri became more and more famous as a regular DJ in the popular club Roxy, and he often played abroad. I gave him his career, but I was not aware that he was also using drugs in the meantime. As he became more and more engrossed in all the temptations that came with his success, I desperately tried to cling to him. He, in turn, found it too oppressive. Slowly we lost each other.
I threw myself into modeling, traveled to Paris, London and Milan and eventually moved to America to work. Dimitri sank further into his addiction. Still, we did not manage to let go of each other, for years we continued to circle each other. For example, I would call the club where he was playing in a hysterical mood to ask him to give me one more chance. Another time, he called my modeling agency in New York to invite me to the Virgin Islands, where he was on vacation. One day I decided this was an endless story. “How many times do I have to go back to you?” I said as he contacted him again. ‘I’m done’.
For a long time I had a terrible heartache, but I knew it was better this way. Other men came into my life and I have been with my current partner for almost twenty years now. He is stable and reliable, one with whom I was able to build a life that I could never have with Dimitri. Even though he has overcome his addiction, he still leads a nightlife and that is not something for me. He now has a boyfriend who is a much better match for him. I love to see him happy because he always has a special place in my heart. Occasionally we write to each other and I still have good contact with his mother. Since I did not have a good relationship with my own mother, it was her I could always turn to at that time. It has never changed. “Even if you are no longer my daughter-in-law, you will always be my child,” she says. That way, my first love is still very valuable in my life. ”

‘I really do not want to let him go another time’

Mieke (37): “Remco and I started dating when I was in my second year of high school. I was thirteen and he was fifteen, but we soon had a very mature relationship. It was primarily because he came from a difficult home situation. Remco went to boarding school and also worked in construction. Because he did not have contact with his father and mother, my parents also took care of him a bit. There was even talk that he should stay with us. Yet, when he was sixteen, he chose to live in the region where he grew up, a hundred miles away. We gave it another try, but if you’re young, that distance is too great. I was tired of heartache, missed him terribly. After that, I had quite a few boyfriends, but when I broke up, I was never as upset as when I was with Remco. I thought it was just part of the puppy love, but his grandmother – who I kept in touch with – always said, “Girl, it’s going to be okay one day.” Even my father said on his deathbed: “You get your construction worker back.” I did not understand at the time how they could say that, but maybe they sensed something anyway.
Many years later, I stumbled upon Remco by accident again on an online forum. I wrote to him and we kept in touch over the years. That was it, because we were both in a relationship. But as it went, I took the plunge and suggested he meet sometime. As he approached, I immediately saw the clear blue eyes that he used to get everything done with me. “Oh, that’s completely wrong,” I thought. I just got out of a difficult relationship, he already had a child. I did not want to jump into something new so quickly, but it was unstoppable. During our second appointment at his house, he said he had emptied a closet for me. I never left.
We now have twins of five and our own company. We are almost always together in our spare time. Some people do not understand it, but we are so intertwined. We have been engaged for a while now, but due to the corona, we have already postponed the wedding a few times. But it will definitely happen one day, I really will not let him go another time! Sometimes I think: if only you had never moved. It’s such a waste of all the lost years … On the other hand, I think we both got a lot of life experience in the thirteen years we were apart, and that we are now only stronger together. And when we’s eighty, we’ll have a beautiful love story to tell our grandchildren! “

‘We are more in love than ever’

Dominique (52): “Dick was a good friend of my stepbrother. I read in an old diary that I already as a 14-year-old mocked him as a ‘good thing’, but we only started dating when I was 16 and he eighteen. It was certainly not like I saw us grow old right away. I often had boyfriends, and once I had conquered someone, the fun was soon over for me. I was therefore also myself surprised that I put up with Dick. I was obviously really in love for the first time.
I was nineteen when we moved in together, on a small floor above a snack bar. Everything leaked and creaked, and mice ran around. Still, we were overjoyed. Despite being the first in our circle of friends to have such a serious relationship, we felt free. We went out a lot together, but we both had our own hobbies and friends. So we slowly grew up together. Sometimes people said, ‘How do you know it’s him you should not try again?’ But I’ve never had that need. I was just thinking: if it does not work out with him, who will? ‘
No matter what happened in our lives, Dick always remained the rock-solid one I never had to doubt. At least I thought so. In 2016, my brother died of cancer, and when I had just recovered a bit, I was told I had Parkinson’s disease. During the same period, Dick suffered from a severe burnout. We were both so caught up in our own worries that we could not be there for the other when we needed each other more than ever. Before, we actually never quarreled, now there were more and more annoyances. It seemed like we could not reach each other anymore. During that time, I sometimes wondered what it would be like to continue on my own. That thought scared me. If even my rock solid factor started to falter, what was so certain in my life?
We could have lost each other at the time, but luckily we did not. I realized that I did not want to change my husband, but the situation. Dick acknowledged that he could not figure it out on his own and sought the help of a psychologist. After that, things quickly went back to normal. I saw again the man I once fell in love with! Now, 36 years after we started dating, things are actually better than ever. My illness is manageable with the right medication. Dick sometimes says he does not care if I can do certain things later as long as we are together. That’s how I feel.
However uncertain the future may be, I look forward to it with confidence. With him, but also with our two sons. We even got all four of the same tattoo, as the end of a tough period and as a sign that we are always dragging each other through everything. As a family, we are much stronger than we thought. The boys are now both out of the house, so Dick and I are together again. It feels like it did on the small floor above the snack bar: just as free and carefree, but without leaks and mice. “

Why is first love so important?

Psychologist Roos Woltering: “Your first love is often seen as the most important relationship in your life, because the first experience opens the way for all the loves that come afterwards. First love does not usually last, but they were the first person to love you differently than your parents. He (or she) has, so to speak, kissed away the femininity and sexuality in you.
If there is a pain point in your first love, for example because you have been abandoned or cheated on, it can be difficult to open up to another relationship afterwards. Unconsciously, you may carry the first broken heart with you for years to come, and this may even affect the advice you give your children once they fall in love. Do you say, ‘How wonderful for your child, enjoy it!’, Or: ‘Do not give up too fast, be careful not to be cheated’? To avoid passing on a negative first love experience, it is important to see the gift in the relationship. If you focus on the ugly ending, you are also displacing the good times that came before that. So think about what you have learned from the relationship and what has awakened the person in you. And dared to see what role you played in the failure of the relationship. It can also be interesting to have a conversation with your current partner about your first relationship. Usually, your first courtship always has a special place in your heart. This does not necessarily mean that you can fall in love with that person again; it is unrealistic to think that time has not changed you.
You can also look back on your first flame in a positive way and feel: ‘I take you into my heart and I will let you go too’. Although there are always romantic stories about people who end up with their childhood sweetheart. For example, my 80-year-old aunt resumed her first boyfriend after her husband’s death, and now they live together. So it’s possible … “

Text: Marion van Es
Photo: Getty Images

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