Our whole lives we’re taught that being first is best. Aim for it, strive for it, and take pride in it when you get it. As I get older, I realize there’s nothing wrong with being last. Hell, I’m aiming for it.
Dating at 30 isn’t easy, let alone falling in love. At my age, I’ve had to come to terms with the truth that my partner has lived a whole life before me. He has had his first kiss, his first sexual experience, his first child, even his first marriage. All defining moments in his life, that I will never be a part of. Monumental memories that will never include me. They have shaped his life as an adult and likely played a huge role in becoming the man that I now love (to the moon and back).
While I know struggling with the love of my life not being as pure as the driven snow is both neurotic and unrealistic, sometimes anxiety and self doubt get the best of me. While these insecurities and doubts are fleeting, they exist, and I would be lying if I said they didn’t. I mean, I too have had a whole life before him. I’ve been in love, had children, been engaged, spent time in another man’s arms making plans for our future together, pictured growing old with someone other than him.
Does that devalue these experiences I now have with him, simply because I’ve had them before with someone else? Of course not. If anything, they have paved the way for the successful relationship we have.
I know this. I am aware.
Yet, every so often, a pang of jealousy hits me. It’s like being pummeled in the chest by a ton of bricks. I look into his eyes and feel both heartbreak and rage that another women has been responsible for causing him pain, making him laugh, shared in his hopes and dreams, vowed to love him until death do them part.
Now, I’m going to let you in on something. I’m sure your mother, or your aunt, or some older-generation power couple has told you this before but maybe hearing it from a peer will help you truly believe it: In a relationship, communication is key. When your partner inquires what is wrong, or what you’re thinking, replying with “nothing” is only doing you both a disservice. So when he asked me one day, what was on my mind, I was honest. I shared with him the absurd thoughts running through my head. Rather than scoff or berate me for being unrealistic and ridiculous he responded with something that resonated with me on a truly deep level.
“It’s not about being the first, it’s about being the last.”
I will be the last woman he loves.
The last woman he laughs so deeply with while laying in bed on a Sunday morning.
The last woman he makes love to.
The last woman he vows to honor and cherish.
It was at that moment I realized, being last isn’t a bad thing.