I was inspired by another blogger, Cjanerun, who wrote about 5 of her past loves. Each story was so different and so beautiful, and in each story she reflected on how that person had influenced her. I find relationships very interesting, and I think you can learn a lot about yourself through dating and friendships. With it being February, love has been on my mind lately and I’ve been remembering some pretty great valentines-of-the-past as well as some great people I got to date (there have been a lot of them). I think I’d like to take a little look back on some of the loves of my youth. Maybe this will get interesting! This blog could use a little spicing up, after all!
For some reason, there have been a lot of Brandons. The first one happened junior year of high school. He was tall and good-looking and Asian (I had a thing for Asians). It was the first time I dated someone that shared a lot of my interests. He loved going dancing! He loved singing, theater, artsy stuff, and was a hopeless romantic. It was really really fun! Perhaps this led me to hope to share some of these commonalities with my future husband. If I could wrap up that relationship with one word, it would be spontaneity. We did things like jumping into the pool with our clothes on. He surprised me with a trail of rose petals leading to a romantic set up on the stage of our school’s theater. We went to the beach and snuggled. We doubled with my best friend and her boyfriend a lot, and it was really fun because all four of us were old friends. I knew my parents weren’t too keen on the idea of my dating him because he had a little bit of a bad boy with the ladies, which made me not want to tell them anything about it. Thankfully, he was always respectful. For my birthday that year I chose to get tickets with my parents to a jazz concert, and he got to come along. We got to dress up, go out for dinner, and enjoy a night of scat, blues-y music, and dancing. It was totally up our alley and we both loved it. I still have a CD he bought me that day from a musician on the street.
On Christmas Eve that year, we really wanted to see each other for some reason, and since I knew my mom would not want me hanging out with him, I told her I was going to do some last minute shopping. Instead, I went to the movies with Brandon. During the movie, someone starting pelting hard candies at our heads from behind–I have a feeling it was a certain friend of my mom’s, and she must have ratted us out to her because I got in big trouble when I got home. I think it was the only time I lied to her about being out with a boy. Brandon and I had some wonderful times at stake dance, and we even went to midwinter together (interesting note–Raimo’s date for junior prom in Utah wore the same hot pink dress that I wore in California). I have this memory of the two of us being in the back seat of a suburban and making out on the way home. Why on earth was I doing that when there were two other couples in the front of the car?? I was crazy, that’s why. I think the night ended with some hot tubbing, the steam weighing down my up-do and melting all my makeup. Later that school year we both ended up being leads in our high school play Oklahoma!, which would have been ideal for spending time together, but unfortunately the relationship had ended by then. It was not hard for me to move on from Brandon. And I don’t think he missed me either. It was just over. How nice to just have a relationship end with no lingering feelings. Maybe this relationship was just infatuation? I later dated his older brother, Ryan too.
Another Brandon happened in college. I learned a lot from this relationship. It was quite unlike anything else I have experienced. I was new to the ballroom scene and we met in one of my first dance classes. He was one of the better dancers, which I liked, and he asked me out. I don’t know why he kept asking me out–I did something pretty embarrassing on our first date… I fell asleep!!!! We had gone dancing up at the Murray Arts Center and had a wonderful time, but on the drive home I must have been too comfortable or something. To my credit, it was an extremely exhausting time in my life, with a huge load of classes and tons of dance and ballroom team and also being part of Women’s Chorus. But how embarrassing! I guess it did not deter him, because we became dance partners and continued going out. I was always really comfortable with him and really happy too.
We shared a great love of food and both had a very special place in our hearts for ice cream. He took me out for ice cream after most of our dance practices–cheesecake or strawberry for him, chocolate or peanut butter for me. He would make me dinner all the time (he was a very good cook). I don’t think I ever made dinner for anyone but I was lucky enough to have home-cooked meals at his apartment fairly frequently, followed by a movie and cuddling on the couch. One night after a movie had finished, we were still sitting/laying there in the dark when I knew that our first kiss was going to happen. I seem to remember it taking him a while, but it finally happened.
But Brandon never told me how he felt about me. I guess you could say we were technically friends, or dance partners, with benefits. We went on like this for a long time, and eventually we were just kind of “together” I guess. I think he had a hard time with sharing how he really felt with me, though his actions were speaking for him. But it was awkward that we never even acknowledged our dating or liking each other or even that we enjoying spending time together. I still went on dates with other guys during this time. In fact, a lot of weekends I had to double up the guys–I was meeting lots of people in my singles ward, lots from ballroom, and still getting together with guys I knew from home. It sounds pretty awful, but I didn’t feel guilty about it at the time. I didn’t feel like being exclusive with any one of them.
One day with Brandon really glows in my memory. It was a cold, sunny, and beautiful day in December and we spent it snowboarding. But as usually happens with me snowboarding, I was done after just a half-day, so we went back to his dad’s house and had hot chocolate and played games by the fire. It was simple and cozy and romantic, and from there he drove me to the airport for Christmas break. I did not want to leave.
He was an easy person, and extremely intelligent too, more than he let on. I also loved how mature and independent he was. He was older than me and had a good job and was always the driver and paid for everything. And yet despite his maturity and intelligence, he never made me feel inferior in any way. However, I met Raimo during this time and Raimo was exciting and so very cute and I loved everything about him–I could not help myself. I had to tell Brandon I was going to become Raimo’s partner instead, and eventually our relationship was completely over and I was headed toward the thing I had always avoided: exclusively dating one guy. My future husband.
I felt horrible doing this to Brandon, and I would have wanted to continue our friendship if that were possible, but that would have been impossible since we had moved beyond friendship long before. I got the impression that I was a bright spot for him in his life at the time, which made me feel very guilty. But it was a really important step for me, being honest about my feelings and moving forward. We are not in touch at all, but he is someone I occasionally think about and hope the best for.