My freshman year of high school had just ended and summer had just begun. I was out with a group for lunch in scenic downtown Suwanee. One other person in the group was the cute, funny, outgoing girl that had sat in front of me the whole year in Geography. She would be leaving for France in a couple days, and I definitely did not want her to forget about me. As we finished lunch, I grew extremely anxious, feeling as though I may lose her forever. I knew I needed to do something to get her attention. With all the awkwardness and inexperience of a young teen, I asked her to be my girlfriend.
Correction: I asked if “she wanted to make this official.” I wish I had taken the simple route asked her to be my girlfriend. She chuckled and accepted my offer. We still joke about my corny line today—it has been almost three and a half years.
Most people would not expect a high school relationship to last very long. Very few would predict it would continue for years without taking any “breaks.” We never thought about our chances to make it last long term; we just took our relationship day by day. After a while, those days start to accumulate into something pretty special. Knowing I may very well marry this girl, it seems crazy to think about what we have been through to get to this point. We have both matured and changed so much since that fateful summer afternoon a few years ago, but in ways that have brought us closer together.
Through the time we have spent together, I have come to realize the power and value of close relationships. Being in love brings out parts of you that you never knew existed. I never knew I could be so passionate, either. The strength of my emotions has grown exponentially since we started going out. This development has benefitted me in all aspects of life. I spent my whole childhood without realizing how lucky I am to have the family I do. Now, I appreciate everything they have done for me and feel a much stronger level of care for my parents and sister. Even my casual friendships are deeper and more fulfilling. As I proceed into adulthood, I will seek to develop relationships with people I truly care about that I can pour my feelings into. Although I can I only be in love with one person, I want to surround myself with people that I love. My girlfriend has forever changed the way I approach relationships, and I know I move forward in life as a better person. For that, I could not be more thankful.