My circle of friends consists of a number of people from high school, because I'm weird/cool like that. My fiancé is no different. In fact, he has twice as many close friends who go all the way back to his salad days, and one in particular with whom I was once intimately familiar.
Yes, that's right. One of my fiancé's best friends was once my boyfriend in high school but not just any boyfriend. He was my first love, and I've only had two — him and my future groom.
How is everyone OK with that arrangement, you ask? Simple — perspective. It's been 16 years since we dated, and let's just say a lot's happened over that stretch of time.
My now fiancé and I had the Ross and Rachel of relationships. We got together, broke up and got back together a lot. We first realized we had feelings for each other at the end of high school, but we decided to keep our budding romance a secret because of our relationship with my first love/his best friend. By that point, my ex and I had been broken up for more than a year, but you know the old saying "bros before hoes?" Well, that's a well-observed notion during one's overly dramatic high school years.
What's more is my first love and I did not end things particularly well. I had hooked up with a guy at camp that summer and was not forthcoming about it when I broke up with him. Later, I learned that his best friend/my now fiancé was actually the one who told him about said infidelity (remember what I said about bros before hoes), but that's a story for another time. Overall, it was just a bad, unresolved situation that I figured would only get worse (duh?) and boy was I right.
Over the summer of our senior year, we came clean about our romantic entanglement and my ex swore the both of us off. It was perhaps the worst time for that to happen because we were all going off to different states for college, and it made it harder for the guys to mend their friendship. They spent a few years not speaking. However, with time, maturity and longing to be in each other's lives again, they reunited. By the time we had all graduated college, my first love was even being cordial to me, something I never saw happening in my lifetime.
Cut to today and he is so excited to stand beside us as we get married. When I think back on our tumultuous past, it amazes me how far we've come and how much we've grown as people. My first love is a good friend to both of us now, and the idea that we were ever romantic seems so far away, it's almost as if it had never happened at all. What exists now are three people who want nothing but the best for each other.
I remember how genuinely happy my ex was when we told him we got engaged. When people lament over wishing they could go back in time to when they were young, I just think about that and realize there could be no better time than right now.