I met my husband when I was in my last semester of high school. There are/were 12 years between us. We met as romantic leads in a play, and when we spoke to one another, it was challenging and fun. I have a lifelong, ridiculous fear-almost phobia, of getting in trouble. It made/makes me a goody two shoes, the teacher's pet; the one never sent to the principal, much less grounded by my parents.
But when I was with Brandon, even though we had to hide, and my heart went through the roof every time my phone rang, thinking that it was someone who caught us; I was willing to risk it. He made me feel like I was in control of who I was going to become, and who I really was at the time, and suddenly, I did everything I could to challenge that fear. That's not to say I finally rebelled, and went around spray-painting buildings and stealing cars, but I was willing to deal with the consequences of being with him, and those irrational fears of being in trouble just weren't as important as what we had.
I was a much more selfish and self-centered person in high school. Not mean, or spoiled, but I didn't have a natural tendency for sympathy, and an insatiable need to succeed and work. True compassion and sympathy just isn't the way my emotions are wired. I could fake it, and be supportive of people, but it always felt like a facade. The long term boyfriend I had before was more of a pet than a companion. Brandon changed that. I suddenly cared very much for someone else, and he made me want to be a better person to the others around me, someone who really could be understanding and gentle, rather than logical and cold.
When I look at him, I see the person I want to be, and the person I want at my side in life. I knew I was in love the moment that first happened.