What makes first love so memorable?

Today I took a bus to visit an outdoor market in a neighboring town.

I peered out my window as the driver slowly inched the bus up and down the hills and carefully maneuvered the winding roads.

Halfway through the trip, there was a traffic accident and we were forced to stop.

As I waited for the driver to continue, I realized we had stopped in front of a hotel.

As the bus inched along, I noticed the sign on the hotel’s façade said, “Hotel Voramar.”

Suddenly, I was flooded with memories; memories of a young man named Domingo.

Domingo; Sunday in English.

I smiled as I recalled the many times I had teased him because of his name.

I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes; desirous to see his handsome face again.

After only a few seconds, I regressed in time.

Suddenly, I was 16 years old and sat on the terrace of my aunt’s beach bungalow.

The bungalow faced the beach to the east, while the employee entrance of a then famous hotel called “Hotel Playa,” stood to the west.

I remembered how day after day, my sister, my friend Lissy, and I ate our breakfast on the terrace and watched handsome Spanish boys climb the stairs to their workplace.

Lissy was head over heels over the cook, a handsome boy named Juan, while my sister drooled over Manolo, the cook’s assistant; a cutie with curly, brown hair and an infectious chuckle.

As for me, I was gaga over a young, Antonio Banderas look-alike named Domingo whose dimples made me weak in the knees.

Every morning, like clockwork, we would sit on the terrace and pretend to eat breakfast as we waited for the boys to clock in.

Each day, Domingo would slowly walk up the stairs, look my way, wink, and say “Buenos Días.”

And every morning, until he reached the top of the stairs, my heart would go into overdrive; beating so loudly, I was afraid he’d hear it.

Even now, I’m moved to sigh as I recall his deep, brown eyes, long eyelashes, and wavy, brown hair; certain my eyes have taken on the same dreamy quality they had back then.

I remembered the first time he asked me out, and how we walked hand in hand on the beach for hours.

I remembered him calling me sweet endearments like, “cariño,” “mi amor,” and “guapa.”
Sweetheart, my love, beautiful.

I remembered the summer he returned from his hometown with a tattoo of a guitar with my name on it, as well as the many times he told me he’d love me forever.

As we drove past the Hotel Voramar, I recalled the summer he’d worked there because the Hotel Playa had closed for remodeling.

Unable to see him every day, I had to settle for twice a week and then, only for a few hours.

At the time, I was devastated but made the best of it because it meant being in the company of a boy who made my heart sing.

First love; an experience unlike any other.

Domingo. Sunday.

Yet as far as my heart is concerned, forever.

Because that’s how long memories of one’s first love last.

Do you still remember your first love?

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68 thoughts on “What makes first love so memorable?

  1. great post. i don’t think of my first love often because he’s now married to my best friend. i just don’t see him that way anymore, which is probably a good thing for all of us :) plus, it’s amazing how we all chance throughout time, and the things i once thought incredible i now found prosaic and annoying about him…lol

    1. Jennifer, how incredible is it that your first love is married to your best friend! I couldn’t bear it! But then, I have in fact idealized my first love to the point where he’s my personal Romeo! :)

  2. ———–Ooooh, Bella,
    A guitar with your name on it. That is Soooooooo romantic & beatiful.
    I would say my first love is who I am with now. Yes. The others were just the dull appitizers.
    xx I can hear you heart beating loudly as you write about Domingo (Sunday) !

    1. Kim, you never cease to amaze me with your great logic! Dull appetizers…hee hee! And wasn’t that tattoo the most beautiful gesture! It’s too bad he got my name inked over when he got engaged! :(

  3. :) Ahhh first loves. My fist love was my high school sweetheart. From time to time, I remember awesome times together, but for the most part, I consider it to be a distant part of my past. I’ve grown so much as a person and I’ve changed a lot, so I can’t even really find my first love to be appealing in any way anymore. Gosh, do I sound like a jaded downer!!!

    1. Ah Laura, not so much a downer, as a realist! Sometimes we stay more grounded, like you, and other times, we like to dream of knights in shining armor, like me! Isn’t diversity grand? :)

  4. Such a beautiful romantic story. I can’t remember much about my first love, but I do remember the pain of waiting by the phone listening to breakup songs on the radio after he drifted away.

    1. Shary, you and I both! I wonder why we do that! For me, I believe, it’s finding it easier for someone else to put into words the emotional state I’m struggling with.

    2. Shary, You just took me back in time!

      I too sat by the phone and waited. Too many times. Didn’t want to ‘miss his call.’

      I imagine my teen romances would’ve been different if they were enhanced by cell phones, texting, tweeting, and of course….Facebook!

  5. So what happened to Domingo? Where is he now? It’s easy to romanticize him when you no longer see him and can remember him as he was then. But I can see how Jennifer O. no longer thinks of hers in that way since she seems to see him regularly, him being married to her best friend. Now that’s a story I’d like to hear!

    As for me, I don’t think of my first in that way because he left me for someone else. For me, the one I remember is a cute, slight guy who sat behind me in math, and who had a crush on me. I liked him, too, but because he was a year younger, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. A female junior going out with a sophomore guy? Crazy stuff we believed then. Now of course, I regret. He was a nice guy, after all.

    1. Oh Monica, could you possibly have let get away your one and only? :) I too wonder what happened to Domingo. About nine years ago, one of my sister’s was able to obtain his phone number and called. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there and his wife picked up the phone. My sister told her they’d been childhood friends and had “stumbled” across his number. All we were able to find out was that he had a fifteen year old son and worked too much. :) And yes, I agree with you–it is easier, way easier, to romanticize someone when you no longer see him or her. Thank goodness for that!

  6. My first love adored me, but failed miserably in making it apparent. Our third Valentine’s Day, he called me–collect!–to break up with me. We just reconnected in the past year after fifteen years of silence (long story). As it turns out, he had thoughts of marrying me!!! Oh. My. God. Who ever would have guessed?

    1. June! What a great story! Isn’t it a shame when truths aren’t revealed? When they are, we can’t but wonder what would have happened if we’d known at the time!

  7. My first love (like) happened when I was still in kindergarden ( I was an early bloomer). His name was Yuriy and by now he is probable overweight, balding man, but in my eyes he is still a curly boy, who I adored back 30 some years ago……

  8. you’re really a romantic lady, and your first love tattooed a guitar with your name on it!!, I’m completely overwhelmed by this!!
    And most of my first loves (plural) became disastrous loves and I’m not a huge fan of remembering all my past failures (except for funny anecdotes), so let them rest in peace!!
    besos & love

    1. Mrs. Allnut, trust me when I tell you Domingo is the only one I think about in this way. Like you, the rest have been chapters in my life that are best forgotten. Unless, again like you mention, I need a good laugh! Besos and love! :)

    1. Jann, and that type of first love can also be helpful! :) And hey, what woman doesn’t want to be able to identify the Cassanova type? hee hee!

    1. Cathy, I think this applies to a lot of us women. I also wonder what would have happened if it had worked out. How would my life have been different?

  9. Bella, what a wonderful post and I’m certain many of us can relate to it. First loves have a way of staying with you and whether we realize it or not , at the time or later in life, they contribute to how we see the world and future relationships. I still have wonderful fond memories of my first love …Thank you for visiting.. wishing you a LBSTP wonderful day! xo HHL

    1. Hello and welcome! I’m so happy you like the post! And I thank you for enhancing it with your comment! :) Indeed first loves have a way of remaining with us and influencing future relationships. At least that’s the experience I’ve had! Have a great weekend and thank you for dropping by! :)

  10. Sweet! Sure, I remember my first love. He was onstage playing keyboard with a band called The Cavaliers. I boogied all night on the dance floor right in front of him. I even remember what I was wearing: jeans and a seductive little halter top with embroidered flowers and mirrors. Love at first sight honey. Or was it lust at first sight? I’d love to know where he is today, and how he’s doing. Oh, but I’m married now. That’s right, I’m married now.

    1. bwhahaha! You crack me up, Debra! Hey, being married doesn’t mean you can’t wonder or think of your first love from time to time. After all, how can you forget sweet times? By the way, that sounds like one hell of an outfit! :)

  11. What a great post! I had many a high school crushes and a few Domingos in college. I do remember who I would likely call my first love. He’s now a Facebook friend so at least I know he’s still out there. Although I think he was more of a catch in high school than now.

    1. Leah, that’s often true for first loves; they looked better in the past. Hence, I don’t want to ever see Domingo again. I want to keep the handsome image I have of him. :)

    1. Ofelia, how very wise of you! I believe you’re right–we are reminded of those “first love” moments every time we fall in love! Isn’t it wonderful? :)

    1. Well then, he was my best friend in the kindergarten, and I spent more time being with him than with other girls. Even the kindergarten teacher noticed us being together all the time, so when the time came for taking pictures, a picture of just the two of us was taken too, and both his and my mother asked for copies. The picture is still at my mother’s place, so, there’s no way of me forgetting what he looked like. :) We never met after the kindergarten, though.

      It’s nice remembering what people were like back then – I remember he was stuttering, and none of us thought anything bad about it, we all saw it just as a part of him.

    2. Ivana, how wonderful for you to have shared such kindredship with your kindergarten buddy! I read your story and just smiled at the sweetness of it! :)

  12. Yes, I do remember my first love! And…thanks to FB, we have reconnected and become great friends all over again.

    I was 15 and he was 17 when we met.

    This ‘older man’ acutually was “the son of a preacher man.” It adds a great sense of drama to first love when you can connect it to a song! :D

    My mom and dad DID NOT like him. This also adds a great sense of drama to first love! :(

    It is because of my first love that I am a true believer (and supporter) of young love.

    We are all who we are today because of our yesterdays <3

  13. Oh… I remember mine… We were fourteen, he was friends with my friend’s brother. Troy. I don’t know how we met, but there was a real spark. He used to ride his moped 20 miles over back roads to come see me, and we would walk in the woods while my sister would spy on us!

    I remember the feelings, and it still gives me a smile. As adults, over the years we would bump into each other- and the spark was still there. But either he would shy away, or I would. We never got back together, although it looked like we would a couple times.

    But our lives were gong in very different directions.

    I’ve been in love since, of course… but never had that same feeling about a man. Until my husband. He’s the only other person I’ve had that “connected” feeling with. AND his life was going on a path more similar to my own.

    So I put a ring on it!

    1. Amy, you smart cookie for putting a ring on it! I wonder if you will ever think of Troy as “the one that got away!” :) Loved reading your story!

  14. What a coincidence? Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day my first love and I got together. We aren’t together anymore, but we still check in with each other about once a year to see how we are doing. Things ended in a way that let us be friends and wish each other well. He’ll always have a special place in my heart and I wish him nothing but happiness.

    1. And what a great coincidence it is, although you know what they say about coincidences! :) Kelly, how wonderful that you and your first love still keep in touch like that! It must be wonderful to still, after so many years, have a special relationship with a first love!

  15. Bella – Your first love sounds perfect and beautiful, complete with a beach! I wish it could be that way for everybody. You are fortunate to have such a memory. For me my first loves were either a tangled mess of misunderstandings or unrequited – for one I was his first love but he wasn’t mine, for another he was mine but I wasn’t his, etc etc. Finally there was one that was mutual and I married him.

    1. Carol, I love your take on first love! And how beautiful you got to marry yours! As I read your account, I realized first love comes in many forms. Some are positive and others prepare for the real thing. It sounds like that’s what happened to you! :)

  16. Remember my first love….I’m still in love with him and he with me. We fell in love back in Sept.1980. I was the new girl in his school and we both fell hard. I was 14 and he was 15. He had the softest brown eyes and when he looked at me, It was with such great love and it made me tremble all over. He was the cutest boy in school and most of the girls had crushes on him. I loved him totally.We loved each other for two wonderful years. We felt each other when we were apart. He moved away and things fell apart. We lost touch and then i got married. He returned seeking me out after i had gotten married and when i told him the news, I could see his heart breaking.I have never stopped thinking and feeling him. Now its 23 years since we last spoke and guess what? I got a FB message from him last month and we are still in love. We talk everyday and it’s as if we never lost touch despite living 200 miles apart and both married to other people.We talk and grow stronger in our love everyday. He is now my best friend and knows me inside and out. We still can feel each other and he knows immediately when something is not right with me, and I the same.

    1. Now that’s a romantic love story! Love that survives time has to be the greatest! And not to mention when you know your mate so well! Thank you for sharing! :)

  17. I had a little cousin that had a serious crush on my first love. She had every right because he was the sweetest guy to and for me. What helped was that my mom loved him as much.

  18. I do remember several of my first loves. And lucky that some our still in my life to this day. Ha ha, yeah, as a gemini, my “first” were more than one! But the best one is always my last one.

  19. I really enjoyed your post, Bella. The feelings you described, with your heart beating and always looking forward to seeing him….sigh…. I had a lot of “first loves” but they were always unrequited crushes :( It seemed like whenever I liked someone, they didn’t feel the same about me. And when someone liked me, I didn’t feel the same about them. It wasn’t until college that I had any real relationships and I wouldn’t call them love, until I met my husband, and that ended in divorce. Yikes. I re-married but it is not the happiest of unions. I long for a “soul mate” and a true connection with someone.

    1. Michael Ann, hello and welcome! I’m tickled pinkyou enjoyed the post! I’m sorry that your loves haven’t been successful. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens. I wish I could believe in the theory of soul mates, given it’s such an interesting one. That said, at times I do wonder if there’s something to everyone having someone they can connect to on an intimate level; unlike any other. SIgh. Here’s hoping you get to find out! :)

    1. Deborah, I’m so flattered you like the post! Thank you for your kind words! I still think of Domingo and my heart melts a little! :)

  20. My first love was in Kindergarten.
    I whispered in his ear: “I like you.”
    He whispered back, “I like you too.”
    Thus encouraged, I decided to go for it all. “I love you,” I whispered, knowing he shared my affection.
    “Arrrrrrggggh!” He skittered away from me, screaming at the top of his lungs, interrupting Story Circle. “She loves me. Ewwwwww.”
    I stayed away from boys for a bit after that.

    1. Kelly, your comment made me giggle out loud and the librarian at the public library just gave me a dirty look! I love it! I could see the entire seen such as you described it! ;)

  21. Ah, first loves are memoriable. I remember mine – actually we’re still friends to this day. I have only great memories of him. We talk from time to time but not too often. I’m married and he’s not so I don’t want to make things awkward. But I’ll never forget him even if we never talked again. Never.

  22. Oh yes, I remember each time my traitor heart skipped down the garden playing singing, Oh I’m in Love… be still my beating heart. There is nothing like the blush of love’s first kiss. Shoot me know because I am sucker for it.

    1. Brenda, I knew your comment would be just like what you wrote! It makes me smile to read your heart “skipped down the garden playing and singing.” :) My romantic side smiles at each one of your words!

  23. I heart this post!! Just wonderful. I always make a point of checking out the drummer in a band because of a certain boy in 10th grade. Silly and nothing ever came of it, but back then, ooo-da-lolly.

  24. Ah, Bella, you’re making my head go places it doesn’t need to!

    My first love broke my heart by running off with a younger girl. Being that I was only 18 at the time, it was particularly rough.

    Broken heart or not, I adored him. I like my troubled boys, it would seem. He lives in another state now, and as far as I know, his marriage (to the younger girl) fell apart recently. So sad.

    There is nothing like the first one, is there?

  25. Also, I apologize that I am SO behind in my blog reading. And is it weird that I miss you since you are away, even though you aren’t really away? :)

    1. hahaha! It isn’t weird at all! I’m suffering at not being able to keep up with my blog reading and commenting the way I’m used to. Thankfully, I almost have the best times to use WiFi were I am, down pat! I’m anxious to catch up with all my favorite bloggers! :)

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