My first middle school boyfriend’s name was Thomas. He went by T.J., which I never cared for, so I insisted on calling him Thomas. Honestly, he didn’t have the qualities that one would imagine a Thomas to have, but we were 12, and it’s not like I was worldly enough to pass too much judgment. So, I called him Thomas, because even then I pretty much called the shots.
We dated for a whole two months ― an epic amount of time in middle school ― and during those months I learned a couple things along the way that helped in future relationships. Most notably, if someone goes by T.J. they don’t want you to call them by their first name. Noted.
Here are seven other things you can learn from that first middle school boyfriend.
1. How to kiss with your tongue.
Oooh! The French kiss! Of course the kiss your middle school boyfriend will teach you, although tantalizing and exciting, will pale in comparison to the kisses to come. But eventually that’s also why you’ll love it so much.
2. The joy of just holding hands.
In middle school, holding hands is the sign you’re in a “relationship.” And, because it’s so brand new, the whole touching thing, holding hands feels amazing. Before you realize the wonders of sex, holding hands can feel almost orgasmic. Almost.
3. Communication is really important.
Thomas and I spent the majority of our relationship passing notes and communicating through our friends. I think that may have been our ultimate downfall. You should really talk to your boyfriend instead of relying on hearsay.
4. How to quietly fool around when your parents are just a room away.
This isn’t just an important skill to learn in order to get through high school and college, but when you grow up and visit mom and dad over the holidays with your adult boyfriend, you definitely want to have been able to have mastered that technique long ago.
5. That your friends’ opinions should only matter so much.
All my friends loved Thomas; then they didn’t. I don’t know ― maybe because we were all 12 and 13, and change our minds on a dime? But what it did teach me is that yes, while listening to your friends when it comes to who you’re dating is important, you need to think for yourself. No one really knows what a relationship is like if they’re not in it, so their voice of “reason” isn’t always reasonable.
6. Always listen to your gut.
Whether your gut is telling you want pizza or that your first boyfriend is just sticking around to touch your boobs, listen to it. Your instinct is there for a reason and you’re never too young to start picking up on what it’s trying to tell you.
7. Some things just can’t be fixed.
Thomas and I weren’t going in the same direction. I was really focused on going to the mall with my friends and he was really obsessed with becoming the next Tony Hawk. We had different dreams and goals, and no amount of kissing on the back of the bus was going to fix that. It was best that we part as friends, and I finally start calling him T.J. like everyone else. It hurt and I cried for a whole three hours, but it was the right thing to do.