1. My dad -- clearly :) Whether for good or bad, I think most girls' view of romance and their role in a romantic relationship begins with their relationship with their dad. I was (and am) very blessed in my relationship with my dad. He's strong, encouraging, giving, thoughtful, wise -- truly, in many ways, the perfect dad (for me).
2. First kiss -- I was 16; the guy, named Chris (but NOT DH), was in a community music group with me (he was a drummer). Anyway, we were at summer music camp, and I knew he liked me. I thought he was cute -- we went on a little walk together one evening, and he kissed me...and it wasn't good. He frenched me (a bit of a shock for a first kiss, I must say), and it was gross. Seriously gross -- like I wanted to vomit-gross. There's no doubt that this experience shaped my ideas about kissing. To this day, I'm not a huge fan of french kissing -- though regular kissing is fine ;) Plus, I have nightmares about gross french kisses.
3. Senior prom -- I was 17; Reed was a guy in my show choir (a junior). We'd gone a few hours away to sing in a competition (we won), but on the way back (at night), I got a migraine. Back then, I seldom got migraines (though I had regular headaches frequently), and this one was a humdinger. The headlights totally did me in, and I had my head leaned against the seat in front of me, just trying to keep from weeping in pain. Suddenly, I felt someone rubbing my head and neck, very gently -- it was Reed. I was so shocked -- it was the sweetest, most thoughtful thing any guy had ever done for me (other than my dad). We only dated a couple months, but that's when I first realized that guys my age could be thoughtful and tender.
4. College boyfriend -- we met during my first senior year (ha!). I was 21, and he was 19. We both fell hard for each other, but we had two serious differences: faith and sex. I wasn't going to marry him because he wasn't a 'Christian', and I wasn't going to have sex with him outside of marriage...interestingly enough, we lasted 3 1/2 years. I learned a ton -- mostly how to stand up for myself and how to know what I really believed about life and death. During our relationship, I went from being a conservative/traditional Christian to something very different (and much greater, imo). My faith changed radically and so much for the better. And I learned what I wanted in a guy, a partner -- as well as what I wanted in myself.
5. DH :) -- we got in touch again (because we went to jr/sr high and college together) when I was 29. After only a few phone conversations, I knew he was going to change my life -- one way or the other. We both feel strongly about being 'partners' without one of us leading the other. We also don't fight dirty -- no name calling, no condescension, etc. If either of us is too upset to be semi-rational, we wait until that person has calmed down. We try to respect each other all the time, whether the other person is around to hear, or not. There's no doubt in my mind that he has changed me (hopefully for the better), and that he will continue to do so.
How about you? What are some of your influential relationships with the opposite sex?
Happy weekend :)