We all had one – “a first love,” often back in high school, maybe college. However long ago it was, most of us can still recall that time of incredible emotional intensity, where the object of our affection consumed our thoughts, where a broken date could feel like a broken heart. Hormones? Maybe...but also the newness, the adventure, the sense that no one else felt quite so passionate about their, well, passion as we did. It’s a wonder we managed to cross the street without getting run over, such was the distraction.
Most of us “grow out” of that first love. Move on to loves that are just as strong, hopefully even stronger, but also more rounded, more grounded.
For a lucky few, the person they’re in love with remains the same, but the relationship itself matures and deepens. These are the people who marry their high school sweethearts, and never have to go through all that awful break-up and search-for-subsequent-love.
Other people, it seems, never quite let go of that first love, even if they did break up. You hear about people bumping into each other years later, and attempting to rekindle the romance.
It’s a not-uncommon starting point for many a romance novel. Case in point, my new novella, Chasing the Dream, which is out this month in The Memory of a Kiss, the first volume of the new series from Harlequin NASCAR. Chasing the Dream is about two people who were incredibly attracted to each other as teenagers. They both knew they were out of their depth, for different reasons, and chickened out of the relationship. But the memory of that one, extraordinary kiss they shared stayed with them both. Unfortunately, as Jeb, my hero, discovers, recapturing that moment is not as simple as one might hope.
Which is how I figure it must be in real life. I mean, I loved writing Chasing the Dream, and I love the romantic ideal of coming full circle, back to a first love that becomes one’s last love. But...we all know that what works in a book doesn’t necessarily add up in reality? I don’t know about you, but I’ve changed quite a lot since I was a teenager. Certainly what I look for in a guy has changed – buying me flowers on Valentine’s Day used to be #1 on my list...now I can think of many more important things.
What do you think? Any views on the pluses and minuses of rekindling an old romance?