Finding love can be messy, exciting, but knowing what I want out of my kind of love is the first step towards building a relationship with yourself and eventually the person I marry.

It may start with fallen dates. It may start with your first love that I broke up with was the first person I ever felt secure with. It is true that I have had hookups that led to nowhere but just for today I want to give space and time for myself to tell other girls the truth about finding love.

It is never like we see in the movies and its never like a fairytale stories because all kind of loves have fights and the mess in between. The kind of love I want to find is the love that my parents have had that lasts for thirty years. I had the messy kinds of relationships before I met Michael. About two years ago today, I started having my first real relationship with a guy I met on called Michael. It started out with a phone call that made my pink smile shine brightly and things that he said made me laugh then it led to a first date.

We met at a restaurant. I wore a purple dress with tights and wore my hair in my good luck braid. I ended up getting to the restaurant early and when he came inside my heart skipped a beat. My heart was attracted to him and he had black hair with hazel eyes and was just handsome. The conservation with him made my eyes sparkle and for the first time in my life I felt something special with a guy. I felt something that can’t be put into words. We talked about his childhood, his work, my graduate school program, and many things in between. At the end of the date, he hugged me and I drove away.

On our second date, we decided to meet at a mall in Columbia. I was nervous about what I was wearing and I could tell that he was nervous too. I could tell that he was trying really hard to like me. The truth was, I did. I liked the way he smiled. The way he made my eyes light up. While we were walking around the mall, we talked about my classes, his friends, my friends, and the conservation just flowed. The conservation never had any pauses or any awkward silences it was just pure flawless. After a couple of hours he walked me back to my car and it was raining and we didn’t want to leave each other so we got into the car together. We were listening to Taylor swift and I was trying to making a move. He said to me, “I don’t know how to do this.” I said, “That’s okay.” He than put his arm around me and he started kissing me. Now let me tell as far as first kisses go it wasn’t a great kiss in my mind, but I still liked him.

I wanted to give him a second chance so our relationship did led to more kisses and more times where he made me feel whole again. I liked him a lot and even though I look back on this relationship I see that we were trying to honestly just trying to make it in a world that creates labels around two people dating. After about two solid months of dating, we made out in his car and it was great and I really liked it. After this happened I was off to Israel for three weeks and I wouldn’t see him in a month.

Not only was I physically attracted to Michael, but I was in love with him. It was my first true love with a guy who understood me. I even told it to him over text after we departed from each other. He said it back and it continued like this for weeks.

While I was on a trip to Israel trip called Akiva for Jewish girls and boys across spectrum of reform to modern orthodox. I was reform at the time and saw nothing wrong with dating a Christian guy. I had my first conservation on the bus with a girl named Tzipora who was the madriacha. She had orange reddish hair and she was beautiful. She asked if I had a boyfriend, “I told her yes.” She then proceeded to ask if he was Jewish and I told her no. I could tell that by the look on her face that she didn’t like that I was dating someone of a different religion than mine.

During the trip, the rabbi decided to go along with the theme of dating people who were not the same religion. He told a story of a guy wanting to propose to this girl who was not Jewish. The Rabbi tried to convince the girl to convert but she just wouldn’t do it. She was not impressed by this world where women covered their hair and where she wanted to stay true to faith that wasn’t hers. The next part of the story explains how the engagement was off.

This story swirled around my mind for days and weeks at the end till I decided I needed to break things off with Michael. Now when I did it, it was weeks of being separated from him and just texting him and calling him too. When I called him and told him he was shocked, and I can’t imagine why he wasn’t. Before I left I told him I loved him and now I tell him I would like to break up with him.

The truth about Michael was that it was a true to honest romantic relationship. It was my first love and ever since I broke his heart in Israel one day on the phone because he wasn’t Jewish and because he was insecure with himself; I’ve been looking for that kind of love again.

As I write this I am 25 years old, still looking for the person I am going to marry. I am going on dates that led to nothing and finding myself just lost. I have become a more religious Jew who keeps Shabbos, keeps kosher and is starting to dress more modestly. But the truth is I am still myself. The truth is I am still out there trying to find the love that makes me smile for ages and never gets old. The true kind of love that never gives up on me. The man that is slow and patient and the man who I can tell all my secrets too because in the end our secrets make us who we are today. Our secrets and our heartbreaks, our hookups, and our first kisses are something we cherish forever. Love is not something that can be treated lightly, instead loving myself is the first step to finding a relationship filled with emotional connection. I think the first step to finding true love is finding out who the person is that you are dating. I think it also making a mental picture of what I want from the guy I am dating and make sure when he puts that ring on my finger that he is the one.