I fell in love when I was 16. I was everything that a high school girl should be- the popular one, the studious girl that every parent would want to meet. But then I met him.
He was the shyest person ever. That shyness is what attracted me. He somehow found the guts to tell me he loved me. That effort made me fall for him.
I loved him above everything. I would do anything for him. But I started losing my freedom. I had to be with him 24×7, else he would get angry. I couldn't speak with my friends because he wasn't comfortable while talking in a group. Every time our parents scolded us for being in a relationship at such a young age, I was the one who didn't give up. After all, I loved him so much.
He began forcing me to get physical with him. But I was never ready for it. I am a Muslim and it is against my belief to lose my virginity before nikkah. Our studies were over and we went on to live in two different cities. He came to see me after months.
When I saw him waiting for me, I was so happy I went to him and said 'Hi', and the first thing he asked me is whether I was ready to lose my virginity to him that day. I said no. He asked me whether I could at least go down on him! That was the limit. This wasn't love! I broke up with him. I cried a lot.
One and half years later, I had an arranged marriage. I couldn't love. I was numb inside. My fiancé was 8 years older to me. We met just once before our engagement. We had conversations on the phone. Then I realized that I was beginning to slowly love him.
He gave me my own space. Being with him didn't mean I couldn't hang around with friends or family. He wanted me to study as much as I wanted even after our marriage. He wasn't pushing me for sex on our wedding night. He waited till I was ready.
I know what love is now.
It's when you laugh together, cry together, take care of each other and be a team. My husband is not only my love but a lot more. He is my best friend. Now we are in the seventh year of our marriage. We have two kids. Our love just increases day by day. We love each other more. I don't know whether arranged marriages work for everyone but it sure did work for me!