I miss the old days -- and I know I'm not the only one. I'm not even 30, but already I find myself full of nostalgia, reminiscing on the years that, although seemingly distant, are only a couple of decades behind me.
Childhood is a magical time. The world is full of surprise, hope and wonder.
We haven't yet been introduced to the darkness that inevitably catches us off guard. Everything is the way it ought to be -- or at least that's the way it feels.
In reality, the world always has been the same beautiful and hideous place that it is today. Generations die. Generations are born. And the world continues down the same path it started on millennia ago.
The only difference is that we were unaware of it all. We didn't understand all that we do as adults.
We didn't see the big picture; or rather, we did see the big picture, but in time learned to corner our little bit of the universe off from the rest.
We once saw because we took the time to look, to examine, to understand. As we got older, we stopped looking, stopped examining, stopped doing our best to understand. We became more egotistical, more self-righteous and less humble.
Our world and our lives have changed in countless ways since our childhood, but if we look back we will notice that there are lessons we once learned, that would do us good to learn once again.
Take -- for example -- your childhood crush. It's likely that that relationship, although ancient history, can still teach you a lot about relationships and about what it truly means to love.
If you'd spend enough time thinking about it, I'm sure you'd have quite a few things to tell that special someone.
1. Thank you for teaching me that girls don't have cooties.
The moment we land our first crush is the moment we accept the opposite sex isn't going to contaminate us.
The moment we fall for someone -- even if it's nothing more than a childish crush -- we begin to give importance to other individuals.
It's one thing to care about your family and it's another to care for someone who is basically a stranger.
2. Thank you for being a reminder that there's more to relationships than just sex.
Nowadays, if it's not sex then it's not interesting. So funny how things have changed… we used to get nervous when we would make eye contact or hold hands.
After we found the courage to take our first kiss, we would spend hours “making out.” When's the last time you had a serious make-out session?
3. You're the most honest relationship I've ever had.
You didn't want anything from her, other than to be with her. You weren't fulfilling any physical desires because you were too young to have them. And even if you did have them, you were too clueless to understand what it means to fulfill them.
You enjoyed this person's company for this person's company and nothing else. You didn't have to lie, to cheat, to manipulate because you didn't believe it to be necessary.
Nowadays, people will tell a handful of lies within the first 10 minutes of meeting each other.
4. You're arguably the most stable relationship I've ever had.
You didn't argue about everything and anything. You didn't worry about what she was doing behind your back.
You simply enjoyed your time together because the two of you somehow managed to make it enjoyable -- and did so seamlessly.
Now that we're older, we like to overcomplicate everything and ruin just about anything special that we're lucky enough to come across.
5. You're one of the main reasons I still believe in the magic of love.
It felt magical. It felt otherworldly, as if it were tangible, as if we could reach into the air and hold it.
You weren't able to explain why you were feeling the way that you were, but you also felt no need to explain. It simply was what it was and it was magical.
6. You showed me dating didn't have to be complicated.
You'd go for walks. You'd go bike riding, rollerblading, ice skating… You'd have lunch together, snacks together, nap time together.
There were no rules that you were supposed to follow because no one bothered to tell you they existed.
These days dating is not much more than a set of preconceived standards that we -- for whatever reason -- believe to be correct. We spend more time worrying about dating than we do dating.
7. You taught me love should feel natural, not forced.
You would see each other because you wanted to see each other. You didn't wait three days to call her. You didn't play all those pointless games that most dating individuals now play.
You didn't date for the sake of dating because you didn't see a point in dating for the sake of dating.
The goal wasn't to find someone, fall in love and get married. The point was to find someone willing to give you the creamy half of the Oreo.
8. You showed me every love doesn't have to last forever, and that's okay.
They set the stage for every relationship of ours that followed. They introduced us to love, to jealousy, to trust, to heartbreak.
Even though things didn't work out, we still somehow managed to enjoy the time we spent together.
Have you ever wondered why that is? It's because back then the point was to have fun, to enjoy ourselves, to experience and learn.
Nowadays we usually date for no point at all. Or even worse, we no longer remember how to enjoy ourselves, how to take in these experiences and learn. Maybe we no longer know what dating should be like.