I want to keep the names of the people I've been with confidential, because they all have a life that has continued past "us." I will go ahead and note that some of these guys I just "talked" to; these are just my experiences with men (though there was potential for women) so far. Here we go.

Ja - In seventh grade, there was this boy that was dubbed my "first boyfriend." My whole family was in an uproar; I was entirely too young for a boyfriend. I was not to kiss this boy. I was not to, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, have sex with this boy. The ONLY THING I was allowed to do was hold his hand, and we rarely did that. He wasn't really nice to me; he would let his friends pick on me and be as big of a jerk as possible. I would sing "Get Another Boyfriend" by the Backstreet Boys to his face in an attempt to get back at him. He had this bet going with his friend that he could keep me around until his birthday. I won this bet; I broke up with him two days before. To keep my sanity, I refuse to think of this stupid boy as my first "real" boyfriend. He was just some asshole who used me. I actually explained this to a friend recently that I've had since this time period - this boy does not count. As you can imagine, this isn't exactly the best tone-setter for my future relationships.

T - I started dating this kid, my actual first boyfriend, in eighth grade. One of my friends was actually interested in him when I wasn't, and I told her this kid was bad news. She did get mad at me for dating him and keeping him away from her, though my arguement (after everything started and got out of control) was that at least she wasn't able to, almost as if I spared her from him. We hung out often and late at night, trying to spend enough time at each other's houses for it to count; we were inseparable. He went to Canada for a whole summer (we threw him a going away party) and sent mushy e-mails (he later said that he was just telling me what I wanted to hear), and brought back a skunk thing from his dad for me. This boy was my first kiss, my first dry hump, the guy I gave my first blow jobs to and received oral from; I would do a lot of things with him, but not have sex. One time when I told him not to shove his penis into my throat he decided it would be funny to do that anyway and laughed about it and exposed himself to my sister when she walked in to check on me while I was coughing up a lung. I was told a few years ago that this actually counts as rape and it finally made sense as to why I've had PTSD from this incident. He was one of those "If you don't give this to me, I'll go elsewhere" kind of guys, admitted by him years after we broke up when he stated that he cheated on me while we were together. He commented on my sister's breasts and my friend's looks, pitting us against each other; my friend and I did eventually become really great friends despite of his stupidity. He ended up breaking up with me one day, we got back together, then he broke up with me again a week later; he was fooling around with another one of my friends. We had a spot at school where we would go to make out; he took my friend down there immediately after breaking up with me at lunch time. After he broke up, he would harass me about trying to avoid him, walking several feet away from him on my way to the bus stop and doing what I could not to speak to him. I told him I wasn't, but I was; he caused me a lot of anxiety and a lot of sickness; I threw up a few times out of nerves after we broke up because I was terrified of him, and I lost weight due to being too nervous to eat. I did try to remain friends with him since I was close to his mom, but that was rocky at best and really wasn't so awesome. He's on my Facebook now, and despite the fact that he's an okay person now, I often think that it's a good thing we never worked out.

D - I dated this boy in my sophomore year of high school. We were actually friends since 7th grade when we met in science class and I was the only girl to sit on the boys' side because I thought the girls were too preppy. He had a crush on me when we first met; I remember writing the "Do you have a crush on me? Check yes or no" on a piece of paper and him checking yes. I do not remember how we got together, which is actually kind of sad and now it's been too long so there is no point in asking. I remember hanging out with him during the first craft show that our band put on and sitting on his lap. I remember him knowing about my tendencies to hurt myself and taking a sharp object away from me because I took it from a friend but couldn't let it go. His mom and my mom let us go on an actual date; we ate at Chilli's and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I remember that we were together during our band trip to the Six Flags in San Antonio and he bought me a HUGE bag of pink and purple and red M&Ms. I remember that he got me a singing Bear from Build-A-Bear named Googly (from Monsters Inc... Googly Bear). I remember that I went to T's house one time instead of meeting my cousin halfway as she was walking to my house from her's; he and I were hanging out and he ended up making out with me - I tried to leave and he pushed me up against the wall near his front door to keep me from going, kissing me again and causing me to push him off and run out the door. I did tell D about it, and it kind of messed things up a bit; he was told that I cheated, which in a sense I did but it was unintentional and I was coerced into it and I left. We were together for awhile after that. He started talking to the same girl that ruined T and I's relationship, and broke up with me for her; I went to her Quincinera while they were still together and had to fight to keep my comments to myself. While he was with her, he apologized and asked if I remembered our relationship and how good it was; I stated that yes, but it didn't really matter by that point.

K - In my Junior year of high school, my mom was very concerned with me passing the math test that made it to where I couldn't move forward in high school so mom put me in Sylvan. I met this boy at that establishment; tall, dark, and handsome. We started talking, ended up going on a date (in the company of my mom and sister to see King Kong), and we kissed goodnight. I posted a blog on Myspace about it, not realizing that the default setting was public, and his girlfriend saw it and told me about their relationship. He told me they broke up - she informed me that I must have misunderstood and that I read into everything too much (his words, too, when she asked him about it). We did continue to date and see each other; this is not one of my proudest moments. I was seventeen, and stupid, and did things despite the fact that it could have ruined their relationship. The fact that he dated someone else while he was dating me and his girlfriend made things worse. I've realized now that their relationship wasn't in my hands - I was single, and a kid, and so inexperienced at relationships; he was the one in a relationship for five years. He was the guy that told me "good luck with that" when I explained that I wanted to wait until marriage to have sex; I even had a promise ring that my mom got me that I wore on my left ring finger. My grandpa died on the New Years' Eve that we were together; I spent that night with some gal pals going to see a movie. I did sleep with this boy that year - I was super vulnerable and sad and the attention made me feel good. We slept together twice; I gave him my virginity. I cried on my way home, so upset that something that was supposed to be special was not what I thought it would be, having been asked "can you at least move or something?" when I was so inexperienced and did not know what the fuck to do. I know that we talked after that, into the next relationship-esque thing, up until he told me that he was engaged to his girlfriend and invited me to the wedding after asking me if I wanted to meet up and sleep with him. I told him that I wouldn't be dating him anymore, ever. We saw each other one time after that when I hung out with him and his pregnant wife. I've bumped into him occasionally, but we don't actually really talk except for during those awkward moments.

Jo - During the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I was in a relationship with one of my best guy friends. I had a crush on this kid since we met on the bus when we were Freshman, and was ecstatic to date him. I loved him so much, and our first kiss made me feel like I was on a cloud. We hung out a lot, by ourselves and with friends. We attempted to sleep together several times, successful about three times. I would go to his house in the middle of the night just to be there with him. He broke up with me after two weeks. One of our friends that we hung out with all summer dated him for a couple of weeks, too, but that didn't last either. He and I continued to hang out for years after that, making out here and there after wrestling, actually getting together for less than twenty-four hours about four years ago in a drunken haze on the fourth of July. He told me after that that we couldn't actually date, that he wasn't feeling it, and I told him that I understood. We haven't dated since, haven't kissed; at that moment I was over him, tired of pining for someone for four years who didn't have any feelings back.

Ky - I talked to this guy when I worked at CiCi's; he was super cute. I took him home and looked away when he went to kiss me goodnight. I told him to try again and we made out, his dad bringing him the phone interrupting us. To this day I don't know what exactly transpired; I felt his dad looking at me and I averted my eyes. That embarrassed the crap out of me and I didn't talk to him after that, even at work. He did take friends up there one time after he got fired and they all laughed at me as I walked by. I ignored them and clocked in, not sparing him even a glance as he left.

B - During my senior year of high school, I dated a freshman. He was mature for his age and he was very sweet to me. We hung out at his house with his family; I played with his guinea pigs and one peed on my pants so he gave me a pair of his pajama pants. He helped me take care of my mechanical baby while I was in "Prep for Parenting." His dad said that he didn't want to hear that "he slipped and fell into some girl and got her pregnant." Sleeping together was NEVER on the table, never on my mind; I just enjoyed his company. I did make the mistake of making out with him and making him uncomfortable; he broke up with me in the band hall a few days later saying that we "have nothing in common." I was hurt, but honestly I saw it coming. That large of an age gap in high school would not really lead to a long-term relationship. I went to work that night and had a decent night. We spoke a lot less from that point on.

R - My neighbor across the street kitty-corner from us somehow got my number (probably from the kid that used to live with him that tried to sex up my underage sister and asked me out within a couple of months of each other) and started chatting up. Really I think he justed wanted to have sex with me, but I wasn't comfortable with casual sex, or sex in general. Still am not, really (after being taught to NOT HAVE SEX EVER AT ALL AMEN for most of my life it became hard to just be comfortable with it). He said that we would never be able to get together because of unforeseen circumstances and I haven't spoken to him since. Which is awkward, since we still live in the same houses and make eye contact sometimes.

C - This didn't come until I was working at Michaels. We were friends first and made out at my twenty-first birthday party; I was hoping against hope that he would remember that the next morning - he did. We played rock band, I met his brother and mom, and she and I became semi-close. He started dating his ex behind my back and eventually, after a horrible day where I cried in the managers' office at work, he broke up with me - it lasted two weeks and he got me sick. I went with his mom to a concert since we still talked, and we took my sister; she couldn't get into the club because she wasn't 21, so she spent the entire time riding the shuttle back and forth from the venue and the hotel. His mom and I haven't seen each other since, or talked. He and I are not part of each other's lives.

A - I made out with someone during my party phase, and hung out with him and that friend that dated J. We made out at one of those parties, and I truly wanted to have sex with him. Turns out that he is gay and that sleeping with him would have been really bad. He's been with the same guy for a long time; I am glad to see them happy.

E - Some guy in film class. We never actually dated; I was torn between him and the guy that would become my boyfriend, but he was not ready and that was perfectly okay. We just hung out and watched a movie and played video games. I am glad that we were only ever friends.

M - (You can see our relationship at a glance in the blog entitled "To My Abuser".) I met this guy in college in 2010, and he captivated my mind, heart, and soul. I knew I wanted to get to know him as soon as I saw him. We hung out a few times, him spending the night on the couch the first time he stayed over. We listened to music while snuggling on the couch one night, and I invited him to sleep in my bed. We made out all night off and on; he said later that this was a test to see if I was easy and I passed because we didn't have sex - he couldn't stand sluts and wanted to make sure I "wasn't one." We dated for awhile, eventually deciding to be in a relationship. There were nine months full of bliss that I couldn't imagine going better. We hung out with his friends, went on dates, said I love you. We went to the Botanic Gardens with my sister once and had a great time; we went on a trip to Waco together and had a blast; we stayed in a hotel in Austin together while my mom visited her friend and enjoyed the evening; we went to Anime Conventions together, dressing up as Eeveelutions with a few friends. He revealed a secret to me that I mark as the beginning of our decline; not because he revealed it - I made it a point to kiss him on the forehead and reassure him that I was there - but because it brought me too close to him. All throughout our relationship he had unresolved feelings for his ex, and she never really, truly let him go; he actually saw her by himself in their house when we agreed not to be by ourselves with exes and swore that he didn't cheat on me - I never even had my dear friend, J, over or went out to dinner with him except for two or three times in the entirety of our two years together. The longer we were together, I became his door mat - my opinions ceased to matter, and I was expected to go along with everything lest we fight. And we fought - a lot. He wasn't mentally healthy, and I wasn't mentally healthy - I was depressed, and when I attempted to tell him he insisted there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. I was throwing up one night and instead of being here to comfort me he was outside talking to his friend on the phone (army buddy, so I tried to be understanding, but I was ill and really needed my boyfriend at the moment). I waited up for him to get off of the phone with his army buddy one time and we didn't go to bed until around 6 a.m. - I had classes at 8 a.m. the next day. We always saw his friends but rarely saw mine. I was more entwined with his family than I was with mine. I converted to Judaism because he somehow convinced me that Christianity was not the right religion, and tried to live by all of the principles set forth in the Tanakh, enjoying the holy days but not the week long period separations, and eventually just became very unhappy. We did celebrate Holy days and bring our family together for Passover. I became a snobby know it all right along with him, yelling at Christians that they were wrong and offending my mom when I spoke slander about Jesus. I almost stopped celebrating Christmas altogether but couldn't do that to my mom or grandma. We studied Hebrew together, and my mom paid for a few of his lessons. We had him go to the Chiropractor about his scoliosis (mom paid for that, too) only to have him stop going altogether and wasting months of money even after he broke up with me. I lived out of a backpack for awhile due to swapping houses, and didn't get a lot of writing done during NaNoWriMo the second time I attempted it while dating him. We would listen to music and quiz each other on who the artist was - he argued with me for a full five minutes about a slow song by Rise Against, swearing that it wasn't them and he wasn't mollified until I showed him. He kept me at a friend's house on Christmas Eve because he didn't want to drive me home, and when I got back the day after Christmas to find my dad missing he acted like it was no big deal. He decided to stop pursuing Judaism for Taoism, and that left me with forsaking that lifestyle and losing ALL of the dreams that I had about marrying a Jewish man and raising Jewish children; I was also responsible for buying his books about Taoism. He was mentally and emotionally abusive and manipulative. I pressured him for sex. We were not healthy for one another, but I still would have stayed with him, though I am under the impression that, ultimately, things would have ended badly anyway. Everything good was tinged with something bad. While he was away for a week in a mental institution, I read his journal and talked to a couple of our mutual friends about it; I never told him because I was afraid that he might be angry - he even told me about the journal's contents, so I figured why tell him? My best friend told me not to tell him - she knew how he would react. He didn't find out until five months later, two months before our two year anniversary, when one of our mutual friends told him on accident. On Father's Day of 2013, he packed up ALL of his stuff that was over here - he had a lot of stuff from places we went together since he lived here a lot of the time and we switched between here and his mom's apartment - and stole a PS3 that I told him I wanted my sister to have (I tried to get him to pay me for it a week later once I found out and he never did). I didn't eat for close to 48 hours after that, punishing myself for something that wasn't entirely my fault. A couple of days after he broke up with me, my lady pals came together and cooked dinner for me; one of them asked how I was religiously and I answered that I am not - she said that she felt M caused me to hate god - I replied that really he caused me to hate everything including him. Work was hard because I went in during nap time (this was when I worked at the preschool), so I went in an hour later. I tried hard to move forward, not doing so great for a long time. I would randomly message him, yelling at him or trying to force a meeting, calling his dad when he wouldn't answer his phone; it was a mess. I was a messy ex-girlfriend. I messaged him recently because I want to hash things out - get through the previously left mess - but that has not happened yet. I have a lot of reservations about him, and still have A LOT OF ANXIETY in terms of who he is and what he put me through. We never did end up meeting and he has since blocked me over Facebook because he got angry over something that I said - big fucking deal. He can get over it.

Jos - The week M and I broke up, I invited this guy over. I talked to him during the relationship since he was a friend from another college class, and hung out with him while my ex was away - he got inappropriate and wrestled me and I didn't have him over again since M said that it made him uncomfortable. I did, however, have this guy over after we broke up; I just needed a friend, and a guy's attention made me feel better. We watched Anastasia together and things got inappropriate; I told him that those lines don't need to be blurred, that we were friends but to be nothing else. He came and played Pokemon Stadium with me, buying a controller for my N64 and bringing a pizza. I enjoyed hanging out with him. I tried not to send mixed signals - I always talked about how I was sad and recovering from a break up and how I hadn't showered all week and was so, so sad that M left me. He came over whenever I asked him to, snuggling with me and sleeping over one time. The lines got blurred, as they do in all of these situations, and we did end up making out and having sex within the week. We dated for a little bit longer, and I tried to force romantic feelings for him. I tried to return the favor of his taking care of me by taking him out to a Mexican food restaurant, paying for it, and going on a couple more errands. I slept naked with him in his bed after we had sex, and talked about personal things - "I could never claim that with you." He had the presence of mind to end it after a few weeks, seeing that it wasn't going well and noticing that I was using him. I felt like shit about the using him part, though I did feel like I made myself clear on what we were and how we should have kept things. He messaged me later and told me to get myself checked - that was an embarrassing doctor appointment to make at work, and I got a stern talking to later for doing it up front by the reception desk. We didn't talk for a long time - I blocked him on facebook, then unblocked him to check on him, leaving him unblocked. Recently, like within the past year recently, I contacted him to let him know he looks like Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist, and he sent me a message that was very offensive. He told me that nothing that we did was consensual, and that I was a terrible person, and that if I wanted a reunion that I could not have that. Had he not blocked me I would have pointed out all of the facebook messages that are still archived where I said that I didn't actually want to have sex with him; I did that for him, to make him feel wanted and validated. He had no right to accuse me of rape because someone was hurt, and that someone was not me. I am not a terrible person - I just made bad judgement calls. If anything, it can be said that he took advantage of a mentally ill woman to assuage his own insecurities as she was recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship, but I'm a bigger person than to point fingers. As far as a reunion, no fucking thank you - I'm fine without you.

W - I met this guy on plenty of fish. We hung out a few times; I took my sister out to meet him the first time and we had a good time. I made him letters for his door and got him a poster at a Con. I went by myself a couple of times after that, and the second and third time I went out there we had drinks and watched stuff on television and had sex. It was different; it actually hurt and was uncomfortable - he said that if I "could actually take a dick" it would be better. I was in an insecure phase so I kept checking to make sure we were okay - he promptly pointed out that he has other FRIENDS and that none of them ever checked in to make sure that they were okay as FRIENDS. I got angry and didn't go out to see him again; I had been treated like shit already by two other people within a short amount of time and frankly I kind of had enough. Except that I still felt like I needed him to validate me, so I still messaged him. I did message him one time while drunk about wanting him to come out - he made it seem like he expected me to buy drinks and I was going to say okay but my friend A told me not to fucking to that. After that I kind of let any romantic stuff slip away; he seemed to much like M anyway in terms of personality traits and I was not looking for anyone close to that. I ended up not going out there after awhile because he started dating someone new and I resented how he treated her in the beginning and how he treated me and I needed to distance myself.

Joh - There was this guy who had one of the most common names on the planet who contacted me out of the blue telling me that he had a crush on me in high school; he asked me to hang out and I said okay. He was bipolar, and it scared me because M was bipolar as well. By this point I knew that I couldn't handle a relationship and really just wanted to have a guy friend. We went out to dinner (he paid) and said the only reason was that he fancied me, and paid for something else that night. We hung out a total of three times, watching Netflix and chatting. He felt as if he had a claim to me and would get angry when I was talking to other guys. I was just getting over W (because I liked him a lot and it didn't work), was getting over Jos, and M - I had enough on my plate in terms of bruised and shattered hearts. I was out partying with my friend (the same night that I texted W) and texted this guy, saying that there was a cute guy and that I asked for his number, not truly understanding the implications since I didn't have romantic feelings for him. He freaked out and quit talking to me; I had to apologize for hurting his feelings and explained, again, that we were just friends, that I was going to date and have sex with whoever I wanted, and if he wanted to be in my life he had to be okay with that. I met someone else on plenty of fish, starting blasting his name on facebook, and this guy got pissed off a second time and blocked me on facebook, telling me that I would never see or hear from him again because I am a terrible person blah blah blah. I'm still not unblocked. Good riddance, man.

POF - There was this one guy from plenty of fish that I only ever texted, right around the time that I met the right guy for me on plenty of fish. This guy was religious and didn't seem to have a problem that I am not. Alas, it did not work - I texted him to let him know that there was someone else and that I wouldn't be talking to him anymore. He attempted to make me feel guilty but I did not care by this point - I wasn't feeling the same chemistry that I felt with someone else.

WTF - When I met a second guy on plenty of fish, one of his friends tried to chat me up on facebook. He was also bipolar - I was not about to even touch that again with a two-thousand foot pole. I told him to stop and that I was interested in his friend - he responded by continuing to hit on me. I deleted him.

My James - I met James on plenty of fish in September of 2012; he said that he saw my profile, clicked on it and hit back because he felt that I wouldn't be interested in him. He saw me a second time and sent me a message, of which I still have saved on my computer. We started talking about our shared interests - Pokemon (He saw my Cosplay picture as me dressed up as Espeon as a convention), conventions (he's been to several), dragon ball Z, five finger death punch, etc. Neither of us are religious - I decided before I met him that I am a nothing, a non-religious being who believes that multiple gods exist, if there's anything out there at all, and he digs that. Maybe I believe in reincarnation because I would love to believe that my dead family members are out there somewhere. Either way, we aren't religious, and that's nice. After talking back and forth for a few days, we added each other on Facebook. That led to us chatting a lot over IM, talking for hours over the phone at night, and getting along really well. I decided that I had to meet this man, so I made plans with him and left all of his information, heading out to Arlington on a sunny day. I had just gotten a tattoo the night before so I wore a tank top in an effort not to rub it too much (it's on my left shoulder). I was two hours late because I passed up his apartments and ended up in North Arlington as opposed to South Arlington. My phone died and I had to stop at a gas station to call home to get his number so that I could call him, getting his apartments' name and number. The man that answered was nerdy and cute with bright blue eyes and blond hair and ten months older than me. He had his shit together, a job and an apartment and a room mate that took forever to get used to me coming around. He was non-threatening, so I walked straight into his bedroom after greeting him and dropped my bag in the floor; that was when he fell in love with me. He told me that day that he loved me, and I sincerely felt that he meant it; this is the man that watched ALL of the youtube videos that I created and posted on my channel. I told him that the fact that he said it was nice but that I wasn't going to say it until I was ready. We watched movies and I met his friends that day. I believe they ended up watching Hellraiser while I hid in his bedroom. He gave me Pokemon and Digimon trading cards. I kissed him during the movie; I wanted to, so I did, and took him completely off guard. I went over a second time, spending time with his friends, and stayed the night. We had sex that night; he gave me his virginity. We dated for a few weeks before making it official; I was STILL HEALING. I picked him up one day so that he can come over, help me with a desk and/or watch a movie. We watched The Vow, and at the end of it I bawled like a baby; I had experienced more loss in relationships that I could handle and it slapped me in the face. I cried over other people while he held me, and I realized that he was someone special. So on October 15th (the 14th is our anniversary since the 15th is my sister's birthday), I decided that we could officially be together. We skyped all of the time while he lived in Arlington, and in 2013 he moved in here with my mom, sister, dad and I. Sometimes I think that we got together too soon, and that I should have stayed single for a lot longer; there are things that I will miss, like living on my own by myself, but I do not regret entering into a relationship with him. I ended up going to Therapy for 7 or 8 months in order to deal with the issues I've had since childhood, learn how to cope with my daddy issues (can you tell that those have been a theme throughout the rest of my relationships?) and previous failed relationships - he even attended a couple of sessions. James is one of the kindest and most patient men. He has cooked me pancakes as a surprise and brought them to me in bed, bought me ice cream when I was sad, purchased Advil when I was sick with a fever, checked on me during sexual encounters while I had pneumonia to make sure that I was breathing okay, lets me say and do whatever I want (within reason, like cheating is definitely out of the question and he hates smokers - I don't smoke anyway, so that's good) and likes my strong reactions to a lot of things. He likes that I speak my mind and that I have opinions. He makes me laugh and cry and so fucking angry sometimes that I have to just walk away - and I do the same to him. We've had ups and downs - we are not perfect. We have come close to breaking up because he chose the wrong words during an argument - I took two days to mull things over and decided that I absolutely need him (I've told him before that it's him or no one else - if we do not work out I am not dating any more, ever). I could not imagine my life without him - he balances my life so well - he is calm when I am quick to anger (I am like the Hulk - always angry), he has a good memory when mine falls short, shows patience when I am absolutely fed up, apologizes when it is clear that I will not (I usually apologize second), and listens to any issues I have with his behavior and takes my promises to work on mine. We are good for each other so far, and coming up on our third year together. I know our story is just beginning - there's still engagement (which he is dragging his feet on, for whatever reason or another), a wedding, children (hopefully!), making our marriage work, and growing old together. We still need to get his driver's license and get him a car; we need to move out on our own. Despite only being at the beginning, I do look forward to experiencing the rest of our unwritten journey, hand in hand with the love of my life, the man I hope to experience Forever with. (Update - We are engaged!! We got engaged July 30th of 2015; we are getting married in May of 2017!)

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