Here’s a list of all the guys I’ve slept with (and all those I didn’t):
A.A. (October 2009-December 2009)
I was 15, he was 20.
We worked together at Safeway and he made it very, very clear from the start that he was interested in me—but only physically. I pretended that I wanted the same while in reality I had never even kissed anyone before.
But I didn’t tell him that.
He was in a band. I thought he was the coolest guy I had ever met. My friends all hated him.
We had our first kiss (my first kiss ever) in the produce cooler at work. We fooled around for a few months, always either at work or in his car.
He ended it pretty much as soon as he found out exactly how inexperienced I was.
A few months later, just to make him jealous, I lied and told him that I had gotten drunk and fucked a classmate at a party. He didn’t seem to care.
C.H. (June 2010-August 2010)
I was 16, he was 18.
He worked at the Starbucks next to the Safeway where I worked. I was in there almost every day, and we flirted for about six months until he finally asked me out.
On our first date we went to the beach and he smoked pot out of an apple. He offered me some and I accepted, even though I had never smoked pot before.
He kissed me while I was in the middle of saying something, and in that moment I realized that I had never felt this way about a boy before.
He broke up with me because he couldn’t commit to the relationship… especially after finding out that I was a virgin.
I was crushed.
J.S. (August 2010-November 2010)
I was 16, he was 18.
A mutual friend that I worked with introduced us. We’d both had our hearts broken recently and the friend thought that we would be perfect for each other.
I jumped into it too fast, trying to get over the last boy, and fooled myself into thinking I felt things for him that I didn’t actually feel. I had just recently moved out with a friend and having a boyfriend seemed like the next logical step toward adulthood.
He was a high-school dropout who lived with his drug-dealer dad.
He was the first guy I ever slept with.
After a while I stopped trying to force it and realized that I did not want to be with him. I tried to break things off, but he wouldn’t let go.
The last straw was when I didn’t want to have sex and he forced me to anyway.
I cried the whole time.
I ended things over Facebook the next day and made sure I wasn’t home when he came to pick his things up.
C.H. (again) (November 2010-August 2011)
After seeing me with J.S., he decided that he was finally ready to be in a relationship with me and said that he regretted breaking up with me in the first place.
And so began months and months of absolute torture.
I was madly in love with him (or so I thought), and he kept jerking me around—breaking up with me and then drunkenly making out with me and saying that he loved me. I stuck it out because I didn’t think I would ever be able to find anyone like him again.
Toward the end of the relationship, a mutual friend let it slip that my boyfriend had been questioning his sexuality for a while. I called him out on it, thinking it must be a joke, and he said that he had been afraid to tell me because “I love you, but I also really like men.”
It took me a while to finally get it through my head that we were never going to be together, although it explained why we had never had sex.
R.H. (October 2011-December 2011)
He was 20, I was 17.
We had gone to high school together but never really hung out. We reconnected at a house party that I threw; a friend from high school had invited him along. We started talking on Facebook the day after the party and things just went from there.
We went on a few dates and things seemed to be going well until I found out that he had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and was not looking to commit.
He wanted to have sex.
I told him that I didn’t sleep with guys I wasn’t dating.
The truth was, the last time I’d had sex was almost a year previous, and without my consent. I was afraid.
He told me that he really liked me and that he really enjoyed spending time with me, but he didn’t understand why I felt the need to put a label on it. He didn’t want to date anybody else but me, and he didn’t want me to date anyone else either, and he thought that would be good enough for both of us.
I caved. We slept together.
I cried the first time. He held me and let me sob about how much I hated my ex for ruining sex for me.
We continued sleeping together for a few months until he told me that he wanted to stop because he felt guilty since we weren’t dating.
We took a weekend trip to an island together and I was hoping we would have sex but instead he passed out on the bathroom floor with his pants around his ankles. That kind of killed it for me.
We haven’t spoken since.
I decided that the next guy I slept with was going to become my husband.
A.B. (January 2013-March 2013)
We were both 19.
He was friends with all of my friends, but we had never met before.
We met when my roommate invited him over to see our new place. According to him, he instantly fell for me. He pestered our friends for months, trying to get them to put in a good word for him, but they refused. They didn’t think it would work out.
Finally, he asked me out. I hadn’t dated anyone in over a year, but I decided to give him a shot. He picked me up an hour and a half late in his mom’s minivan and ignored me during our entire date. Stupidly, I agreed to go on a second date…and then a third…and next thing I knew, I was his girlfriend.
He drove me insane.
He bragged about all the things he’d stolen.
I found out that he had beaten his previous girlfriend.
I broke up with him over text message because I was too afraid to do it in person.
He couldn’t understand why, so I told him it was because I couldn’t see us ever getting married. He told me I was crazy for even thinking about marriage in the first few months. I didn’t care. I was glad to be rid of him.
We never slept together.
I continued my vow that the next man I slept with would become my husband.
C.W. (June 2013-March 2014)
I was 19, he was 29.
We met at a bar.
Apparently he saw me from across the room and decided that if he didn’t talk to me that night, he would die. He got my number. I gave him a fake name. After talking for a few weeks and giving him my real name, we went on a date.
It was perfect.
He had a good job, a nice car, and he lived with a roommate. Things seemed to be going fine until he broke up with me via text message while I was on my way to work. He couldn’t deal with the fact that we had been dating for a month already and I still refused to have sex with him. He wouldn’t stop texting me all night and went from trying to break up with me to trying to get back together. He parked outside my house for three days until I finally agreed to talk to him.
I don’t know why, but I took him back.
He bought me a cat.
We had sex.
We moved in together.
We decided to get married but bailed on that plan when my friends told me they would never speak to me again if I went through with it.
I soon found out that he had quit his job (part-time weight-room attendant, not a personal trainer like he had told me) and had no intentions of finding a new one.
We fought daily over the fact that I was supporting both of us on $11 an hour. I got into massive debt.
In December, his parents bought a house in a city two hours away and asked us to move into their basement suite rent-free. I was desperate to save up money and pay off my debts, so I agreed. His mother turned out to be an alcoholic with a lying problem almost as bad as his; his father was an uneducated hillbilly. I was miserable the entire time I lived there.
Day by day his lies started unraveling. There was never a roommate, no apartment. Before we moved in together, he lived with his grandpa. Before that, he lived with his parents. His parents had been supporting him his entire life.
He treated me like absolute garbage and then got mad at me when I didn’t want to have sex.
He blamed all our problems on the fact that I was emotionless and cold. He didn’t seem to understand that those were reactions to his behavior.
He accused me of cheating.
He would go through my phone on a daily basis.
He got violent, but never so violent that I could justify calling it domestic abuse. He would shove me, twist my arms behind my back, and throw my phone against the wall or at my head.
The day I finally decided we were done was the day he slapped me across the face because he didn’t like the way I touched the back of his neck.
To this day he denies that ever happened.
It took me a few months to save up enough money to move out, but when I did, I never looked back.
He still messages me every once in a while. I’ve blocked him on everything, but he always seems to find a way.
Coincidentally, I found out when I moved in with my current roommate (who I met on Craigslist) that she had met him a few months earlier and he had been trying to sleep with her for months. While we were still together. And yet somehow I was to blame for the breakup.
I vowed again that the next guy I slept with was going to become my husband.
K.B. (May 2014-September 2014)
I was 20, he was 33.
The way he tells it, he came into my store on my first day of work and decided right then and there that he wanted to be with me. (I find that this has been a recurring theme with my last few boyfriends. Either I’m missing something, or they’re all full of shit.) He came in every day for five months just to talk to me, and I enjoyed talking to him. When C.W. and I finally broke it off for good, I made it very clear to K.B. that I was now single.
One day he slipped me a note with his name and number on it. I was ecstatic.
We had our first kiss sitting on a cliff under the stars, looking down at the city.
I told him that I was certain that nobody in the history of the universe had ever felt the way I did about him. He said he felt the same about me.
He said, “When you know, you know.”
I fell in love with him immediately.
I didn’t mind the fact that he had been married before or that he had two kids from two separate women, because he was amazing. I loved everything about him. He was the first guy I dated that my friends actually liked.
He told me he loved me after a month. I was surprised, as we had decided to take things slow, but I said it right back because I knew I loved him, too.
I met his kids and fell just as hard for them. His daughter painted me a picture of my cat, and it was the most amazing gift I had ever received. I framed it and hung it up above my bed. It made me smile every time I looked at it.
We made plans for our future.
He told me that he would wait for me while I went to law school in California, even though that was years away.
He told his parents that I would be coming on their family vacation the next summer.
We talked about moving in together and getting married and having children.
I told my mother about him. I had never told her about any of my previous boyfriends, but I was so sure about us that I knew I had to tell her.
Both of us wanted to wait to have sex. It took us two months to finally get around to it.
It wasn’t very good. We were both out of practice and he couldn’t get me off.
We didn’t have sex again. We wanted to, but the timing never worked out. I was always busy with school or work; he worked early on weekdays and had custody of both kids on weekends. I figured it would happen eventually. Neither of us was overly concerned about it.
But everything else remained perfect…or so I thought.
He broke up with me on our four-month anniversary because he said we were just too different. We had nothing in common. We had joked about that before, and we thought it was funny that we got along so well despite the fact that our only common interest was smoking. But suddenly it had become a problem.
He said the age gap was too much—I was just starting out in life and he was already set. He said that I didn’t seem like I was ready to be around kids and that it wasn’t fair for him to have expected me to be able to handle them when I’m still just a kid myself.
I begged him to change his mind, but he was adamant.
He said certain things I had said and certain reactions of mine had “shattered the glass” for him, and he no longer felt the same about me. He said he still cared for me, but it just wasn’t going to work out.
I asked if I could still see the kids, but he said it would be too confusing for them. He didn’t want them to think that we would be getting back together.
When he left, I cried so hard I threw up.
I held on to the fact that he said I was too young, because maybe that meant that in a couple years we could try again. Because where else would I ever find somebody who makes me feel the way he did? Where would I find someone as perfect for me as him?
Is there a worse feeling than being in love with somebody who just simply does not love you anymore?
Maybe that pain will go away. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and think, “Why did I waste so much time hurting over him?”
But maybe not. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
I swear to God, the next guy I sleep with is going to be my husband.