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Posts Tagged ‘teen love’

In 7th grade I asked out a boy for the first time. (Well, I think I might have asked two boys out before that, but I can’t remember them really well. I’m pretty sure they asked me out.) His name was Brendan. He was really into Star Wars, was a great artist and was incredibly sexy. Being Latino on his mother’s side, he had an olive complexion and black hair, but his German/Irish father’s heritage had contributed his startling, light green eyes. He was my first real kiss. My first lots of things. I was intensely attracted to him and in retrospect, I probably scared the living bejeezus out of him. At some point he dumped me, or I dumped him and I still don’t remember why.
Then, I met Tony. Tony was Italian. He was a year behind me in school, but I’d read something he’d printed out in the computer lab and was impressed at his vocabulary and wit. He was tall and he looked like a very young Patrick Swayze. I was smitten, and asked him out. He said yes.
Later that spring, at the end-of-the-school-year party, Brendan told me he wanted me back. I was torn. I was still intensely attracted to him, but I’d only just started going out with Tony and I wasn’t sure what to do. I said I’d think about it over Summer break.
Then, over Summer, I went on a three week trip with my family to the Baltic. I had plenty of time to think about things. I sent a letter to Brendan. I thought about them both. I finally decided that I really did want to try going out with Tony before I made my final decision. When I got back, I went on a couple of dates with Tony. He and I got along famously. He was funny, he lived nearby, and he started to teach me how to play D&D. He was smart and cute and actually talked with me.
I decided that I would be with Tony.
And then, when school started, I broke the news to Brendan. I don’t think he took it well.
Then I spent the next couple of months dating Tony and things got very intense between us. Long hours making out in his room, his bed, the park after dark.
Then, just before Halloween, I found myself waiting after school with Brendan. There was still a connection there. I was utterly torn. Brendan and Tony occupied totally different parts of my heart. They were so different, but I was so into both of them. Feeling I had to choose between them, I began to resent Tony. I began to think of him as a barrier to being with Brendan. I started pulling away. I still liked him, but he began to grate on me, simply for not being Brendan.
Finally, I had enough. I ended things with Tony and broke his heart.
For the rest of 8th grade, Brendan and I had a legendary on again, off again relationship. We really weren’t at all compatible, but we were passionate and intense and we both loved Star Wars. Somehow that seemed like a lot at the time. Finally, at the end of the Summer after 8th grade, Brendan broke things off for good.
Today, Brendan is a videographer in Hawaii, married with twin boys. Tony is married and a chef in his father’s restaurant, and just had a baby girl.
It’s clear, looking back, that I was capable of loving both of these boys equally, and I wonder if things would have been different had I been exposed to polyamory, or at least not taken the monogamous model for granted. I caused quite a bit of heartbreak to both of them, and they to me. I was so young, but I still felt there was something wrong with the system if I had to choose to love one person over the other, when I clearly could have handled both. I think the assumption is that they wouldn’t have wanted to share me. Now, I know there are plenty of men who are able to share, however hard it is at first. Maybe teenagers are too young to handle polyamory, but I think exposing adolescents to the variety of relationship styles, teaching them relationship skills with a focus on honesty can only be a good thing.
It certainly would have helped me out back in junior high.

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