I realized, I've been in relationships for over a decade now!
I feel old.
So, I thought today I'd take a trip down memory lane and briefly share about the guys that have been in my love life.
Boyfriend #0 - The Online GuyNote: So some say this one doesn't count, while others do. I'll leave it up for you to decide - keep in mind though, this was back in the day when sites like eharmony and match.com were non-existent, so the concept of meeting someone online and having a relationship with them was pretty much unheard of back then.
During the summer between Jr. High and High school in 1998 I was spending quite a bit of time "online" as in my house we had a service called Prodigy. I became active on several of the message/bulletin boards and that summer they finally introduced an IM feature similar to that of AOLs. I had a group of "friends" on one of the music BBs and we often posted back and forth, IM'd and sent email to each other. This was how I "met" him. He was closer to my age than some of the others, we had video games and music in common, so that was cool too. I started crushing on him and after doing the whole "I like you, do you like me?" thing we decided to be boyfriend/girlfriend.
Well, see, I was 13 and my parents wouldn't let me date until I was 16. But a lot of my friends and other kids my age had boyfriends... I didn't see any harm in dating a guy online, especially since I lived in Northern Illinois, he lived in St. Louis and neither of us could drive so it's not like we'd be able to see each other in person anyway.
We mostly talked online, but did occasionally chat on the phone - he called me once while I was babysitting my sister and I called him from time to time from a payphone nearby that I'd ride my bike to, or the one at school after school. Yeah, I know, cheesy. He even sent me a handwritten letter once, with a guitar pick necklace that he clipped into the shape of a heart - it was cute! The string he had put it on was a bit flimsy though so I upgrade the charm to a chain instead. I still have it too - it's in my memento jar. It was too cute not to keep!
Well, eventually, after about 8 months or so, my parents found out and weren't happy. First off, I had a boyfriend, at the age of 13/14 and it had been going on for awhile without them knowing and second, they had found some emails Internet BF said where he told me about some "illegal" activity he had did recently (spray painting goal posts or something like that). They were afraid he was either some psycho old guy leading me on and that he'd show up at the house and kill me like some of the internet meet-up horror stories you used to hear about, or that he was just a kid who enjoys taking part in delinquent behavior that they didn't want me being involved with. Regardless, they cut off my internet access and banned me from talking to him. Well I did sneak one last email to him, letting him know what had happened, cuz I figured he at least deserved to know why I suddenly wasn't ever online anymore.
They gave me like a 6 month ban and by then we had both kind of moved on. But we never forgot each other and did occasionally keep in touch via email and then later IM in college. And yes, we did finally meet in person, twice, while in college - he came up to visit me and the college boyfriend one weekend during the end of my 2nd year in college and the boyfriend and I went and visited him for a weekend in St. Louis the following semester while making a trip down there to visit a friend of his. Both times we had fun just hanging out, reminiscing - I finally got to see him play his guitar live with his band, as he would occasionally play me songs over the phone back in the day. We haven't emailed in a few years, but that's partially due to the fact we're both on Facebook and just keep in touch that way now.
I think if my parents met him today, they'd like him. He's really grown up from the days of early high school, spray painting goal posts, lol... He's an avid Bill Reilly fan and Bill even read one of his letters on the air once, and he has a great career too that he got with his college degree. It always makes me smile when I post something on facebook and both him and one of my parents comment on it - my parents don't seem to realize it's him! Mom even commented to me one time, in person, "remember that guy on the internet you were so hung up about? What were you thinking back then..." I think at one point I was like "Yeah... I still talk to him online."
Teenage crushes come and go, but you can't just let go of a friendship with someone you once had a strong bond with and we really did.
Boyfriend #1 - High School Sweetheart, aka "The Good Ex"Now this is the one that everyone seems to count as my first boyfriend.
My best friend went to another high school for the first 2 years, and had been telling me how much fun she had at the school dances. Being that I never had a boyfriend, and no guys in my school would give me the time of day, I never bothered going to the few dances my private school actually had. She had a great idea that I should go to a dance at her school, with her, however since I didn't go there, someone from her school would have to ask me to be their date to get me in.
That was when she introduced me to him.
Her and him had a few classes together, most notably Chemistry, and since she sucked at it and he seemed to get it, they were both meeting up at Wednesday night youth group a little before the rest of it so he could sort of tutor her on it. He seemed nice enough and went to our youth group so she explained the situation to him and asked him if he'd be interested in taking me to the dance. He was interested but wanted to get to know me a little better, as we never really talked, so we started hanging out at youth group a bit more. He was also good friend with... hubby (they played church basketball together and were always on the same team).
So obviously he asked me to the dance, much to the dislike of another friend of ours who got it in her head that he was going to ask her to the dance, even though he had been hanging out with me...? Yeah, I don't get the logic either. He actually called me up the week before the dance (which was St. Patrick's Day) and officially asked me to be his girlfriend. We shared our first kiss at the dance, and he even told me he loved me. It was too soon for me to say it back right then and there (and oh what goes on in a teenage girl's head when a guy first tells her those words!) but I did eventually say it back a few weeks later.
We dated for the rest of high school and into our first year of college. Yes, we went to college together, cute, eh? What wasn't so cute though was our 2nd semester when we took several classes together and then broke up 2/3rds through the semester... ooops!
But during the time we dated, we really did have a great time, or at least I did. I had someone to go to all the dances with me, and he would actually dance most of the night too, unlike some guys. I went to as many of his track meets as I could, we hung out most weekends, I have plenty of memories of spending Sunday afternoons watching the Chicago Bears games either in the basement at my parents house with my dad's surround sound set up, or later in his dorm room. I even got him Bears tickets one year for his birthday and he finally got to see a game in person.
So why did we break up?
Well, in short... everyone changes when you go off to college - it's a part of life. There's a transition in your life when you go from high school to college and you want different things in life. He was quite content with hanging out with the guys on his dorm floor, playing video games, while I liked to do things and be social. I enjoyed going out with everyone on the weekends, he would rather sit at his computer. I remember a few times where I'd come over to his dorm room to watch a movie with him and a little while into it, he'd get up "just to check something" on his computer, then next thing you know, he's sitting there with his headset on, yelling commands to people online, and I'd fall asleep. It got annoying. And no, it wasn't Counterstrike, he played Day of Defeat, aka DoD, which is like Counterstrike, but takes place in WWII.
I got tired of it and we broke up shortly after our 3 year anniversary. We still tried to be friendly and were close the last month or so of the semester (it was just too weird not spending time together). When we went home for the summer, we still met up once a week for McDonalds and just to chat, but that didn't last too long. I was honestly ready to get back together again when he dropped a bomb on me. He was confused and needed some time to think things over "I don't know if I ever want to see you again." he told me, and said he was going to visit his mom for the weekend (his parents were divorced) to think things through and would call me when he got back on Sunday night.
That hurt a lot. It hurt so much that I started having negative thoughts I hadn't had in years. No one was home, no one was around to talk to either on the phone or online, so I emailed someone who I thought was a friend (I recently learned they apparently never were) I had become close to, just because I needed someone to talk to. It hurt even more when he didn't call me back that Sunday. Or the next week, or the week after.
I took it that he made up his mind and that I should move on since it didn't seem like he was ever going to call.
Well, he was working for my aunt that summer, doing apartment maintenance work for her with his brother like we had together the summer before. About 2 months after I moved on, she had told my mom that he was feeling all down that I never called him back. What?! Yes, you read that right. Oh, I was pissed! If I knew he had wanted me to call, I would have, but after what he said and the fact that he said he'd call me, well, when he didn't I took that to mean it was over - I didn't want to call and bother him if he had decided he didn't want me anymore. You can bet money that I called him up later that week and was like "Um, hey, what gives? You're upset that I never called you? You're the one said 'I don't know if I ever want to see you again and I'm going to my mom's for the weekend to think things over - I'll call you when I get back.'" You could hear him go silent on the other end, like one of those moments where you realize just how very wrong you were in your thinking. I had to explain that I waited for him to call, but after a few weeks, when he didn't, I gave up and moved on, a friend introduced me to another friend, we hit off and had been dating for a month now. We met one last time, just for closure's sake. He asked for a hug, so I said okay. Then he asked for a goodbye kiss and I had to turn him down, since I was with someone else, who's previous ex had cheated on him.
We had a class that following semester and we tried to chat online, but everytime it turned into a fight over who was at fault for our relationship falling apart. Eventually he blocked me on AIM. For a few years. It didn't help that neither him or my current boyfriend liked each other.
It wasn't until years later when I broke up with the guy after him that we started talking again. My mom had called and told me she read in the newspaper back home that his grandpa had recently passed. I remembered meeting his grandparents on a few occasions - they were nice - and since he unblocked me on AIM by this point, I sent him a simple message, something along the lines of "Hey, my mom read about your grandpa in the paper - I'm so sorry to hear that, I remember he was a really nice guy! My family gives their condolences." We started chatting, civilly, and have gotten along since, having hung out in group settings a handful of times.
I do find it a bit ironic though that now I'm the one that sits around and plays video games, while he's the one going out and being social, lol... oh how the tables have turned!
He really is a nice guy though and deserves a good girl... I have sometimes wondered how things would be if things may have been different. But I guess we'll never know...
Boyfriend #2 - College Boyfriend, aka "The Lazyass"
We spent that first summer doing a lot of fun stuff - going to various concerts, mini-putting, hanging out with friends... really fun times.
As I mentioned, his previous ex had cheated him on, so he had some major trust issues and stuff that went along with that. He told me he wasn't used to having someone who actually cared about him and showed it, as I had heard from various people his ex was kind of a bitch, especially once she started doing drugs. When he caught her cheating on him around Christmas, he had a major depression and failed out that Spring semester because of it, so while he was living down at school, he was taking community college classes to get his GPA back up before returning. Well, he checked himself into group therapy that Fall, telling me he just going home for a regular checkup, only to tell me after the fact he was going to be home for a few weeks because of group therapy. I was actually kind hurt that he didn't feel he could tell me the truth about what he was going through, as I had always been nothing but caring. He eventually had a CATscan done too, as the doctors couldn't figure out what his deal was. They eventually labeled it as a chemical imbalance.
He moved back home after that year and finished an AA at the local community college there, but things were still fun. He took a theater class that gave us free tickets to several Broadway shows in Chicago, such as Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate. His parents also took us to see Spamalot and The Lion King in Chicago too.
And then he got a 10day trial to WoW and got hooked. And I got hooked. However he got hooked a lot worse than I did.
He transferred back to my college and moved into an apartment and a friend moved in later and all they did was play WoW. He got put on academic probation because he never went to class and failed again. He retook the same classes that summer and... same thing again, and they kicked him out. He ended up going back to the nearby community college to try and get his GPA up, again. His WoW addiction got so bad that we had to nag him to get out of his chair and go out with us. And it wasn't just me that noticed - we all did, my roommate, his roommate, everyone. And it drove us nuts. I'll never forget the time I switched my schedule around at work just to get the night off to go to a concert in my hometown. I'm getting ready to leave, stop by to get him, and he's in a raid. That's barely begun. He doesn't want to go to the show anymore, he'd rather stay home and play WoW, like he had been 24/7. It wasn't until I mentioned that my friend (hubby) was meeting us there, I didn't have a working cell number for him, so I was going, as it wasn't fair to blow him off like that when he had to travel to get there too. I told him I was leaving in 15 minutes with or without him. I got all the way to atm when he called me, 30 minutes later "Where are you?" Uh, I left, like I said I was... Since I was still in town I swung by to pick him up, but still... I wasn't too happy with him.
We got in some fight the weekend my friend (hubby) came down to visit for his birthday. I don't remember what sparked it, but he basically promised me things would change, as I was getting fed up with his lack of motivation and behavior (he had been telling me and his mom for months he would get a parttime job, but never even filled out a single app). Well, the next morning, October 30 (hubby's bday) the electricity at his place got shut off and it cost at least $1000 for them to turn it back on. He had been subleasing from January-May from a guy I worked with and never bothered to call ComEd to get the bill changed over! And his parents had been giving him money to pay that bill each month, yet now he had nothing to put towards it! I was really pissed now and stormed out, telling my friend (hubby) "Sorry man, by the way, Happy Birthday!" Now the full $1000 wasn't entirely his fault - in his defense, he moved in in January and the bill hadn't been paid since the previous September, so the guy I worked with owed 4 months on it. We tried getting in touch with him several times throughout the month - he originally said he sent in a check, but when we called ComEd a week or so later, they said they never got it and the full $1000+ had to be paid for them to turn it back on. We tried calling the guy a few more times, but he changed his voicemail message to some nasty message basically telling us to quit harassing him. If I knew he was gonna turn into a jerk, I never would had helped him out with getting his place subleased, as he was given the ultimatum of getting rid of his dog or moving ASAP.
Now this was going into November and it gets a bit cold out here in November, so since one of my roommates was dating my boyfriend's roommate, they both just moved in with us for a few weeks. Boyfriend had promised me it would only be for roughly 2 weeks for them to get it cleared up, but those 2 weeks came and went and it wasn't until after Thanksgiving that they moved back into their place. That month was hell - he refused to tell his parents and ask for help to help speed up the process a bit, and I had ZERO privacy, he was constantly in my space all the time and it drove me nuts. One night I came home from work and HAD to ask him to just leave for like an hour. I needed some time to myself without him in my hair. There just wasn't enough space in our apartment for 5 people (and sometimes 6 when my 3rd roommate's boyfriend would visit on the weekends) staying there at one time.
When they moved back into their place, I needed a break. I told him, 2 weeks, focus on school and make an effort in getting a job or I was done. I was tired of him sitting on his butt at the computer 24/7. He did make a little bit of an effort with the job search, the 2nd week of the break, but still... I had checked out of the relationship months ago - the thing with the electricity really was the last straw.
We broke up for good the night after he finished his finals that semester... and it took longer than it should have because it honestly took me a good 10-15 minutes to get him to leave WoW and his computer so I could have the talk with him. In his apartment. All he kept asking was if there was someone else. Which, I avoided answering at first because if I knew if I told him that yeah, I was kinda interested in someone else, that would be the ONLY part of the conversation he heard and he'd completely ignore all the actual reasons why I was leaving him. He noticed I avoided it though and asked again, so I confessed, yes, I was interested in someone else, but that wasn't why I was leaving him. I was tired of his lack of motivation to do anything but sit at the computer. I was really annoyed and pissed about the whole ComEd situation. And we had always said when we first started dating that it didn't make sense to keep dating someone you couldn't see yourself with for good, and honestly, I couldn't see that anymore. We had talked about getting married, but after 3 and a half years, he couldn't even make the effort to get a job to buy me the ring to make it official. I was tired of waiting for him to grow up, I was moving forward in life and growing up, he wasn't.
We tried to be civil in WoW and in person, since our roommates were dating (and all his friends agreed with me and backed me up on my reasons for leaving him), however once he figured out I was seeing my friend (hubby), "the shit hit the fan" or so they say. He was pissed, he felt betrayed. For some reason he considered my good friend of 9 years to be his best friend, when the only reason my friend hung out with him and put up with him was because of me. Hubby was only nice and friendly towards him because he didn't want me to stop talking to him if he came out and said he thought my boyfriend was a real asshole and jerk and why the heck was I with him? (Which ironically, is a question my parents wondered too!). Eventually he got drunk one night and left me a nasty message ("You and [your friend] can both eat bricks and go die in a f*cking fire!"). Yeah... thanks for lashing out and making me regret the entire 3 and a half years I spent with you!
It always irked me when my roommate would say "well, he's my friend too..." and I'd get excluded from things like her birthday (their birthdays were like the day after each other so we'd often just have one outing for the both of them), yet it was okay from him to crash our parties over here (It drove me nuts how he'd just invite himself over to our parties, and then sit around with my roommate's boyfriend and a few stragglers after she went to bed. I wanted to go to bed too, but wasn't about to leave my ex just hanging out in my apartment unsupervised... ). He used to talk SO much crap about her behind her back... he'd go on to me and people in WoW about how he thought she was a terrible roommate, a terrible girlfriend to his roommate and how he wished his roommate would just dump her already cuz he'd be happier without her... I'd always just be like "dude, she's my roommate, stop." I also remember one time I had suggested the 4 of us just get an apartment together and his response was "there is no way IN HELL I will EVER live with her" which was kind of funny when she mentioned the 3 of them getting a place later on that he claimed to be allergic to her cat and that's why that wouldn't work - he didn't even have the balls to tell her the truth! He wasn't allergic to cats - he had often talked of getting one himself when he moved into his first apartment!
Needless to say, he was lazy and full of crap. And I really wished I hadn't spent nearly the amount of time with him as I did.
I heard recently he quit his job (he had 2 since we broke up), moved back home with is parents, transferred to a store nearby and is still trying to finish college. And he hasn't had a girlfriend since. He'll be 28 this summer.
Looking at him, I feel a lot better about myself and what I've done since the 3+ years that we broke up!
Boyfriend #3 - Mah HubbyUnless you're new to my blog, you know how hubby and I came to be, so I won't drag this post out any longer. If you don't know though, you can read up on our story here and here.
*note* The images used are not images from my photo collection, they are from Google - I didn't want to use pictures with my ex's for their sake, not to mention the 1 I can't stand and would rather not see for any length of time. While the last one looks nothing like my ex, I think it gets the point across pretty well though... especially you've seen the South Park episode it's from!