A bit of a life story, out of place.
In Word - this post is 5 pages long. So feel free to ignore it, since it's just a long background; more or less a journey of discovery - and even at this length, I feel it's just the cliff notes.
I've always felt something off about myself when it comes to romantic relationships. I had my first crush and kiss all the way back in kindergarten - I was the youngest of 4 boys so "maturity" tended to trickle down I guess; they were kissing girls, so I was kissing girls. But regardless the reason I started so young I'll never forget one thing; I was head over heels in puppy love with Leanne... and Jackie. Jackie was my first kiss, and I always wanted to lie next to Leanne for nap/story time. I remember I had a birthday party with all of my friends and both girls went, and even back then, at that young, there was a sense of my liking both of them being wrong. Not from adults, they just thought it was cute, but kids my own age. Eventually the two girls themselves, actually teamed up and sort of bullied me into needing to choose. A weird thing when I think back to it - because I work for a school system now, and kid's that age don't give me the impression they're able to re-enact an episode of high school or middle school drama as well as we did when we were young.
During first grade, there was Jessica, and Katelyn... and Jess, and Nicole. Now I know what you're thinking, and I more or less agree; I was young. Everyone has tons of crushes when they're growing up. But I remember talking to my mom about my crushes, and how I asked katelyn to be my girlfriend and she said no because everyone knew about my crush on Jessica; and how later I had given Jessica a shiny plastic ring with a purple heart on it, and she threw it back in my face because I had asked katelyn to be my girlfriend. My mother said something to the effect of; "Girl's aren't like gold stars, Jason. They're not something you just collect" - Relatively sound advice, actually.
Jess and Nicole where two girl's that sat across from me on the bus ride home. I would talk to them every day; I told jokes, made them laugh, and even sang to them all of the time (disney songs). They were my best friends for four years, as they were on my bus between 1st and 4th grade, and man did I have the biggest crush on both of them. They both liked me back too. Nicole was the more outgoing of the two, and I've always been attracted to outgoing personalities... So in my monogamist's mindset - between the two of them I'd "choose" her... Yet they were best friends, and through whatever discussions of their own, they decided that Jess would "get" me... Because Nicole tried to pair us up often.
I'd like to add in at this time that my bestest friend in the world was a boy named Eric. I met him in first grade and we were virtually inseparable between 1st and 4th grade. Come 4th grade, we were all in the same class together. Eric and I finally had the same class as Jess and Nicole. To keep this already long story brief, the four of us all hung out all the time - Eric fell for Nicole, Nicole liked us both, Jess still wanted me, and I liked both of the girls, with a bit of a preference for Nicole. So Eric tells me he is going to ask Nicole to be his girlfriend, and I am upset by this - he too says I should date Jess... Now this situation could have been handled differently... but we were all kids, and bred on monogamy - So I did the only sensible thing a boy could think of at that time and just asked Nicole out first.
She said no - but then said yes... aaaaand then said no. She was my girlfriend for a day. Eric decided he hated me, and Jess didn't want to speak to me anymore because I "chose" Nicole over her... and Nicole? well she broke up with me because she didn't want to be responsible for killing my friendship with Eric, we also didn't speak as much because her best friend now hated me and she felt bad that she said yes even though Jess wanted me. So basically, in 4th grade I lost my 3 greatest and longest lasting friends because at the time, each and all of us were convinced that the only way we could express our crushes - is if we picked one out of the other 3. A notion that is made ridiculous by the fact that at THAT age, "dating" amounts to being friends with the added bonus of hand-holding and kissing. The dynamic among us would not have changed at all if we could've "dated" freely - we all hung out every day anyway!
In 5th grade I believe I had my first run in with "actual" love. Whatever that even means. Love is love to anyone who believes they feel it, regardless of age. Which brings us to Katelyn (#2)... and Brittany. Katelyn was a new girl I sat on my bus with, and both her and Brittany were in my classes. They were both best friends. I was completely enamored with Katelyn's brain - we had some of the best conversations, and we shared such a charming sense of humor together, she was my "quiet, intellectual" friend - some days on the bus we'd just sit across from each other staring into the other's eyes.
Brittany, on the other hand... she was loud, cute, and quirky. Just a tiny ball of fun - I just had so much fun with her and was much more physically drawn to her than Katelyn. Again - to keep this long story as short as I can; In the end I felt the need to choose. In the end I chose Brittany... Which resulted in a great relationship, but a very hurt Katelyn. I pretty much ruined their friendship, and then later down the road... I broke up with Brittany because - wait for it - I was in love with Katelyn. Naturally, Brittany was shattered, and Naturally, Katelyn told me the 5th grade equivalent of "go fuck yourself" - So once again, 3 people who were all good friends were left broken apart.
Fast forward, a few grades and a few more girlfriends later, and 10th grade is coming to a close. I haven't had a girlfriend since 8th. In the process of trying to court a girl named Bailey, I become very close with her good friend Kathy... In time and over the summer, we completely fell in love. To this day, she exists as one of the greatest loves of my life. Her mind is one of the most amazing that I've had the pleasure of knowing even remotely. We shared all sorts of intimate feelings and thoughts, we philosophized together... and amusingly, most of this mini relationship took place at a distance. Via phone, AIM (remember aol?), and even letters.
However, come 11th grade - things became awkward. I think we were both so terrified of each other, we didn't really know how to act when we were around each other in person. What's amusing is... 10 year's later... We still don't really know how to act around each other. Nobody knew about "us" - except Sasha; Kathy's best friend. Kat had told Sasha a lot about me, and she and I quickly became friends. I liked her a lot, and every day would look forward to getting a hug from her after school, and then walking home together, because apparently we'd sort of been neighbor's for most of my life... and now we both walk home instead of take the bus. Sasha had a boyfriend for the first few month's of school, and eventually they broke up. Jay was a class act, and did so in a note - and I was there was Sasha read it. The girl was in hysterical tears and held her as she cried. It was during and after this moment that I cared for her tremendously, and as I held her I realized how much being close to her physically just felt natural. In short time after that, we began to get close and closer, and eventually started dating. She was fun.
Naturally, Kathy was destroyed... and Sasha was lampooned by the social group for her alleged betrayal. But we couldn't control our emotions. I had completely fallen for Sasha - she and Kathy were very similar, but also nothing alike. I've always had a thing for the more outgoing girls, and Sasha was louder and more provocative than Kathy... Yet Kathy was awkward and insecure... we BOTH were when we were together. I just felt more comfortable with Sasha.
So their friendship was incredibly strained for the rest of high school... and I went on to date Sasha until I was twenty-three. However, we were off and on a few times... and I recall a few of the break ups had to do with Kathy... or at least the idea of Kathy - me questioning myself; do I really love Sasha if I still feel so overwhelmingly strong for Kathy? am I cheating Sasha? Kathy and I had continued to exchange relatively intimate correspondence for almost the entirety of my relationship with Sasha. We were very much each other's "One that got away".
Another dynamic that existed - I couldn't function around both of them at the same time... primarily because I couldn't hide the fact that I was madly in love with Kathy... and Sasha, being the romantic she was at the time - could never handle that fact. So I'd pretty much turn into stone when the three of us ever hung out.
I tried to tackle the truth of the situations dozen's of times, but it always resulted in my candy-coating it, or taking things back, or rephrasing the argument... because Sasha just couldn't process me have feelings for Kathy. Oddly enough, during the last (and arguably the best) 6 month's of our relationship, I convinced her to open the relationship... Kathy had long been doing her own thing at this point, and I never actually dated another girl during this time - something that I view now as a failed opportunity to have an actual testing ground when it came to open relationships.
Instead, when she had finally announced that she had another boy she was dating, I used that as an opportunity to break up with her. Not because of the guy - in fact I figured the guy would be able to help her through the break up. Instead, I just told her everything about Kathy, and we pretty much haven't spoken since. Kathy and I still remain close-but-awkward friends, my feelings finally subsiding for her about a year ago.