Part I: Ben
Shortly after I started grad school, I met this guy who creeped me out--we'll call him Ben. Ben wore a wedding band, but kept hitting on all the women in the class. He wasn't particularly good-looking, but his girlfriend was amazingly attractive (and, incidentally, was not the source of the wedding band). Weird, I thought. And...erm...creepy.
But also fascinating. We had many classes together, so we ended up talking a lot. We had SO MUCH in common, personally, politically--pretty much all around. He purported to be "polyamorous," a word I'd heard before, but only from serial cheaters as a justification for their behavior. He apparently meant it.
Unfortunately, his incredibly sexy girlfriend broke up with him to pursue a more traditional lifestyle. We became close friends and occasional drinking buddies, and spent a fair amount of time together.
So, of course, I ended up crushing on him. Vino and I were monogamous, though, so it was one of those neat little crushes I internalized as an utter impossibility. I also assumed there was no way he was attracted to me--I was still in "fat and ugly" mode.
Around that time, he started dating E (we'll call her Ella, since "E" isn't much of a name). Ella was sexy in that curvy, coy, adorable way. She was also intensely shy, except when she was espousing her very unique political beliefs. She barely talked to anyone, but nonetheless had an endless stream of (male) sexual partners.
So Ben and Ella weren't much of a surprise, on that level. Both of them wanted open relationships, and even if they were very different personalities, they complemented each other quite well.
About six months after they started dating, Ben and I went out for drinks together. I ended up spilling the fact that I was attracted to him--along with a lot of guilt-induced tears. He confessed that he was extremely attracted to me, as well--enough that he was worried about its effect on his budding relationship with Ella. We agreed, though, that for the time being at least, there wouldn't be anything physical.
Ella didn't handle it well, though. At that point, I didn't get much of an explanation, but Ben abruptly cut off contact with me more or less entirely (I got an occasional "hey" if we passed in the halls). I spent a long time wondering what I did wrong, or how I could have handled the situation better. I was heartbroken, but more importantly, I'd lost a very close friend.
Meanwhile, Ella and I were increasingly in the same classes and activities, and while she didn't seem hostile toward me, she definitely avoided speaking to me.
And that was pretty much it, for a long time....
Last edited by Ivy; 05-02-2011 at 12:37 AM.