19 votes

Tell us about your first love

How did they make you feel? How old were you? How did things end?

8 comments

  1. [2]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    cw: homophobia My first love was God. I realize that's not what you meant with the question, but it's the honest truth. I grew up believing there was this warm, loving, all-powerful figure...

    cw: homophobia

    My first love was God.

    I realize that's not what you meant with the question, but it's the honest truth. I grew up believing there was this warm, loving, all-powerful figure watching over me who cared deeply about my existence. I would pray all the time, asking Him questions, thanking Him, airing my insecurities and offering up my transgressions. It was powerful and transformative, as any religious person can tell you.

    When I was in sixth grade, I started to, well, notice things. One of my friends was on the school football team and began developing some muscle in his arm, and I remember how I seemingly couldn't look away. I was fascinated! It looked so... interesting, but I wasn't sure why. Maybe I wanted my arms to look like his? Sure. That was it.

    Equally important were the things I didn't notice. Like girls. Other guys certainly did, and would discuss them frequently, particularly if they weren't around. They'd bring it up with me and ask me questions I didn't know how to answer. "Do you like Sarah?" Well, sure, she seems really smart and she's nice to everyone. "Do you think Jade is pretty?" Uh, yeah, I guess? Isn't it mean if I say she isn't? "Lool at how hot Celia is!" Sure, I think her... hair... is... nice? I think?

    Middle school was the time in my life where it seemed like, one by one, each of my male friends started speaking a foreign language. They would say things about girls that made absolutely no sense to me, and I played along simply because to be different in any way was to be bad, and to be different in that particular way was the worst.

    See, middle school was about the time I learned that the God I loved dearly (and I genuinely did), had some limits. All my life I'd been told that He was capital-L Love in its purest, richest, most fulfilling form. Even better, His Love was unconditional. And, even better than that, His Love had infinite forgiveness. No matter what I did, I could always come to Him to experience that Love, because his Love didn't care who I was or what I'd done.

    Except, of course, if you're gay. Elementary School God was like winning a sweepstakes, but Middle School God was like realizing there was some pretty important fine print. When I was young, nobody told me that God had a couple of exceptions in his whole "unconditional love" policy. Turns out God didn't love this other class of people: homosexuals. The vilest of sinners who went against nature. They were a scourge on society and the lowest of the low.

    Of course, I didn't know that was me at the time. Things were so regressive where I grew up that the only idea of "gay" I was exposed to was defined the following way: "gay" meant "fag" and "fag" meant a man who acted like (and presumably wanted to be) a woman. That was it. No gays in the community or on TV or in the books I read. No benchmarks to go by. That pervasive, awful, incorrect outline was all I had to work with.

    And that didn't fit me at all. I didn't want to be a woman. I wasn't womanly at all. My voice was deepening. I was getting muscle and growing body hair. So there was no way I was gay, right? So what if I didn't "like" girls? Most of my guy friends couldn't figure them out either, so that hardly mattered. And I didn't "like" guys. "Like" is something you do before "love" which is something you do before "marriage", and guys have to marry girls, so how could I "like" another guy? It didn't make any sense...

    ...is what I told myself, intellectually, over and over again. It was my defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it turns out that God could see straight through to my heart. He knew everything. That electrifying feeling I got when I saw the male underwear models in the JC Penney catalog? He knew. And the unexplainable nervous tension I felt--like I was doing something wrong--as I watched a picture of David Duchovny download line by line on our blazing fast but somehow still so excruciatingly slow 14.4 Kbps modem? He knew. I knew too, but I was so afraid and so powerless to make it stop that my lies were my only hope. The catalog was just so that I could be a responsible shopper! The pic of Duchovny was for a school project, and how cool would everyone think I was when I showed them that I could print pictures from the Internet! Ha! See? I'm cool! I'm not the lowest of the low!

    Except, of course, I was. The being who Loved me and who I loved right back knew what I was and, according to everyone in my community and seemingly even the Bible itself, He was not okay with it. I could be forgiven for anything... except that.

    There's a lot more I could say, but I'll leave it at this: because I loved God and He loved me, I consider the Church to be my first, abusive relationship. It lasted over a decade, and I spent those years living in a shame so powerful it would make your heart stop. I would cry myself to sleep night after night, begging God to change me and make me something other than what I was. I lived in constant fear of being found out by every single person, every single day. I hated who I was because God hated who I was, and everyone around me would hate me if they knew the truth--a very truth I denied to myself for so long because I genuinely believed I could change. God was all-powerful, right? He could change me, right? Because a loving God wouldn't leave me this way, right? Because He wouldn't keep me trapped as the very thing He despised, right?

    With regards to love, I grew up under a contradiction: I was told constantly that God loves me, but also that God, unconditionally, does not love this other group of people who seemed to be a lot like me. Only by hiding and lying to myself about who I was could I cling to the first part and ignore the dissonance that was slowly and silently ripping me in half. When I finally did come out, I did so not proudly but out of exhaustion and defeat. I had given up on hiding and hoping. I was stuck this way.

    In this darkest moment I turned to my support system. The people closest to me, who, for my entire life, had told me they loved me and lived their lives with the purpose to reflect and spread God's love. My church, my own family failed to show me that love. I instead received condemnation. At that point I became fully severed. The contradiction was over. God could no longer Love me because I was no longer lovable.

    When people are in abusive relationships, they often blame themselves. I sure did, and the consequences of that were nearly fatal to me. I am lucky that I was able to escape with my life. So many do not. I am the living brother to so many Christian ghosts--lives that were cut short because they, too, learned the horrible, destructive, and utterly devastating lesson that God's Love was not for them.

    How wrong we were. How wrong were the people we trusted who taught us it. It's a bullshit lesson. Love is not that. It does not kill. It doesn't destroy or denigrate. It's not proud, and it does not dishonor others. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.1

    12 votes
    1. programmerpoet
      Link Parent
      I know it'll turn some people off, but i really appreciate your story. I have a special place in my heart for people who, like me, took their beliefs and faith seriously. People who genuinely...

      I know it'll turn some people off, but i really appreciate your story.

      I have a special place in my heart for people who, like me, took their beliefs and faith seriously. People who genuinely tried to understand it in a deeper way than just 'atheists are evil' or, conversely, 'science good religion bad'. People who grappled with the horror and the dissonance, and understand the agony of what it looks like to be raised in a shitty church but still feel a connection with God. Or at least, something bigger than yourself that gives your life meaning.

      I'm glad you survived.

      4 votes
  2. moocow1452
    Link
    17, considering I'm relatively Asexual now, I don't know if she was just that one for me, but it's as likely that I was infatuated, in awe and/or envious of her tenacity, attitude and ability to...

    17, considering I'm relatively Asexual now, I don't know if she was just that one for me, but it's as likely that I was infatuated, in awe and/or envious of her tenacity, attitude and ability to project as the coolest person in the room. I never really made a move in HS, we went to different colleges, and did the cycle of never appreciating what I had, to never picking up that I never had anything, to trying to make something happen cause I feared change. We still had each other's numbers, least until she stopped picking up, I tried her college email and one I got from a friend, no response, and when I tried to add her on FB years later, I got instablocked. So the best I can do is wish her well with whatever she's doing and say that I'm sorry I was a bit of an impulsive and needy shithead if I ever run into her again.

    10 votes
  3. The_Fad
    Link
    The first girl I ever loved was exactly the wrong person for me. Though I didn't know it at the time, I needed someone confident, stable, patient and caring. To illustrate how much of a loner I...

    The first girl I ever loved was exactly the wrong person for me. Though I didn't know it at the time, I needed someone confident, stable, patient and caring. To illustrate how much of a loner I was in high school, note that my senior year yearbook is completely devoid of signatures, even from teachers. I needed a positive influence who could help me function with my anxiety and show me that it was okay to be myself around other people. What I went for instead was a cynical, big-titty-goth-GF whose best friend was in love with me.

    Let's call my ex, "X", and her best friend, "Y". I met Y through one of my few friends and, though we weren't thick as thieves, we were amicable. I'm not sure what exactly attracted her (or X for that matter) to me as I was a fat emo kid who wore the same smelly hoodie every day of his life, but hey, I didn't care. Attention was attention, especially from a girl.

    About a month before my 18th birthday, Y approached me and said she and X wanted to give me a joint birthday gift. Their proposition was, I shit you not, a threesome. They wanted me to rent a hotel room so we could go to town on each other.

    I probably don't have to tell you that I was on the phone checking room rates of nearby hotels within a minute.

    Prior to this X and I had exchanged maybe 10 words with each other, ever. Because of that, we told ourselves, we decided to "try each other out" first, which basically translated to a heavy makeout session in her basement done in secret lest Y get jealous. Realistically we did it because it was hot to be "sneaking around" and we were teenagers who wanted to bone. At any rate, X and I soon decided we wanted to be monogamous and before my birthday came and went the threesome had been called off. Y was not pleased with ANY of this but, for a time, she put up with it.

    Eventually, though, she couldn't any longer and started sabotaging the relationship. She would find excuses to hoard X's time, she'd shit talk me behind my back, the whole nine yards. It would've put a serious strain on a healthy relationship but considering ours was one based almost entirely on sex at this point, X and I just kept going from one passion-fueled encounter to the next.

    Near the end of the school year X revealed to me that she had missed her period. She hadn't yet been to a doctor but the period had been missed by enough, apparently, that she was sure she was pregnant. After some tears were shed by both parties, I had resolved to get a job and start saving up some money, and she agreed to be with each other when we told our respective parents. By the end of it we were all smiles and confidence, leaving the park we'd met at hand in hand before doing it (again) in the back of my car.

    After that she ghosted me. At first I got explanations; they ranged from the believable ("my parents are making me do college prep stuff") to the frustrating ("I'm hanging out with Y tonight, I can't"). Eventually I sent her flowers and a note basically begging her to talk to me. She responded by breaking up with me over a facebook message.

    At first I was angry at how it ended because I never got any closure. Everything just kind of fizzled out and disappeared without me being able to do anything about it. Then I suspected, and was later vindicated, that Y had played a hand in it all. Turns out she had been pushing for X to break up with me for awhile and had convinced her to lie to me and say she was pregnant in the hopes that I would bail or suggest an abortion (which would have given X moral reason to break up with me, as she was religious and anti-abortion). Me being down for the responsibility was unexpected, which is why she disappeared instead of ending it properly.

    Anywho I've always assumed that short, sex-crazed relationship is why I'm into the cute goth women as an adult (e.g., My Wife). I haven't spoken to Y since then, and the last time I spoke with X was a few years after the fact for a booty call. The latter I think lives in Minnesota now, and who knows what happened to the former.

    So yeah, I totally fucked everything up on my first go-around with love. Not particularly proud of any part of it, tbh.

    7 votes
  4. Gaywallet
    Link
    Sometime around 15/16 I feel like I had my first true love. She was one of, if not my best friend beforehand. I'd known her at a distance for quite some time, but she had a semi-serious boyfriend...

    Sometime around 15/16 I feel like I had my first true love. She was one of, if not my best friend beforehand. I'd known her at a distance for quite some time, but she had a semi-serious boyfriend for quite some time. The first time I met her was through some really nerdy shit, I think D&D (her brother played first, but I eventually played D&D with her too). When she broke up with the semi-serious boyfriend we started fooling around a bit more. Unfortunately the relationship was doomed to end soon.

    You see, I'm poly, and I've never really cared what my partners do. I don't really treat sex as anything special. I'm pansexual too, so the concept of seeking different sexual partners for different sexual needs is natural to me. For her, she had always been mono before. I opened her up to the possibility of living a poly life, before she was really ready or understood how to maintain multiple relationships. What ended up happening is that she got infatuated with a new guy (who, looking back now was almost definitely an ephebophile) and ended up spending all her time with the new guy and ignoring me. I broke things off with her after maybe two months of being ignored which was very difficult to do. We stayed friends through the end of high school, but the relationship was quite a bit more distant. I've seen her a few times since, but mostly stayed out of contact. Since then she's changed her name and got into a long term relationship with a lesbian. She seemed pretty happy the last time we met.

    4 votes
  5. alyaza
    Link
    depends on whether you want the technical answer or the one that i feel would be more accurate in hindsight, honestly. if you want to be "technical", my first love was in the last month of being...

    depends on whether you want the technical answer or the one that i feel would be more accurate in hindsight, honestly.

    if you want to be "technical", my first love was in the last month of being 17 to a person who is kind of a dumbass and who i've mentioned on here before as a part of spectacularly stupid shit i never wanted to be involved in. we were on--to say the least--better terms in 2017, although not that much. my history with that person is complicated to the point where it used to be part of a wiki for a community i'm not a part of anymore and i've known them for 7 years at this point, mostly in varying degrees of them hating me and me fucking with them in various ways which (justifiably) prompted that hate. the worst of that has been settled for about four, maybe five years now, though, and things had cooled off enough by mid-2017 that we were generally on regular interaction terms again. i wouldn't characterize our interactions as getting on particularly well even then, but of course "being able to hold regular conversations" is a bit of a step up from "literal, regular multi-page arguments" which is what the dynamic had previously been.

    i don't particularly know how it was we came to be a "thing", to be real with you, even though i can give you all of the chatlogs which demonstrate the progression of our interactions. i also don't know why it was exactly we became a thing. it was, however, a thing that happened for certain, stemming from a particular downtime in my life where they happened to be a crutch for me, and for a month things were pretty good. i remember feeling entirely unsure of what to do with myself when we made our thing "official", and in general that was my feeling throughout the whole month long relationship we had (at least, between particularly bad mood swings).

    they, of course, promptly broke up with me on my birthday about a month later mostly owing to incompatibility and me not knowing what to do with myself, and that basically ruined me for about two months. that was when they (and to some extent, other people) noticed the tell-symptoms of borderline in my mannerisms and general behavior throughout, and those symptoms have really yet to subside in any way. the mood swings, the inability to regulate emotions in any way, the regular inability to see myself at all as a person or identify with who i am, all that bullshit that's a "tell" for borderline, all is identifiable to me as constantly taking place in that relationship and only being identified when it all shattered. so increasingly in retrospect, my entire relationship with them seems a lot more underpinned by some sort of low-key mental illness than genuine affection for them and i'm somewhat inclined to shy away from treating that as my first genuine love accordingly. nonetheless, that's my technical first love.

    if you want what i'd consider my first genuine love, that would be the person i'm dating currently (and have for a year now!). i actually have the person i just described as my first "technical" love to thank for introducing me to that person, technically speaking, since they invited me to the discord server where i met my boyfriend. my boyfriend and i didn't really start talking until april of 2018, but we hit it off pretty quickly because it turns out we mix really well and he happens to be a really good foil to me and vice versa. never really looked back, lol.

    in hindsight i suppose i've been somewhat "lucky" in some respect to be the bad person in a relationship and learn from what a fucking trainwreck that was before parlaying it into someone i actually care about unconditionally relatively quickly thereafter. i also kinda can't imagine being without my boyfriend because he's probably the only person i can say that i do love unconditionally, and one of only a few people i even care about unconditionally. i've never really had that many stable friendships, and i still struggle with being exceptionally lonely and perpetually paranoid that nobody cares or likes me even though i know those aren't accurate perceptions--he's one of the few people that makes me feel better about those things no matter what.

    3 votes
  6. tunneljumper
    Link
    "First love" is a vague term, and I have a few answers depending on your definition, but: I was 15 (I think) and I wasn't really interested in dating at the time, but someone set me up with them...

    "First love" is a vague term, and I have a few answers depending on your definition, but: I was 15 (I think) and I wasn't really interested in dating at the time, but someone set me up with them even though I wasn't interested because "that's what you're supposed to do in high school" or whatever. We "broke up" even though we never really were a thing or did date stuff. Then my former best friend got her pregnant like four months later, so I think I did the right thing in hindsight. High school is weird.

    A better answer would be my girlfriend after that, who I dated for a few years in college. We broke up amicably, mostly because she was interested in marriage/kids/family and I was a dumb college kid interested in doing as many drugs as possible. In hindsight, there was no way that was going to work out, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯

    1 vote