Juveniles in Like

Dating before I met the love of my life at age 24 was weird and basically nonexistent. Looking back, I did a lot of flirting but was generally placed in the friend zone, as I was really one of the guys.

A particular boy that I liked called me after I left him a drunken voicemail and told me I was still his ‘boy’. I was always flattered to be considered a true friend to my guy pals, but it sucked when I had a crush on one of them.

Like I think most people do, a boy with whom I grew up and I had mutual crushes on each other for years. However, both of us were too shy to make a move. I remember a strange incident where this uppity girl in my class actually told me I was related to this boy who liked me; before that, I was clueless about his crush. I honestly think her pushing him to believe we were somehow cousins kept him from approaching me. Plus, every time he got up his nerve, said girl would physically pull him away from me. Sabotage!

When I went to high school, my dating life was definitely nonexistent. My childhood crush actually sent word our freshman year that he still liked me. But, by then, after our years of dancing around each other, I was ready for him to approach me himself, to be confident that I would say yes. It never did happen, but things worked out how they were supposed to – we both have our own families and remain friends to this day.

I had so many crushes, especially as a teenager. I was also really picky and got grossed out pretty easily, unless I really, really liked someone. I remember thinking this guy in my history class was beyond cute – until we passed each other in the hall and he snorted snot through his nostrils so loudly I almost threw up. That was the end of that crush!

I thought a bunch of upperclassmen were cute, but I was scared of them! They all seemed so old when I first started high school – like they were already men and I was still an innocent girl. None of them paid much attention to me anyway. As a freshman, I had a huge crush on Robert, a junior who ran cross country with me. I remember melting once when he rubbed my head and tousled my short hair. Quite naturally, someone divulged my crush to him and he responded, “that’s okay.” I almost died!

I’ve had quite a bit of unrequited love in my life, both on my part and that of others. It always seemed like boys I had placed in my friend zone, as I couldn’t see myself ‘with’ them, would fall in love with me – their words, seriously. I attracted guys I wasn’t interested in romantically. I just couldn’t bring myself to date someone I didn’t really like that way, so I went through my teenage years without a steady boyfriend. I even asked out my own prom date, a friend who I figured out at the dance wanted more, which made me sick – he was my buddy.

I discovered that guys who like girls don’t like being called their buddies. Sometimes it felt like guys who liked me thought I owed them something, that there was no way we could just be friends. This fact always bugged me and, quite frankly, pissed me off. I had a hard time making girl friends in school, so I gravitated toward boy friends. Let’s just say that I spent a lot of time on my own.

I’m certainly not complaining about my lack of dating experience prior to meeting my now husband; things worked out just as they should have for me, romantically speaking. I always had a sense that the first guy I seriously dated would be ‘the one’ – and he was. I remember the first time I met him, on Thanksgiving Day 2007. We locked eyes before speaking and I thought ‘there he is’ – like I just knew he was it for me. He told me later that when we hugged for the first time that he smelled his beloved deceased Granny and he took it as a sign.

Meeting my husband is one of the best things that has ever happened to me – we’re best friends and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. Being with Elliott makes me happy that I waited to get serious with anyone – it just didn’t feel right with anyone before I met him. I went through phases of worrying that I would end up a lonely, old spinster. Thank goodness things worked out the way they did – I just had to be patient and it paid off. 😀

Love, Maggie

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