Brief Reminiscences of Could-Have-Been Lovers

These are the kinds of names I think of whenever I’m feeling that good ol’ still-single weltschmerz. In another universe, it could have worked with any of 'em. At least for longer than it did.

No particular order; all the names (but one) are real.

Melissa (I) – Okay, she doesn’t really count; we actually did date for six months. But everyone has that one, formative break-up that you never forget, the one that teaches you that sometimes, and for no good reason, relationships just…fall apart. The one that hurts more than anything else. She was mine. I saw her over Christmas; she seems really happy.

Ginny – Friend of a friend. Crashed at her place once in Eugene; that’s the first time I ever heard Dead Can Dance. It’s because of her that I write my letter Gs like I do. We picked blackberries by some railroad tracks. I bought the new Barenaked Ladies album Maybe You Should Drive; she’d never heard of them.

Melissa (II) – Met her during my second go-round in college; she was in my theater department. I asked her out. She said yes. We never went; she postponed and postponed until it dissipated. I suspected at the time that her best friend liked me far more than she did, and she didn’t want to hurt her friend’s feelings. But I dunno. Maybe she just wasn’t that into me.

Jessica – College again. Went out a couple times; it didn’t take. Then we became great friends. And slept together, almost twice. And became friends again. …Then she turned into a lycanthrope. Crazy mean. But she could be really nice when she wanted to be. I remember reading her a children’s book. The Silver Crown, that was it.

Katherine – My high school crush. Well, one of them. She was a hippie chick and I was a total nerd, and other than theater we ran in completely different circles. We went camping once. I never even asked her out; she was in a serious relationship the whole time I knew her. I dunno why she’s the one I remember.

Marie-Joelle – First year of law school. Unspeakably hot. I met her at a friend’s birthday dinner; our first conversation was about game theory. She gave me her number. We went to see my friend in a play, and left at intermission to hang out in my room, and man oh man I should have kissed her. I should have. I had the chance. She told me so on the phone an hour after she left. But she was casually seeing someone at the time, and I figured I’d have another opportunity if we continued to sizzle together. But things changed after that; she stopped giving me the right signals. We went to a dance together, and I met her mom (who loved me), but she lost interest. And I never got that kiss.

Robin – Another instance of my becoming great friends with a beautiful girl who didn’t return any romantic feelings I may have had…or didn’t return them enough to do anything about it. For a few months at college she and I were nearly inseparable. We hung out all the time; I had dinner with her family; we talked about everything. For a while we were de facto dating, except for, y’know, any of the romantic stuff. And it never quite took that next step, and then I left the theater department and we drifted apart.

Kate (I) – Met her at a conference in Charleston. She wanted me to give her a backrub. I, um, should have said yes.

Meredith – Fall 2004. She and I clicked like no one I’ve ever met. We could talk for hours about nothing at all. Incredibly similar interests as well. And chemistry…the first five times we went out, the date lasted until the next morning. (We fooled around, but never went all the way; I’ve always kinda regretted that.) But she was in a different place in her life than I was, and didn’t regard me as a serious long-term prospect. And I was over-eager. And she had other issues. So she ultimately blew me off. Just…said she was really busy and stopped e-mailing and calling. That one still stings a bit.

Becky – Met her when I was visiting a friend in Ashland during my two-year hiatus between schools. Clicked. Nothing ever happened, although we stayed up all night talking in her dorm room bed once. Then I went back home, and wrote her a bunch because she said she enjoyed getting mail. Nothing sappy; just random letters about random things. She wrote back once. I may have come on too strong. :slight_smile:

Laura – From my first college. Not much to say here; she was really cute and lived down the hall from me. We got into a spontaneous wrestling match once, and bonded over (I think) Anne of Green Gables. I think she was dating someone. Then I was definitely dating someone. Then I flunked out and never saw her again.

Kate (II) – We get along incredibly well. Her boyfriend’s not going anywhere, so I don’t give it serious consideration. Nice to imagine, though.

Jen – Met her playing darts last October. She’d just passed the bar. Had had a little to drink. Was so, so pretty. We flirted a lot, even though she was there with a couple guys and at least one of them seemed to have a proprietary interest in her. She finessed me into offering to see Firefly with her, and accepted, and gave me her number. And kissed me on the cheek when the bar closed and we all went our separate ways. I think I called her too soon, or she sobered up, or she really was with one of those guys. In any case, I left a message and never heard back. An exhilarating night, and one I can take on its own merits. Still, I’d love to have spent more time with her.

Nora – Met her randomly when I was in Portland for a job interview during law school. Well, I met her randomly online, and when I discovered I was going to be in Portland we decided to get together. We had a really enjoyable dinner at the restaurant at my hotel – three hours of interesting conversation and good wine. And she was gorgeous. Pixie-ish. And very bright and funny. (I just googled her…I don’t remember her being an actress. Huh.) Anyway, she liked me, but didn’t find me as attractive as I found her; based on a couple e-mails she sent after the fact, I think she’d feel differently today. She was cool. Would’ve been fun if the evening had resulted in more than a chaste kiss.

Heather – Lived down the hall from me first year of law school. I was dating someone first semester; she was dating someone second semester. I think there was something there, but the timing wasn’t right.

Katya – She was a high school friend of my freshman-year roommate, and we randomly struck up a snail-mail correspondence despite never having met. I visited her in Pittsburgh for a few days the fall of my sophomore year. Nothing happened between us, but that was a weird enough weekend that we fell out of touch. I was damn immature back then.

Jane – Knew her in school, and during the month or so that we were simultaneously single I never thought I had a chance. Beautiful, intelligent, interesting. We became much better friends after graduation, and I found out from her way after the fact (after she’d been in a serious relationship for a couple years) that she’d been interested in me back then. One of those things that’s nice to know and yet makes you really wanna kick yourself. I can even pinpoint a moment – a party, a conversation – where I could have asked her out. But it never even occurred to me. Things could easily be very different now if it had.

Megan – Compelling. Infuriating. The most recent object of my observation that there are few things more poignant than coming across e-mails or letters or whatever from someone who was romantically interested at the time but isn’t any more. It’s kinda cruel that we can lose that thread so easily.

Anyway, anyone else got names like this to share? I hadn’t thought about some of these folk in this detail in a long, long time.

Serenity. Not Firefly. Obviously.

Doesn’t everybody?

My mind wanders back to this girl from time-to-time. I was dead gone on her when I was in my early twenties. She was seventeen, which was really strange for me, because I’d gravitated to much older women from the start, and had practically no experience with girls that age, even when I was that age. We courted for what seemed to be forever, and she practically drove me out of my mind. On the one hand, I had a practically worshipful view of her – she was a total geek, smart, and funny. Always seemed to be the center of the room, no matter who was there. Radiant being, blah blah blah. Of course, she was seventeen, and that was pretty hard to overcome, and indeed it never was. She moved away to the States, and I ended up with a woman that was more my speed. (She was thirty-nine.)

I sometimes wonder what she’s like now that she’s properly grown up, and if it would work out if we met again. The age difference seemed like a fairly big deal then, but in actuality the age gap was narrower than most of the serious relationships I’ve had in my life.

Sarah, a friend of a friend who was living in Chicago when I holidayed there once. We both had out-sized skulls, loved Tom Waits and spent the end of the evening drinking Jim Beam in front of Jacobs Ladder. Beautiful, half-Mongolian…damnit… :smack: :frowning:

A look across a crowded dance floor in Budapest turned into a time-stopping stare for both of us. Then her eyes averted to the guy into front of her, returned to mine and spoke “Unfortunately I am with him tonight.”

She was stunningly gorgeous. Burgandy hair, petite body, penetrating eyes and I swear it was pure phermones coming off of her skin.

The glances and occasional touches on the floor became quite bold while he was looking away. He left for the bathroom and I leaned into her and whispered “I must see you again. Who are you?” “Just a Russian girl in Budapest. Meet me tomorrow at 12 at the Bagel shop.” (there was only one bagel shop in Budapest)

I was there. She was not.


This reminds me of the lyrics of the song “Unsent” by Alanis Morisette. She describes four ex-lovers and what they meant to her. Great song.

Karen from college. She was about 5’8", very pretty in that way that you kept looking over at her, but not so much that you felt you couldn’t talk to her. Strawberry blonde, HUGE blue eyes.

She lived in the same dorm as I did, and we would see each other at meals all the time. She always sat with her friends, I with mine, but there was eye contact a lot.

I was not so much dating, as I was just spreading seed everywhere I possibly could. She had the same boyfriend the whole time I knew her. One day, just after semester break, freshman year, we found ourselves next to each other in line at the Student Center. Started chatting, and found out we grew up 10 minutes from each other, in fact I’d gone to prom at her school with a girl I was seeing from there. We didn’t remember each other from that, but we made a point to talk from then on.

Neither of us could have said we were “casual friends” because there was always something kind of sitting in the background. Right before we went home for the summer, she mentioned that her boyfriend was from downstate and she didn’t expect to see much of him over the summer. We made plans to, but right when I got home, I got involved playing baseball again, and ran into my on/off girlfriend from Karen’s town, and spent the summer hanging out with her.

The next August when school started - no Karen. I never heard or saw from her again.

The one I most think of is one of the oldest:

Sachin. My very first dance partner, with whom I took my first foray into dancing. He was cute, sweet, and very nice. I often wonder what he grew up to be like, as we were both only 12.

Fadi, or Fred as he liked to be known. When I first met him, he scared the crap out of me, he was so intense. Now I think I should have taken the opportunity to be a little scared.

Rahul. One person knows the story of Rahul, besides myself and Rahul. Isn’t that enough?

And just so my choices aren’t all Indian or Arabic (sheesh, what the heck is wrong with me? I like white guys just fine),

Dave. A very sweet guy I met in college who I thought was a little too old for me at the time. (He was about 6 years older).

James, with the oh-so-fine English accent. Who said “Cheers” to me whenever we parted, who I only knew through work, and didn’t dare approach because of that.

Nameless guy from Comp Sci I. Bumped into each other (literally) on the first day of class. He and his friends ended up sitting behind me and were talking about his single status. I, too, was single at the time. But he was GORGEOUS. And I was a plump, pimple-faced girl who didn’t have the nerve. We spent the next 3 years checking each other out every time we saw each other, lots of eye contact, flirty smiles, etc. But then I was in a relationship, then he was, then I was, and then we graduated. And I never knew his name. But damn, he was hot.

Zenen - Breathtakingly beautiful boy in high school, long blonde hair, wrote poetry…every girl in school was infatuated with him, so I figured what chance did I have? Years later a mutual friend mentioned to him that I’d been in lurve with him back in school, and Zenen’s response was “Why didn’t she ever do anything about it?”, implying that he would have reciprocated. For YEARS I was :smack:

Aram - Very cute, easy to talk to, ran with the same group of friends as I. We spent a whole evening outside of a party, watching it rain and talking…he bummed a cigarette from me, even though he didn’t smoke. Every time we’d get separated at this party, we’d frantically run through the huge house looking for the other. We talked on the phone several times, one night he came over to my apartment late at night and we shared a couple of beers and listened to music. I desperately wanted him but was afraid to make a move, and he never did either, and just…it never happened. A short time later I got involved with someone else.

Blaine - A very dear, gay friend of mine. We were inseperable and more or less like girlfriend and boyfriend, without the sex. However, several nights after many, many drinks, he would confess to me that he sometimes thought about me romantically, and I’d say I felt the same, and many times we made out. Once or twice, we discussed openly whether we should just go ahead and have sex…I think one drunken evening we even made plans to, but then got distracted. But then, he moved away, I met my future-husband, and when Blaine returned he never really forgave me for abandoning our strange, not-relationship. He finally lost his virginity (to a man, of course) and never looked back.

Ron. My friend and I went to his place one night after high school (we were seniors, and he had just graduated in May), and proceeded to get monumentally stoned. There had been huge sexual tension between the two of for two years (I dated his best friend for about a month my sophomore year). He was tall and slender, with very fair skin, baby blue eyes, and dark curly hair that was always slightly unruly. He oozed sex and the bad-boy image like only a teenager with a permanent hard-on can. When it was time to figure out who was sleeping where, I ended up in bed with him. :eek:

I left my shirt and undies on, and he left his boxers on. He had a monumental erection, (I’d heard that he was well-endowed, and boy o boy were “they” right - damned thing felt like a summer sausage), and began to snuggle up behind me. I told him that I just wanted to sleep. So we did.

Now, I was 17 and had just lost my virginity a couple of months ago. I was convinced that you shouldn’t sleep with just anybody, so I didn’t. Honestly, I don’t remember seeing him again after that night.

Stupid damned morals.

Pam – I got to know her my senior year in high school; she was a freshman. I know now that she had a crush on me strong enough to bend steel, but I never thought of her that way. A friend, and someone to hang out with, but nothing more. In some ways, she even scared me. She got pretty messed up later; I suppose it would have been a case of violating the rule, “Never sleep with anyone crazier than you.” Last I heard, she had straightened out.

K - sitting on a couch thisclose talking late into the night. Later, when he kissed me, it was like everything else melted away. I don’t know why it didn’t go further…sometimes I regret it, sometimes I don’t.

Laura: A girl I met in high school through speech contests. Was very sexy, green eyes and honey-blonde hair. I flirted with her a lot over the year since we often ran into each other at events. Close to the end of the year’s event schedule, I gave her a foot massage that has to be one of the most erotic experience I’ve ever had with anyone without getting naked. It was so intense that wanted to find a closet someplace and rip her clothes off. I’m fairly sure she felt the same way (considering the heavy breathing and the musk she was putting out) but we didn’t do anything about it. My mother died a month after graduation and I fell into an emotional black hole. Never got in touch with her. I caught a glimpse of her at the Renaissance Faire a couple of years later, but I lost her in the crowd.

Melanie: Gorgeous eyes, fun and flirty, very different from the personality I usually liked then. We both liked each other, but never seemed to be able to get together much outside of classes. Went out on a couple of “dates” that were not really official dates but involved lots of eye contact and giggling. Stupid kids. Probably one of the reasons that didn’t go very far was that that was still pretty soon after my mom’s death and I was a bit of a basketcase sometimes. It was one of those things that you know wasn’t a relationship but felt like it might possibly have become one if things had been different.

Danielle: Possibly the smartest and most creative girl I’ve ever met. I also met her through competitive speech. I’d run into her every once in a while and have the kind of intense conversations that last until almost dawn. I was very attracted to her in more of a cerebral way than I can remember having with anyone else. We never met with any regularity, so it’s no surprise that I thought of her a couple of years later and realized how long it had been since we talked.

Amber: Goth, bi, smart, weird, utterly fascinating. Had a heart-wrenchingly tempestuous relationship with her. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but she was was going through the manipulation-with-sex phase that a lot of girls go through. I got caught up in her net and was young enough and stupid enough to fall for her. We eventually almost ended up consummating our relationship, but didn’t due to the lack of a condom. In retrospect, that was a very good thing. I had my guts ripped out painfully enough as it was.

Darci: Very smart, very cool. She went to a neighboring university. I picked her up at a frat party, mostly because she wasn’t the kind of girl who enjoyed frat parties; she was there with friends. She was almost exactly the same height as me, which made it a bit weird kissing her for the first time since I didn’t have to bend down at all. She was a virgin and despite a patient several-month campaign she kept it that way, though we did a few other things. She went home for the summer and slept with someone she had some history with. I dated her a few times after that, but our relationship had changed too much. She stopped calling as much, and I did too, though I did meet up with her occasionally for about a year after that summer.

Kevin: I met him during my experimentation phase. If you’re familiar with gay porn you might recognize the name; he’s pretty famous. He’s mostly a bottom but he told me that he really, really wanted to top me. I was flattered and actually considered it. Guy would have stretched me all out of shape. He’s hung like a small horse. Nothing happened, though I’ve wondered what that would have been like every once in a while. While my gay friends were right–I do have some bi tendencies–it wasn’t long after that that I decided that my pernicious attraction to women wasn’t going to go away, I wasn’t much interested in sex with most of the men I met, and that probably meant I wasn’t really gay. Kevin was the closest I got to “going all the way.”

Looking back on this stuff made me realize that things really are more intense when you’re young. I met all of these people between the time I was 17 and 21. While I’ve had more serious relationships and longer-term ones, few of those still are remembered so clearly and affect me as strongly as these. Maybe it’s due to self-protection, maybe it’s just an effect of maturation, or maybe it’s emotional scar tissue. I dunno. Thanks, Gadarene, it’s nice to remember stuff like this once in a while.

This thread makes me feel like an outcast. I can honestly look back on every guy I’ve ever dated (except for the current one, obviously) and say to myself, “what was I thinking?”

And for the life of me I can’t think of any guys I’ve ever had hardcore crushes on that I still think about. I probably did years ago, but apparently they didn’t mean much because I never think of them now.

I’m really enjoying reading this thread. Some great stories out there. And raz, you should count yourself lucky. :slight_smile:


Diane, the gal I had a crush on in high school, but never had the guts to ask out. She was even more a rabid Devils fan than I.

Megan, who I met working my summer job back at home during college. One of the best women I ever had the pleasure to meet, too. Smart, funny, studying to be a doctor . . . but the fact that she was in pre-med in New York State and I in engineering school in Arizona put a big damper on things, and it just drifted apart. Hell, just a few weeks ago I found out she got married this past November. That kinda opened my eyes a bit. :eek: :smiley:

Jill, ::sigh:: :frowning:

I’ve never had luck with the long-distance relationships.

Rachel: I was 16, she was 14, a mutual friend set us up. She was pretty, funny, and oddly enough, her parents were rich. Unfortunately her Parents didn’t like her dating somebody 2 years older than her. I don’t think we even dated, but she suggested she could sneak out, I was too scared of her parents. Shame.

Shannon: Friend of my neighbors, I was extremely interested in this girl. She was absolutely stunning. I remember hanging around with her and another friend of mine, we made out in the back seat, and in one instance she was wearing nothing but a shirt and her underpants, while we were alone in her bedroom. If I knew now what knew then, I would have had some action, but then I was unsure of myself, still a virgin, and I think, ulitmately, this led to her going after another guy.

Mellissa: I don’t regret this much at all. She wasn’t that pretty, had a nice body, but had slept with just about every guy on the block. She came into the bathroom on me and stripped naked. First naked girl I had seen in person. One thing I remember was one boob was bigger than the other. I got scared and ran. Not from the sex, but the fact that she probably had Aids or some other STD.

Jennifer: I was 17, she was 19. I was working for a guy at my church doing Paintball stuff, and she went to my church. She was all over me for awhile, but I was unsure, and at the time still a virgin. She tried getting me into the port-a-potie, when I resisted, she took my co-worker. Not quite sure if I regret that one or not, no telling what she had if she was that easy.

Rachelle: A friend of a friend was interested in this girl, but the interest wasn’t returned to him, she was interested in me. We made out on several instances, and I liked this girl quite a bit. Can’t even remember what happened now, just sort of dropped off. Think she was uncomfortable with me knowing Jeremy (the guy that was a friend of a friend)

Adrianne: Same friend of a friend was interested in Adrianne, and she gave me her number. I lost the number, so I got a friend of mine to take me to her house, where we hung out a few times. She was at least as beautful as Shannon, if not more. Unfortunately she was a few years younger than me, and ended up with a guy closer to her age. (me:20, her 17, IIRC)

Yvette: Met her on a message board. She was interesting and good looking, but was a drunk. She told me she wanted to wait until we had been going out for awhile until we would have sex, then a few days later screwed my best friend at a hotel party.

Cassie: Was interested in me, but she was a bit caustic and bitchy for the most part. Asked me one time what I felt about casual sex. I responded, but thought she was talking about somebody else and never put two and two together. She got mad when at a camping trip I hooked up with another girl. Guess she felt betrayed that I “turned her down” and got with a girl she felt was not as good as her.

Tasha: She had a kid, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest, even though she was 18 and I was 22 or so. She was dating somebody at the time, but it wasn’t working out. I should have moved in, because I found out later that she was interested in me, but didn’t want to break up with her guy until she had something else avalible. By the time she was free of him, she had another guy.

That is just a few. I don’t really have time to list all my failures or regrets. Needless to say they far outweigh the chances I acted upon. I would say I have half again to twice the amount listed above. Ah, hindsight and all that…

The first one was “Fred”, a kid in high school. He was Jewish and from Michigan, which in rural central Alabama made him a sort of outcast that I already felt I was even though I was from the area. I won’t say he was particularly cute and he certainly wasn’t particularly nice, but there were sparks between us and we ended up being each other’s exclusive friends. He used to invite me over to his place when his parents were away and I never picked up on the clues (not that I could have done much anyway as I didn’t have a car in high school). A couple of times he referred to openly gay issues and I responded with some homophobic dismissiveness to the comments because I thought I was being set up (no sense of gaydar at the time). Twenty-two years later- I won’t give you his exact title as it would identify him, but I’ll say he lives in [major northern metropolis] and is the head (but not the founder) of a large (and very controversial even within the gay community) gay political organization.

A couple of more later.

There was a Go-Go Bar, cocktail waitress that I befriended in the early nineties. She had worked a few modeling gigs while in New York attending some Fashion Design School in New York and had dropped out and was working to save enough money to return and finish her last year. Beautiful girl… a tall, elven, gothic druid, ice skinned, heroin, heroine. She invited me over one night, then proceeded to call into the Radio station and request Foghat’s Slow Ride. She took her jeans off, turned off the light, and laid down on the couch in her panties and t-shirt. I never got up the nerve to do anything. I pussied out.

I really thought of her as a good friend, she was just so innocent and naieve in my eyes. Not to mention, I was extremly intimidated by her beauty. She was a very funny and nice girl, kind of ditzy.

I later found out that she had fucked my friend. I then proceeded to kick myself in the ass and be really jealous of my friend. Probably wouldn’t have worked in the long term, but I’ve always wondered. We had an easy and comfortable relationship. I knew her pretty well.

I got more… maybe I’ll come back later with some more.