“I’ve never had a boyfriend in my life. I’ve never even been on a date. I feel like I don’t know how to tell whether someone likes me or not, or how I could show someone that I like him without saying it out loud.
I thought that this one guy from school liked me. We became good friends, but I really thought he was into me because he was very sweet, very respectful, very open. Sometimes I would notice that he seemed a little more interested in me than in other friends in the classroom, so I thought that it might go somewhere.
But the next thing I knew, he had a girlfriend.
He had told me a lot about himself, so I felt like I knew a lot about his life.
On the last day of class, I actually said to him, ‘Hey, I’m happy for you, but I thought that you felt this way towards me.’ I asked him if girls ever confuse his politeness and respectfulness and openness for flirtation. He said, ‘Yeah, I get that a lot.’
I don’t even know if he understood that I liked him. I didn’t say it. I just told him that I was surprised to hear that he had a girlfriend.
We’re still friends, but I try to avoid physical contact. I’m a hugger, and before I learned how he felt, I would hug him very tightly. Obviously, my intentions were different than his.
And now this has triggered all these questions for myself that I’ve been trying to avoid.
I realize that a lot of the male figures in my life left when I was young, and I’ve never had a consistent male role model in my life.
My father wasn’t around. I’m from Venezuela, so when I was eight, my older brothers, who were older than me by ten and twelve years, left and came to this country. Then, when I was finally here too, I only lived with them for a short while before they moved out again. My mom found a boyfriend, married him, then got divorced, and he left, too.
So maybe that’s why it’s hard for me to open up to men. Maybe I think, ‘What’s the point of opening up if they’re going to leave?’
I finally met someone who I thought I could open up to. It was just so easy with him. I felt so comfortable. I felt like we were meant to be. And then…
Now I’m scared that I may never find someone like that again. Will I ever find love? It just seems so… beautiful.”