Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

So, I was cleaning my room and came across a teddy than an ex had brought me and it got me thinking about how many things I still had from ex’s and why I still had them. It is like a wierd hoarders fantasy. Years and years of snippets of memories and relationships. Why is it so hard to throw these things away? Is there some part of us that likes to hold on to them as a reminder of what it was? What we had? Or in some cases remind us of what we never want again?

I thought I would start writing down to date the most noteworthy relationships/flings that I have had that I feel shaped who I am today. I am going to be brutally honest and speak about my experiences from my perspective which I think might be quite theraputic, cringeworthy, comeical, wrong and at times sad but here goes.

The One I Lost My Virginity To

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past
silhouette photo of man and woman kissing

Photo by Hoang Loc on

Not too long after I had the delight of The Cheat, I met someone new. It started slowly, we met on a few nights out and parties and I was instantly drawn to him. He was in the year above, and had it all together, looking back, that really couldn’t have been the case, he was only 18! Looking at 18-year old’s now, they really don’t, they can’t, and that’s not to patronise them; 18-year old me thought she had life planned out almost to the day – boyfriend, job, house, husband, family, I seemingly had it all in hand! The reality is, 10 years on and I still haven’t figured it out, and with maturity comes the realisation that maybe I never will!

Our First Encounter. I met him at a party; in a field (being from the city, this was quite a new experience for us townies) while celebrating our exam results, and I lay in a tent talking with him for what felt like the entire night, we exchanged numbers and the next day started texting. We made it clear, we both liked each other and the next weekend at the local Saturday night hotspot, we kissed.

After a while I felt this overwhelming pressure to sleep with him, to be clear there was absolutely no pressure from him, it was just the voice in the back of my head. I think I felt that I needed to do it in order to retain his interest, probably something ingrained in me from The Cheat. The night came and went as quickly as any other night, we were drunk, at an after party… oh and some of his friends walked in, but he was very sweet about that mishap and made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. It wasn’t his first time; he had been in a long-term relationship before this.

We were on and off for over a year. It was mainly on when we were drunk and on a night out, and then off when he had sobered up! I really honestly believed at the time that I loved him and during this relationship I got the nickname ‘Mcclingy’, which was a great confidence boost as I was heading off to university the land of apparent one night stands and endless hook-ups. During this time, one of the most mortifyingly embarrassing situations of my life occurred (and I have had loads of embarrassing moments).

We were texting and decided to meet (it wasn’t a drunken night which was rare), I stayed over at his house that he was sharing with other uni friends, so far so good. The next day, we were all sat in the living room watching the rugby, when I started to feel something wasn’t quite right down there. I moved my leg to the side and to my horror saw that I had leaked through my trousers and on to the white, yes white, linen sofa, I mean who even has white linen sofas!! The panic set in and I looked around in pure panic realising I was in a room with a group of guys who, with the exception of ‘him’, I really didn’t know at all. He must have noticed something wasn’t quite right; I was literally frozen rigid in my seat. Being the sweet guy that he was, he asked the guys to show him something in the kitchen and while they were distracted, he ran back in to check if I was ok, I had no other option but to stand up, my body filling with utter humiliation and show him the dreaded sofa patch. Every descriptive word I can think of – thankfully, luckily, graciously, he was completely matter of fact about it and simply flipped over the pillow and took me upstairs to the safety of his bedroom. Safe to say I never went back to that house.

Looking back, it really wasn’t much of a ‘relationship’ but we went to the cinema and dinner a few times (compared to my previous relationship, I felt like a princess) but it was mainly grabbing a snog (hate this word but it feels suitable) on a Saturday night when we were all out.  Anyway, it is hard to say when it ended, as it never fully started!

Not long after this, he met another long-term girlfriend. I don’t hold any bad feelings towards him; he is honestly a lovely guy. I just think we both thought it was something different. We have actually seen each other since (not in that way) and talked at length, laughing and cringing, mainly on my part, about the memories we had. But that spark that I once really believed was the real deal, has well and truly disappeared.

The Cheat

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past
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There is a tremendous amount of pressure as a teenager to lose your virginity, but strangely it was something I didn’t really take into consideration. A lot of people around me were having sex for years before I had even got close to the deed itself. I was 16 and had never had a proper boyfriend, I met a guy at a house party, he was a few years older than me and bad, bad news which made it all very exciting. We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet the next weekend in the local park, as far as first dates go it was pretty bland, and, as I would soon find out, so was the rest of the relationship!! I think the highlight of the date was bumping into one of my teacher’s and trying to act like we were just friends. Despite the mundane nature of the relationship, we ended up dating for almost a year. During the relationship I never slept with him, I didn’t feel ready and I was brought up being told you should never do anything until you feel fully ready and comfortable. Something I forgot about quite quickly after this relationship. I don’t remember a lot about the relationship itself, but I do remember how it ended.

We were sat on the sofa watching Hollyoaks (of all shows) and someone was confessing to a lie in the scene, he suddenly turned to me and told me he was a liar. He didn’t expand on the comment so I asked him to explain, he went on to say he had lied the whole way through our relationship, he was only with me to lead me on and he had cheated on me so many times he had lost count. At this point I had stopped listening and just sat there trying to digest what was happening. My first breakup and I did not expect it to go like this. I remember feeling devastated and crying a lot but it was the feeling of embarrassment more than anything. I knew some of his friends knew and I felt embarrassed that I had been around them thinking everything was fine when they knew the truth. I’m not sure whether it was his actions or people’s reactions, that hurt most throughout this breakup.

I had a lot of people say to me “Well, what did you expect? If you weren’t giving it to him, of course he will get it somewhere else?”. Thankfully these comments weren’t made by anyone too close to me but it was enough for it to make me take full responsibility for the breakup and in my head excuse his behaviour completely. I think it was here, where my picture on what relationships and sex was all about, completely changed.

A year or so later, after I really had lost complete association with feelings and sex, I bumped in to him in a local club on a drunken night, I was out with my friends and he was out with his. We chatted away and carried on drinking a lot more and ended up in my car which was parked not far from the club. I barely remember anything and memories feel more like little flash card images but I know we had sex and the final humiliation was that he left me there with the car door open for anyone to find me practically unconscious from too much alcohol. Thankfully it was one of my friends who did. I haven’t spoken with him since but a friend bumped into him at the doctors with his pregnant girlfriend. Not the most glamorous of stories, but I did tell you I would be honest.