His name was Roddy and I was sure we'd end up together. Trouble was, after three years of dating, I wanted a more physical relationship (wanton woman that I was), and he didn't seem interested. Maybe all that time we spent apart (at separate colleges) was the reason he lost interest in me. But, who knows? Do men get turned off by women asking for "more"?
He crushed my ego, as I'd been with his family at events, and he'd tagged along with me to family functions. What happened? A nagging suspicion crept into my thoughts and took up residence. I wondered if he was gay.
Yeah, okay. Seemed like a stretch of the imagination and made me sound superficial to think that just because I got dumped by a guy I'd dated for 3 years, he had to be gay. But, you have to understand something.
It happened before.
Yes, in my growing up years, I was very naive. Being gay was spoken about in hushed tones, almost in whispers. I'd dated James maybe a month before he dumped me. He'd picked me up for a date, and I swear I remember exactly what I wore...short blue mini skirt, yellow top, and a triangle headband with daisies planted firmly around my head (aging myself here - late 1960's). I'd bought everything new and even had my mother take my picture.
We drove down the block until James pulled over and parked. Never even turned the corner nor had I had time to move over closer to him. He then faced me and blurted out that he couldn't date me anymore. He was sorry. No more explanation was given. That was it. I sat mortified in his car for a minute, not quite sure what the hell had happened. I got out of the car in a daze and walked home.
His cousin, a good friend of mine, was furious that he hadn't given a reason for breaking up with me. I was embarrassed but moved on...and dated his brother a few times. We didn't last as a couple and had dated just as friends so we went our separate ways.
A few years later, I found out the real story. James had "come out of the closet"...he was gay. Not only that, so did his brother! Hell...I'd dated two brothers who turned out to be gay! Coming from a big Italian family, that wasn't taken well by his family. I was just relieved to find out it didn't have anything to do with me.
So, when Roddy backed off (after giving me diamond earrings months earlier), I had to wonder if this would turn out to be my number "3" gay encounter. You know how things happen in "3's", right? He had no other girlfriend (I checked it out and had friends check for me, too...plus, he was good friends with my brother). Another woman in the picture would be understandable but aggravating. Another man in his life would have had me wondering if I had some type of "gay men, here I am...a safe date/friend/chance to see if you're really gay" signal coming from me somewhere.
Nope. Not gay. I found out he later married and divorced...but of course my revengeful self never once wished him any form of unhappiness.
If you believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
So, my first love came and departed...and thankfully hadn't dumped me because he was gay. He just didn't want me. We didn't part on particularly good terms. We'd gone out for ice cream and while talking about what I wanted in our relationship, he admitted he didn't see it my way. He started to drive me home, but I decided walking into the house at 8:30pm when I was supposed to be out on a date would only lead to tons of parental questions I didn't want to face.
I had him drop me off at a theatre where I usually worked so I could wait for a friend to finish her job and we'd go out to a club. As I got out of the car, Roddy said, "I'll always love you," which left me with mixed emotions. I could have said, "Me too,"...but I chose to walk away before I smacked him. He dumped me but loved me. Yeah. Right.
Uh-huh. You figure that one out! Luckily, he'd done me a favor. That door had closed, but lots of windows of dating opportunities opened up for me and I had a wonderful time on my journey to finding the right man.
And, I did...almost 38 years ago!
So...any "First Love" stories to share? "Gaydar" mishaps? Leave a comment!
"Strip Poker for Two", by April Ash, is now available at www.ellorascave.com.
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