when i knew #19.

by Michael King

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“Dating men: I gave it my best shot in high school and freshmen year in college. I went to prom, wore the pink dress, and kissed my boyfriends like I was supposed to. I tried to convince myself that eventually I would feel ‘something.’ I just wasn’t doing it quite right. I had to try harder. Eventually, I told myself, it would all make sense. I would finally understand the excitement my friends felt about relationships, and feel a connection, a spark, that thing I saw in the movies.

But I never felt that spark with men. I found my connections rather boring, meaningless, and often made up completely erroneous reasons to break off my relationships to avoid leading them on more than I already had. Little did I know that by ending these relationships, I was actually doing everything right after all.

“At the age of 19, with the help of a standard college house party, a bit of liquid courage, and the presence of a beautiful, older, bisexual woman sitting next to me on an old, tattered couch…I found my spark. She looked at me, the young freshman that I was, and in a moment, I felt my entire body light up with a current unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I was shocked. ‘Could eye contact really be this powerful? What was happening? Have I had too much to drink?’

Despite all of these thoughts, I felt the truth in that moment. I was swept away, and in front of a room full of mostly intoxicated strangers, I found myself holding her head in my hands and kissing her. It was then that I knew. The connection, the spark, that thing I saw in the movies was real. It was meant for me too, not just everyone else in my life. The clarity of that moment just about knocked me off my feet…and heaven knows…she certainly did. I was definitely doing it right…”

– R

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