The Rebound

I knew Amir (not his real name) since we were in high school together. We circulated in the same social circles but we were not close friends. For some reason, I thought he was way cooler than me; after all these years, he is still a charismatic, articulate and intelligent person.

I remember he gave me his number during graduation but I never followed up. I regret that. We talked intermittently on AIM (am I dating myself here?). We gradually grew apart since he went to university at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore while I stayed in New York City.

I posted on Facebook last November about my move back to New York from DC. In the intervening years, Amir had moved back home to go to graduate school at Columbia and is now working at a tech startup. He reached out on Facebook messenger on whether I was okay. In the same conversation, he confessed that he had a crush on me for all these years but never disclosed it because of his own insecurities. I’ve always liked him but never saw him as a romantic partner. But at that moment, his confession felt like a balm to my hurt feelings about Tom. It was validation that I’m still a desirable person.

We went out on three dates. Amir introduced me to sexting. He is also interested in BDSM and identifies as a dominant so we talked about that too.

I had told him early on about me being asexual. He had previously disclosed that he is in a polyamorous relationship with another woman, but was seeking a primary relationship. So I thought it would be fine if I told him about my (lack of) sexual history. Even though my natural inclination is for monogamy, I started wondering if polyamory would be better so I would have less pressure to sexually satisfy someone else.

On the third date, I went over Amir’s apartment. I asked him if it was okay if I could stay for a little while because I wanted some cuddling. At the time, I felt lonely and thought being with him would alleviate it. However, things went further than the mild petting I had imagined and I cried after it all happened. I felt a mix of panic and embarassment because I was in a situation I didn’t want and why would Amir want to be with me after this?

After an awkward goodbye, Amir nicely gave me a cab ride home. Looking back, I wish we had started dating at a time when I was less… emotionally vulnerable. But, maybe that wouldn’t have made a difference because we were very different people. I’m not sure how a relationship would’ve worked unless he changed his entire life to please me. We subsequently talked and I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. He was very gracious and we are still on good terms.

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