I’ve had three boyfriends, a couple flings, and only one I’ve genuinely loved (Josh, obviously…)

  • Adam was my first boyfriend. I had my first kiss with him, and he was the first boy that I ever experienced butterflies with. It was March my senior year of high school, and he was a 6’1” blonde foreign exchange student from Slovakia.  He made me feel beautiful, he listened to me, he took me to prom and made me feel like a princess, he challenged me, and although we only dated for three months, I really fell for him. Inevitably, the time came for him to go back to Europe, and I felt a part of me die. I know it sounds dramatic, but he was really something else. He returned to the US the following year, and he already had another girlfriend. Although it crushed me, it helped me to realize that I needed to focus on myself, and move on.
  • I met Mike on my first day on campus after I transferred to Eau Claire. He was roommates with my cousin Samantha’s good high school friend, so I figured he must be good. Our relationship was tumultuous though. He pressured me to do things outside of my physical comfort zone, he made comments on what I ate and how much or how little I exercised, he constantly pushed my boundaries, and yet held up the hypocritical front (to the outside world) that he was Mr. Christian God-fearing man with the perfect little girlfriend. He was a master of manipulation. He once told me that I’d never find another guy like him that wasn’t obsessed with sports. (Which is funny, because Josh loves football. I still don’t particularly like football, but it’s important to Josh, so I can sit down and watch a game with him, or entertain myself for a few hours while the game’s on. And thankfully, I didn’t find another guy like Mike, I found Josh, that that’s a hell of a lot better.)

I ended up cheating on Mike while I was in Costa Rica. I studied abroad in San Isidro de Heredia for a summer, and extended my time abroad to travel around. While staying at a hostel, one of the hostel workers took notice of me. When I came back from a run one morning, he asked me how often I ran/what I was training for. We chatted for a while, and he asked if I’d want to go on a run later in the week. (Side note: this guy was HOT. Carmel-brown tan, piercing blue eyes, curly sandy brown hair, and muscles. Needless to say, yes, I was going on that run with him.)

I went to shower and get ready for our day of sightseeing. On our way out, he asked if I had plans for the night. I told him I didn’t, and he asked if he could take me out. Holy shit, hell yes you can take me anywhere dreamy Costa Rican boy!

That night, he took me to two separate waterfalls. We swam around near the base of the waterfall, and then clung onto the rocks to avoid the current. Then we went to the free hot springs under a nearby bridge, and he showed me a little hiking trail that leads to a really neat spot to relax in the springs. Afterwards, we snuck into a super expensive resort with hot springs, and pretended to be European socialites . To cap off an already breathtaking evening, he took me out to eat at a restaurant that he had arranged for a table on the roof for just us. It was amazing. The food was incredible. And I even took my first shot of tequila with him!

At the end of the night, he asked if I was still on for the run in the morning. I said of course, and he told me he’d come get me around 7am. When morning finally came, I met him outside the hostel and we ended up running to the same waterfalls we had seen the day prior. We were gone for almost two hours, and it was the best run I had ever been on. We did some speed work, and got caught in a torrential downpour. We laughed harder than I’d ever laughed before  The best part was when I got thirsty, he took us over to this little trail, knocked down a coconut, tore it open, and let me drink it – like how cool is that?

Obviously a two hour adventure run with the suave Costa Rican running god had several emotions coursing through my veins… I learned so much about him, his ambitions, his goals, his life. He was all around a VERY attractive man.

I was caught at a crossroad. I was currently in a relationship with a boy that lacked motivation, continually failed his entrance exams to the education program at school, and honestly, I wasn’t really into the relationship as it was. Mieles, however, was everything that Mike wasn’t.

When our run came to an end, he told me he’d be back at the hostel that night and asked if I wanted to have dinner with him. Um, was that even a question?

When he was working, I sat out by the pool and read. It was literally paradise. The pool had a slack line, swim-up bar, and a perfect view of Mieles.

My phone buzzed. It was Mieles asking if I’d come over had help him pick out music. I bookmarked my place in the book I was reading, and went over to the counter where he was working.

“Well that was fast,” he said. And just like that, he leaned over the counter, gently caressed my cheek, and pulled me in until my lips were on his. I thought my chest was going to burst. How was this actually happening? Am I dreaming?

I don’t remember saying anything because I was probably too stunned by the situation, but holy shit. What the actual fuck just happened.

We continued to talk about music, and he showed me some songs, and I showed him a few as well.

A group of backpackers came up to the counter, and I took it as my cue to go back to the pool and get back to my book (and try to digest what just happened.)

Fifteen minutes later, he was walking towards my lounge chair, and he sat by my legs. He placed his hand on my waist and pulled me up so I was no longer reclined. He apologized for kissing me, and said he didn’t know what had come over him. Before I knew what I was doing, I had my hand on his upper (MUSCULAR) arm and we were kissing again. Seconds later, we were full on making out.

So obviously, it wasn’t even a fling – just a 2-day whirlwind – but hot damn. That’s like straight out of a romcom. Nonetheless, I had cheated on my boyfriend. Not to justify this action, or rationalize this ever happening again, but I do think that this was exactly what I needed to help me realize that I needed to get out of my relationship with Mike.

  • Josh shouldn’t even have a bullet point on this list, but if it weren’t for this list, would I have even made it to Josh? What if I would have settled back when I was with Mike? Honestly, I feel that every man I was with prior to Josh taught me a little more about myself so I could be the absolute best version of myself and be prepared when Josh did come around.