"I was about 14 in the late '90s, working basically as a volunteer babysitter/teacher's assistant in Vacation Bible School in rural Mississippi.
One of the older boys was 16 and quite attractive. We were both assigned to clean up the Arts & Crafts room, which had been destroyed by a pack of children. We walked in, he scoffed and said, 'I ain't cleaning this up. My skin ain't black.'
I've never lost an attraction to someone so fast in my life."
"We weren't even dating yet, just getting to know each other, and he texted me this: 'You have to either stop talking to me or to [other male friend] to avoid leading anyone on.'
I was not romantically interested in this friend and he definitely wasn't into me. He had actually just told me he was thinking of asking some other girl out.
I'm not going to avoid showing basic politeness to acquaintances just because it could be incorrectly perceived as leading them on. I'm pretty awkward so that's not even likely to happen. I obviously wouldn't accuse guys of leading me on every time they're nice to me, either.
I told him soon after that I didn't think we would be compatible after he said a few other weird things and got increasingly clingy. Then he begged me to kiss him again just to make sure I wasn't turned on and texted me later that I 'ruined his self-esteem by putting him in the friend zone.'
I want him to be happy, but I just didn't want to date someone that insecure."
"I had the hugest crush ever on this one guy from ages 16-18. Like an asthma attack-inducing, name-doodling, poetry-inspiring, nearly fainting whenever he talked to me kind of crush. I was absolutely in LOVE with this guy. Our friends eventually tried to hook us up and we got as far as cuddling on a couch at a party one night, but I was painfully shy and it didn't go any further.
A few days later at another party, I had steeled my nerves and was ready to go in for the kill when I saw him pull this other girl into his bedroom by the hand. I asked one of his friends who she was and he replied, 'Oh, that's just some girl he's been sleeping with.'
My stomach fell out of my butt and I felt like I was going to throw up. I was heartbroken, and my crush was killed. I made sure my best friend had a ride home and I just left."
"I had a crush on this guy for SO long. He had a beard (check), loved coffee (check), and could make me laugh (mega-check). He moved out of the state for a short while for work, but when he came back, I met him at a bar for his 'returning home party.'
Everything was going fine for the majority of the night - lots of flirting on his end. But he kept drinking. And drinking. And drinking some more. He ended up getting wasted and one of his friends asked me if I could give him a lift home. I said sure, why not.
Here's where the problems started. Homeboy wouldn't tell me where he lived, for one. In his defense, he may have just been super wasted and incoherent, but it was still frustrating. I was housesitting for my grandmother at the time so I told him he was welcome to crash in her guest bedroom and I'd give him a ride home the next morning.
We got back to my grandmother's house, I pulled into the garage, and without skipping a beat, my crush opened the door and just vomited ALL over the garage floor. Better than the kitchen floor, but it was spreading and by the time he was all done, it had reached the walls. So I took him inside and gave him a glass of water and showed him where the bathroom was. By this time, it was at least 3 am, so I was exhausted. I passed out in my grandmother's bedroom to the sound of my 'crush' (he was slowly losing that title) spewing yet again.
I woke up at around 6 am to my crush standing right next to the bed staring at me, asking where he was. I explained and took him down to the guest bedroom; he had been sleeping on the bathroom floor. When I went back upstairs to turn the light off in the bathroom, the smell hit me. Crap. The guy left a giant pile of unflushed crap mixed in with vomit. I gagged, flushed it, and went back to bed.
After I realized I had lost all attraction to this guy, I gave him a ride home. I didn't get an apology, but I did get a drool-filled, awkward kiss that I did not want. Then I came back and spent two hours cleaning up vomit (it was Christmas Eve, too)."
"I had a schoolgirl crush on my boss from a decade ago. We worked together very well, but I didn't want to put either of our jobs in jeopardy. He gave me butterflies. Then 2009 happened and I was laid-off. It ended up being permanent. I was so incredibly sad that I never told him, but I was incredibly shy.
Years later, he found me on Facebook. When I finally had the courage to tell him I liked and respected him, things got weird. We only texted for a few days, but every time I would talk to him he wasted no time turning the subject to romance. Then he changed his profile so I could see his friends (he only had maybe five).
I suspect they were all streetwalkers. I was getting naked pictures of him in motel rooms - not taken by him. If someone wants to visit a lady of the night, ok, if it's legal where you are that's fine. It's not legal here. With the rise in human trafficking awareness, he must be aware some of those women may be victims of abuse. Perhaps some were underage? I just wanted to have dinner or get to know each other better. I was crushed and bewildered but realized later that I dodged a serious bullet.
I was so incredibly disappointed and sad that he thought something like that would appeal to me."
"I had a crush on this guy in my church for YEARS as a teenager. I started liking him at like.... 12 or 13 and was undyingly in love (or so I thought).
When I turned 18, I was about to move out and he asked me on a lunch date. That night when I got home, my mom was on the phone bragging to her friend that I 'finally' got the date I wanted for so long. Her friend was like, 'Um, you need to keep your daughter away from him.'
It turns out, he was babysitting for a neighbor (a family I actually babysat for and a family in our church, too), and he took one of the little girls into the bathroom and made her take off her diaper or panties or something and was touching her when the older sister walked in.
The family moved away and he was in a very complicated legal case after that. I don't know the results because the family moved away and I moved to college, and nobody heard anything. Even if it wasn't true though, I lost all crushes and anything else for the loser."
"He enjoyed picking on my slightly autistic classmate - we were all in high school and he was a year older. He was a star breaststroker on my summer swim league team, which is where I first started crushing on him (swimmer guys are cute). This lasted for a few years until we were all on the same high school swim team.
He started mocking my classmate, nothing blatant that could be concretely classified as bullying but was condescending and insensitive.
To this day, I still can't look at him without thinking about that behavior. Otherwise, he's the perfect guy in the eyes of the community, but it's how you treat those who cannot defend themselves that defines who you are."
"In my freshman year of college, I was really, REALLY into this guy. Even though I knew he wasn't good for me, and he was more of the 'banging chicks' type and I wanted a relationship, he and I were friends, and there's no way he didn't know I was into him.
All my friends supported my over-the-moon crush, one of whom got particularly close to him and would tell me about his thoughts and feelings, egging me on to get with him. At a certain point, I accepted that I wouldn't be with him, and told him that even though I have feelings for him, I'm never going to pursue him. He accepted it, still wanted to be friends, and then told me that that friend of mine had been blowing him on and off for months.
I immediately lost any remaining interest in him and stopped speaking to her."
Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz/Shutterstock
"I had a bonfire for my birthday in a public firepit at my apartments. I met an awesome dude, he asked to sit by our fire and share a drink. He was pretty obviously dumb and uninteresting, but he looked like Chris Hemsworth and sang me Happy Birthday in the style of Marilyn Monroe, so he got to stay. Anyways, the night progressed, and he attempted to open a bottle no one else had been able to and ended up punching himself in the face with the opener/his meaty fist.
This cut his lip and he freaked out. He started talking about how this was going to scar and affect him the rest of his life and how badly it hurt and, 'Oh my god, oh my god, it is BLEEDING.' The entire night, he would rush to his apartment to rinse his cut with mouthwash and then return to recount how much it hurt.
All suggestions for him to stay home were waived off. He would intermittently interrupt our conversations with loud exclamations and sucking of air through his teeth, along with loud complaints about the pain.
It made me lose all respect to see him act like such an attention seeking drama queen. It wasn't even that bad of a cut."
"He was broad-shouldered, had wavy dark blonde hair, and a cleft chin. He sat in front of me in biology 101, and about halfway through the semester he said, 'Hi.' I died inside. His voice was melodious and deep. I knew he meant, 'I love you.'
He wore thick corduroy pants and a nice button-down Oxford shirt and had a worn leather backpack. He was handsome.
Every Tuesday and Thursday in that three-credit class, I put on my tightest Guess jeans, waited until he was there, then sat down behind him and said 'Hi.' He would smile and say hello. I died every time. I told my roommates about him.
Summer came and we all went home. I was at my local bar with my friends and there he was. I couldn't believe it.
I said, 'Hey. How are you?'
He looked up from his drink and said, 'Wow. Hi.' We chit chat for a little bit.
Him: 'Hey can you do me a favor?'
Him: 'Can you act like my girlfriend?'
Me: 'What?' Was this a ploy to get me to be his actual girlfriend? Could my dream boyfriend be true?
He put his arm around the guy next to him. Yep. He liked boys.
We stayed friends for a while and he was fun. And I always thought he was so handsome.
In truth, it might have been maybe dangerous for him to come out because it was the early 1980s in a rural area. So when I look back at it, I'm glad he thought he could trust me."
"I was casually dating this guy (as in, we had only recently met and only been on a couple of dates) back in college. He was educated, had a good job and his own place, and was polite. Basically, no immediate red flags.
One day, he wanted me to come over for a casual pizza night at his place. I had just finished up a 12-hour day due to my scheduling combination of nonstop classes and a part-time job. I was exhausted and did not feel like spending nearly an hour doing my hair and make-up to get all dolled up for such a casual date.
I texted him something along the lines of, 'I had a long day, can we keep it casual tonight? I hope you're okay with yoga pants and a hoodie.'
He responded with, 'Actually, no, that's not okay. When you're spending time with me, you should always make a full effort to look your absolute best.' Then, he started trying to tell me what to wear, something along the lines of, 'Why don't you put on a pretty dress, make yourself look nice for me?'
It was one of the weirdest conversations I've ever had. After he made the dress comment, I simply stopped responding. I never spoke to him again. He kept on texting me for a while, asking what was wrong and why I had just disappeared. I honestly don't think he realized what he said was so off-putting."
"One time, my ex wanted me to hang out in the bathroom while he was showering so he could tell me about his day. After a few minutes, the most god-awful smell to ever grace my nostrils appeared and I started coughing.
In between trying to breathe and trying to ask what happened, he interrupted me and laughed, saying, 'Sorry babe, I couldn't wait any longer.' He then showed me that he took a dump in the shower. I was pretty grossed out but accidents happen, I guess.
THEN HE STARTED SMASHING IT WITH HIS FOOT SO IT WOULD 'go down the drain.'
'Oh, don't worry babe, I do this all the time.'
I was done at that point."
"I was talking to a guy, we had held hands but nothing beyond that. One day, he confessed he was in love with me. That's a little quick buddy, but that's not even what stopped me. He commented I looked just like his ex. Even if that's true, NEVER SAY IT. I can't remember much more besides wanting to stop him mid-speech and give him pointers on asking someone out.
So I knew it wasn't going anywhere when my friend asked me to help cover up hickeys...from that dude. She didn't know we had been talking, I didn't know they had been past talking. I bowed out, said you can have him but I don't think you should.
I found out later he was talking to five of us at once, one was married. The married chick and I noped out of there fast, but the others FOUGHT OVER THIS JERK! Hicky girl 'won,' and they started dating. Out of nowhere, he told me he would drop her in a second if I would give him a chance. NOOOOOOO.
I told her everything, showed her the texts, trying to save her from heartache. She didn't listen or care. They're now married, with kids, and he cheats so often she's started cheating back in retaliation.
I was invited to the wedding but said no."
"I had a huge crush on a guy throughout the first semester of ninth grade. I was really head over heels for him.
Then, one day at lunch, he said that all gay people had AIDS and deserved to die of it. Yeah...no.
We had both spent our whole lives sheltered in a conservative Catholic church/school, and at that point, I didn't even know what 'gay' meant, besides bad. It had never occurred to me that people could be gay, and certainly not that I was bi.
But yeah. Dense as I was, that whole 'deserving to die of AIDS' thing instantly killed the crush."
"I reconnected with this guy I had known a few years before. When we first met, he was sweet and into sci-fi which I'm also really into, so we hit it off right away but it just wasn't the right time then.
A few years later, we were both single and decided to meet up. The first thing he said when he saw me was that my thighs got bigger. I've never been over 120 pounds, but either way, that comment was uncalled for. He also kept bragging about all the girls he had slept with and kept opening Snapchats from girls he knew to show them to me.
The rest of the night, he kept asking me if he made me feel nervous, and it seemed like he wanted me to say yes. I guess he came to the conclusion that girls liked being treated like crap by guys. So that ended that."
"There were two things I found intolerable and couldn't endure for more than two months of dating.
The first was his proclivity for drawing attention to my hearing aids, which would have otherwise been inconspicuous to other people. I think he misconstrued my need for assistance in daily interactions with other people. He was being officious at the most inconvenient times; asking people to repeat things for me, asking others to speak louder when I didn't ask. The worst offense being the indiscreet exaggerated whisper he would do to apologize to people when he thought I wasn't looking. 'Sorry, sorry. She's deaf,' and I could feel the solicitude emanating from our conversation partners. He deceived them, I'm not deaf but hearing impaired.
The last thing was the implicit racism. I had to reiterate many times that calling my family 'gypsies' in my presence isn't a palatable term. In fact, it's pejorative, but he used the term with impunity when talking amongst our friends and his family. The term is contentious amongst Romani people, some don't mind and some are apathetic to others opinions. However, my mother hates it and I deliberately asked that he refrain from using it. He used it in a derisive manner, no affection suffused in his tone or demeanor.
So I retaliated by calling him the Romani equivalent, 'gadje,' for his people and he had the audacity to be offended. Yeah, now you know how it feels, Michael.
He terminated the 'relationship' to my profound relief."
"A guy who I knew from parties had been asking me out for a while but some twinge in my gut kept me from accepting. He had been supportive of my weight loss journey and had been amazing, but there was just something wrong.
He posted a LONG rant on Facebook about how he tore a strip off a girl at the gym because she dared to take a selfie while working out. He commented on how he hated stuck up girls and he couldn't stand her preening and she needed to be taken down a peg or two. He actually went over and cut her up verbally. Then the next time we talked, I asked him about it, and he explained how he couldn't stand 'show offs' (with an Instagram full of him posing because he lifts), but apparently her outfit was too tight, her midriff was showing, she had makeup on (OMG GASP), and was generally acting like she had some self-esteem.
He was so proud that he had made her cry.
When I pointed out how much that would have absolutely crushed me if I had been the girl, he basically said my self-esteem would never allow me to act like that and I was one of those 'cute, shy girls who needs a guy to build them up.'