My relationship with Jonah is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Sometimes I think about what my life would have been like if other relationships had worked out, and I shudder at the thought. As I've said, my relationship with Jonah is the first and only one I've ever had with another man. Prior to him, I had had three serious relationships with women and then a couple of not-so-serious relationships with women. And don't get me wrong; these women were lovely people, and I've even maintained my friendship with most of them, but I am SO, SO glad I didn't end up with any of them. I wouldn't be as happy with any of them as I am now with Jonah. I am quite certain of that. And that isn't their fault. I just can't see myself being as happy and fulfilled with them as I am with Jonah. Of course, a big part of that is that living squelched in a heterosexual marriage when I am clearly homosexual is a big part of that. I'm not saying it doesn't work for others, but I don't believe it would have worked for me. But another facet is where we all are in our lives right now.
Let's take each woman:
Woman 1: We dated in junior high and high school, so obviously this was my first real relationship. We were both too immature to be in it, looking back. At that time, I didn't have a clue who I was, and I don't think she did, either. I was attracted to boys, but I liked her because she was kind to me at a time when not many people were. She came from a very troubled home life. Her parents were divorced, her mom was a nut who had already been married several times and who had just married a loser we suspected might be abusing my girlfriend's younger stepsister, and my girlfriend confessed to me that she was a cutter. It was all too much for me to handle. I wasn't emotionally mature enough to handle all of her problems, and so I finally broke it off. We still stayed in touch afterwards, even after she went to live with her father, although we gradually lost touch as the years went by. After she moved, she got into a relationship with her much older teacher, and she later changed her name. I have no idea where she is now, but she had a lot of mental issues and emotional baggage that I don't think I would have been able to handle.
Woman 2: My high school sweetheart. I wasn't physically attracted to her, but I loved her personality, and we were the best of friends in high school and during my mission years. I adored her. I would have married her. She knew I was gay, but at the time we believed I could overcome it. We planned on marrying after my mission. However, toward the end of my mission, and without any warning it all, she broke it off and announced she was marrying some guy she had only known for a few weeks. I was absolutely devastated and completely and utterly confused. It took me a long time to get over that loss, and at the the time I thought it was the worst thing that could have happened. I couldn't understand why God would let such a thing happen. In retrospect, I see that God sees things a lot better than I ever could, and it was an absolute blessing that we didn't get married.
Although she didn't know it while we were dating, she suffered from manic-depression and bipolar disorder, and she later confessed to me that when she broke it off with me and jumped into this other relationship, she was having one of her episodes. Her first years of marriage were very rough for both him and her, and they went through counseling. I don't think I would have had the patience her husband had during some of the most trying times.
Eventually, she got the proper medication to help handle her issues, and now she and her husband seem to be in a very good place. She and I took a hiatus from our friendship (at her request) so she could deal with her issues, but we are friends again, and I believe we are both truly happy that the other is happy. But we are in such different places in our lives. I think a marriage with her would have been disastrous.
She is ultra-ultra conservative and has a large family, and it's clear to me that our goals and focuses in life do not mesh well. We're just two very different people than we were in school, and I think we're both very happy with where we are, but I don't think either of us would be had we stayed together.
Woman 3: Our relationship was never serious. I was trying so hard to be straight at that time, and I actually did find her attractive, but she was never as interested in me as I was in her. We had fun, but she found some return missionary and married him. She's very conservative and has a big family with him, and they seem very happy.
Woman 4: The woman who finally helped me get over Woman 2. She was the first girl I dated who was not a member of the LDS Church. We were good friends (still are), but were not very compatible as boyfriend/girlfriend. That was clear to me early on. She also knew I was gay, but we thought we could make it work. But we just had different goals and interests. She also smoked, which I couldn't stand (nothing to do with Mormonism; I was allergic to the smoke).
As it was, our relationship was much better after we broke up, although the breakup was hard. She ended up marrying a mutual friend who I think has been a much, much better match than I ever would have. Of all these women, she still remains my closest friend.
Woman 5: Also not LDS. Our relationship was very casual, and it never really went anywhere. She was terribly insecure (still is), and I don't see that she's grown too much since we parted ways. She is someone who is always unhappy no matter what circumstances life throws at her. An eternal pessimist. I couldn't deal with it.
Any other women I showed interest in never showed any in me. Even so, my heart was lusting after guys anyway.
Jonah was the first guy I was ever interested in who was interested in me. I was scared to let go and enter into a relationship that my whole life I had been told was forbidden; but I'm telling you that once I did, I found the best relationship I have ever had and a freedom to be who I always felt I was, but could never allow myself to be. He makes me so happy. He is so generous, loving, supportive, compassionate, ambitious, trusting, and has such a tender heart. I have never been so loved by anyone (as far as a romantic relationship goes). He is good at so many things and is one of the best human beings I know. I thank my Heavenly Father every day that we are together. I know my Father knows I am happy, and I know he is happy that I am happy.
I believe, too, that Heavenly Father knew I'd end up where I am now and that it would bring me much more happiness and joy than I would have had otherwise. I'm just glad to be where I am. It's all been worth it.