The Hook Up: A Boyfriend’s Bi-curious Past & Painful First Love

Photo: (Everyone Is Gay)

Photo: (Everyone Is Gay)

The Hook Up is a weekly relationship advice column from MTV Act and the It’s Your (Sex) Life campaign, written by the very talented Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid.

To submit your question about love, lust or anything in between, email us at We’d love to hear from you, and your question could be chosen for a future column! Plus, the first 30 people get free MTV Act shirts. FYI, in case you’re a little shy, all questions can be anonymous.

There was a tru life about people who can’t get over their first love and I can’t either. What can we do? –Ari

Dannielle Says: 

I want to start by saying I’m so completely sorry for the pain I know you’re feeling right now. A lot of us have been in a position similar to yours, we’ve had those feelings that we were all certain would never go away.

I want you to start by removing the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. Saying “I can’t get over them” is much more limiting than “I’m not over them, yet.” Simply believing that you will one day be over them is a great place to start. ALSO, I don’t think your focus should be “trying to get over them” but it should be to fall in love with yourself. I’ve read before that in order to get over someone you have to fall in love with something/someone else. Sometimes people will take up new hobbies or whatever, but I think the best way to do it is to fall in love with you.

Rediscover the things about you that you put on hold. Try new things. Play music, listen to music, watch movies you’ve never seen, do amazing things for your friends, help out your community, take a class, reconnect with people from your past, research something you’ve always loved, and write it all down. Share a new experience with YOU every single day and keep record of it. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way, explain exactly why each day is better than the last. Fall in love with you.

Kristin Says:

Yes. This is about you being patient with you, and knowing that hurt is a rollercoaster of feelings. First step? Don’t beat yourself up over hurting… that is a feeling that most everyone on this planet is familiar with, and it is understandable and logical for you to feel pain at losing something that you love.

Anyone has the ability to get over their first love so long as they allow themselves to feel that hurt and, at the same time, remain open to new possibilities. That is key.

Something that I do in situations where I feel as though I will never overcome the hurt or the sad is to think about my past. Reflecting back on times when you have had feelings that have knocked you to your knees (even if not exactly in this way), and then rediscovering how you were able to gain distance and perspective from those experiences over time can be a huge step in believing that you are versatile enough to get that same distance and perspective from this experience.

The people who we first fall in love with shape who we are in a crucial way. They help us learn that we can be loved and who we are when we are connected to someone on such a deep level. They begin to teach us the things that we need from a partner, and the things about ourselves that need the most work. They also teach us, if and when we part ways, about the strength we walk with and the ability we have to learn from beautiful experiences even through the pain of losing them.

Believe in yourself, allow yourself to feel the hurt, and keep your eyes forward. There is so much more out there. There always is.

My boyfriend told me he has hooked up with guys in the past but he is straight and wants to be with me. Should I believe him? -Rachel

Dannielle Says: 

You know, I’ve been in a situation like this before. I was dating a girl who was really upset by the fact that I had hooked up with a couple of guys not too terribly long before we’d started dating.

On the one hand, I totally got her point, it was weird for her because she’s always assumed I was gay and I’d only ever liked girls and ALL OF A SUDDEN I was like ‘LOL I KISS BOYS’ and she felt like she kind of didn’t know me.

On the other hand, it was in my past. I wasn’t making out with boys in that moment and I had no interest. It made me pretty upset, to be honest, because I was with HER. I wanted to be with her and only her. Forget about all the genders of the long list of people I’ve made out with in the past, I was ONLY making out with her and that’s what should have mattered.

That’s what I think you should focus on, your boyfriend being with you. Who cares who he’s dated in the past? Who cares if he used to like some guys? He is with you because he wants to be with you, trust him.

Kristin Says:

I agree one million percent.

I think that there is a HUGE stigma placed on men, especially, where if they have interest in other men it seems impossible to a lot of human beings that they would have any interest in ladies as well. I am not sure exactly where that comes from, but I am a huge believer in the fact that at the end of the day we are all people with feelings and brains and hearts and emotions, and that most of us simply don’t fall in any one “category” when it comes to sexuality.

This is about you trusting your partner. If you feel that you can’t trust him because of factors that you haven’t shared with us, then that needs more reflection on your end. If, however, you do trust him but just think that it might not be possible for a boy to like boys and also girls, then I can help ease your worries: they can, and they do.

I think it is wonderful that he felt close enough to you to trust you with another part of himself, another experience in his life that meant something to him. I say, trust him, thank him for his openness, and remain open to each other’s feelings – you can tell him about some of your confusions and ask questions! Just be open to dialogue and remember that him liking boys doesn’t mean he can’t like girls. That’s just plain silly.

Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid are the co-creators of Everyone is Gay, a website and organization promoting kindness between all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The views expressed in these blog posts are the viewsof the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of MTV, KFF or the It’s Your Sex Life campaign.

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