I met Mike online. That isn’t a great way to meet your first boyfriend but that’s what little old closet Xander did at 19. I was halfway through my first year of university, Mike was in his second. We talked to each other for about three months before meeting. That is an absurd amount of time to go without meeting someone but I hadn’t completely come out and Mike didn’t mind.

After three long months and an alcohol filled weekend, I agreed to finally meet Mike. He decided he’d cook for me and I eagerly accepted. I was then stuck; I couldn’t cancel this far in, so for an entire week I stressed about everything. What I was going to wear, what we were going to talk about and what would I do if I didn’t like him?

The weekend of our first date rolled around and before long I was standing at his front door with a tub of ice cream and a punnet of strawberries. I still have no clue as to why I chose that combination but I did and they were good together. I had messaged Mike before I left campus and he told me to let myself in because he would be in the shower. Yes, this sounds suss, five years later and I still get the willies thinking about it.

Waiting in Mike’s living room/kitchen area for him to towel off while I tossed around the idea of running out the door felt like an eternity. He finally made his way out of the bathroom and we were face to face for the first time. He went in for a hug, I reached out for a handshake and our bodies awkwardly collided.

Dinner rolled around and after a whole lot of small talk, followed by a crash course introduction to Eurovision, it was time to say goodbye. As I left, he hugged me and it felt good. This was the first time in my life that I had hugged a guy, the feeling was as though this weight had been lifted and I had officially realised how gay I was.

After our first date it wasn’t long until we had sex. Mike was the first guy I had been with – it was awkward, hands and legs were everywhere and we spent a good portion laughing next to each other. It was nothing like I had expected and I enjoyed it. We spent the following three months together. Before long, the honeymoon period had come to an end and I had begun to see Mike for who he really was. He treated my friends as though they were temporary parts of my life and he the one and only person I could devote my time to. He treated his sweet family worse than he treated my friends and he continuously treated me like a child.

I broke up with Mike after he told me I had no choice but to leave university and move in with him if we were ever going to work out. This was a difficult situation because he felt like I would cheat on him and ironically this conversation happened days after he confided in my closest friend about wanting to bring a third person into our relationship. He wanted my friend to help sway my opinion. I broke up with Mike through text after he left me the keys to his house and told me to move in while he was out of town – I left them in a pot plant on his front step.

I ran into Mike once after our breakup in a supermarket. Freezing in my tracks, our eyes locked and I didn’t know whether to say hi or just turn around and forget I saw him. Before I could get a word out my friend grabbed me by the arm and pulled me away. We laughed about it over coffee while I tried to hide my doubts over what could have happened if I said hi.