Young love may be a beautiful thing, but it’s notoriously capricious.
Learning how to be in a relationship with someone can take years, even decades, and rarely do we end up with the first person we had a crush on.
So, what happens when someone else decides that they can call “dibs” on a person they previously dated?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) AITAsonsfirstgf when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for telling my adult son to grow up and get over it?”
OP began by introducing the players and giving a little history.
“I am a 47-year-old woman with 2 grown children – ‘Lila’ is 23 and ‘Adam’ is 26.”
“When Adam was 11, he had his first girlfriend, ‘Jenna'”.
“It was a typical middle school relationship; they went to a few dances, went bowling together, things like that. It was very cute.”
“It lasted about 5 months and when they broke up, Adam sulked for a day before continuing on as normal. Jenna did hurt his feelings a bit by telling him the reason was ‘she didn’t like kissing him’ but he seemed to get over it quickly.”
“Present day – Adam married his lovely wife about a year ago and they are expecting a child in November.”
“Lila moved back home after college last year and started seeing Jenna about 7 months ago.”
“Lila is in love.”
“She’s been open about being a lesbian since she was a freshman in high school but she never showed much interest in anyone before Jenna.”
“I am so happy to finally see her satisfied with that aspect of her life.”
She then got to the problem at hand.
“Adam isn’t, though.”
“He thinks it’s ‘weird’ that Lila is dating his ex-girlfriend.”
“His main arguments are that it’s tainting the memory of his first love and that Jenna hurt him when she broke up with him.”
“Lila and Jenna have just signed a lease on their first apartment together and Adam is upping the dramatics now.”
“He’s called Lila a backstabber, disloyal and recently – a wh*re and I’ve just about had enough.”
“He’s a married man! With a baby on the way! It is not healthy to focus on this.”
“I could understand if it were a serious relationship, even high school would be different. But they were honest to God children then, how could it possibly matter still?”
“He insists it’s not about harboring feelings and I certainly believe that but this obsession with preserving his nostalgia is ridiculous.”
“I’ve told Adam that I will not tolerate this anymore and if he chooses to continue behaving this way, I will have to start limiting my contact with him.”
“He needs to let this go, grow up, and stop acting like he owned Jenna.”
“He got very angry with me for ‘choosing Lila’ but I don’t see it that way; I think I am choosing to protect my own sanity, not choosing between my children.”
“I asked some friends what they thought and I’ve gotten some mixed responses.”
“2/3 agree with me that Adam is overreacting but one says she understands why Adam is upset. I enjoy lurking in this subreddit so I thought I’d finally ask a question of my own.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some wondered about Adam’s wife.
“Please be ready to offer her your guest bedroom when she leaves your son. Or just your support. Ideally, he would be the one moving out but he clearly isn’t thinking straight at all. NTA” ~ Alwaysaprairiegirl
“Well, he shouldn’t take it personally that she didn’t like kissing him now that he knows she’s into women. If anything that shows it wasn’t personal. I can’t imagine how weird this must be for his wife.”
“For me the idea of having hard feelings over someone I “dated” as a child is absurd.”
“NTA” ~ Suitable-Cod-1381
“OP there was literally a post not too long ago on this sub about a gal who married someone her married, and new mother sister used to have a crush on in college and the sister went so ape sh*t that her husband filed for divorce.”
“If Adam doesn’t drop this he’ll probably end up losing his partner, too.” ~ dangeroussequence
Others were just confused.
“JFC I will never understand these posts where people think they have some kind of dibs on their crushes/exes.”
“I mean, if there’s cheating that’s one thing, or if the ex in question mistreated you then your friend/relative getting with them would be a betrayal, but aside from those scenarios I just don’t get the issue.”
“I’ve literally set up exes with friends if I thought they’d hit it off…” ~ liver_flipper
Commenters tried to possibly explain Adam’s logic while still siding with OP.
“I think he has maybe convinced himself that maybe his ‘ex’ has always and forever regretted her decision to ‘break up’ with him.”
“He wants to envision that with everyone she dates forever, she looks back on him and sighs that ‘he’s the one that got away.'”
“If so, I imagine finding out she is happily a lesbian, and probably never gave him a second thought, and is with someone she loves- his sister of all people- would break his massive ego.”
“It would explain why he comes off like he thinks he owns her somehow. You would think he’d be overjoyed to learn that it wasn’t because he’s a bad kisser.”
“I doubt she deserves finding out her new husband has this kind of weird-a*s bullsh*t going on, whatever the reason.”
“It’s all so gross.”
“I sense some misogyny nonsense mixed in, too, though I can’t really put into words how.”
“I mean more misogyny, not just the misogyny of calling your sister a ‘WHO and a ER’ and the general misogyny of feeling like he has ownership over his sister and ex.”
“Something beyond that.” ~ CandyShopBandit
Many were concerned for Adam’s mental health.
“You probably should ask because she may not realize how crazy he is being about this, he may find himself divorced if he can’t get out of his irrational rage spiral!” ~ HedgehogOptimal1784
“NTA please keep watchful, a man who can turn on his sister and call her a whore like that can easily turn on his wife and child.” ~ sabaegsa404
There were also personal stories.
“I can’t even imagine being jealous checks notes 15 years later?!”
“One of my best friends dated a girl I was in love with in high school (not sure I ever told him, but I’m pretty sure I was incredibly obvious) and that didn’t even ruin our friendship.”
“Bro should be happy that his ‘ex’ (if you can call it that) found herself and that his sis is happy.”
“It’s really not that weird.” ~ Tmoran835
“You’re so wrong.”
“Had my first ‘boyfriend’ at 12.”
“We mostly avoided each other while talking to our friend groups (boy/girls) how we were a couple.”
“Oh, the drama.”
“We went roller skating once (with his parents and older brother) and ‘gasp’ ’held hands.”
“And when we played tether ball he always let me win although he was a foot taller. Love of my life. His name was… well it started with a J… I think…” ~ Less-Bumblebee-8041
“Yup! Coincidentally, my ‘boyfriend’ from when I was 11 has also since come out as gay.”
“And while I don’t have any brothers for him to be dating it’s still a pretty darn similar situation.”
“I even remember some throwaway comment from him about not liking kissing me (something about it being like ‘kissing a carrot’ or something like that lol) which certainly threw me a bit at the time.”
“Buuuuuuuuuuutt… we were eleven!”
“We basically just announced to the school that we were ‘going out,’ I think went to the movies once where our parents dropped us off, and maybe went to one middle school dance.”
“It was definitely not love.”
“Adam needs to get his sh*t together or he’s gonna lose his current ‘love’ too.”
“NTA” ~ sarita_sy07
Commenters had ideas about possible punishments.
“He’s 26, married, & expecting his first child, but getting upset about his ex from when he was 11 now into girls, dating his younger sister, while those two are happy?”
“He is being TA!”
“And sounds like he’s acting like he’s 11 again, not 26.”
“Tell him the next time he responds in this manner he’s going in a time out since the punishment fits his attitude 😂” ~ Strange_Public_1897
“NTA. Time for some “stop it” therapy. Get a spray bottle and spritz his face every time he brings it up.” ~ Specialist-Quote2066
Of course, no one can call dibs on another person obviously.
However, that doesn’t stop people from trying!
Remember to allow people to make their own choices and to revel in your freedom to do the same.