I like someone. I think. He's probably the most legit person I've ever gone on dates with. But when he recently asked me be his girlfriend, I couldn't say yes.---

It's not that I didn't want to. I want him to pin me in his Studebaker at Makeout Point whilst wearing his letterman's jacket. Plus, as I've said before, getting consistently laid by someone I like and with minimal effort sounds ideal.

So what's the problem? There are other letterman's jackets out there I'm interested in trying on. Two, to be exact.

Boy 2 came along and kind of rearranged my molecules. I'm disgusted by how attracted to him I am, and we connect really well. When it's good, it's great. But while our passion lingers, it's also consumptive. In short, we're toxic for one another.

Any relationship we would have would be marked by extreme highs and extreme lows. What I would want from him would never come. We could never be content.

I'm not really sure how I feel about Boy 3. We've only recently begun going on dates, and they've been fun. He's handsome and charming and has an eagerness for life that is infectious. But I don't think we have much in common.

So back to Boy 1. We're comfortable with one another and I've been uncharacteristically open with him. We're satisfied in each other's company and comfortable in silence.

I worry, though, that a relationship with him with empty us both out. It would somehow simultaneously be right and wrong. We'd be content, but never truly happy.

When I posed these concerns to 1, he asked me to take two weeks to really think about my hesitations. He thinks I keep 2 and 3 around because I'm afraid to allow one person to meet all my needs. I think that, like every asshole on Wall Street, I understand the importance of a diversified portfolio.

1 blames my childhood. I'm worried he's right.

A parent abandoned me at a young age. Like my parent, 2 is a part of my life when it suits him. In the time we spend together before he disappears, I compete for his attention as if I'm a small child seeking parental validation. No matter how hard I try, though, he's unwilling to really make room for me in his life.

My other parent responded to the abandonment by tirelessly creating an illusion for the outside world that our lives were picture-perfect. Rather than adapt to the change, we simply pretended nothing was different. 3 is that illusion.

He's exactly what I imagine when I think of the perfect man. To the outside world, we probably look like we belong in a catalog. But my relationship with him, so far, has been all flash, no substance.

So, fuck. I'm lost.

Was 1 right? Or was he trying to fuel my insecurities? Do all of my bad relationships really boil down to the flaws in my parental relationships? Am I overthinking? Email me at caroline@sfreporter.com.