I Think He Might Be Using Me. What Should I Do?

Janedavid124
asks:
Hey I am 18 years old, I have been in a relationship with this guy. We've only met once or twice,and we never kissed, we talk to each other regularly on texts and on video call. On video call we masturbate by taking each others names, we give each other pleasure but now I have realized that he doesn't like talking to me. Whenever I text him he always says to send him private pictures and whenever I refuse to masturbate for him or send him pictures he says he want breakup and then he starts fighting he argues and says he will find someone else. I like talking to him and i want him to tell me everything going around his life but he never tells me I don't know what to do. Does he love me or my body? Shall I breakup with him before its too late because I think he is just playing with my feelings. Please help me to make my decisions as I am really confused right now..
Sam W replies:

I think you are reading this situation absolutely right.

That thing he's doing, when you reach out to talk and he requests pictures and then threatens to break up if you won't? That is a truly manipulative and toxic dynamic. It's also a major red flag in terms of a relationship being abusive, because he's coercing you into doing something sexual by making you afraid of what happens if you refuse.

Some people have relationships founded mostly on sex and exchanging sexy images and are happy and healthy in them. There's a world of difference between that and this dude only engaging with you when he wants something sexual and arguing or sulking when he doesn't get it. That signals someone who only wants sexual gratification out the relationship, and intends to get it regardless of what you express as your needs or feelings.

There's a statement - rapidly becoming a cliche - that when somebody tells you who they are, believe them. I'd say the same is true for when they show you who they are. We have so many cultural stories about how people are just misunderstood or just deserve another chance that we keep toxic people in our lives way past the point where they're making us unhappy. In this case, if it pouts like a jerk and threatens like a jerk, let's go ahead and assume it's kind of a jerk.

Trust what your gut is telling you and end this relationship. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who sees you as a whole person, instead of an object that exists to satisfy them. Break up with this dude. Once you've done that, block him on any platforms where he might be able to contact you (chat, text, email, any social media). That will give you a buffer in case he decides to try and pressure you into staying in the relationship (which, given how he's acting now, is definitely a possibility). You may also want to research what kind of rights you have if images of you end up online. I don't say that to scare you, but you need to consider the possibility that, if he has sexualized images of you, he may choose to share them in revenge for you ending things with him. If the images you sent him are just of your body with nothing to identify you as you, that's less of a concern than if the images have your face in them. There's a good chance he won't share them, but it's sound to know ahead of time what you can do if he does.

I do want to touch on the idea of loving you or your body. In most relationships, that's a divide that simply won't exist. Again, some people will have relationships that are primarily about physical attraction, but even then the desire is probably not exclusively about the other person's body. If you find yourself feeling as though your body is the only thing that matters to your partner and that makes you unhappy, then it's time to leave that relationship.

Hopefully you find a way to end this relationship that goes smoothly for you, and allows you to open yourself up to the healthier relationships that will come your way.

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