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Author Topic: Someone to talk to ?
Ann109
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I have no idea how to start talking about this, so i'm just going to hold my breath and dive right in to the 'problem'. I'm a 19 years old female virgin ... and i would really like to talk to someone about some things that bother me.
I'm not the type of girl that wants to 'save herself for marriage', but unfortunately the chance of having a sexual relationship never presented itself the way i wanted it to. All my life i've been liked by boys , some say it's because of my really outgoing and happy character, some say it's because i'm really flirty when it comes to guys. As a usual teenager i can't say i don't like the attention granted by the opposite sex...who wouldn't enjoy it? It's just that when i act flirty or just plain friendly with guys i really don't want to have a relationship with them, it's more like a game for me. And i actually liked boys that didn't like me back , hence the one digit number of boyfriends i had in my life.
Apparently the 'not wanting a relationship' (be it just physical or not) brought upon me some labels like 'frigid','teaser' and many more horrible things i'm not sure i want to repeat in writing or in any other way for that matter. All my close friends know that i'm still a virgin and i feel weird in a way, seeing how aside a few boys, i'm the only girl that didn't had her 'cherry taken'.
I seriously thought about being a lesbian or just not a sexual person whatsoever, but the fact that i masturbate for some years now and the fact that i get turned on by situations involving the opposite sex, kinda excluded the two possibilities.
Recently i've been pretty frustrated seeing how my best friends are really elated with their relationships and how well they get along with their partners (including the 'bed action' and all).
I have so many questions about my situation that i don't even know where to begin [Frown] so...my first and most important question is ..... is there someone out there i can talk to ?

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September
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I'm right here if you want to talk, Ann. You can go ahead and post any questions you might have, and I'll see if I can help you out, okay?

--------------------
Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Ann109
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Thank you very much , your simple reply made me feel a lot better.
Well first of all , i would like to know why is it so 'hard' being a virgin in this day and age? I tried speaking to my mom about these problems, but 'it will come when you're ready' and 'if there's love involved you'll know what to do' don't really seem like real,palpable advice to me, even though a part of me knows she's right. I had a lot of friends tell me that i should do it already just to get it over with and i actually considered that, but unfortunately my self esteem is not really that high...actually i think it's somewhere below average. In a way i think my self esteem is my first 'psychological wall' when it comes to sexual relationships , because i'm really not that comfortable with the idea of getting naked in front of someone. Does self esteem influence your sexual life THAT much? If so , what is there to do about it?

[ 01-30-2011, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: Ann109 ]

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September
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Firstly, I hope that you don't feel like you are behind in any way, or have anything to get caught up on. Not having had sex yet at 19 isn't all that unusual, and certainly nothing to feel ashamed about.

And that's why, as abstract as it may sometimes sound, your mother is right when she says that it'll happen when you're ready. It will.

More importantly, trying to rush into something you are not ready for because you feel that everyone else is expecting you to isn't such a good idea. When it comes to sex, it's a really good idea to listen to your body and only do what you are ready for. We all get there at our own pace, and there is no reason to put pressure on yourself.

It's also not at all wierd if you think that your self-esteem has a role to play in how ready you feel. In fact, that's a very astute observation. Part of being ready to for sex is feeling comfortable in your body, feeling comfortable with making yourself vulnerable, and being able to trust someone else.


I'm going to link you to a few articles that I think would be useful reading for you:
20 Questions About Virginity: Scarleteen Interviews Hanne Blank
Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context
Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

[ 01-30-2011, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: September ]

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Ann109
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Been reading for the past hour and a half the links from your reply. I really enjoyed them. I liked the second one, "Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context" ; there were some things that really spoke to me.
You know what's funny? After reading so much about virginity , sexual intercourse and so on , i can't help but ask myself : if it's so easy to talk/read about it , why does it seem so unrealistic to me? Don't get me wrong, i found quite a few answers within the texts you linked, but...i don't know...i still have a 'sea of questions' in my mind. Silly questions, like why didn't i find a guy that turned on the 'i'm sexually attracted to you' switch? Or why am i sexually/emotionally frustrated sometimes to the point i crave human touch so bad i would simply go head on in a sexual relationship?
Sorry if i'm acting like a spoiled little kid, but sometimes i'm really overwhelmed by thoughts like these...and they do get to me, when i think about my circle of friends or see how some guys are repelled by 'the virgin aura' (like a friend called it). It really bugs me [Frown]

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September
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I'm glad to hear that you've found the articles helpful! We have a ton more on our mainsite, so if you're curious, you can go ahead and browse a little, see if there's anything else you might like to read up on.

As for why you haven't found someone yet who turned that switch for you, we can't really say. Maybe you just haven't come across the right person yet. Maybe you're just not quite ready yet for those feelings. Who knows. But there's no sense stressing over it, because it's not something you can force, anyway. It'll happen when it does.

If you're feeling sexually aroused, but aren't ready for partner sex yet, have you considered masturbation? That's a great way to explore your own body and your own sexuality. If you want, I can link you to articles on that, too.

I'd try not to focus too much on what your friends are saying. There is no "virgin aura", and anyone who is put off by your level of sexual experience isn't someone who is a good partner for you, anyway.

And if you have any more questions you'd like to ask, just go ahead!

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Ann109
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The reason i found your site is because i was searching for something related to masturbation.And yes, i do use that as a way to 'get off', but sometimes i just don't see it as being it enough. Read once a phrase that made me giggle : 'You have known your hand for your entire life, it's not as if you can act surprised from what's happening.' (paraphrased)

The site is really big and from what i saw wonderfully full of information. I did browse it before making a post,it's just that the variety and the amount of the information was too big and i tend to like precise infos and i noticed that when in a discussion , people would link to different contents that were really useful. But in the end i really think it's way better talking to a person than reading some medical or psychological fragments that are so generally and sometimes impersonal written.

As for your offer concerning the masturbation related links, i wonder if there is something about having intense graphical fantasies that are basically blocked by real life persons you know. As in, when i masturbate i like to think about sexual games or images previously acquired from erotica, but as soon as i think about a real life person, like a guy that i currently have a crush on, i'm getting less and less aroused by the second. Although , in a way i really don't think it's such a unusual thing.

Also, i am going to take advantage of the 'just go ahead!' from above and ask more, if you can tell me/ talk with me/ link me stuff about low self esteem and the clash of the image you as an individual have of yourself and the image others (in this case, the opposite sex) have of you.

[ 01-30-2011, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Ann109 ]

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September
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Ann, I've got to head in a bit, so I can't address your last post just now. But I will be back to talk about this further tomorrow, and I will leave a note with the other volunteers in the meantime so you won't be left hanging.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Ann109
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Thank you so very much [Smile] and have a wonderful day! cause you sure made my day
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Heather
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Hey, Ann, I'm around if you want to pick up this conversation with someone else. [Smile]

If so, want to fill me in on where you're at right now?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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Hello, Heather [Smile] i would love talking to you, if you don't mind/ have the time.

Where i am ? Well , i wouldn't know where to begin , but to summarize this whole conversation from the beginning, i would say i'm the average frustrated teenager with low self esteem issues...and a lot of questions.

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Heather
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Okay. What I'm hearing in what you've said throughout this thread sounds a lot like you just not being in a place in your life yet where you're feeling the desire to be sexual -- or perhaps yet meeting the people you really have those feelings for. It may also hep to know that how selective people are when it comes to romantic and/or sexual partners varies amoung individuals. Some folks are very selective, others really aren't, a lot of folks are somewhere in between.

Can I ask a bit about your circle of friends? Do you feel like they're a good fit for you, on the whole? I ask that because sometimes once social circle that fit us for a while doesn't fit anymore at some point, because people are always growing and changing, so what fit once might not always. It's just sounding like some of the stress you're describing is coming from feeling like you don't fit in with your friends.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I had a circle of 10-15 people that i used to hang out with. For the last year and a half the relationships in our group have become shaky, but mostly because some went to university in other countries or other cities.
I can't say if i fit or not, but i know them for 4 years, some of them for more than 8 years.

I guess what troubles me,in a way,is how most of them found a partner or have a nice relationship. Don't get me wrong, i couldn't be more happier for them , but i still have to ask in the deepest corner of my mind : "what about me?"

And the part of being selective is what bothers me sometimes, because there were a lot of boys that liked , even loved me, that i just couldn't get myself to like back. Because of that , i heard a lot of...let's call them insults, even though it's a bit exaggerated, from guys that thought i was too picky , just a teaser or worse , like an ice queen, or frigid etc.

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Heather
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I feel like one thing the world often doesn't prepare us for when we're younger is the usual reality that our childhood friendships often don't carry over into adulthood. Or, one or two do, but the rest fall away.

people tend to change a LOT in their teens and early twenties, and while we may feel emotional bonds from earlier relationships, or relationships cultivated during that time, that doesn't mean sticking with them is always a good fit.

Per most of them being with a sexual partner, indeed, what about you? You're someone who hasn't, but who it also sounds like doesn't really want one yet. The fact that some guys called you crappy names tells you more about them than you: in fact, if that's how they reacted to a rejection, that tells me you made very good choices in not cultivating relationships with them. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I'm really not that naive to believe that i'll be friends with them more than "oh hey,how you've been ? gotta go , bye." but in a way that was my 'universe' for some years. It's pretty different now, being in university/college(don't really know the right term for it, sorry). I met new people, but in a way i still compare them to my 'previous' friends and i don't know, people seem more mature or even the opposite , too immature, in a way that makes me feel a bit uneasy.

I can't say i don't want a sexual partner. I mean, the hormones are not going to leave me alone that easily.
I can't really explain the thoughts that are going through my head. In a way , i would accept a guy that says "i like you, be with me" , but on the other hand i over-think the whole relationship , about feelings, about what it would imply and so on and start to freak out.

And i can't blame those guys either, cause i actually think i'm being 'flirty' just to overcompensate the fact that i have a low self esteem. I had a period of time when i would be really nice or friendly(without any sexual connotations) to a guy just to see how long it will take from him to like me and then pretty much lose interest.
Also, having a not so good opinion about myself makes me always ask myself 'if i don't like myself , why would anybody else like me?'

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Heather
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Hormones actually have very little to do with our desire to be with other romantically or sexually. They're part of that whole picture, yes, but only part, and actually have a lot less power and influence than other factors do.

If you feel like your own self-esteem is a barrier to pursuing or enjoying interpersonal relationships, how about doing some work on that? When are the times that you find you feel most awesome about yourself?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I'm going to quote myself from earlier in the conversation : "In a way i think my self esteem is my first 'psychological wall' when it comes to sexual relationships , because i'm really not that comfortable with the idea of getting naked in front of someone. Does self esteem influence your sexual life THAT much? If so , what is there to do about it?" If you could answer my questions, no t necessarily limited to the 'sexual relationships' as well , i would really appreciate it.


As for your question, i really wouldn't know what to say. I actually tried analyzing the whole 'self image issue' but i wouldn't know what to do about it.
Most awesome about myself....hmm...well, the only thing that comes to mind is when i'm really happy about...i don't know, an accomplishment or having a crush or something really random happening.

[ 01-30-2011, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: Ann109 ]

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Heather
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It sounds like you're talking about two things there, about self-esteem and about body image. They're not the same thing, but they can intersect a lot, especially around sexuality. And yes, they can both be very big influences in this area.

Let me try and take another spin, giving you some of my personal list. Things I know keep my self-esteem (my OWN value of myself) high, make me feel really good about myself, are helping other people, really sinking in to a creative project and immersing myself in it (even if the product winds up being crap or less-than-awesome), being with the people in my life I love and enjoying them for who they are, taking a walk in the woods or doing something else where my body is good for what it can allow me to do, rather than about how it looks, cooking, hula-hooping, playing with someone's kid, being silly, smiling, laughing, taking a strong stand on something I care about, even if I'm in the minority in my stance.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I know they're two things, i just used that in that particular context ,because in a way even if you have a good 'body image' but you don't have confidence in yourself , it's all to waste one way or another.

I like to think of myself as an creative type person, seeing how i love to tailor , crochet , paint, make jewelry, origami and basically anything handmade or creative. The cause of my low self esteem , i think, is the fact that i wasn't encouraged to do a certain thing. Having someone tell you 'oh that's nice, keep doing that' , at least for me, means more than words could tell.

And come to think of it more, i actually do understand your point of view. Those things you listed higher must really make you feel great [Smile]

[ 01-30-2011, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: Ann109 ]

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Heather
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I agree that when it comes to healthy sexual relationships and feeling good about ourselves sexually, having both of those things is really important.

(Let's try not to use lame here, okay? It's a really ableist term. Thanks!)

I do not think it is at ALL minor not to be encouraged in the things we love to do, things that make us feel good about yourselves. It can be a really big deal not to be encouraged in those ways or to have the things we value about ourselves and our lives valued.

The good news is that we can make up for that. The older we get, the more our relationships are elective, and we can choose to surround ourselves with the people who provide us that kind of support and encouragement.

So, it sounds like you have the start of a pretty rad list there. Have you made time to let yourself do those things a lot, and discover even more things to add to it?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I'm sorry, i'll edit it out ! I didn't mean to offend anyone.

"the people who provide us that kind of support and encouragement" where exactly can you find them ? [Smile] ) i don't want to be rude with that question, but it seems kinda hard to find people like that...although you're probably right and age is an important factor.

As for the list, i would do those things all my life.
When i finished high school and wanted to apply for an university, i wanted to go to fashion design or specialized courses for tailoring,but not in my home town. My mom didn't even ask me what i wanted to do and told me clearly to decide at which department from the university from my home town i wanted to go. Things like these make me feel really out of my place, even though in a way i can understand my mom, because my family couldn't have supported me financially in another city/country. But the simple fact that she didn't even ask me was really painful.

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Heather
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Well, some of that is about choosing your friends. I don't know about you, but my friends or parents being supportive of who I am and what I love is pretty much ground zero for me. However, with certain creative things you like to do and want encouragement for, one of the easiest ways is by making friends who share that interest.

It sounds painful, your family not asking what you wanted for yourself. That usually is very painful. Who knows the reason for that, but have you ever been able to talk with her about how you felt about that?

[ 01-30-2011, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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Yes, i talked to her,but the conversation turned into a quarrel and i didn't continue.
My mom doesn't understand the fact that wanting something really hard and working really hard for that something is enough to make your dreams come true.
She's a really practical woman and being an accountant adds to the 'if you don't have the possibility of doing what you want now, you shouldn't fool yourself' type thinking.

Even so, i promised myself i'm going to raise enough money to pursue this dream,even if it's not going to happen this year or even next year. [Big Grin]

And one of the reasons i even took the courage of saying anything on this site is the fact that i did find someone that shares this interest... a guy , to be precise. And after talking with him for hours on end, realizing the many things we have in common and so on , it made me think yet again at the usual : 'i'm 19 , but i'm still a virgin' 'my self esteem is down the drain' 'what if i'm weird or just not good enough for him?' 'do i like him or is it just the common denominator that i'm mistaking for 'like'? '

[ 01-30-2011, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Ann109 ]

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Heather
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Was your Mom able to pursue any of her own dreams? I'm not excusing her nonsupport, but it may be that she doesn't understand that by virtue of not having that experience herself.

With this guy, it sounds to me like you're only thinking of a relationship with this person in sexual or romantic terms. Would you say that's so? If so, can I ask why? In other words, rather than go there, why not just see what relationship tends to build and what feels right to both of you? You two have an interest you share, and seem to connect there: in what other way do you have to be "good enough" to have that connection and see where it goes?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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I don't think she pursued her own dreams. She was really young when she started to work and then became a wife and a mother. I never asked her if she had dreams she wanted to pursue. She's really down to earth and simple ( not in a bad way, just the type of person who 'knows her place').
Oddly enough ,it's not like she doesn't like the things i do. She really enjoys the little presents i make for her or even the things i managed to sell so far , but she doesn't believe it's something 'for the future'.
It's the 'artist cliche' as i like to call it. As in it's all nice and fun while it's a hobby , but it CAN'T turn into a job for a good financial future.

I would say that it is so...not too proud admitting it...i tend to think like that and not let the relationship go its own way. I have no idea why though...

And about the 'good enough' part...it's just that he's really smart, athletic and in a way i'd sum him up as 'too good to be true' really

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Heather
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You know, the way I see any potential relationship with someone always tends to start with friendship. And so long as we're kind to each other, appreciate each other, and make time for each other, I figure EVERYONE is good enough.

I'm not and have never been heterosexual, so I can't understand the experience of seeing people of a certain gender as being mostly or only for one kind of relationship. I'm not sure if you do or if you have an orientation where you only see one gender of people as for romantic or sexual relationships, but if you do, you may want to think about framing this differently. I think friends-first tends to often be a good basis for any relationship, and can also really help to take the pressure off if and when someone feels like romantic or sexual relationships have more weight or are more risky for them. Do you know what I mean?

With your Mom, it is sounding like she doesn't get it because she probably wasn't given the kind of encouragement you want, either. Obviously, that sucks, but maybe trying to recognize that some might help you to unpack some of your feelings about it? In other words, if no one ever did it for her, and she doesn't get that's possible, it would have been very hard for her to know how to do it for you.

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Ann109
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I understand what you mean. I can't categorize people by 'i should feel this for that person', i'm the kind of person that listens to music or reads a book just for the pure feelings that the composer or writer is trying to transmit through their art. (don't know if that was a good explanation.sorry)

I'm not a big fan of 'let's start of as friends and we'll see what happens next'. With me there are 2 possibilities , you're either friend zoned from the very beginning or you're a potential romantic/sexual interest (which apparently fades away after a certain amount of time leading to friendships as well).
The 'problem' with the guy i mentioned before is that he's neither...and that kinda threw me off. I didn't friend zone him as soon as we met, but i don't see him as a romantic interest either,at least not for now. It's really confusing to me, seeing how by now, i always know which one applies.

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Heather
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Might you maybe, then, consider that the way you have been framing relationships as either/or in that way might have a lot to do with some of the issues you're having?

Can you also recognize that we usually (if ever) won't have very good romantic or sexual relationships with someone we can't also be friends with? Those kinds of relationship, if we want them to endure, won't tend to last very long or go very well if we can't also be friends, after all. It's not that sexual or romantic feelings always fade leaving ONLY platonic friendship, really. Rather, what tends to happen over time when those relationships are going well, and we choose to continue them, is that the friendship aspect of them, and the others, deepen, and all these ways we feel get more unionized and less segmented, if that makes sense.

Mind, if you only ever want very short romantic or sexual relationships of limited depth, then that the way you're framing this may be a non-issue, but most people aren't only looking for short-term, fairly shallow relationships through their lives. Even if and when that's the case, or we're open to things being pretty short, I have to say that personally, even my very short-term or casual sexual relationships would have been a lot less awesome if there hadn't also been at least some kind of friendship involved. It's the ones without that I can usually barely even remember, the older I get.

Heck, maybe the fact that this guy feels hard to put into either box is a really great opportunity to start to outgrow that kind of limiting framing!

[ 01-30-2011, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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You make so much sense...really.

I thought that the 'framing' of the relationships isn't all that good, but in a way those were the cases, so out came the 'rule'. It's like working on a farm measuring potatoes. You only got 10cm potatoes and 14cm potatoes so you automatically assume that there are only 10cm and 14cm potatoes all over. Not a good rule, but still , it's appliable.

I won't deny the fact that friendship is in fact the base of any other deeper relationship, but starting a friendship just to see if it has a romantic/sexual outcome is like clouding that whole friendship with a 'what if?' (in my opinion)

And the last phrase is soooooo tearing my mind and thoughts apart ,i was actually afraid of expressing it...but you actually hit the nail on the head.

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Heather
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I don't know about you, but my experience in all kinds of relationships, all relationships, is that they are all "what ifs."

Certainly, it's one thing to go into a relationship wanting a kind that is very specific and not voice that: in other words, to hide any motives. But it's something else to go into any relationship figuring you're going to give it time to grow and see what it turns into, which is going to happen, really, whether you do that or not. Do you know what I mean?

Let me give you an example from my own life, if it helps.

Once upon a time, I was a part-time super of a building. The woman who lived downstairs from me was basically, at first, a tenant I needed to care for and also someone I saw myself having little at all in common with. Then she turned into an acquaintance, soon a casual friend, then through another confluence of events, a very close friend, then a very close friend. That was years ago, and even though we live states apart now, she and her little boy are now people I consider members of my family, in more ways than people I'm actually related to. I hope that eventually we can all live in the same place again and be a family in person, even though she's not my romantic partner.

I would never have seen that coming, but that's what we simply grew into by being open to each other and relating to each other. That's what our "what if" became.

Do you see what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Ann109
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Yes , i do understand what you mean. I even had an experience like this , when a waitress from a local pub that i go to became one of my best friends. It is indeed endearing when some people turn out to be much more than you ever expected.
I was talking more about the 'hiding' part of the 'what if?',when people act friendly just to obtain something in the end.

Also , after a good night's sleep, well not really that good cause i was thinking almost all night, i came to realize i had some more questions after all. If that's not a problem and i'm not monopolizing your attention.

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Heather
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So, you don't hide your what if. I'd say it's honestly as simple as that.

Happy to talk more, I'm around now.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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Hello again [Smile]

I thought about a lot of things last night,but before that i have to tell you i had a conversation with my mom today and asked her about her dreams and basically stuff related to our conversation. It was interesting to say the least. She told me among other things that i have a different way of thinking than hers( i can't disagree here, there is a 30+ years gap between us) but that she's trying her best to understand me. She still thinks that 'i shouldn't fool myself with dreams that can't come true', but overall i like to think it was a good conversation for both of us, so thank you very much [Smile]

The questions that were bugging me last night were more or less related to relationships. I'll go right ahead and ask ,without tying the questions with each other, because i have a 'gift' of complicating things...so here goes :

1. I've been told quite recently that i 'block' the idea of a relationship before anything really happens. Thinking about that made me reach the conclusion that i do that because i find it would be a waste of time for both persons involved, if we're not at the same 'level' of feelings for each other. Is that a bad thing ? If so, what to do about it?

2. How common is the fear of being rejected? (Oddly enough ,i'm not even sure if i'm afraid of being rejected OR being accepted.) Is there even a fear of being accepted? or is it just the fear of being rejected in another form?

3. How can you know if you're a masochist or not? (not necessarily in a sexual way)

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Heather
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I'm so glad you had a better conversation with your mother! Unpacking things with our parents, which often tends to happen in tiny increments throughout life, I've noticed, can often do us so much good.

Per your questions:

• Can you explain to me what you mean by the same "level" of feelings?

• I'd say a whole lot of people have fears about rejection, and it's safe to say nobody likes it! How pervasive those fears are, though, varies. I also think that absolutely, some people fear acceptance, and I can certainly see links between them. I mean, both are about how other people perceive you, how you may feel others validate or invalidate you, about expectations others may have of us, about having our wants and needs met or not met.

Masochism means that you enjoy experiencing pain, that pain is pleasurable to you. It's a term that's usually used around sex, not outside it. So, I think the first question is to just ask yourself if you find experiencing pain to be pleasurable.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ann109
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Concerning the level part .... as in the two persons forming a couple are not on the same page...one has deeper feelings than the other or one is using 'love' while the partner is using 'like' and so on.
I think it's a waste of time, because such a relationship will end sooner rather than later. And i've been told i have a really wrong way of thinking about that, so that's why i'm asking.

I understand perfectly what you wrote about rejection/acceptance. And i really have a problem of the way people see me...i couldn't explain it exactly, but i guess in a way i care more about what others think of me than what i think of myself. Is that a thing that can be 'unlearned'?

Thank you for the third answer.

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