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Author Topic: Could really use some advice
wolfm4n
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Hello Scarleteen. After perusing the site and forums for some time now, it's finally come to that time when I am also in need of guidance. I'm hoping this community will be able to assist me as wonderfully as they've been able to assist countless others on here.

I'll try my best to make this as short as possible.

After having known and been friends with a girl named Emm (Emm is now 16 and a Junior in high school; she was 15 and a sophomore at the time) for some time, her and I began to be involved in the middle of March of this year. It started off as a physical relationship with us hooking up at parties and casually for about a week or two. During this time, we talked more and more and both developed feelings for each other. After she admitted to liking me and had indicated that she wanted an exclusive romantic relationship, I realized I did, too and began to end my involvement with other girls I had been seeing at the time. With Emm, things just seemed to work and felt very special and very 'right'. Towards the end of the month, I felt very guilty after having hooked up with someone else, even though Emm and I were not exclusive yet, and took it as a sign that I also wanted to move things further. A couple days later, I asked her to be exclusive with me, to which she agreed, and at the beginning of April, I asked her to be my girlfriend, to which she said yes.

Things were good, even great, between then and the end of July. I mean, of course there were things that bothered me. Emm and I shared a very physical relationship and had already engaged in manual sex before entering our relationship. A few days into our relationship, the topic of going further (as in oral) came up and we both said we were ready for it. I performed oral sex for her around the middle of April and, to this day, I have done so many times for her and she still has not done the same for me. She said she wanted to, but as more and more time progressed, nothing with that had happened. Her friends would bother her about why she hadn't done it yet, which annoyed her to great ends and apparently made her even more reluctant to do so. She had the same reaction when I began to bring it up more towards late June, and by middle July, she essentially told me she would never do it. This particular situation leaves me with a lot of feelings of being hurt and used because she had she was fine with moving to oral and I did so based on that knowledge. As far as I know, relationships are mutual things, and its rather unfair for this one area to be so lopsided. I just feel like she is being immature and selfish, so caught up in the possible social repercussions and failing to see that returning the favor of giving oral is perfectly fine in this case. Although more of a side problem, if anyone has advice on this particular issue (oral sex), that would be greatly appreciated.

There were other issues as well. Also on a physical level, I was almost always the one to initiate and was always very eager to engage in being physical, and a huge part of being physical for me is making sure I do all I can to get the other person off. I did this for her all the time, but she was not so eager. Things ended up being similar to a ratio: for every three times I got her off, I generally had gotten off once. That wasn't a rule, but that's what ended up happening. And I felt bad for wanting to be physical so much because much later on she admitted that by wanting to be physical so much I had slightly ruined the experience for her, but I figured that if I had been getting off just as much as she had been or at least close, I would have been more satisfied and less eager (quality > quantity type thing sort of). In addition, our feelings grew very deep very quickly, on both sides, and in the beginning of July, I told her I loved her after I felt that that was what I was truly feeling. She didn't say it back and has never been able to say it back, saying things along the lines of, "if I say it, I'm afraid it'll be even more true." Emm has problems accepting and expressing her feelings and emotions, especially in a romantic setting, which has caused slight issues between us before, and I believe that's what she is referring to when she said that saying it would make it more true. Her not being able to say it back caused a lot of doubt for me and confusion, always thinking that she never was into me as much as I was into her. And then just generally, I felt like I had been putting more effort in to the relationship (although sooo much better than all my previous interactions) and that she cared way more about other people (her friends, other boys) than she did me.

At the end of July and during the beginning of August, Emm went out of town for a week and a half and we were only able to communicate online. It was during this time that, at a party, I cheated on her once with a good friend of mine at the time. I initiated it and alcohol and other drugs is not an excuse, and in hindsight I realized I did what I did because of a longstanding attraction and interest in my good friend that I finally acted on because she was leaving for college soon, although never outright feelings. I felt absolutely horrible and mentally and physically sick during the day to follow, and after talking to my good friend about what had happened to make sure that was squared away, I messaged Emm asking her to get in contact with me over the phone. She wasn't able to do so and I unfortunately had to explain to her what happened over the internet. She was obviously very upset and very hurt by what I had done and didn't understand why (the only reason I could give her at the time was that I wasn't satisfied physically, but that I realized was total BS, especially because I didn't "get anything" out of cheating with my good friend). Emm said that she still wanted to get through it, and that's what I was focusing on when she came back. Things weren't the same, obviously, but they did seem to become alright over the next week and a half. It was then that I unfortunately had to leave town myself for two weeks, although we would be able to keep in touch over the phone. We both had hoped that those two weeks apart would help a lot to smooth things out and get us back, but the opposite occurred and things got worse, with us ending nearly every conversation we had during that period annoyed with each other.

I returned at the end of August and two days later, Emm initiated a "break". She also decided that we would not be exclusive during this break. I believe her reasoning was essentially that things were horrible between us and there were things we were both upset about, and she was especially hurt and upset about what I did and didn't expect that so much, so it was time to try something to save us. We didn't really talk much at all in the first few days of the break (early September time) and it was really hard. I ended up going to her birthday party about a week and a half in to the break after some convincing from her, and although I felt very awkward because all of her friends hate me, it was nice to see her and we ended up making out a bit secretly and things were okay. Over the next three weeks, we seemed to be doing well. We weren't talking or hanging out as much as we had been in a relationship, but the times that we did were better than how they were right before the break. And when we hung out, we were still physical. This was how things were at the beginning of this month (October), before she began to ignore me for about a weeks time. There was not catalyst it seemed for her starting to do so, and I didn't understand why. I was very confused and hurt by it. She finally reached out to me at the end of the week and apologized for being "grumpy," but didn't explain why she had ignored me. It seemed like she was continuing to ignore me until the start of this past week (around the 10th), when we began to talk a bit again and saw each other a couple days later.

As things stand right now, we're doing okay, but there are a good number of things bothering me. The biggest is the lack of exclusivity. She will mention other boys to me occasionally or make posts about them online, and it bothers me a lot. Just the thought of her dancing with another guy at her Homecoming dance really gets to me. And I know that I have permission to pursue other girls as well, but I don't want to do so and then ruin any remaining chance, however slim, of getting back together in an exclusive romantic relationship with Emm. To my knowledge, she hasn't done anything with anyone else yet, but the possibility still really scares me. Other things that are bothering me are that she seems to be taking this "break" as more like a "break-up," and I fear she has no interest in getting back together at some point in the near future. And if we do end up back together, it feels like there will be a lot of baggage left over (such as with issues of oral sex, expressing emotions, and the obvious cheating), and I'm not sure how to resolve these issues. Finally, even with our diminished communication and interaction, it still seems too much to her (Emm has mentioned to a friend of mine that she feels "we [as in Emm and I] talk too much" and that I got "really butt hurt [I absolutely hate that phrase] when [Emm] didn't call me for a week." I'm lucky if we even talk once a day and in terms of the latter, regardless of whether you're in a relationship or not or some kind of previous involvement, I am a person with feelings and it's not okay to just ignore someone without at least indicating to them that you want space and time away. But, Emm does enjoy that we see each other roughly once a week now and wants to maintain that, but that just leaves me feeling hurt and used because I'll think she only wants to see me so I can go down on her and keep her satisfied while she looks for someone else, and the diminished seeing / talking serves to help her feel less guilty for trying to find someone else (although I don't know whether or not she is indeed looking for someone else). If you haven't noticed by now, I have a huge tendency to over-think things. Ugh...

Honestly, I haven't begun to really move on at all. That's probably a bad thing, but I just don't want to. I think I love Emm and I want to be in an exclusive romantic relationship with her once again. I'm willing to compromise of course with what she wants, and I'm willing to drop the label and not see or talk to each other as much, but I won't compromise on the exclusivity. I just started college recently and I am unfortunately living at home, so socially I'm struggling a bit, and I definitely haven't met anyone else to be involved with yet as some of my friends have suggested. And so even though there's a lot I'm upset about with Emm and we're not in a relationship like I would want, having her to some degree is better than not having her at all. She's really busy over this next month or so, so in terms of us, I'm trying to make things as easy for her as possible and not bring any of this up yet, but I could still really use the advice of this board. I'm really sorry about the length of this post, but to summarize and conclude what I'm asking about:

1. With all of the background I've laid out here, do you feel that it is best for me to work on getting back together in either an exclusive romantic relationship with Emm or something closer to what would make me happy, or begin to move on?

2. If you feel I should work on getting back together with her, how should I go about doing so, and how should I go about dealing with all of the baggage (cheating, oral sex, etc.)?

3. If you feel I should begin to move on, is it better to end things completely with her right now? Or is it better to just silently move on myself and continue my interaction with her as things stand now so as not to be without her completely?

Again, I am so so sorry for the length of this post, but I really hope someone will take the time to read it and help me. I really need the advice.

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Saffron Raymie
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Hello wolfm4an,

Don't worry about the length of your post - Scarleteen is for talking. [Smile]

I wouldn't be too hard on yourself about what some people refer to as 'overthinking things'. Many people worry about the future.

However, it might not be the best plan to worry about your relationship issues with Emm while you are on a break. If we focus on the issue at hand; I understand that you aren't sure if this is a break or a break up? Have I got that right?

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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wolfm4n
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Thank you for replying so quickly, and for being so understanding about the length. And yes, it seems I am constantly worrying about the future.

Putting aside the issues between Emm and I (from both our relationship and our current interaction), yes, you have it right. I am confused as to whether we are "on a break" or "broken up." I am also confused as to how I should proceed in my involvement with Emm.

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Saffron Raymie
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A possible next step here might be to speak to Emm, to find out where she stands on possibly attempting to properly fix up your relationship.

Would she like it to be the end of the relationship for now, or for always? Would she like to talk about and work towards resolving the trouble you had in your relationship while on the break? Would she like to go back into a monogamous relationship once the issues have been resolved? What are the conditions that you would both like to go into a relationship with?

I think one think we've realised here is that going into a non-exclusive or open relationship with Emm is definately off the table, because it's a limit you have. This is perfectly okay; we all have our needs and limits, and it's wise to set boundaries around them.

Just a suggestion here: do you think Emm could ever be comfortable talking here with us both? If that could be something you feel would help in having a space to talk about and work out your relationship issues, I'm happy to help you both with that. Or would you prefer to talk about something else here, without Emm?

(Just a note: If Emm would like to join in, she would have to make a separate account for herself, so we can help more acurately.)

[ 10-18-2011, 04:21 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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wolfm4n
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I would like to speak to Emm about resolving our issues and where she stands on possibly getting back together or not, but she is very busy with various extracurricular activities between now and I believe mid-November. I feel that, if I try to talk to her now, it would only overwhelm her further and the conversation would not go as smoothly or in the direction I would prefer (towards getting back together) as it would if I were to wait until things calm down for her. Of course, the downside to this is that it's rather clear that I am unhappy with the way things between us are now, and waiting would just prolong this.

Which leads me into another issue that you brought up: I don't know whether or not I truly do have a limit on being exclusive with her (as in, I don't know if I wouldn't be exclusive with her). Because, well, although we don't talk much at all as things stand now, when we're together in-person, we act like we're in a relationship. And although it wouldn't be the healthiest thing for me, my mentality is that it's better to "have" her to some degree than to none at all. That's the thing. That's why I haven't ended things myself. I want to be with her, and being with her in some form, even if it's not my ideal of an exclusive romantic relationship, seems to be better than nothing, even if I'm unhappy. So, another question I have is: should I not allow myself to be in this kind of situation?

In terms of your suggestion, I highly doubt Emm would feel comfortable joining us here to discuss and possibly resolve things. She would probably be upset with me for even just posting this in a public forum. I would ask her, but that would require divulging that I've posted here, and I don't want to cause even more problems between us.

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Heather
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quote:
Which leads me into another issue that you brought up: I don't know whether or not I truly do have a limit on being exclusive with her (as in, I don't know if I wouldn't be exclusive with her). Because, well, although we don't talk much at all as things stand now, when we're together in-person, we act like we're in a relationship. And although it wouldn't be the healthiest thing for me, my mentality is that it's better to "have" her to some degree than to none at all. That's the thing. That's why I haven't ended things myself. I want to be with her, and being with her in some form, even if it's not my ideal of an exclusive romantic relationship, seems to be better than nothing, even if I'm unhappy. So, another question I have is: should I not allow myself to be in this kind of situation?
My suggestion with something like this is to try considering something similar in another context: something just as, or close to as, emotionally loaded and important for you.

For instance, how would you feel about taking a job so you could have a job where you had serious ethical conflicts around your own belief system? Or where a job gave you a paycheck you very much needed, but presented big health risks that might make you more broke later on in life?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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wolfm4n
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In terms of the two instances you provided, I would more than likely refuse those jobs (although, in this economy, who knows...). And I see the similarity you are drawing here, but these really deep feelings I have for her complicate everything. Logically, which is a mindset I am very familiar with because that is how I analyze an overwhelming majority of my experiences in life, it would make a lot more sense to end my involvement with Emm and move on. But, my emotions hinder that plan from coming to fruition, at least for the time being.

I've been involved with her for the past seven months, and that may not be very long in the grand scheme of relationships, but it's the longest I've ever been with someone by far. I've experienced and felt so many things with her that I haven't felt with anyone I was previously involved with. Essentially, the thought of being without her makes me sick to my stomach. But, I guess that doesn't really matter since it's coming off like she doesn't feel the same way, the fact of which is obviously my fault for cheating on her...

I guess I'm just seeking some guidance; some sort of plan of action that I can follow that, in your knowledgable opinions, could find some middle ground to satisfy both my desire to be happy and my desire to be in a relationship with her again.

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Saffron Raymie
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I think the best plan here would be to ask her how she feels about the two of you working through all the issues together, and then see if a relationship is workable in her eyes. It may take a long time before you can think about going back into an exclusive relationship. This is because issues need to be fully resolved before you go back into a relationship, otherwise the same problems will occur and may escalate.

Working through these issues may mean accepting Emm for who she is; someone who is not at all interested in having oral sex with you in that way. Everyone has things they are not interesting in or even repulsed by when it comes to sex, and that's perfectly okay. When a sex partner says no to doing something we want to do, we always have to accept that no. However, if there is something different you would like to try with her instead, asking about that would be fine, until you both find something that you like to do together.

I would ask you to think about whether Emm really is the right person for you to be in a relationship with right now. I ask because, you say you feel insecure because she is not comfortable saying that she loves you, or being romantic verbally. This is unlikely to change, because again, this is a limit that Emm has, which again, is perfectly fine. However, it could be really dangerous for you emotionally, because you feel as though she cares for other people 'more' than you, and doubt her feelings for you, as she cannot express things verbally. I understand how scary that feels, and I know that this is a limit you have, which, just like for Emm's limits, are perfectly fine. We have to respect our limits to keep ourselves from harm.

Perhaps you two could find a way that Emm can reassure without saying that she loves you, or expressing any deep feelings verbally? Maybe she could reassure you by using her actions, or saying something she is comforatble with? Or perhaps by showing affection in other ways, like with hugs or kisses? Though, this could be tricky in terms of compromising, because its such a clash of needs, if you get what I mean here?

Another factor in this, is that the relationship seems unhealthy in terms of you feeling like you *need* to be with Emm, even to the extent of ignoring your own unique limits and needs (like needing to be exclusive) rather than just wanting to be with her. This could put a lot of strain on the relationship, because it could lead to you becoming dependent on being with Emm to just feel okay in your own skin.

I know how much break-ups hurt, but it can be so much worse if we feel, well, that they're all we have in life. What about wolfm4n? What makes him special? What makes him fun? What makes you feel good in life that isn't Emm? Would you ever consider having counselling to help you and support you in really valuing yourself as a single person?

If you work out this dependency, and you and Emm do decide to try again after working through the issues, you may find that your feelings of insecurity about Emm's trouble with expressing her feelings, have become less of a problem. Also, if you break up again - which does tend to happen very often, with any relationship - you will be able to really take care about yourself. You'll love yourself as a person, and know that you're great, without Emm, and can get through any hurt.

People do manage to work through someone breaking their agreement to be exclusive without having sex with others ('cheating'), but it's very individual. So, that wold be something else to speak to Emm about. I know you already have, but sometimes we can have conflicting feelings about this, so it would be best to check in again.

It does sound like your sexual relationship became one sided, but respecting each other's absence of consent to do a certain activity and talking about what you would like to do, as well as what is completely out of the question, is a good way to an equal sex life.

But, again, you need to know whether this is just a break or a break-up, so a talk with Emm about that is needed. Is she interested in really working through these issues in a break? Or does she think a break-up is best for her?

Then you can either use the break to work on the issues, and to figure out whether this relationship really is a good fit for you, or use the break-up to work on feeling like you are a person in your own right - a separate person from Emm. This means doing a lot of work on discovering what makes you a great person.

Here are some links for you to check out:

Here's one on whether issues can realistically be resolved:

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/should_i_stay_or_should_i_go

One on consent if trying to work through the issues is an option you and Emm both agree is possible:

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/drivers_ed_for_the_sexual_superhighway_navigating_consent

One on fairness in sex, and one on how to talk about what you want and don't want in your sexual play:

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/read/reciprocity_reloaded

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexuality/be_a_blabbermouth_the_whys_whats_and_hows_of_talking_about_sex_with_a_partner

And, if you do find yourself faced with a break up, we are all here for back-up support. Here are some links for that:

http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/lena/2010/04/10/spotlight_on_scarleteen_breakups

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/boys_do_cry_how_to_deal_with_a_breakup_like_a_man

[ 10-20-2011, 06:36 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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wolfm4n
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I finally had that conversation with Emm today, and we are unfortunately over (actually over). Essentially, I was, and she was not, willing to work through the issues together, saying that she "doesn't have the energy." I would very much like to thank Heather and, especially, RaeRay2112 for your time, effort, and support.

I do not know if this is at all possible, but I would very much appreciate it if this thread could be deleted after you two have made any closing comments you might have. I just don't want to be able to view this every time I visit the website, nor would I want her to find it. Again, thank you very much.

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Saffron Raymie
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Hi wolfman, you're welcome about the help. [Smile]

I'll see what I can do about the thread and get back to you.

We're all here if you need any support with your healing around this.

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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