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Author Topic: I'm fantasizing about someone else?..
FrankieFrog
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Hi all..

So I've been dating my girlfriend for a few years now..but every once in awhile, I hit a period where I get most aroused by a girl I used to like- but only when I'm alone.

When i'm with my girlfriend, sexually or otherwise, I don't think of anyone else and i've always been faithful to her. As a matter of fact, i've always worn our relationship on my sleeve and never talked up a girl without expressly mentioning my unavailability..

I'm completely faithful and monogamous and I LOVE it this way..but for some strange reason..though I never see this girl much at all (she lives in a different state) and my girlfriend doesn't like her at all because I used to have a crush on her, I find the thought of her very arousing to me when i'm alone and my mind starts to wander..

It's not an obsession but I can't help just constantly feeling guilty about it...
I feel like i'm "cheating" and any of the times I orgasm with her in my mind I feel very guilty afterward though I know for an absolute fact I would never even act on the fantasies in my head..

Anyway, it's driving me nuts and I was hoping someone could explain to me what's going on and tell me i'm not a complete jackass for this..

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Robin Lee
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HI FrankieFrog,

No, you definitely are not a "jackass" for this. That I can assure you. It's quite clear that you're very committed to your girlfriend.

Even when we're partnered we still have a sexuality that's all our own. It's pretty much the same as still needing and having time to ourselves, hobbies or friends that we enjoy mostly independently of our partner, and so on. Our solo sexuality can include masturbation and other activities we enjoy on our own, such as fantasizing. I don't want to go so far as to say that one can never control one's thoughts, but from what you describe, these fantasies you're having come very much against your will. Would that be an accurate assessment of what you're talking about?

Nothing you've said here is wrong or bad, or indicates a wish to cheat on your girlfriend, or that you're actually doing so. What do you think you need in order to feel less guilty about this?

--------------------
Robin

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Heather
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I'd also add to this that a common idea we encounter from young people about monogamy is that monogamy is something people choose because they ONLY have feelings or thoughts about that one person.

In reality, save people who ARE earnestly obsessive about one person (which isn't healthy), or are in very new relationships, most people will not ONLY have sexual or romantic feelings or thoughts JUST about one person (including during sex, so even if *that* was happening, it'd hardly be unusual). In reality, when people choose monogamy, it's about choosing to only be with that one person because that's the one person they want to be with most at the time and have the opportunity to be with.

Does that help?

--------------------
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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FrankieFrog
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Thanks, both of you!

@Robin:
Well, yes and no..
I have a fair amount of control over my fantasies about her but they're usually so arousing to me that though I can stop them..I don't really want to :\
Which was what started the guilt in the first place..
The idea that I could stop fantasizing about her but it was too good to not.

I've thought of talking to my girlfriend about this to ease the guilt up but I don't see that conversation going well anyway..

My biggest issue with all this fantasizing is not exactly so much the guilt, I think..but more of my fear that this is unhealthy and can only end badly.
Also, in my fantasies, i'm always with my girlfriend already, which makes it all the more awful to me!..

I'm just caught in the middle because my girlfriend and I are only just turning 18, and so our sex lives are limited by curfews, the watchful eyes of our parents, etc.
And I think maybe it's because we can't fully get into our sexuality with each other yet that is making these fantasies of this girl so desirable..

As you can probably tell, i've given this a lot of thought, but at the end of the day whenever i'm feeling up to it and my mind drifts off about her..my fantasies just feel so wrong..
I mean, even though it's my fantasy, my girlfriend is always still my girlfriend in it!

Like, I would picture this other girl doing me, but I would also somehow incorporate the fact that I DO have a girlfriend into the fantasy!
I don't get turned on by the idea of cheating at all, nor do I find "mysterious" and "sneaky" sex to be appealing. In fact, I can't get aroused to the idea that I might get caught, even in reality.

So yeah..i'm really confused and worried and guilty that this is just plain sick and if it goes on I won't be able to live with myself because...I mean, my girlfriend has been swearing to me on her grandmother- whom she loves very VERY much, that she only ever masturbates thinking exclusively of me!
She says she occasionally becomes aroused thinking of an actor or a guy she sees on the bus, but it's "never enough to turn her on the way you do".

So it's like..i'm this sexual deviant fantasizing about another girl whom I find so hot in many many ways, when my girlfriend has been no doubt trying very hard to have sex with me in ways that I tell her I enjoy, and to think of new ways to please me.
She's so loving and caring and thoughtful and at the end, I can't even get it up to think about her and this other girl gets all the airtime in my head?..

Ugh..it feels messed up already..*head in hands*.

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FrankieFrog
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@Heather:

Yeah I guess it does help..

Except, of course, i've had chances to be with other girls that I liked- which is one of the reasons my girlfriend has been with me for so long.

She says i've already been given the chance to cheat but I never did, so she knows she doesn't have to worry.
One of such opportunities was with this girl from my school I know who is quite promiscuous and likes to party and drink, etc.
We used to hang out because I was the "clean" guy who was pretty much everybody's escort back home after the party, but one day I couldn't get her home because she kept falling over.
She was pretty much about to completely pass out so I took her to my house to let her get a drink.

The moment she got in, she stumbled around to find my bed and plomped into it.
Once she had, she tried to take off her shirt knowing I was there, and I rushed forward and stopped her.
I told her I had a girlfriend, and she's drunk, and she's being very stupid and she WILL regret this in the morning.
She then started giggling some stuff and totally passed out.
I threw my blanket on her, brought a warm drink up for her and went to sleep on the couch.

The way I see it..I could have done whatever I wanted to her that day, but I have always put my ethics first and foremost, and my love and commitment to having an exclusive relationship is steadfast and I would never do anything to break the trust we have.

I don't want to be with anyone else but my girlfriend, even if given the choice to have anyone else in the world, I would still pick her..

So thanks for telling me that it's natural and all..that actually helps [Smile]
Could you also elaborate a little on the guilt part of it, though?..
Like, is it healthy for me to be having these fantasies? Would it be more so unhealthy to try to shut them out completely?

I have these fantasies several times a day during the periods I talked about.
I'm now in the middle of a 2 week period.
The last time I had this bout of fantasies was several months ago..
So i'm not sure what it is but every few months I fantasize about another girl more often than my girlfriend, and it's always felt trashy to me but those I could usually live with.
But this one girl in particular, I was infatuated by before, and my girlfriend hates her!
It's a triple no-no!

Anyway, thanks for your quick responses..it's very much appreciated..i'm in such a pickle.

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Heather
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There's nothing about having any kind of sexual fantasy anyone knows to be UNhealthy, save that some kinds of fantasy can leave the people having them very distressed or disturbed. If and when that's the case, if they can't resolve those feelings, and they remain very distressed and disturbed, that's when one would tend to suggest something like talk therapy to help a person deal with those feelings of distress.

I'd certainly hope that something beyond monogamy would keep you from sexually assaulting someone blacked out. And I assume it would. But really, none of this is about if you'll "cheat" or not: after all, we can have feelings or desires for someone else and choose not to pursue them whether we're in a relationship or not. And no matter what, having those feelings isn't any kind of proof or anything you're secretly wanting to be a cheater or anything like that, you know? If nothing else, it's just proof you're breathing, seriously. People,most people, tend to have sexual interest or attraction to more than one person. There's nothing "trashy" about that.

Perhaps you can say more about why you think these thoughts are something for you to feel guilty about?

Let's say, for instance, as is probably true, your girlfriend also sometimes fantasizes about someone else, or has attraction to someone besides you. Do you think there would be any sound reason for her to feel bad about those thoughts?

--------------------
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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FrankieFrog
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Oh of course! Even before I got serious with my girlfriend, I had already had such encounters but i've always understood it to be very morally wrong- which is incidentally why I feel guilty about these fantasies..

I think it's mostly centered around the fact that i'm thinking about a girl that my girlfriend hates, and i've been infatuated with before, and so frequently.

I feel like i'm betraying my girlfriend because I mean, cmon, i'm fantasizing about her enemy!..
Granted, she has no other reason to hate this other girl besides the fact that she thinks she's my ex, but she's expressly told me she doesn't like this girl at all!

And I used to think this girl was the hottest girl on the planet..and we were quite good friends before I met my girlfriend, and during all that time I had secretly always fantasized about her.
Then my girlfriend came around, all those thoughts faded away, but then after a year or so..I started having these sexual thoughts about her again.

My girlfriend and I got into a fairly big argument before about this girl..she really put her foot down and told me not to talk to that girl anymore and when we got to the center of the issue, she told me she was worried I would fall for that girl again and forget about her.
Of course I reassured her it'd never happen and so on, and in my head this girl is NO WAY girlfriend material..

But combining the fact that my girlfriend hates her, and also is afraid i'll have feelings for her, and the fact that I used to indeed have feelings for her..
The whole thing just makes me feel like..maybe I AM regressing, yknow?
Then I ask myself if i'm falling back to my old loves but I know for a fact that that's not true!
I have 3 wonderful years of memories with my girlfriend!
We've had sex in all sorts of ways; this other girl and I never even held hands!

So i'm really confused..
I'm not falling out of love with my girlfriend or falling in love with that other girl..but the combination of my girlfriend suspecting me, me fantasizing about her and the fact that I used to like her..it all makes me feel like I actually AM doing something wrong..

And of course she shouldn't feel bad!
She's a girl, she's got her needs, and if I know in my heart that she's faithful to me and she doesn't scream out another guy's name when we're in bed then for sure it's okay.
Of course, I wouldn't want her to be fantasizing about a guy I hate..
Though if she couldn't help it and the guy is an Adonis of some kind then I might be okay with it so long as she doesn't blush when he passes and things like that that would point to it being more than simple fantasy.

In other words I guess so long as it's all just in her head and it's not someone I despise, she shouldn't feel bad at all.

But where do I draw the line for myself, yknow?..
I meet this other girl, and I end up taking glances at her cleavage..not that there's anything special with that because obviously i'm going to look regardless of the girl..
But for those few times I meet her, my mind wanders off to "what if" we snuck away to the bathroom or something, then I immediately snap out of it and feel despicable again, because I KNOW it's just fantasy and if she were to actually ask me pointblank to have sex with her i'd cut off all contact..but the fantasy of "what if" is still so appealing.

This whole thing is like...I don't want to "cheat", nor would I, but my fantasy includes the fact that I am having sex with a girl my girlfriend hates, after having told her all along that I don't have such feelings for this girl, and all with a girl that I actually DID have sexual feelings for before-

And all THAT, knowing full well I would never in reality!..

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Heather
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You know, I don't know about you, but I find the notion that some girl is her "enemy," who hasn't say, murdered her family, to be pretty outer limits. She doesn't like this person. Okay. But you know, she doesn't have to interact with her, because she can't read your mind. Your thoughts are private unless you choose to share them. What you're thinking has no impact on your girlfriend whatsoever.

Feelings or attraction we have had for people often don't just magically go away because we want them to, or someone tells us to. In fact, your girlfriend taking SUCH a hard stand here may have added an element of the taboo to all of this, which may make those thoughts even more exciting for you. That's how people tend to work sometimes with this stuff.

And we can't control a partner's thoughts, and it wouldn't be healthy to do if we could. So, even if you don't talk about it, both of you have to accept each of you may be attracted to people the other doesn't like, or have someone like that as an element of fantasy. That's just something we need to accept with partners. Thoughts aren't actions: they really can't hurt anyone. You can't betray someone with thoughts. Betrayals are about actions.

When people talk about "cheating," they are usually talking about actions. In someone's idea of "cheating" includes thoughts, then we and people like therapists would suggest that's not a healthy interpersonal framework: people need to be allowed to have the thoughts we have, especially since they often are not things in our control, like our actions are.

It's sounding to me like really, this is more an issue of how intensely insecure it sounds like your girlfriend is about this girl, and the things she demanded around her. You don't want your girlfriend feeling bad, because you clearly care for her, so you feel bad you are having thoughts you know she wouldn't like.

But a person really can't control their thoughts very much, so my best advice would be to try and work more through the difference between actions and thoughts, as well as recognizing that your girlfriend's bad feelings about this girl really are her issue to work with, not so much yours, and if SHE dialed down that intensity and insecurity for herself, she'd feel a lot better no matter what. And not only is that something you can't do for her, save just agreeing to just not talk about this girl together anymore, period (because why would you?), and doing what you can do to just basically demonstrate affection for your girlfriend, it's also not something your private thoughts can have any impact on, whatever they may or may not be.

Know what I mean?

--------------------
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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FrankieFrog
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Yeah..I get it now!

I guess because we have such an honest relationship and i'm so ethical, having private thoughts of such a nature feels really wrong to me, especially because i'm not honest to her about it..

But you're right, they ARE my own thoughts and if I choose not to share them then they need not hurt anybody, so..I should feel free to let my fantasies run without feeling guilty so long as I don't actually obsessively desire to be with another girl?

And yeah..my girlfriend has some pretty big insecurity problems..particularly with her own appearances. And i've always tried to help her and not attack her for it but all it takes is one other person to make an off comment and she would start questioning herself.
She keeps telling me "all girls" are like that and her hating this girl is simply a "girl" thing, but I don't really buy it.
I highly doubt that girls on a whole are that irrational and petty..

But that's a whole other story for a whole other section [Razz]

Thanks so much, Heather! I actually feel a lot more confident about this now, especially the part where you said her bad feelings for this girl are her issues and not mine, that makes a lot of sense. And perhaps my fantasies with this other girl can be being fueled by my girlfriend's so open dislike of her..

I guess I just need to realize that my thoughts are natural and normal and they do no harm to anyone, and I shouldn't feel this guilt hang over me for simply fantasizing about someone else without doing anything in reality to act on those fantasies.

Thank youu!! :-)

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Heather
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Sure thing.

I'd also add, since you're clearly someone very concerned about ethics, that sexual thoughts are really ethics-neutral. In other words, there's really no such thing as an unethical sexual thought, but no such thing as an ethical one, either. Not unless we think the nightmare world of Orwell's 1984 seemed like a good idea, anyway. [Smile]

But really, it sounds like a lot of this might about you trying to compensate for your girlfriend's insecurity, and thinking what's in your head can either help or hurt that, when really, either way? It doesn't have an impact unless you share those thoughts or those thoughts become motivation for actual actions you were to take with this other girl.

It's your girlfriend who's going to need to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to amping her own esteem and also dialing down her own girl-hate -- which seems bigger than this one girl. And the latter actually makes developing a positive self-esteem way harder, especially if one is, themselves, a girl, if you catch my drift. Because for sure, if "all girls" have big hate-ons for other girls, and have no self-worth, then for sure, those attitudes are going to make it mighty hard for her to see herself positively as a girl. If she's saying, as you say, all girls lack the ability of rational thought and are petty, then yep: that'd include her, which again, would make having a positive self-image mighty challenging.

My best advice if you want to contribute around those things are to a) let go of worries about your private thoughts, b) keep being the caring partner it sounds like you are, but maybe also c) if and when she gets started with how awful she looks or how crappy girls in general or other girls are, ask for a change of subject. In other words, don't engage that stuff: see if you can't steer both of you towards more positive, affirming things.

--------------------
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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