T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 96713
posted 08-26-2012 11:14 AM
Cryptic enough title, but so it goes.
Anyway, I have a boyfriend, and I love him dearly. He's really wonderful, truly. We'll have been dating four months on Tuesday (I don't usually know that, but I checked the date for reference here and that's cool). He said "I love you" first, and it made my heart melt. We communicate fabulously and we respect and love each other and it's wonderful. I need to focus on the positive here, because we haven't kissed yet and it's occasionally frustrating. Around our three month mark, we were hanging out with friends (who I gossiped to about the fact we hadn't kissed yet becasue they asked is that bad I'm freakin' out a little) and they jokingly texted me "SMOOCH HIS FACE!" and he got a mostly identical text with opposite pronouns. It was half a joke and half a suggestion, though I'm pretty sure they assumed our problem was nervousness rather than lack of consent. Rather than actually smooching his face without really asking, I sent him a message later on asking about that, about how he felt about kissing and trying to figure out where he stood. I wanted consent, because that's fair, right? Anyway, he said he didn't want to make our relationship solely on physicality and he wasn't really into the idea then. At first I was very frustrated because I felt, and still feel, ready for that. In my mind, I want to show him how I feel about him using thing like kissing and intimacy. I'm not saying we need to have sex NOW, but a kiss seems nice to me. I had to separate myself from the situation for a bit, a few hours of knitting and thinking. It's his right to not give consent, and if he doesn't want it I won't pressure him. My kneejerk reaction was wrong, but I didn't act on that because I know I had to think about it and take it in. So it's been a month, and obviously we still haven't kissed. Him not giving consent doesn't make me love him less. I fell for him, not his kisses after all. But it's still a little frustrating sometimes. I want to respect his lack of consent because that's what I'd expect from him if the roles were reversed. But four months seems like a long time. I want to communicate with him, ask him about why he doesn't want to kiss and see if I can help or we can reach a compromise. "Compromise" sounds weird, especially since I really don't want to "make him" consent or anything. I feel awful thinking like this, wanting so badly for him to say yes. I don't really know how to talk about this with him, because I don't want to make him feel like I'm pressuring him. How do I handle this?
Member # 90293
posted 08-26-2012 12:14 PM
HI Drumming Through Life and welcome to Scarleteen,
As I'm sure you know, kissing isn't the only way of expressing physical affection. Do you and your partner express physical affection in other ways? Have either of you had partners before? If so, was there kissing or physical affection (for you at least, you might not know what his experience were)? Relatedly, is it kissing you crave, or physical connection in general. It's terrific that yu respect his decisions around what happens to his body, but I also want you to know that you're not bad for wanting physical affection yourself. Connecting with people physically, and particularly connecting with someone we're in a romantic relationship with, is pretty integraal for many people. You wanting some type of physical relationship with your boyfriend doesn't make you a bad person. You wanting it and him not seeming to want it also doesn't make you bad; you're allowed to have your own wants and needs even as you respect his. So, to have a conversation with him, I'd suggest starting with telling him that you absolutely don't want to pressure him, that you respect his space and his right to decide that he doesn't want to kiss right now. you can also tell him that connecting with him physically is something you would like to do, telling him what it means to you. It would also be worth asking him what he thinks would change if the two of you kissed or otherwise engaged in intimate physical contact. He says that he doesn't want your relationship to be based on physicality. It sounds like the two of you have a really firm base of mutual respect and caring, so talking with him about how he thinks kissing or other intimate or sexual contact would change that seems like a good place to start. What do you think?
Member # 96713
posted 08-27-2012 06:12 PM
Wow, thanks for replying!
We do express physical affection in other ways, like hugs and snuggles and whatnot. I mean, nothing that most would perceive as "beyond" kissing, if you were to put it on a spectrum. Neither of us had partners in the past, so it's entirely new territory for both of us. Honestly, I don't want him to kiss me. I just want the level of physical affection between us to reflect how I really feel for him, if that makes sense. I just want more of a physical connection, and kissing is the next logical step. Thank you for helping me feel better about this too. A lot of the reason I hesitate to bring it back up is because I felt, and will still probably fall into thinking on occasion, that I'm not "allowed" to feel how I feel in a physical sense. I'll try to use what you've suggested and see where it goes. Maybe i'll reply again to tell you how it went too! Thanks again for the validation and help. I really appreciate it.
Member # 3
posted 08-27-2012 06:20 PM
I'd also add that I think at this stage in the game, it'd be okay to ask, in a non-pressurely way, if he feels he will ever want a more physical relationship with you.
In other words, is that something he's actually seeking out in his life and with you right now, or is that something he just doesn't want, period? In other words, I think finding out more about what each of you is looking for right now might help you both out, and also give you information to figure out if this is something sound for you to keep pursuing or not.