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Author Topic: dont know what to call this post.
georgiexx
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I was just reading through some other posts on here that other users have left,as well as a couple articles you have written, and I've been thinking about some of the advice that you have given me and those other users. Basically, I find it really hard to accept that if your sexual/romantic relationship isn't going well, and you for some reason just 'don't fit together' sexually,then you should simply just end that kind of relationship you are having, as if it's really easy.

For example, When i have said in the past about my difficulties with sex and masturbation, heather,you have said that it might be a good idea to turn our relationship into an'affectionate friendship'.I can totally understand how that might work with some couples, but for some reason, my mind just doesn't work that way. I'm not leaving this post because I'm still stuck on that particular issue, I am not breaking up with my boyfriend or changing the type of relationship we have (even though i still dont really enjoy the physical feelings of sex) BUT it has just been playing on my mind, am I the only person who thinks that simply changing a long term relationship into a friendship is literally a simple way of solving the problem and being happy?

If you really are in love with someone, emotionally and physically, and you get along and love each other's company, but for some reason your sexualities are different and cause a bit of a problem, in MY case, breaking up with my boyfriend because of that would not make me happier, i would be completely depressed, because I dont see him as a friend, i see him as my boyfriend. and surely if we did become just 'affectioante friends' that would leave us both open to have sexual relationships with other people, even though i wouldnt want to because i dont want to sleep with someone i dont love, and i would be completely devastated if he did the same, because in my head and heart i would still be in love with him.

im not entirely sure what im getting at here, this is just me rambling my thoughts that have been bugging me lately. Basically, how do you find it so easy to say that changing the type of relationship you have to friendship will make things better? like its so easy and straight forward. i just dont understand, my brain doesnt seem to work that way.

i dont particuarly enjoy the physical feeling of any sexual activity that involves genitals, but my boyfriend does. I do however, like the closeness and intimacy of it most of the time. is this the kind of problem that makes us a complete mismatch? even though every other aspect of our relationship is alright?

by not feeling much during sexual activity, am i missing out on something spectacular? is good sex really that amazing and important for a relationship to work?

im really sorry if some of this doesnt make sense, i am terrible at articulating my words and saying what i really mean!

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Heather
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I'm not sure why you're assuming that ending or changing a relationship is easy, or that we think it is, because we're saying that it's sometimes necessary.

Can you maybe explain that to me a little better?

Maybe you could also fill me in a little bit on your thoughts in a scenario like this: let's say you change or leave one relationship that isn't working in some core ways. Doing that winds up, eventually, resulting in you finding another that worked in all the ways the other one did, in which you have all the kinds of positive feelings and love you had in the previous one, but which ALSO works in the ways that one did not and was without the conflicts it had. In which relationship do you think you'd be likely to be happiest (same goes for the other person in it)?

Could you maybe also fill me in on scenarios where you DO think it's sound or sensible to change or leave a sexual relationship because some core part of it wasn't working or workable? Like, what if your partner figured out he was gay, but you were agreeing to be in a sexual relationship in which he no longer had those feelings for you?

Lastly, should we maybe talk about change, as a whole? About how change, even when positive, is often challenging, difficult, and sometimes even painful, but needed and/or very worthwhile, including in the parts of the process that can hurt?

(I'm about to take an extended break because I've already worked almost seven hours today, but I'll be back in a few hours again.)

[ 07-05-2011, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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Heather
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Whoops! Spaced out asking one more thing I think is important.

You asked:
quote:
is good sex really that amazing and important for a relationship to work?
If the relationship isn't sexual or doesn't have sex as part of it, no.

Let's ask this, instead, to try and maybe get at something:

Is good friendship really that amazing and important for a relationship (that involves friendship, and which friendship is part of) to work?

--------------------
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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georgiexx
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i dont assume that you think it's easy to end or change a relationship, i guess i just felt like thats how it came across when you advise it. but thinking about it now i guess thatmakes sense becausr you arnt emotionally involved in the situation, you are just giving the best advice you think would work.

About leaving a relationship and then finding another one which ticks even more boxes that the last one did, obviously that would make you much happier, but what if you dont? what if i left my boyfriend, met other potential boyfriends in the future, and i dont enjoy sex with them either? it would be horrid knowing i ended the relationship with someone i really was in love with, to find that nothing positively changed because of it.

if i found out my boyfriend was gay? i have no idea what i would do, this might sound weird but in a way i would probably prefer that reason to ending the relationship compared to the reason being sexual problems. I say that because, at least then i know there is absolutely nothing i could do, and if he found love again, it would be with a man and i wouldnt feel like he had just forgotten about me because he didnt love me anymore, it would simply be because he likes men. where as if we split up because i dont enjoy sex, he would be single, i would be single, he could go on to find love again with a woman who does enjoy sex, and i would be heartbroken knowing that he was with another woman thats not me. just because my genitals dont respond to someone touching them. just seems so pointless and a bit heartbreaking for me.

i have to admit, i dont think im a fan of change. i like the fact that i can walk into my boyfriends house, even if hes not there and make myself at home. i can treat his home like it's mine, i like the fact i am now friends with his friends and we all go out together reguarly. theres so many other routine type aspects of our relationship that i love, that wouldnt be the same with anybody else. because every relationship is different. but i like this one, and i dont want a different routine. everyone we know knows us as a couple,we come as a pair, and i like that. I'd hate it if that were to change.

your last question, surely friendship is so much more important than sex anyway? a relationship with amazing friendship but not great sex sounds alot better then a relationship with no friendship or emotional compatibility but good sex.
in any relationship, sexual or not, friendship should be a part of it. i would have thought that friendship, compatibility, affection and conversation overpower sex? even though it gets me down and i REALLY feel quite sexually frustrated, i dont think it would make a difference if it was with my boyfriend, me doing it myself, or some other guy doing it, its not going to feel good.

my view is probably really weird, but thats how i think.

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Heather
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I think one thing I'm hearing you say is that you feel like, for you, you really need to hear more acknowledgment from me that ending, changing and/or leaving a relationship can be very hard.

If so, I can certainly see that it might be easy to pick up a vibe from me, personally, that I don't get that, because I had to leave/end some relationships in my life, including very early on, in tremendously difficult circumstances. For instance, I had to leave home at 15 because of family issues. I had one of my first loves "leave" me by dying. Because of those situations, while I will not say I find leaving or ending things at all easy, I do have a bell curve in my own life that makes it mighty tough for other kinds of leaving to seem like the world will end, even when it's hard or painful, because I have gone through situations where it felt like that, and the world, indeed, did not end. So, you may be picking up on that.

I also, if it helps to know, see people suffering through a lot of relationships that aren't working for them and dealing with some longtime not-good, or even just not-great. I have to counsel a lot of those folks. But I also often see what happens when people do get out of things that aren't working and are then able to experience what it's like when things ARE working, and I know they're much, much happier, pretty much always.

But I can most certainly make an extra effort when talking with you (I haven't had others express what you are to me before), to approach the idea of change or leaving with you with more understanding that you find even the idea of it exceptionally difficult. I'm so sorry if you feel I've been insensitive in any way.

With the issue of a boyfriend being gay, understand that that IS a sexual problem. Not being gay itself, but being in a relationship with someone to whom you don't have sexual feelings, especially if you are expected to be sexual with them, ans also being unable to find partners for whom you do have those feelings and be sexual with them very much is a sexual problem. Catch my drift?

I think it might help to recognize that just like in that situation there's very little anyone can do, the same goes when someone just isn't feeling sexual desires or enjoyment, and have worked very hard to try without results. There's likely little that can be done in a relationship where that is happening, too.

With that last question, I wasn't asking you to compare friendship to sex, or rate which of the two you feel is bigger or more important.

Rather, what I was saying was that just like in a relationship in which there is expected to be friendship, that the friendship not being good or people not enjoying it is a big problem, same goes with a relationship in which there is expected to be sex and it's not good or not enjoyed.

Let's not call you weird, okay? Let's just know you're an individual with your own thoughts, beliefs, ideas and experiences. We're all not the same person, after all.

But one thing I hear you saying is that you are afraid of change, and the idea of it really upsets you. But I also hear you saying you can't envision positive change. In other words, you seem to be saying you cannot imagine you could experience your sexuality or sex any differently than you do now in your life. Did I get that right?

If I did, is there anything else in your life right now that you're not happy with or feeling good about where you can envision positive change, and feeling very differently in the future?

[ 07-05-2011, 04:41 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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Karybu
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Hey georgie, I hope it's okay if I jump in here. I thought it might help a bit if you could hear from someone who's been in a situation which was similar in some ways to yours. (This might get a bit long, hopefully that's okay!)

Several years ago, I was in a relationship that was my first really serious: we were together for almost three years, lived together for a bit, we knew each other's families well, the whole deal. But about a year and a half in, it became clear (well, not to me or him, but almost everybody else) that we didn't have much of anything in common in the way of interests, hobbies, politics, anything. We got along really well, hardly ever had a disagreement, had several inside jokes and a similar sense of humour, but we were so incompatible in so many ways that looking back I'm kind of amazed we stayed together as long as we did.

It took me months to figure out why I wasn't happy, and when I did, I kept trying to force things to work: I tried to get interested in things he was interested in (which never really worked), tried to find new things we could do together, but it just wasn't happening. (At the risk of oversharing, our sex life totally bit the dust too, because the initial chemistry and physical attraction that had been there at the beginning just wasn't anymore.) I didn't want to leave though; I've never dealt with change well, and somehow I felt that if I did end the romantic part of the relationship, and we became friends or just acquaintances instead, that that would mean the whole thing would have been a waste. So I spent a bunch more months being miserable but not doing anything about it, because I figured that even if this wasn't the best relationship to be in, it was a relationship, so who was I to complain?

Finally, my ex-boyfriend decided that he'd had enough, he knew I wasn't happy and he didn't want me to keep being unhappy, so after talking about it for a few days, we decided together that it would be best if we ended our romantic relationship. I was scared - like I said, not a fan of change, here - and spent quite a lot of time upset and worried that I'd never find anything nearly as good.

But I DID find another partner, someone who I have loads in common with, who is a really good friend, who I have massive sexual chemistry with, and who is just all around awesome.

So. The point of all that is that I know - I do - how scary it can be to think that if this relationship becomes a friendship, what if you never find another romantic relationship that's as good? But from all your posts here, it sounds like this relationship isn't the greatest fit for you, and to be perfectly honest, there's a really, really good chance that there's someone (or someones!) else who you'd be thrilled to be with, and who could build a relationship with you that's even better.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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georgiexx
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yeah i guess so, i sometimes just feel like "does everyone else find this idea alot easier to deal with than me, cos it seems it" and i feel like im maybe too obsessed with the whole fairytale ending where you fall in love and everything perfect etc..
and yes i think that is what im picking up on, i have read about that before, because you have written about it on here, and to be honest, my relationship problems are quite minor compared to some of the things other people here have been through, and i understand that when other people who have really been through hell with relationships hear about my relationship problems it doesnt seem that heartbreaking. and i really do get that.
i dont think you have been insensitive, i just think maybe I'M too sensitive, and also maybe i dont like hearing the truth.

i get that, about the whole gay thing. i guess that is the same thing really, just seems different in my head.

yes, you are right, i cannot imagine anything being different regarding my sexlife and how little i enjoy it etc. i just find it hard to believe that anything is going to make that change. which is so depressing for me, because i want a great sex life so badly, i want all those amazing feelings both emotional and physical that people talk about, i get aroused thinking about it but thats as far as that goes and i dont see that changing.

and you're last question, yes actually there is. a couple months ago i would have said no, everything sucks and always will suck. but now iv actually made some decisions regarding my education and career which will change things for me very positively (hopefully!) and while im very nervous, scared and a bit "meh i dont want to!" because i dont like change or the idea of being a responsible adult who takes care of herself (i'll have to move into my own flat if i go to the university i want to go to) i still know that that part of my life will improve because of it, and i'll actually be doing something i love.

so yeah i can see other parts of my life chaning positively.

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Heather
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I'm so glad to hear that you're finding yourself able to visualize positive changes in some areas of your life. I agree, it seems like that would have been unlikely a couple of months ago. Big yay!

Do you have any sense at all of why you have a hard time doing that around sex and romantic relationships?

Have you also maybe thought, around you talking about that "fairytale" outcome above, that while many romantic ideals really aren't realistic, that having a really awesome relationship all around IS possible, but is a lot more likely when you're willing to at least consider only accepting relationships and staying in them when they seem earnestly likely to be very awesome and have been so, in all the core ways (including sex, if we're talking about a sexual relationship or one which includes sex) right from the start?

--------------------
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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Heather
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Actually, let me go ahead and try another analogy, here.

Let's say what I'm after in life is a totally awesome job, one which pays me what I want, where I feel challenged but not overworked, where I'm really into what I'm doing and really love what I'm doing.

Let's say that right now, I have a job. It pays okay, and might someday pay better, but I've been here a few years with only the teeniest raise once, so that probably isn't likely. I like some of what I do in this job, but other parts of it are a real drag, or even just deathly boring. It asks some things of me that are challenging, but some of what it asks of me are things I just know I can't do or don't want to do.

Now, there are other jobs out there. But I don't even look at the want ads to see what they are, or go on any interviews. In fact, there's a job out there right now that is EXACTLY what I want, but because I don't look to even find it, and won't consider leaving this other job, or trying something else, I won't get it, and won't even know it's out there to get.

In that situation, does it seem likely the job I have now will turn into what I really want, or like that job, and my not looking for others, might be keeping me from what I really want, and even knowing the possibilities?

--------------------
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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georgiexx
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(I'm so so sorry, I meant to edit a post of my own and somehow edited yours! Not sure how that happened, I do apologize. -Karybu)

[ 07-05-2011, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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Heather
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I think you've identified some really important feelings here, and I'm glad you feel able to be so honest about them.

I hear you saying that one reason you might feel stuck is because you saw and still see having sex for the first time as something that is only "not wasted" if done with someone with whom you will be with in a sexual relationship forever, to the exclusion of everyone else.

If I have that right, knowing that that is not a situation which the vast, vast majority of people in the world find themselves in - in other words, very, very few people spend a whole lifetime in the relationship in which they had first sexual experiences -- how does that work with what you're thinking and feeling? And what if, just what if, no experiences we ever have are wasted in life, but are all valuable, even if and when certain outcomes aren't what we want? For instance, some of the tough stuff I went through? Those were freaking awful experiences, and so not what I wanted, but I got a lot of valuable things out of them, and without them, I'm pretty sure I'd be a very different person, less rich of a person than I would have been without them.

Can I also ask you if you feel afraid of leaving this relationship? Or afraid of all the other possibilities? Perhaps pushing a little more still, can I ask if you ever think you enjoy, weird as it sounds, being unhappy in some of the ways you have been or afraid of being really happy?

--------------------
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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Heather
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I realized I've never asked you something else: have you ever left or radically changed ANY situation or relationship you've not been happy with in your life before?

If so, can you tell me about one of those experiences?

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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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georgiexx
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i know its a really unrealistic idealistic view. and i know its silly. im so open to other people doing whatever they wanna do sexually. i have friends who have lost count of how many sexual partners they have had, and i dont feel weird about that at all, i dont think they are bad for doing that. and i know the vast vast majority of people have more than one sexual partner, they have more than one relationship, i know this, and yet when it comes down to me, i cant accept myself doing that. i dont want to do that, even if it means that maybe i will miss out on having 'good sex'. though i still believe it wont get better no matter who its with.

when it comes to bad experiences, i do regret losing my virginity the time and way i did. but i have had other types of sex with other people before my boyfriend, and i didnt particuarly like those either (except for one time which iv spoke about before) but even though they were not great decisions, and i didnt do them for the right reasons, i dont regret it happening because as you said, its made me who i am.For me, my first 'proper' sexual act that i experienced effected me pretty badly, i gave oral sex to someone, and then he just got up and walked away from me and from then on i was obssessed with him, cried over him, wished that he would like me more than the other girls etc... it was horrid and thats when i first started counselling. but if that hadnt of happened i would have gone counselling and i wouldnt have learnt things about myself that i have.

that was all a pretty long winded way of saying, i have been through experiences that wernt nice but i understand they have shaped who i am now.

but with my boyfriend, i dont know. for SO long before him i had my dream. my romantic dream, of finally getting a boyfriend, falling in love, doing all the cliche stuff new couples do (which i never even got to do which makes me sad) and losing my virginity, after being with them for a while, and once i was really ready, and it being a great experience (as great as first times can be anyway) but it wasnt. i did it far too soon and i dont even know why. i was bordeline obssessed with how my first time was gonna be, then randomly went against all of that and regretted it straight away.

your last question. i have no idea, iv had friends come and go, iv had close friends who are no longer close friends, if that counts?

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Heather
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Please know I don't think your feelings are silly. Our feelings are what they are, same with our ideals. Even if they're not realistic, they're real to us and they matter.

The friends that came and went, was this about YOU actually taking action to change or end those friendships?

With the other stuff you mentioned in this reply, I have something for you to just give some thought to. I need to end my workday now, so I need some of my own time, anyway, but I also think it's something best for you to sleep on before we talk about it again, anyway. I'll be around all day tomorrow if you want to keep talking and pick up then.

So, here's what I've got for you.

I want you to try, really hard, to imagine what you really need and want in order for a sexual relationship to be something that is the right thing for you, and something where you earnestly enjoy yourself. To do that, you might need to stretch a little, and try and think outside what you know or think is what other people need and want, or what partners have needed or wanted.

In other words, for your life and sexuality right now, as you know it, what would be right? Do you really, truly WANT to be sexual with someone else right now, be it your boyfriend or anyone else? If so, in what ways? What things do you know you enjoy and do you know you want to explore?

If you feel like right now, the right thing for you in a sexual relationship would be a relationship that didn't involve any kind of sex at all, what does THAT kind of relationship (or relationships, plural, since after all, we can have more than one person in our lives, you already do have friends, family members, etc.) look like in your imagination? When you imagine it, does that feel good to you?

Lastly, let's say, just because we can, that you haven't yet really HAD your first time. In other words, you want a first time experience in which part of it is something that feels really great to you, emotionally and physically, and that you can feel is valuable, whether the relationship it happens in lasts until you die or not. What do you think you need -- with someone else and within yourself -- for whatever that is (and it doesn't have to be about vaginal intercourse, by the way) to happen, and for you to feel good about it as a moment, regardless of whatever happens afterward?

With all of these, I'd really like you to focus on the person you are right now, and accepting that person, not on pretending or wishing you were someone else who feels differently than you do. You do not need to be or become a radically different person, after all, or be like someone else, to be happy and to only be in relationships that are the right ones for you, and have sexual experiences that are the right ones for you.

Big questions, I know, and maybe you won't have the answers by tomorrow. If not, that's okay, but I think that if you can think about this, or at least start to, tonight, it might start to benefit you a lot.

--------------------
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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Karybu
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quote:
i didnt see your message until after i replied karybu, didnt mean to ignore it. it is reassuring to hear that positive change is really likely when it comes to relationships so thank you for your response. can i ask, did you remain friends with your ex? it all just seems so strange to me, going from being in love, sleeping together,kissing, being affectionate, to plain and simple friends, it just turns into a big muddle in my head that i cant seem to make sense of.
For awhile, we did stay friends (and it helped that we had a lot of friends in common, so we still saw each other not-infrequently). But then I met my current partner, and ended up moving halfway around the world to be with him, and my ex moved too, for school. Even before that, though, we kind of shifted to become more acquaintances than anything - like I said, we didn't really have a lot of interests in common, and so even though we liked spending time together, it was hard to find things we could do together and both enjoy. But, we do run into each other on occasion and have a few minutes catching up: he's happy that I'm happy, and vice versa.

I know that may not be what you wanted to hear, and when we broke up, it wouldn't have been what I'd want to hear either. But you know what? It works. It wasn't easy, and there was definitely a period where it felt weird not to have him in my life as a romantic and sexual partner, but we are both honestly in relationships that are better for us in so many ways than the one we were in together. That doesn't mean that that particular relationship wasn't important to me, or that it had no good parts: some of it was very good, and he and it were incredibly important to me in a lot of ways. But it wasn't a good fit, and I can see that so clearly now, even though it was really difficult at the time.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Kachina
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If you are looking for a positive anecdote of a relationship changing status, I have one.

With my first serious relationship things seemed perfect to me at the time, but my boyfriend didn't think so, and broke up with me. He didn't want to end all contact, he told me I was his best friend and he'd like to remain friends. That was very hard (I probably should have taken a break from him for awhile before going to friends, because one of the areas we WERE compatible was sex, and we sometimes had sex even though I was trying to get over him, which did not help me get over him frankly).

However, now I have a partner I am MUCH more compatible with and can see with more clarity how I was not as compatible with my previous boyfriend as I thought! We were young when we started dating, so some things weren't important then (like plans for the future) but are important to me now, and would not have worked with him. We didn't have the same wants and needs for life. But he is still one of my best friends. (we broke up 7 years ago). Our friendship is better than our relationship would be, and although it was difficult to transition, it was worth it!

Also, I see you saying that you would feel like you "wasted" something of your relationship ended because you had a first sexual experience with him. I know our culture encourages this thinking, that if a relationship ends it's a "failure" (whether it was your first or not). We say when people divorce that the marriage "failed". But then we call it a success when they stay married, even if they are miserable and abusive!! This isn't right, to me. I rather think my relationship I was just talking about was a SUCCESS, even though it's not continuing in it's same form. I even think my relationships that didn't change to friendships were successes! Each one taught me how to be a better partner, what I want in a partner, and many other things. I wouldn't have such a great relationship now if it were not for all my previous experiences.

As to him being your "first" sexually (i hate the term "losing virginity" because it implies you LOST something, which is not true!) this isn't even really true. I promise you that you have not experienced all there is to experience sexually! You can have MANY more firsts! Despite having kinds of sex for 6 years before my current partner, there are many things we have done together that I have never done with anyone else, many "firsts" I have had with him. Not to mention that every single partner, even if you are doing the same things, is a different experience. The emotions are different, their body is different, the situation, time and place are all different.

If you want a more enjoyable first time I do believe you can have that! Please don't feel like you are a failure or that just because you had a bad first experience it means you can never have a good one. Even if you have no interest in certain kinds of sex or any sex at all, you can still have a romantic partner who is into or not into the same things you are.

[ 07-05-2011, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: KatWA ]

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georgiexx
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The friendships that ended, i guess i kind of got pissed off and decided i didnt care if we wernt friends anymore for some of them, because they had changed or i realised i didnt actually like them as people anymore.i didnt actually directly leave and say 'i dont want to be friends', they were more kind of, arguing and then just not talking and then graduallly faded to no friendship anymore. Some of them though, we just drifted apart and i allowed that to happen because we had naturally drifted so i didnt feel too upset about it anyway. although sometimes i did feel guilty about that, because it felt like i was just being mean and not making an effort.

um, those questions you have asked are pretty difficult, im terrible with questions like this, because i dont really know myself very well i find.

for a sexual relationship to be right for me, and something i would enjoy, it would need to feel physically nice i guess, which it doesnt currently. it would need to feel close, intimate, loving and i would need to have some physical pleasure from it, those are the things i would need to enjoy it, which i obviously dont have at the moment (apart from the fact that sometimes it can be quite loving)

but for my life and sexuality as it is right now,im pretty sure i want to be sexual with someone else. the only reason i wouldnt want to be is because of the simple fact i dont get any real pleasure out of it, even though i want it, feel turned on by the thought of it and desire it, basically.

im trying to think really hard about if there are any things sexually that i know i enjoy. but tbh i cant think of anything. i mean, i like the closeness and the loving feeling i get sometimes from cuddling naked, but that isnt really a physical pleasure. there is absolutely nothing that feels physically good when it comes to my genitals. although in MY HEAD im turned on by the thought that he is touching them, which is weird seeing as my body just doesnt respond with pleasure. sometimes i like to see that my boyfriend is enjoying himself, because of some sexual act im performing on him, but i guess i dont really get physical pleasure out of that, maybe i used to, but now i just feel envious at the pleasure hes feeling, that im not.

when i watch certain porn clips (note that most porn clips do absolutely NOTHING for me, and im not concerned about that, i know porn isnt for everyone) but when i watch the very few that i do like to watch, the things that turn me on the most are watching males doing something sexual to a girl that gives them pleasure, and im not talking about the pornos where the girl is quite obviously acting out pleasure and faking the noises and so on, i mean the ones where its genuine, or at least looks and sounds genuine. and when i watch them, i want those things done to me, and iv had them done to me, plenty of times, but yet it does nothing, so even the things i like the idea of, dont do anything for me, this is where it gets frustrating. because im always being told to focus on the things i do enjoy, but what if i enjoy nothing? sexually i mean. even though they are what i desire, and get aroused by the thought of?

in other words, you are asking me what i would need in a 'first time' to feel good about it after, and to make it a satisfying and happy experience? okay, well i would want it to be with someone i loce and care about, and who loves and cares about me. it would have to be gradual, not just getting straight into it, but maybe kissing for ages, and then talking a bit, and then kissing, and then gradually leading on to other sexual things. it would have to be gentle and kind on his part, and i would want him to be reassuring by using words as well as non verbally reassuring me, by doing things like holding my hand or cuddling me. and in my ideal world, if i could have a first time again, it would probably not involve intercourse, i wouldnt go that far, unless it was feeling REALLY good physically and i just wanted to keep going and end up doing that. id want it to be things like manual sex, and oral, but if i wanted it to be a happy, satisfying experience, it would have to feel good, physically. i would need physical pleasure from it, otherwise the whole point in me wanting to do it would be lost. i want to feel physical pleasure. im not saying i would want this amazing mind blowing sensation followed by a heart stopping orgasm. i dont even care about orgasm right now, theres no point in even thinking of orgasm because im nowhere near there. im just talking about some kind of physical, pleasurable sensations. and then afterwards, i would need affection, like just cuddling, a bit of talking, little kisses and so on, until we fall asleep or whatever.

those are the things i would need for my first time to be really great and something i would feel happy about and definitely not regret.

are these things i want in a first time unrealistic?

thinking about it, you said to answer these questions focusing on who i am right now and accepting who i am. and in that case, those things i just said i wanted in a first time, are unrealistic arnt they? well, most of them are possible, apart from the physical pleasure part, because im not going to feel that. and thats one of the main reasons why it would be a happy satisfying experience for me and without that it wouldnt really be, even if all the other things i said were there.

so thinking about it, i just really shouldnt have sex should i, no matter how much i want to, and no matter how much i desire it. because im not going to get from it, what i want.

i hope iv understood your questions correctly, i answered them as i percieved them as best as i could.

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Heather
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This is all really great stuff. You said you're terrible with questions like this, but I'm not seeing that at all! [Smile] I hope that as a process, it was valuable for you.

Looking at what you've written here, no, this does NOT seem unrealistic to me, not for you or anyone, not at all. How realistic it's going to be, though, is going to depend a whole lot on what situation this would be likely to, or not likely to, happen in.

To give you an idea of the kinds of things that can be unrealistic, you may want to check this out: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/sorting_maybe_from_cantbe_reality_checking_partnered_sex_wants_ideals

Per that situation, we'd be talking about a few things. You're talking about a first time as things with a partner. So, who is that partner? Are they the kind of person who seems likely to do all of those things? What about you: are you able to tell that person these are the things you really want? Is the relationship you're in with that person one where things and dynamics like this seem likely? If so, a lot of this is probably already there, in that relationship. Where are you at in your head and heart? Are you feeling very open to all of this, able to kind of let go and relax with it? Able to voice when things don't feel good and communicate to find out what does?

See what I mean about the ways this is realistic, but situational?

quote:
im trying to think really hard about if there are any things sexually that i know i enjoy. but tbh i cant think of anything. i mean, i like the closeness and the loving feeling i get sometimes from cuddling naked, but that isn't really a physical pleasure. there is absolutely nothing that feels physically good when it comes to my genitals.
Are you saying that naked cuddling doesn't feel physically good? If that's not what you're saying, and it does, then yes, that's physical, too. Sex doesn't just have to be genital, and what sex is is/can be about whole bodies, not just genitals. I personally suspect that some of your deal with things not feeling good genitally has a lot to do with engaging your genitals when that just isn't what you want yet, and you haven't really gotten enough of all the things you DO want. As you know, I'm also not sure this partner is someone you're really feeling all that sexual with, or have a history with, sexually, where you're likely to have positive feelings about genital sex so it can feel good, but that's a bit up for grabs.

Can I ask, when you're watching what you express you do like and get turned on by in porn, are you putting yourself in the picture at all? If so, what role are you in in that picture: the woman "getting" that pleasure or the man "giving" it? (This isn't a trick question, by the way. Just trying to get a read more specifically on what you get aroused by, because there may be some helpful cues in there.)

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georgiexx
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the only thing i want on that list in the link you left, is 'You say: "I need everyone to have an orgasm. Or, at least, for sex to be awesome for both of us."
minus the orgasm part, because i know its very unrealistic to be expecting an orgasm right now when i cant even feel pleasure.

well, id like that partner to be my current boyfriend. but then your next question, would he be capable of doing these things? probably not, because he rarely has. i've asked him to take it slower before and iv said i like lots of kissing first, and he has done that, but from my view of it, it always seemed like he was going through the motions of doing it because i asked him to, not because he was really feeling it, because what he really wanted to do was just have PIV sex. so i never really felt like it meant the same for him as i wanted it to mean for me.

and the verbal stuff, talking and everything. i dont think hes comfortable with it, thinking about it now. the very first time we did had sex, he actually did reassure me verbally, which was nice, (the only nice thing about it really) but he wouldnt do it now because obviously he doesnt think i need reassurance, because he doesnt know half the stuff i feel about sex, he doesnt even know that i post this on here, i mentioned it to him once and he only seemed vaguely interested. i dont think he likes talking about sex, because whenever i have tried (which takes alot of courage for me) he doesnt really respond with anything.
i dont know if im being hard on him. he might accept all this if i told him sincerely how i felt and he might want to really get involved with doing these things, but iv never really got that far with asking because it never feels like hes interested in talking about it. but on the other hand. at the moment, he thinks i like sex. because i pretend i do. i pretend that im enjoying it while we are doing it. why? i have no idea, because i like to imagine in my head that im feeling pleasure i think, and it makes me feel better temporarily just pretending that i do. so yeah, i cant really blame him, he doesnt even know i dont feel anything. when we first started sleeping together, i didnt respond at all, i just layed there. after a while of doing it like this he got upset, (which surprised me, i dont know why i thought he wasnt going to notice me laying there like a dead fish) and he said he feels like im not enjoying it blah blah. and i lied and said i do like it, and then eventually he took my word, even though looking back it was pretty obvious i didnt feel anything. and then i started pretending. i didnt pretend i orgasmed, i just pretended that i enjoyed it and felt pleasure. then one day, about a year ago, i burst into tears and told him the truth, and he was so nice about it and was just like its okay its not the most important thing in the world rah rah. and we stopped having sex, but then i started initiating it and i dont know why, probably cos i was horny. but obviosuly it didnt do anything. and then i started pretending i liked it again, and recently iv even been saying things like "i feel like iv been becoming more sexual lately" when i havent, iv just been getting more and more horny, but still not enjoying sex. so at the moment, he believes i like it, which isnt his fault its mine. its so ridiculous.

when something hurts (because sometimes it does after a while of feeling nothing, i go dry) i dont even say it hurts, and i dont know why. i have thrush atm (for the millionth time) and when the symptoms first came on a few days ago, we were having sex and he noticed i was dry and he even said "you're quite dry, do you want me to stop?" and i said no carry on, and i dont know why!! its like my brain just goes into robot mode and i just dont express any true feelings. its so weird. he even said "are you sure?" and i still said yeah, it still feels good!

but even when i have said before, can we try this etc, nothing feels good anyway.

i am saying that naked cuddling feels good in my head, but not physically. as in i like it because i feel sexy when im in bed not wearing anything and hes not wearing anything and i find him sexy and in my head i always think stuff like how loving it feels, and intimate, and how sexy he is at that moment. but physically, i dont get any feelings on my body, on my skin, any sensations etc. is that meant to happen? because i dont get them. i only get nice thoughts.

when im watching the porn, i put myself in the womens position, recieving the pleasure. either that or i just watch it, get turned on and then feel depressed that i will never feel what shes feeling in the video.

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Heather
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Okay.

So, you're not likely to be surprised that what I'm hearing you voice, again, is that you two seem to really want very different things, and also that communication has really broken down around sex (if it ever was there at all), so even if you might be able to meet in the middle, and that middle was acceptable to you, unless the communication dynamics radically change between you (which would include not faking pleasure, ever, nor going without voicing pain), that's not at all likely.

Where does that leave you?

Well, with the same choices we have talked about. You can make both make real efforts to radically change your sexual relationship and dynamics, including with communication, and see if that helps. You can stop having a sexual relationship at all. Or, you can change nothing and accept this aspect of your relationship is bad for you, not at all what you want, and will likely continue to make you more and more unhappy and probably feel worse and worse, physically and emotionally.

Those are all options, all choices you get to make, none more valid than the other, because you get to decide what you want and choose around that. But the thing to know is that if you are feeling like you want to keep making that third choice, there's really no kind of help anyone can give you with it, just like if I decided to stay with a job that wasn't working for me in a big way, but not look for anything else, work hard with HR to improve things, etc. the best anyone else could really do for me was to say, "Yeah, that sucks, but it's what you're choosing, so."

Know what I mean?

I know you're not a fan of the other two options, obviously, which are things we can help with (as we can help you in figuring out which of these choices to make), but I think it's also clear that with that third option, we're all ultimately just going to be spinning our wheels. And what I certainly don't want to do is to try and talk you out of whatever choices you really want to make, or into choices you don't. That's just not something I find respectful of you.

With what you're saying about cuddling, when you say you do not physically feel anything on your body, do you mean you literally cannot feel that other person's body? You're not feeling, for instance, the warmth of that person's body, the texture of their skin on yours?

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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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georgiexx
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im just gonna have to have a big think about what i really want i guess. i know you are are right.

and i know how frustrating it is, being the person giving advice that someone doesnt want to take. i've been that person with a couple of friends, and the answer to their problems are always so obvious and make so much sense but they choose not to take the advice, and yet here i am, being that frustrating person. so im sorry for that, really.

i want to make an effort to have proper communication and change the dynamics of our relationship so sex talk doesnt seem so hush hush, if you know what i mean. but i find it hard, i dont know where to start, i dont know how and when to start talking, i dont want to sound like im lecturing him or starting a row, and i dont want to seem like a whiney miserable girl either. i just want him to know how i feel, exactly. and i want him to understand the fact of the matter is we cant carry on like this, without upsetting him, because it would upset him, he has no idea i feel like this.

about the cuddling, obviously i do feel him physically there, i feel the warmth, which is whats comforting, and i feel his skin on mine etc. which i suppose in a way is physical sensation. but its just 'nice'. thats all there is to that, its not exactly sexually satisfying, just nice.

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Heather
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Nothing I said was about me being frustrated with you, I promise. [Smile]

I have an appointment I need to get to right now, but I'll be back in a little over an hour if you want to keep talking. If you want to consider being honest with him about all of this and working to change the communication, I can absolutely give you some places to start with that (though I still really, really think this is an area where you'd benefit from counseling, and I think it's worth thinking about why you seem to keep choosing not to pursue that).

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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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Heather
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(I'm back around, so just give a shout whenever you are if you want to pick this up from here.)

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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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georgiexx
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today i tried to talk to him about something that bothered me last night that he did, over text and he was just like "well im sorry, i didnt know" that was it. blaaah, id like it if he just spoke to me properly about stuff, i thought i was bad but it seems hes not that much better. whenever i say something negative he tried torun away from it.

i would like it if you could give me some places to start with the whole communication thing, if you could. thank you

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Heather
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Often, when something is an issue in the dynamics with sex, it's an issue elsewhere, too.

So, though I think we've gone over this before, am I understanding that communication between the two of you, especially with things where the emotional stakes are high, often isn't good (perhaps on both sides)?

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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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georgiexx
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basically iv set the dynamic from the start that i dont talk about stuff, when somethings bothering me i dont just go ahead and say it, i think about it for ages, then say it all passively and then feel guilty that i brought it up cos it probably wasnt even something to be mad over (even though it was, because otherwise i wouldnt be mad) and then i say im fine and we go back to normal without solving anything. its been like this for 2 years, i need to change this dynamic. iv been speaking out a bit more lately but because i never used to, it seems like hes a bit weird about it because to him, it probs looks like things are only just starting to bother me, so to him, we've been fine for 2 years and now suddenly im not fine.i can understand that to him, it might be a bit like, "whats going on, whats changed about us, why is she being like this" when nothing has actually changed,except me, wanting to talk more and tell him how i actually feel.
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Heather
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I agree, you do need to change this dynamic. This is, honestly, one more thing that indicates, if this doesn't change, that this just isn't likely to really ever be a quality relationship. In long-term relationships, especially, there is going to be conflict, or tough stuff to work through and talk about. If a couple can't or won't do that, then a relationship is either going to be really dead-end, or outright implode at some point when there is a big conflict and it just won't go uresolved.

Again, though, you're saying things here that I'm not sure I understand why you aren't saying them to him.

Like:
quote:
i can understand that to him, it might be a bit like, "whats going on, whats changed about us, why is she being like this" when nothing has actually changed,except me, wanting to talk more and tell him how i actually feel.
Now, if you told him all of that, then he wouldn't be confused. See what I mean?

You know, it seems to me that starting by working on this might be something that feels less loaded to you than working specifically on the sexual issues, and which is important for those but also to the relationship as a whole, even if it weren't sexual.

So, have you yet made clear to HIM this dynamic needs to change? have you told him that (perhaps in more delicate terms) the communication on both sides really stinks, and that you absolutely need for the two of you to both commit to improving it massively, starting right now? If so, has he made a commitment to that? Have you?

And if you both have, what's your game plan for getting better at this, both of you? Like, are the two of you going to perhaps both read a book about communication skills? Both get counseling on your own? Set up a time and space, maybe once a week to start, where you have some good ground rules to both talk about the tough stuff very honestly, but also both respond to one another?

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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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Heather
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Oh, spaced out, sorry! One thing I noticed in one of these posts is that you said it was important to you to be able to talk about the tough stuff without him getting upset.

But here's the thing: people get upset when talking about tough, challenging or hard things. It happens, pretty much all the time. If and when everyone is safe, keeping each other safe, and knows how to manage their own upset and communicate it in ways that are healthy and fair, then work to resolve it, it should be okay for people to feel and even act upset.

Do you have any sense of why you want to avoid any upset so much? Is it scary to you? If so, have a sense of why?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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georgiexx
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i dont know why i havent said it to him, i think its because i do have things planned in my head thati should say, and then when it comes down to it, i get so nervous and my brain goes blank and i have to say whatever my brain fires at me first.

but i really should say that to him, you're right.

i havent even been talking to him about sexual stuff. like today i tried to talk to him over text about something he did, or rather didnt do last night that had nothing to do sex, it was just one of those little things that i want in a relationship, that i thought he would automatically do. basically it was the fact that we had been out somewhere, it was like half 11 at night, him and his friends were splitting up into 2 groups, one group was going home, the other (with him in) were going to drive to another town to go clubbing. i was waiting for my mum to pick me up. his friend said "are you gonna wait here with her til her mum picks her up?" and he was silent and just like meh, and then his best friend (who i've mentioned before) said "if you dont want to, i will wait" and my boyfriend quite happily went, okay! and off he went, left me with his friend. and i was thinking, couldnt you have asked your friend to wait 5 minutes? i want my boyfriend to care that iv got home safely, wait for me til my mum comes, not load me off onto one of his friends. i told him this over text, (not those exact words) and he tried to run away from it just saying. 'sorry, i didnt know'.

iv told him we dont really talk, just generally. for example when he doesnt even text back and he said "because i dont know what to say, i dont like texting,blah blah" but i need to really directly tell him this i know.

meh. i really feel like im ready to do this now. i feel angry, angry that he doesnt seem to care, angry at the way he behaves and angry at myself for not just speaking up.

i dont know what to do though, the next time i see him, its his birthday party. i dont want to ruin his birthday.

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georgiexx
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because if he gets upset, thats me making him upset. i would feel guilty, then i would feel like a bitch, then blah blah blah, i hate upsetting people. plus i dont want him to get upset and not understand, then just dump me because iv upset him.
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Heather
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I hear you trying to take ownership of his feelings here, which actually isn't appropriate.

If you voice, for instance, that sex isn't working for you (and I am assuming and knowing you would not say that in a way that is intentionally hurtful, and where you own your own feelings, rather than asking him to take responsibility for them), and he gets upset, that isn't you making him upset. That is you giving voice to what is already happening, and him being upset about the situation, which, as you know, IS upsetting, because you yourself are upset by it.

Do you really think that this relationship is so flimsy that this person would leave you because something is going on, or you voice something, and one or both of those things upsets your boyfriend?

That's a really important question, and an honest answer is equally important, so I want you to really think about it and be for real about it.

Just FYI, texting is a really, really awful way to try and talk about conflicts. It's probably about the worst method of communication we have for things like that. It's great for reminding someone to pick up the cat food on the way home, drop a cute "love ya" note, or make sure you're waiting at the right corner, but is not the right tool to be using if you want to communicate well about hard feelings. So, it's tough for me to look at a situation like that one and make a call because such a crummy medium was used for that communication.

And yes, a birthday party isn't the right place, either, to start voicing all of this and do things like ask for a radical change in how you communicate together. But it's not like that day is going to be your only opportunity, especially in a relationship we've been talking about for a very long time now which it seems clear you're not likely leaving any time soon. So, I'm sure there will be time for all of this is you want to continue being in a relationship together.

--------------------
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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georgiexx
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in all honesty its not that flimsy, he wouldnt just dump me because of that, that is just me being overly paranoid about confrontation. even though it probably wont even be confrontation it will be talking.

iv texted him just now asking if i can come over tomorrow because i want to talk. i cant make excuses for not doing it now because iv already said thats what i want to do. so hopefully tomorrow i will get everything out in the open, i really mean it. im just fed up now and i need to do something about it.its not his birthday tomorrow, and im just gonna start the communication tomorrow, see how it goes.

thanks heather.

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Heather
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I want to make sure, by the way, that what I said about upset is clear, so let me give you an example.

Let's say that my partner keeps leaving their dirty laundry on my pillow. (Why they would do that, I have no idea, but let's just say they did.) Let's say I have said, already, "Hey, can you not leave your laundry on my pillow and put it in the hamper instead? Thanks!"

But it keeps happening, despite my asking. And I go to go to bed and put my face into a smelly sock and because of that, I feel really upset, especially since I have asked about this already, and the whole business seems rude to me.

Now, I COULD say, "You are such a terrible person, you dirty, sloppy, sock-pillow-leaver!" If my partner got upset about my saying that, then yeah, we could probably say I made them upset, because what I said was hurtful.

On the other hand, if I get upset, and instead say, "Can I talk to you? I am seriously upset and unhappy about this thing with the laundry, and feeling very frustrated because it's so unpleasant and I also feel like I just wasn't heard."

Now, my partner might still feel upset about that, after all, I'm upset, and they might also feel upset with themselves for being careless and upsetting me. But that's not about me MAKING them upset. That's about both of us just feeling upset, because we get to, and we each have our own feelings.

Even more to the point, let's say I go to sleep with the sock, upset and say nothing. And, as people tend to, I stay upset. I have resentment. I'm probably going to be snippy. I'm also going to be creating a wall between us by not communicating. My partner will likely feel upset by all of this.

So, either way, people get upset, it's just that if we talk about it, we can actually resolve our feelings and the situation together, rather than creating yet ANOTHER thing to be upset about by trying to just deny or avoid the conflict.

Get 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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georgiexx
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yes i totally get what you mean. i feel alot of resent,ent because of things that iv been bottling up, so yeah, i do get that. i guess im just not used to these types of talks with him, thats why im a bit nervous.
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Heather
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Just saw your other post: you're so welcome.

Here's one thing I'll leave you with tonight then, before we both head off. And you already know that no matter how tomorrow goes, you can always pop back here and talk if you need to. [Smile]

That's this: any relationship in which the people in it are not able to feel they can voice their feelings in healthy ways, including voicing conflict, is not a healthy relationship that's going to have happy people in it. It's just not.

And any relationship which DID literally totally fall apart ONLY because people spoke up to address conflict would be a relationship where that alone would make it very clear it was not a relationship built to last, period.

So, if and when you're feeling paranoid about communicating like you were, it might help to remind yourself that a relationship truly worth keeping and staying in and putting SO much energy into, as you have, is one which will NOT fall down to combust because someone gets upset or someone opens their mouth and expresses feeling upset by something.

And any relationship really worth all this time and energy? Is also worth always taking the risk of being real, not faking anything, hiding things, denying things, avoiding things. Because that is the only way we build the good stuff.

Okay? Big high-five of support to you!

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