Physical distancing, emotional distance

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Teeth&flowers
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Physical distancing, emotional distance

Unread postby Teeth&flowers » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:54 pm

I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been with my partner, also 16, for over a year. We’ve only seen each other once since the COVID-19 quarantine began, in mid-June, I believe. My parents are strict, and generally reasonable. When we met up, they told me I was not allowed to come into contact with my boyfriend, which we agreed to. However, once we were alone together, he disregarded that multiple times. I made my discomfort and frustration clear to him throughout, and he did not take me seriously. Afterwards, he apologized in full, explaining himself and taking full, genuine responsibility for his actions. He also said that he thinks it’s unwise for us to meet up again until we’ll be allowed to have physical contact with each other, as he thinks it would be too hard for him to hold back from initiating contact. At the time, I agreed, and I can’t help but feel hurt by this. Am I reading too much into it? Advice/thoughts appreciated.

Sam W
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Re: Physical distancing, emotional distance

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:29 am

Hi Teeth&flowers,

It doesn't strike me as "reading too much into it" to be hurt by this interaction. You made your boundaries around something that effected your health and comfort very clear, and he didn't take you seriously. When a partner so blatantly violates our boundaries like that, it can leave us feeling pretty shaken and hurt. And while it's good that he took responsibility and apologized, I can also see how it would hurt to feel like a partner can't regulate their own desires enough to meet up again until the pandemic is over.

Is he otherwise very good about boundaries, or is this something he's done before?

Teeth&flowers
newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:43 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I’m really creative and friendly
My primary language: English
My pronouns: They/them, it/its, he/him
My sexual identity and orientation: Biromantic asexual
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Physical distancing, emotional distance

Unread postby Teeth&flowers » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Sam W wrote:Hi Teeth&flowers,

It doesn't strike me as "reading too much into it" to be hurt by this interaction. You made your boundaries around something that effected your health and comfort very clear, and he didn't take you seriously. When a partner so blatantly violates our boundaries like that, it can leave us feeling pretty shaken and hurt. And while it's good that he took responsibility and apologized, I can also see how it would hurt to feel like a partner can't regulate their own desires enough to meet up again until the pandemic is over.

Is he otherwise very good about boundaries, or is this something he's done before?


Thank you! And no, nothing like this has ever happened, in the past he’s been very good with boundaries.

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Re: Physical distancing, emotional distance

Unread postby Jacob » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:27 am

I'm glad he's been good with boundaries otherwise! Have you talked about it more since it happened?

For me it's still a little unclear what he meant by saying that "it would be too hard for him to hold back"... that sounds a bit like he's saying he can't control his own actions, which he totally can... and if we can't control something, we probably can't be responsible for it, which goes against having appologised.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of your continuing discomfort is related to that.

I know I've avoided seeing friends because for me it's just really unpleasant and reminds me of the difficult situation we're in when we have to sit 2m apart, and it's jarring that it feels so unnatural compared to my usual hugginess... I'd much rather talk on the phone. But that doesn't mean I am uncontrollable hug-monster when I do occasionally meet people. I am still responsible for my actions, and respecting boundaries that I value, both of other people and as my part in slowing the spread of COVID.

Do you think it would be helpful if he spoke more about the 'uncontrollable' thing and whether he values the boundaries themselves?

That feels like it could be a tough conversation but if this situation has revealed aspects to him that are a dealbreaker, it is worth knowing those things, at the very least to encourage him to address them, that way things can start feeling better or you'll have more information to feel fair in judging whether you want to continue the relationship.
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You


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