How does being in love change?

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
tomatopotato
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How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:29 am

Might be a question that isn't even nessecary, but it's occupying my mind a little and I haven't had the chance to talk to my friends about it yet.
How does being in love or crushing on somebody feel when you gained confidence? I only can remember being super super anxious when I crushed on somebody the last time but in the meantime I've changed SO MUCH for the better. Now I feel kinda chill about people who I might be interested in, might be because I'm not super into them or simply because I don't need outside validation anymore.

Additionally, I'm having two super big friend crushed right now and I'm really excited to get to know them both better! I'm slightly sad that I'm not crushing on them romantically, but I'm gonna meet one of the special someones who make my legs feel like jelly and so long I'm gonna explore all of my friendships. And who knows how those relationships gonna shift and change.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby rubyted » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:18 pm

Hi, tomatopotato! I'm so glad to hear that you're having some friend crushes that feel good and that you're excited to get to know your friends! And yeah, who knows how those relationships will change in the future - building a really solid comfortable foundation being friends can be a fantastic way to explore anything further, if you both feel called to someday.

For me, exploring love and crushes when I have confidence in myself feels way more enjoyable than being really anxious about their approval or rejection. To me, it feels like there's less at stake, and that I'm allowing things to flow more naturally without taking things as personally. When I know that I'm inherently lovable and that I can't miss what's meant for me, I let people come into and out of my lives with more freedom and agency. When I'm able to take responsibility for my feelings, I can let go of feeling responsible for the feelings of others. And it makes finding that crush feeling so much more exciting when it comes naturally rather than is something I feel like I need before I can be happy! Ideally, a relationship supplements my life but isn't the only thing that brings me joy and pleasure.

I'm thinking about the concept of developing a loving and committed relationship with and to myself before anyone else so that I can support and love someone else to the best of my ability.

How do you think building self-confidence will change your ability to be in a relationship? Are you noticing anything already? Are you noticing any resistance to approaching relationships in a more chill way? Sometimes growth can trigger discomfort, which is natural too.

Have you seen this article - https://www.scarleteen.com/article/abus ... lationship ? I'd love to know if you glean anything from that piece, or if there's any other resources that you're looking at around self-confidence and love!

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:52 am

I am already noticing that I'm protective of my boundaries and connecting with people feels more natural. My mental health is in a really good state right now, I was simply worrying if I'm somehow overprotective of myself and don't fall for people anymore which I could have fallen for maybe a year ago. However, I think that's rather a good sign because I'm fine in general.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Alexa » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:46 pm

Hey tomatopotato - this is something I've seen a lot in myself and in my friends who have experienced anxiety and low self-confidence in the past. When you feel more secure about your crushes, it allows you to be excited about them without tying the success or failure of a romantic connection to your self-worth. I don't think that makes you overprotective; it likely just means that you're looking for different things from your romantic relationships.

It's interesting that you say you're "not fall[ing] for people anymore which [you] could have fallen for" in the past. This could definitely be because of the change in your self-confidence and attachment to others, but I also wonder if anything else about your attraction is changing. Do you find that as you mature and change, you're attracted to new kinds of people? Does your idea of romantic attraction change at all? What kinds of things might excite you about a crush now that are different from before, when you may have been less confident?

I feel like improving my own confidence made me feel more attracted to other people who seemed to handle themselves well, and who didn't *need* me for validation, but rather *wanted* me around because we genuinely enjoy each other. :)
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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Kaizen » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:23 pm

In addition to what Alexa said, about not being as attracted to people who "need" you around versus "want" you around, I think people who are more confident and secure are less likely to fall for someone because that person hit a basic standard of niceness, or because that person was interested in them first. When you're insecure your mind might grab onto someone who was nice or who likes you because you feel like you won't have many such chances.

Also, it's a common theme I've heard that people who were in a very dramatic relationship, with big highs and lows, can have a hard time adjusting to a new, healthier relationship; because it's not as extreme, they take that to mean their feelings for the person are less strong. I could see that applying to crushes too-- if you're used to all the anxiety about whether a person is paying attention to you and what they think of you and how if they stopped talking to you that would be the worst thing that could happen and must be prevented at all costs! (uh, hi, high school senior/college freshman me...), a healthy "ooh, I like this person and would like to take them on dates and tell them they're cute" crush could be hard to recognize.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:07 am

I definitely can relate to a lot you both have written above! My anxiety regarding crushes has faded I guess, however, I haven't had a big crush again in the last couple of months, so I can't know for sure.
I'm still into the same kind of people roughly, calm and slightly shy boys with a witty humor, but still something changed. I used to fall for people who weren't super into me or not nice at all, were I got anxious if they'd really like me or ignore me. Still most people I had minor crushes on or slight interest weren't intersted in me at all, however I lost interest quickly after regocnizing. That leaves me wondering, if I can loose interest so quick can I lose interest in people who might be interested in me too, simple because I'm impatient?
And how do I differentiate between a normal crush and somebody who I'm not really into? I'd really like to have a pleasureable sexual or romantic relationship or encounters, but even though there are people who would be down for it, I'm not interested in them the same way. I know there's nothing wrong with me, but maybe I'm so caught up in myself that I'm overlooking something.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Siân » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:18 am

That leaves me wondering, if I can loose interest so quick can I lose interest in people who might be interested in me too, simple because I'm impatient?


I'm highlighting this question because I think it touches on an assumption that I want to look at: the assumption that losing interest is somehow bad. What's wrong with noticing someone briefly and then realising that actually they're not quite for you? It seems to relate to a bit of a theme in your thread here; that maybe you're not having big romantic crushes right now. I want to say that's not a bad thing!

I don't think that doing dating and relationships "right" is about volume - having lot's of crushes or really long relationships. I think it's about quality - really, really, enjoying the dates and relationships you do have. And I think that's where confidence comes in: Alexa pointed out that when you feel good about yourself, you don't *need* someone to make you feel good, so you don't settle for people who are only okay. You go about your badass life and only interrupt it when something really great comes along. And there are fewer people who are a really great fit for you than there are who are an okay fit, so maybe they come along less often.

Maybe the question isn't "could I be into them enough to date them?", maybe it's waiting for "oh wow, this person is so great how could I NOT want to date them?". What do you think?

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:24 am

Thank you for your kind response! It's what I needed to hear right now.
I do know that not being interested in somebody is valid and I cannot force myself to feel anything. However, I do not want to be that way (but I can't change and that's something I have to learn.) I have been wondering a couple times if I might be asexual and that hurts me a lot. I haven't been enjoying any of my sexual encounters in the past and feel like I lost the ability to connect with people sexually.
Yesterday I had sex spontaneously with one of my friend crushes I mentioned above. We had a lot of fun spending time together beforehand and somehow it progressed from cuddling to making out etc. He explicitly stated that I don't have to do anything I don't want, I chose to do so. However I'm not feeling good about it afterwards, it was kinda fun and nice to have body contact with somebody I like, but nothing more. I don't feel guilty, but I crossed my own boundaries again. I'm actually feeling quite lonely right now and did spend a lot of time with him the last two weeks. I'm having other friends, too but they're busy, too far away etc. And my plan to make other friends hasn't really succeeded yet. Haven't met anybody who I really click with and that hurts a lot.
I definitely should say that it's a one time thing and I don't want to continue a sexual relationship. But I guess it would kinda hurt my ego if he doesn't care whether we're platonic or sexual friends. Somehow that would communicate to me that he doesn't really want ME (even just in a sexual way) but would have had sex with anybody available. I'm connecting casual sex with exploitation for one party, and I wanna unlearn that since it's not true. Casual sex can be a pleasureable experience and it also can be for me, but only with people who I'm actually really attracted to.
I don't know how should say that to him - we're actually also planning to attend a political event where having a team partner is really important, and I want clear things first before the event. If I still want to go with him. I don't think he has a problem with any decision I make, and I don't feel unsafe with him. However I'd wish he would be slightly more interested in my life. We had great and fun conversations but he hadn't really asked me a lot of those normal "get to know me questions". And somehow he remembers me a little little bit of somebody who I felt physically uncomfortable with and somebody else who kinda disliked, too. But they're all different people and I shouldn't let my past mesh with the present.
However, it still was a quite nice experience, I did felt comfortable and safe and he didn't overstepped my boundaries, I think I'm simply having a problem with myself. I just wished for me being really sexually attracted to him, than there wouldn't have been any problem.
I hope on of you can help me how I can untangle this knot and how I can stick to my boundaries.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:53 am

Hi tomatopotato,

It can be so frustrating feeling like your sexual feelings aren't behaving in a way that makes sense to you. Something that jumped out at me is that you mention you've lost the ability to sexually connect with people. Were there times in your past where you felt very sexually connected to someone? If so, what things felt like they fed that connection?

We can definitely touch on unpacking some of those beliefs you want to lose, but it sounds like the situation with your friend is a bit time sensitive. I think you should definitely talk with him about what happened. Something that might help is to figure out a few things about what you want to say beforehand. For instance, what are you hoping will come of this conversation?

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:14 am

Dear Sam,
the only time where I felt sexually connected to somebody else was when I hold hands with a guy I was absolutely crushing on. When I got to know him better my crush disappeared but I still engaged in making out before cutting him off. Last year where I danced with a stranger at a party I felt a strong sexual chemistry. And once in a situation which wasn't that consensual, but somehow I was really attracted in the situation.
I'm not feeling attracted to crummy people anymore, but to almost nobody.

I'd really like him to say that he wants to be good friends with me and acts this way, too. It would also be really kind if he checked in with me if everything that has happened was okay and if he asked how our relationship should continue.
That's basically it.
I don't know if I'm investing myself in the possibility of somebody being more how I'd like them to be or if close relationships simple grow over time. And honestly I don't know if I'm just making mistakes over and over. I don't know if I can trust my feelings when I say I want to be friends or if my decision to be friends is rooted in the need to "fix" him or to make him into somebody who can fix me because I'm not really having anybody else right now who shares my hobbys, humor and political views.
And this is probably a dumb question aswell, but is being friends okay if you're just wanting to have fun and share e.g. you're music taste? I feel like I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself honestly.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:28 am

Got it, thank you for that extra detail. Do you feel like you experience sexual desire in a more abstract way? Like, do you have fantasies that aren't tied to a specific person, or find yourself sexually attracted to people like celebrities?

So, with the conversation with your friend, it sounds like it might be best for the two of you to talk about what happened and what you each picture happening in the relationship going forward. Since he hasn't brought that topic up, it sounds like it's on you to do it. Too, it may help to think about how you want to proceed if what you want or need from the friendship doesn't match with what he's putting into it.

As to your last question (which is actually a very helpful one), it's absolutely okay to have friendships based on having fun together or liking the same things. Friendships don't all look alike, and not all friendships are going to entail a deep connection. In life, it's pretty common to have friends who fall into different categories. You can have casual friendships, friendships that are based around a shared hobby or interest, friendships that grow into something deeper, and many other types besides those. So, if you can, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to have only friendships that are very deep, especially right away.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:00 am

I do have fantasies which are tied to persons I make up on my own or are lossly based on somebody I crushed on. I have the ability to experience desire and arousal in general and it's rather tied to certain people and personal connection or plain porn.

I'm going to call him tomorrow and ask, and I'm going to base my decisions on his reaction.

You've said that it's possible to unlearn certain beliefs, do you have any resources for me to do so? I feel like that would also help me with my current situation if you (or somebody else) could give me impulse questions (or something else) which I could reflect on.
Additionally, thank you for answering my questions, it's helping me a lot right now.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:14 am

I'm glad my answers are helping! And calling him sounds like a great starting place.

With unlearning certain beliefs, I know you mentioned wanting to reframe casual sex. This piece offers a really good starting place for that: Casual...Cool? Making Choices About Casual Sex. Are there other beliefs related to sex or relationships that you would like to push back on or unlearn?

Something that might help when thinking about having sexual connection to other people is to look both at your fantasies and general desires, and with the few times that you felt that connection, and see if there are patterns or things that jump out at you. For instance, are there things present in those fantasies that haven't been present in your sexual interactions with people in real life?

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:09 pm

One thing that doesn't make sense to me, I'm not ashamed of wanting casual sex, I'm simple ashamed of not experiencing a lot of attraction (which ist a similar with the belief that a lot of attraction ist linked to empowerment), but If I had the chance to have some kind of casual sex with somebody I'd like I definitly would.
I think my general fear of casual stuff is being mistreated, but I think it would be was more enjoyable with folks I'm actually attracted to. Especially in connection with your last paragraph, the folks with which I had sexual encounters simply didn't really show the traits I'm attracted to. That doesn't mean I have to be fully in love but I should be attracted to their character and the way they are, at least that is that is working for me I guess. I think while I'm definetly more into shy folks, I have to learn to approach them and not simply react to people's whishes if I can't feel chemistry.

I think what has happened yesterday shouldn't be a big deal. I've learned my lesson and for now I'm trying to stick to my boundaries, to become less lonely and to base my decisions in terms of sex on my emotions and not on expectations I'm having for myself. Do you have and tips in how I can actually stick to my boundaries?

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:15 am

I've called him today and got a positive response. He's totally fine with being friends and did not expect an ongoing romantic or sexual relationship. However, even though I am not interested in those kinds of relationships with him, it hurts. To me it does not feel like he did want to have sex with me 'cause he wanted me sexually but he would have taken anybody else available. and since he is okay with just being friends it kinda feels like he doesn't really care about me? and i really want people to care about me. additionally the way he answered was short and simple, I would have liked him to ask me questions why I made that decision, if I'm feeling fine right now or anything else that shows platonic affection. but he simply is not very emotional in a way that is meeting my needs. don't know if that's due to his depression, might be.
however, he said that he wanted to ask me, too but did not really know whether to call, to text or to wait until we meet again (and we both were very busy until today so it's totally fine he didn't call yesterday even though i would have liked a quick check in.)
I think he is rather a friend for hanging out, but nothing more. I do not need to invest in people who do not ask about my feelings, because that is really important to me and makes me feel valued and wanted, in a platonic way. hopefully i can meet other folks who do share my interests but also do share my emotional language.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:46 am

I'm glad the conversation with him went well and helped you clarify things, and that you've figured out that he's more a hanging out friend than anything else. If you two are mismatched on how much energy you seem inclined to expend on checking in with each other, then that's a sign this might be a more casual friendship.

You mentioned that the people you've had sexual encounters with haven't exhibited traits that you're attracted to. Since attraction is often a big component in how we choose sexual partners,it makes sense that those interactions might not have left you feeling much. If sexual attraction wasn't the main driver behind those interactions, can I ask what was? What were those expectations that were influencing the choices you were making?

When it comes to holding boundaries, these two articles are really good starting places. The first one is technically about holding boundaries with other people, but much of the advice in it can be applied to holding them with yourself: Be Your Own Superhero: Learning How and When to Stand Up for Ourselves, Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:33 pm

In general, I felt pressured. While the first person activly pressured me and didn't even seem to know about consent, the second was "my boyfriend". He assumed that we were in a relationship without asking me, after I was unsure about him in genereal since he said nasty things about queer folks. The problem with him was that I was attracted to him in the beginning and framed my loss of attraction as a failure and as "being to uptight about my beliefs and boundaries". However, I managed to cut off contact quickly.
The other guy was a narcisst, I'm quite sure about that. Felt pressured by him indirectly, I kinda pressure myself to conform to their ideas about me, too. And my friend is somebody I've met in the beginning of this year, so we are not really friends. He texted me a lot, I got along with him quite well and he is actually the only one who does not have crummy ethical standards.
Mainly I am pressureing myself because I do want to have sex (and I want to enjoy it, too), I tend to be a people pleaser and feel like I have to engage in sexual encounters with people when they aren't hurting me explicitly.
At the moment I am really lonely. I am an open and social person, but simply have nobody who I genuenly enjoy spending time with except for my best friend & another friend (which are very close to my heart but don't have that much time) and the friend I mentioned above (who has a lot of freetime but is only somebody I like to hang out with and have fun). I actually statedt that I do not want to date him, and actually meaned by that that I do not want to see him again after meeting him for the first time, but that was not very explicit. And after meeting him again my mind changed, however, I do not know If he crossed a boundary by engaging in sex with me. I would not say that because I did not state my boundaries enough.
I feel like the only problem I am having is one I am having with myself. Except for the last sexual Encounter, which could have been great from how much he checked in with me, stated that I do not have to do anything I don't want, and kinda broke gender rules and those unwritten script for men and women, were people which did not shared my views of sex at all. Especially the last encounter was not really unconsentual. I said yes multiple times, and how should he knew that what I wanted out of sex was simply validaton, body contact and human connection (and also seeing people enjoying themselves naked is nice, too) when I did not really knew myself?
I know about those struggles since a year and have sworn myself to only have sex with people I like, I know my boundaries, and know those articles by heart, still I have messed up again. Reflecting on my past I got better, but still not good enough.

and honestly, Sam, thank you for listening to me, even though it is your job as a volunteer, but it made the process so much easier.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:11 am

You're very welcome :)

It sounds like you've done a ton of thinking about the patterns in your sexual life already, which is a huge step. Too, in those patterns, I think you've identified a big reason why your experiences with sexual connection have been so wonky; when there's pressure involved, either from ourselves or others, pleasure and connection are going to be quite low. That's doubly likely when the pressure is happening with people you didn't feel much attraction to in the first place.

You mention that you often seeking three things from sex: validation, body contact and human connection. Can you give me a sense of what other things you've tried to do to generate those same feelings? Have there been any that worked, or at least worked better than the others?

It may also help to think about what you would need in order to hold those boundaries with yourself (I'm setting aside the instances where someone else pressured you, because any fault in the situation lies with them). That may actually be something where you sit down and write them out in a sort of brainstorming session, just to see what kinds of suggestions your mind generates.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:32 pm

I've tried cuddling with a friend of mine, that helps, but I he's not living near me. All of my other friends do not like cuddling. I'm really feeling lonely and tried almost everything to meet people. And I've met a lot, liked a lot, but they are living far away and are not as available as I'd like. And somehow the people I've met in my town do not seem that interested in me. I'm really looking forward to having uni again in 10 months, the combination of living at home, barely having a social life and too much free time really brings me down.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Mo » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:10 pm

It can be tough to feel stuck in an area where you haven't made a lot of good connections, and the people you have connected with are far away. I'm wondering: is there any sort of personal project or goal you could focus on in the time you have right now until you're back at university? That might involve volunteer work, learning a new craft or hobby, taking on a writing project...all sorts of things. I find that if I have a lot of unstructured time to myself it can be easy to feel kind of listless and gross after a while, but coming up with some sort of fun but useful project, and structuring my day around it, can help me focus a bit better and give me something to feel good about during those times when less is going on.

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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:39 pm

Dear scarleteen People, I'm simply writing this for reassurance.
I have talked to the guy about the sex we had and realized I do not want to see him anymore. First, I feel judged by him saying that he doesn't want to "accuse me of being inexperienced sexually" since I seemed not very enthusiastic while being sexual with him, "since we made pauses". I am asolutly not ashamed of not having a lot of sexual experience, but I feel his comment discouraged me to embrace my newbiehood. Additionally, it was not very fair of him to keep going even though he could kinda feel that I was not really into it. He addressed that in our conversation, and I know, he could not read my mind, but somehow it still upsets me. Furthermore I did not want him to go down on me and he did it nevertheless later. And why couldn't he just ask me in the beginning if I want to have sex with him? It angers me on a whole new level that this sexual experience seemed to be more about him than about me.

Furthermore he told me about his peer group, where he had lots of consentual sexual encounters with people while remaining truly friends. Honestly that is kinda an environment I want to create for myself, but he kinda "poisoned" the idea. I do feel like I don't fit into that because I DO have a lot of Feelings and I DO care for people, regardless of their relationship for me. I don't want to "play things cool", I want to be odd and weird and absolutly friends and sexual with people. So in general, I do not have any problems with casual sex, I just have problems with him. And I want sexual encounters that are enjoyable for everyone and where my sexual learning is not something that is looked down on (honestly I am also really insecure about this so I do not know where to position his comment). I feel like the idea of relationships which are transcending rigid societal bondaries are only reserved for "certain kinds of people", I have not found "my kind of people", possibly.

I feel like the experience could have been a great one if I'd truly liked him and felt like I could let my guard down. And I have realized, a reason why I am holding back on pursuing people sexually is that they feel weird about me being sexually inexperienced, and that I also don't know how to initiate sexual stuff and I fear the people I'm into won't like me.

Additionally I feel a lot of pressure from books or society in general telling women* especially that casual sex is something extra vulnerable and that you should protect yourself etc etc. I don't now what I am conditioned to think and what I truly want. This layer of shame for women*, the idea that women* are not capable of sex without relationships makes feeling my wants makes it kinda hard for me to pursue people eventhough I kinda want to sometimes?

Nevertheless, I feel like I FINALLY have a decision. I've promised myself to not hang out with people I don't feel fully comfortable with, to say no more often and especially when I mean it, to give myself hard rules around dating people, to not second guess myself, and to give myself small breaks inbetween any actions, and to actually meet people I truly like. And to stop trying to impress anyone including myself. The most inspiring quote I've stumbled upon is "Make decision based on hope, not on fear". I wanna do that.

Siân
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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Siân » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:57 am

hey tomatopotato

It sounds like you've made the right decision with this person! It's totally unfair of him to shame you for your level of sexual experience, and not at all okay for him to continue with the encounter when he wasn't 100% sure you were into it.

Acting like casual sex is about "not having feelings" is, honestly, kinda immature from where I'm standing. Sex always involves feelings because people always have feelings. Sure, they might not be romantic feelings, but whether you're in a relationship with someone or not you should still be treating one another with kindness in your sexual interactions. The kind of environment you want for yourself where you can be you, and have sex with people who like who you are, and be friends with them is certainly something you get to want and to look for.

If I could triple-like your final paragraph I would. You have made some excellent promises to yourself! It takes a bit of time and practice to learn how to stick to those promises in the real world, but I'm sure you'll get there and we're always happy to talk and support you in that.

You said you were just posting for reassurance, so I don't wanna start adding loads of new stuff into the mix but if you'd like to talk about those messages you're feeling from society about women* and relationships I'd be totally up for that - is it something you'd like to discuss here?

Is there something else you'd like to talk more about?

tomatopotato
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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:14 am

hey,

the guy I have been talking about in this thread actually texted me a month ago after i cut off contact. He apologized for disrespecting my boundaries, that he did not take enough care of my feelings and that he was intrusive in the way he communicated with me. Don't really know what i should think about it, his "apology" made me kinda angry. It took him half a year for that!!
Anyway, I basically responded that his behavoiur was shitty, and that I don't care for his apology since what he apologized for should be basic human decency! Furtermore I added that it was some kind of assault and that I do not want to discuss that. In generally, he should leave me alone and reflect on his behaviour.

I am quite proud of me to be so upfront about my boundaries, on the other hand I feel like I was accusing him of thing, being a "frigid feminazi" - what has happened to me would not fall into any category of assault. We hung out, and I KNEW that he was sending signals to me that he wanted to have sex with me and I KNEW that he was not a nice person, despite him saying he us a feminist. I could feel it from the beginning, but I did not could of contact since i was lonely and kinda afraid aswell, to say No for meeting again after seeing him first. (I actually hinted that I don't want to see him again, by saying that "I wasn't romantically interested" but he did not get the code, texted me again and so i gave in, kinda.) He did not pressure me, coerced me etc. At least not in an obvious way, maybe by being stone cold and being emotionally unavailable.
Anyway, what happened that night was that we hung out, chilling, and he said i could sleep at his couch since i did not want to go home, i agreed to it. Later he pulled me in a hug, we were laying on the sofa and it feld weird, i looked at him and he kissed me and i kissed back etc - and while he asked "is this okay?" it translated to "is this tolerable?" in my head. And it was tolerable, so I responded "yes", but it did not mean that I wanted it! Anyway, he got under my shirt, opened my bra etc and said stuff like "Say something if I am going to far" and something else, which implied having sex - even though I didn't say at anytime that U wanted it! However, i still touched him and engaged in it, faking pleasure etc because I thought i had to or whatever, I wasn't really thinking anything at that moment.
The one thing that really upset me is when he wanted to open my jeans and I said "not now" and some time later he just pulled my pants down and started to get down on me. It really baffled me.

Anyway, even during the "assault" I knew i did not want it, I knew that I could say no and I don't know, but I believe that if i just had say no very clearly, it would not have happened. I also never felt bad or utterly crushed about it. I feld a little icky afterwards and it simply made me really angry that somebody dismissed my boundaries, even though some would call it a "minor incident". I did not even cry.
I guess, all of these points and the fact that he did not violate me or coerce me openly or that no kind of penetration was involved, that I did not even feel the "right" emotions, makes me feel like I don't have the right to call it assault and that I am overreacting.

I also wanted to say thank you to scarleteen, since you shaped so much of my understanding of consent, boundaries and pleasure! Without scarleteen I would not have the confidence I have now and could not have assist my friends on finding their way, as I do. ❤

Sam W
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Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:33 am

Hi tomatopotato,

I totally get why that apology made you angry; even if it was genuine, it probably feels like too little, too late.

What happened with this guy is a good example of why sex educators hammer at the idea of consent involving not just a "yes" but an enthusiastic yes. Too, I would argue you set a pretty clear boundary around him opening your pants, which he than decided to disregard, or at the very least made the choice not to check on again later on. You mention a few times that you feel like you "had to" act a certain way with him. Do you have a sense of why that was?

I do want to add that however you feel about all this is okay; there's no one, "correct" way to react to an assault or to a sexual situation that left you feeling icky and bad. How you feel doesn't invalidate your experiences.

tomatopotato
not a newbie
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:17 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I´m good at making up weird stories
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: straight woman
Location: Saturn

Re: How does being in love change?

Unread postby tomatopotato » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:17 pm

I don't really know why I had the feeling I had to do things - maybe because he was so unavailable emotionally so he kinda set the standards of the whole encounter. Saying "no" would have been "uncool", i would have been seen as "complicated" if i insisted on a boundary (which is bollocks)
I did not really think at all in that moment. Maybe i did provoced it, since I new that he was into me and did want to have sex with me from his body language. And I never had a really distant body language or told him to go away. Maybe there have been misunderstandins which might have been my fault, too? How could he have known where my boundaries are if I did not tell him? On the other hand, its not okay to assume consent.


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