I'm in my early 20s and when I first got to college, as someone who didn't have many dates before that, indulged in many one-night stands and also, on several occasions, paid for sex. I bitterly regret doing the latter, because I know it's a mixed thing morality wise, many of the women are forced into it and it's also illegal. I wasn't aware of these things until I'd stopped. I couldn't believe I did something that in many ways is a horrible thing for women. I did treat the women with respect and it was consensual. I'm worried because I know that many women don't like the idea of a man hiring an escort because it can be degrading or whatever, but these things never crossed my mind. I keep telling myself I'm human, and being human, you make mistakes but I can't shake these bad decisions. My promiscuity is in the past and I really want to have relationships in the future, but did I already blow my shot? Do I even have to share this? I wouldn't judge a woman over her sexual past but I don't know if any future partners would feel the same.
You are neither the first nor the last college kid who went a little overboard with the newfound freedom of adulthood. The fact that you now recognize the downside to your past behavior is actually pretty darned self-aware…a lot of people never reach that kind of awareness. There are only two ways that your behavior could impact your future relationships: 1) if you were unsafe and ended up with a sexually transmitted infection as a result, and 2) if you can’t find a way to forgive yourself for your actions.
Starting wit the first issue: one of the risks of sexual promiscuity is the spread of sexual transmitted infections (STI). If you pick something up along the way, there could be health related issues for you and, of course, it could affect future sexual relationships. Does that mean you can’t have a relationship? Of course not! But I would suggest an STI screening with your local doctor or public health clinic so that you will know for sure whether there is anything to worry about. This is one way to take responsibility for your past behavior.
Second, let’s talk about your emotional well-being. You’re carrying around a lot of guilt and while it’s good that you’re thinking carefully about the implications of your actions, you’re going to have to find a way to forgive yourself. I knew a lot of people in college who were heavy into drugs and alcohol. There was a lot of rampant and unsafe sex going on. You’re not alone and you’re not a bad person for having had a lot of casual sex. But you may not have realized at the time how this behavior was going to affect you emotionally in the long-term. That’s the problem with sex. It feels great but it carries a lot of emotional weight for both men and women. And now that you understand that, you can make more informed decisions for yourself moving forward.
You are not obligated to share the details of your sexual experiences with anyone. It’s yours. It’s private. But please make sure you’d not hiding it. Know what I mean? If you’re keeping it a secret because you’re ashamed of it, then maybe it’s time to talk with a counselor about it.
Moving forward…Make sure that you know you have a clean bill of health so that you don’t put your partners at risk. And then move on with your life. Be respectful. Have fulfilling relationships. Have amazing, consensual sex. You’re human. Learn from your mistakes and embrace your life.
Don't Push Me
I'm a woman in my mid-fifties who was in a fairly brief (4 month) relationship. My "boyfriend" was very intense and pushy, which made me feel uncomfortable, so I ended the relationship as delicately as I could.
He seemed to take it as well as could be expected when we spoke in person, but I had a feeling that I hadn't heard the last of him; that he would try to continue the conversation with me. I was right. In the week since our "breakup conversation," he has sent me three lengthy texts and I have not responded because I don't want to engage in further conversation about this, or "fuel the fire." It seems that, as intense and pushy as he was being during the relationship, he is being equally intense and pushy about the breakup.
Do you think I'm doing the right thing by not responding to his texts? Or do you think I should respond with a phone call to ask him to stop contacting me?
If intense and pushy is engrained in his personality, it’s not surprising that those behaviors are continuing. I would suggest one very short and straightforward text back that says something along the lines of “Please don’t contact me again.” Don’t apologize. Don’t justify. If you want to, you can acknowledge his feelings by saying something like “I understand that you’re struggling with this but…” Usually, I would recommend ignoring the whole sting of texts but on the small chance that his pushiness becomes harassment, at least you’ll have proof that you asked him to stop. Most likely, he’s just one of those people who has a hard time taking a hint and sometimes you just have to spell it out for those people.
This past New Year’s Eve I was unable to attend with my boyfriend and a few of our couples friends we have been out with on several occasions for years now. On New Years Day, I awoke to find a picture of my boyfriend with his face buried in our married friends breast with the comment “thank god we are good friends.” Am I overreacting by telling them that I feel disrespected, that I am absolutely crushed by the inappropriate act that they say was staged. I feel it showed an intimacy shared by the two of them. I feel it was a very unkind thoughtless act and that I am being made fun of. I am flat-chested and she is very well endowed Am I wrong in feeling that?
I think your boyfriend and friend made a very poor, thoughtless decision and that it probably had nothing to do with you at all. More likely, there was some drinking going on (New Year’s Eve, right?) and people sometimes do stupid things when they’re drinking. It’s all in fun, right? Yeah, not so much.
It’s understandable that you’re feeling crummy about the picture and I think you should talk to your boyfriend (and probably your friend as well) about how you’re feeling. You’re entitled to your feelings. The trick is taking this opportunity to have a meaningful talk about those feelings. If you approach it in terms of how their act made you feel, without accusing, without assuming that you know what their intentions were, the conversation will probably go a lot better. I doubt your boyfriend meant to make you feel bad. But he needs to understand how his actions made you feel so it won’t happen again.
I have been in a relationship for 8 years. It has been very difficult. He has told me several times that he does not want to see me anymore and that we would never be a couple. I don't talk to him, and then 3 or 4 weeks later he is back to texting and calling me. We are both 61 years old and he does not want to face the fact that he is getting old. He wants someone who is younger. Friends tell me I need to walk away from him and move forward.
This sounds beyond difficult…whatever his motivations are (and I know that getting old is especially hard for men), he’s really treating you very badly. He’ll keep coming back because he’s not being honest with himself about what he really wants and needs. Younger isn’t necessarily better. But, putting that aside, my main concern is with you. Despite the history you to share, it’s probably time to consider whether this relationship is really healthy for you. You deserve someone who’s going to treat you well and the easiest way to find that someone is to demand that you be treated well. Make it unacceptable for this guy to ditch you and then call again later. Draw the line and let him know you’re doing so, not because you don’t care for him, but because you care about yourself.
Scared to Move In
I'm having the weirdest issue. I've been with my girlfriend about 7 months, and I get along great with her family. But her family talks about her to me and I'm getting a bit scared. Her step-father does it the most, he basically warns me about her. Tells me if I decided to break it off he understands why because guys never stick around. He's also her landlord and tells me how nasty the house is when I'm not around, and how filthy she is on a regular basis. He tells me he's feels I should know what's really going on, and not to move into her place and leave my own. And it seems he genuinely is looking out for me, other family members also comment about similar things. I fell in love with her from the day I met her, and even though she lives 8 hrs away I was willing to move. But her family warning me is a tough pill to swallow and I'm literally scared at this point. What do I do? Nobody ever sticks around and this is why. If I tell her I run the risk of being hated by her family.
feel really sorry for this girl. Her family is sabotaging her relationship with you. It doesn’t really matter if what they say is “true”, because it’s really an issue of perspective. Whatever issues they have with her, and as much as they may like you, its really pretty rotten of them to be bringing this to you in this manner. If she was a serial killer or a drug addict, then maybe it might be good for you to know that ahead of time. But not a neat freak? I can think of many worse qualities. And maybe with you, she’ll tidy up. Maybe she’s never had much motivation to do so before.
Either way, this decision is really yours and I suggest you consider it very carefully. On the one hand, you may move in with a slob and decide that’s not the life you want…there are no guarantees no matter what you do. On the other hand, if you bend to this pressure, you may lose the girl of your dreams. Is it worth it? Whatever you decide, you're the one who will have to live with the decision so make sure it's you who's deciding, not them.
PS, maybe nobody ever sticks around because her family runs them off. Consider that.
Feeling Lonely in my Relationship
I've been in a relationship for a very long time and am very bored and lonely. We do have three kids together. The problem is he never pays any attention to me. He’s always on the computer and I'm doing household chores. When I do say something to him like we never do anything together he thinks I'm bitching. I think he would rather jack off then have sex. I'm so bored I'm thinking of ending this. Help! My family means a lot to me but I'm unhappy and feel alone most the time anyway. What should I do?
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem. Computers, with all their wonderful and useful functions, have really taken a toll on relationships. The same goes for phones, tablets…technology in general. It’s much easier to give your attention to the almighty screen than to have to deal with the realities of another person’s wants, needs, emotions…
The feelings that you’re having are real and are going to significantly impact your relationship whether he acknowledges that there is a problem or not. So what you’re going to need to do is to make him see that there are some serious issues you guys need to address. Maybe you are bitching a little bit…I know I did plenty of bitching once I was finally so fed up that I couldn’t find any other way to communicate. My suggestion to you is to take a breath and try to reframe the conversation. At the end of the day, this isn’t about him being on the computer or you doing all the housework. It’s about a lack of intimacy that’s developing as a result of those other symptoms. Just like the common cold, treating the symptoms only makes you feel better temporarily.
So what does it look like to reframe the conversation? First, you need to get him involved in solving the problem. If he’s not invested, its not going to work. Talk to him about how the situation feels to you and how it’s negatively affecting the relationship. Don’t accuse. Ask him how he feels and be open to his answers. Try to be kind to one another. Maybe you can come up with some ways to improve things…date nights, common interests. Intimacy isn’t just about sex so look at creative ways to reconnect.
And, if he’s willing, it might be a good time to seek a couple’s counselor to help with the process.
Wishing you the best of luck.
Waiting for Sex
Hi, I am 62, my boyfriend is 65, I have at my age a huge libido urge, I could have sex everyday, but my boyfriend cannot return the favor, this is my first relationship in over twelve years, before I did not have any sexual urge, mainly I wanted to be in LOVE, I am now, but this is not satisfying me, can my boyfriend get a boost of testosterone to help me? I am going crazy waiting till he is ready for sex!!!
If the lack of sex is causing problems in your relationship then I would suggest seeing a doctor to see if there is something they can do to help. I’m not a doctor so I have no specifics for you on what might be available, but there are a lot of physical and psychological factors that can cause issues with sexual function and a medical doctor is probably a good first step in that process.
I’m also going to suggest that your current situation is actually a good sign. If you haven’t had sexual urges in many years and are now having them with this man, its probably a sign that you’ve found what YOU need in this relationship to reignite your own sexual desires. Have you considered other means of getting sexual satisfaction while you work out some of the physical problems? Intercourse isn’t the only means of achieving sexual pleasure. Maybe you and your boyfriend (if you’re both willing) could do a little experimentation (with or without gadgets). It could be a really good opportunity to be intimate and to communicate, even if it doesn’t involve traditional sexual intercourse.
I have been in a quiet relationship with someone since October. He comes to the house, we talk, spend a little time together. 3 days before Christmas he stops and makes a statement that he is hoping to spend some with me on Christmas Day. I know he has a dinner to go to around 5 pm. I talk myself into believing that he will not come over so I leave for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I guess he stopped by when I was not home. He has not stopped by since. I think that he is hurt because I was not there. He could have called, I know I did not want to cry any more and did not want to be myself on Christmas. I left him a note to stop by my house. How should I explain and hopefully get back to where our relationship was?
Best advice: Be honest with him.
What made you talk yourself into thinking that he wouldn’t come? Are you still getting over a bad relationship? Has someone let you down? Has he? I think you may have done a little self-sabotage and I’m guessing there’s a reason...maybe one that you should address with a counselor. But in order to get things back on track with this guy, you’re going to have to be honest and to accept that he may be a little hurt. Yes, he could have (and probably should have) called. But his reaction is just as human and emotional as yours so cut him some slack and talk openly about how you’re feeling.
Wishing you luck.
Searching for Something New
I'm a figure skater. I started in 6th grade now I’m a freshman. Over the years I haven’t gotten much better as a skater, even though I put in a lot of time and money. I go for class lessons and have a private coach. Its expensive and I don't really enjoy it because I’m not really good. All the girls my age are a lot better and are in higher levels. Younger girls that are really skinny and short and small are in very high levels because they have the capability to jump high in the air. I’m very tall, I’m about 5'8 and I think this greatly affects this concept. I know there are some skaters as tall as me, but the majority are a lot shorter. Like 5'2 or shorter. Also I get really nervous at competitions because I’m not good and it’s embarrassing and I always get last place even though I’m not in a very high level. So I need advice on whether or not I should quit I’ve been thinking about quitting for a while now and some people think I should quit, others don't. I honestly don't know because my mom has put in a lot of money for this and I’ve put in a lot of time but also I don’t want to keep on putting in time and my mom to keep on putting in money if I’m not getting better at it and if I don't enjoy it.. I would want to try something else like volleyball because I’m tall so I think I would be good at it. So trust me I don't want to quit because I'm lazy because I'm not. I like being active, I just want to find something I'm good in. So do you think I should quit or not?
I think you should have a very honest talk with your mom about how you’re feeling. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find something that you’re better at than figure skating but it would be a good idea to talk through it. Look at the pro’s and con’s. Tell your mom how it makes you feel, how you aren’t enjoying it much and then let her know that there are other things you’d like to try. If she’s agrees, then quit and try something new. If not, stick it out a while longer and give it your best shot.
In life, we sometimes have to see things through even when they turn out not to be right for us. So a lot will depend on what you and your mom decide. I imagine that if you have a very meaningful talk with her, you can come up with a plan together that will give you the chance to try new things but will also ensure that you’re not losing anything by quitting too quickly.
Bottom line: every single experience you have is going to shape the person you are. So even if you’re not the best figure skater in the world and even if you’ve put in a ton of time and money, this is always going to be something you look back on as being a big part of your life. One of the most important things you can ever learn in life is to take everything that comes as a chance to learn and grow.
Stuck in the Past
I was in a relationship for 4 1/2 year. One year of that my boyfriend was incarcerated in Montana. Every month I would take off and go there. It cost me lots of money. He came back and was on probation. We loved each other very much and got along good. And then I don't know what happened. I told him to leave because he kept telling me he was going to leave me. Now I'm very sad and he did move on with someone else then came back to me. Now he's in a relationship with somebody 18 years younger and two small children. I have not been able to move on. We still talk every once a while but now his new girlfriend has put a restraining order on me but he didn't. I'm very sad. I cry almost every day but I have a good job and I work six days a week. People tell me to move on but I can't. I love and miss him. I feel he is my soul mate. What do you suggest?
Your well-intentioned friends probably have the right idea, even if it doesn’t feel terribly helpful right now. It sounds like your ex has moved on and that you’re going to have to do so as well. But that doesn’t make it easy and it doesn’t make it hurt less. It’s ok to feel sad and to miss your relationship.
But here’s the catch…if you’re sad to the point where it’s affecting you on a daily basis then it might be time to seek some counseling. I have always had a hard time letting go, especially of relationships and people I love. I know how it feels to have to work through those emotions and figure out who you are without the relationship as context. So my heart goes out to you. What I’ve found to be true for myself, and it might be true for you also, is that you need to refocus your energy on yourself. It’s easy to idealize your relationship with your ex, but if you examine it closely in relationship to your own needs, you might be able to see the things that were missing more clearly. A good counselor can help you do this and support you through the process. At the end, you’ll come out feeling better about yourself and ready for whatever comes next.
Wishing you love.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.