I need to talk things out…and maybe get some advice about how to handle things. Im sorry for my essay in advance.
I have been reduced to tears by an old friend reaching out over messenger and asking if I’m okay. And I think the fact that I started crying means I’m not. So I’m writing it out hoping that helps.
Almost 3 weeks ago (on NYE) I did some things with my boyfriend that are against my values, tho consensual at the time. I remember thinking “I hate myself” and so much shame, disgust, and fear.
I had booked a 1.5 week holiday to visit friends and almost didn’t go because of being so shut down. But I ended up going and it was the best thing I could have done.
Coming back home I was able to talk with my boyfriend about some of this. He has since been very respectful (even though he doesn’t fully understand it).
The last few days tho I have been feeling more and more distanced from him. And I know he is just as attached as ever. (Cue feelings on not wanting to hurt him.)
Despite being well and truely “an adult” this is my first relationship and I don’t know what is normal. (yes yes I know there is no normal but I don’t have anything to compare it to). We’ve been dating for almost 2 months and I no longer feel excited to see him. I feel dread. But then when he’s around I feel fine. Is it “normal” to feel this way after 2 months? What questions do I ask myself to figure out what is going on in my head? How on earth do I bring this up with him if I, myself, don’t understand what’s going on? If I’m thinking like this, is it a sign I should break it off?
I’m feeling emotionally calmer having written this out but my body is feeling really stretched out and tense. I would really appreciate any comments or feedback on my questions.
Many thanks and much love.
I’m really glad you took the time to go away and we’re able to have a discussion with your boyfriend about the things that were putting so much pressure and anxiety on you.
Can I ask if you still feel shame about those things?
If you do could that be impacting on how you’re feeling now?
Do you feel like he or other people would label you in terms of being someone who deserves to feel shame?
And lastly do you feel he has a part in you feeling ashamed?
Sometimes even when we discuss an issue the side affects can linger in the back ground and not feel really resolved.
I think the fact that he listened and respected you is such a good sign!
The fact that you don’t necessarily get excited isn’t a bad thing. Everyone gets comfortable with people and sometimes they’re just a part of your every day life, doesn’t mean we love them less, but you mentioned feeling dread which is why I asked about if you still feel shame in some way.
Thank you for replying to me
You ask some very good questions, which is helpful.
I still feel shame about my actions some of the time, and particularly body disgust when I think about particular things. It’s much less strong than what it was at the beginning though. I’m sure it could still be impacting me. I am VERY good at ignoring / compartmentalising.
I have told a few friends and they have explicitly told me that they do not shame me and that I don’t have to feel shame. So I know they still accept me. I guess maybe I don’t accept me?
Does he have a part in me feeling shame? Maybe but only because he was the one I allowed to ~do things~. He actually really enjoyed the time together, while it makes me feel like throwing up.
It’s good to know that the strong passion can settle in comfort, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. I’m feeling more discomfort.
Again, thank you so much for replying
I would say that it sounds like that while you may not actually blame him for anything, he’s seen the parts of you which you consider “disgusting” and that can make a person feel vulnerable and maybe play with how you feel around him.
I think you definitely need to be kinder to yourself and give yourself the space to heal and forgive yourself. I know learning to love yourself and learning to love your body doesn’t magically happen overnight.
I’m not sure how you feel talking to him about how you feel about yourself, maybe it could bring up some good things to discuss like how he can make this process easier for you.
How he can help encourage you to feel safer and more comfortable.
Thank you again.
I think I feel disgust at how my body was used. I was brought up very conservative Christian and I’m sure that’s playing a part in this too.
It’s interesting, part of me doesn’t want to be kinder to myself. Hmm, I’ll have to think on that one!
Yeah, I think I’ll need to get some courage to talk about this with him again. Although I don’t know what would be helpful for him to do, to help me.
Another way you can look at it, is this way: You tried some stuff, did some stuff because emotionally you felt comfortable with your partner, and to see what it was like. Though it may have fun then, maybe your heart and mind weren’t quite ready for it, and that the shame and other stuff you’re feeling now is an offshoot of it.
What you can do is to look at the experience as a whole, and rate it. Yes, fun but nah, won’t be doing again. Not ready. Or maybe it has helped reaffirm your beliefs about ‘when’ is a good time to do ‘stuff’.
It may not have been the way you imagined or planned it since you were younger, or what your household/faith recommended, and you know what? No harm done really! You made a choice then, and now you know more about yourself.
Nothing decreases your value, friend. Our mistakes can be powerful lessons and opportunities for learning and growing. Please don’t think that anything has changed since you did those things. Kindness, acceptance and forgiveness are things I’m sure you grew up hearing about. You are worthy and deserving of all those things.
we’re here if you need us, you matter and nothing you do will change that!
Oh my @Sita, thank you. To be honest I’m a little overwhelmed by your words and kindness and will need time to process and re-read what you wrote. But I really appreciate your “other way to look at it”.
You take your time and process it, friend! Here if you need me!
Communication can definitely go a long way!
I’m sure he cares about how you’re feeling right now and what you’re struggling with.
I know that there can be this burden and stigma with Christianity around the topic.
And as Sita said nothing decreases your value. You have infinite value and you have time to allow yourself to process how you want to handle this and what you feel comfortable with in the future.
You’re allowed to have boundaries and you’re allowed to experiment with them, it doesn’t make you less of a human when those boundaries weren’t what you thought you’d like, it just means next time you know in advance the impact of how they’ll make you feel.
Hey Friend, thank you for your post. First of all can I say how that its ok to not be over a problem and I hope by writing here and getting it out this will be a small step to starting to get over what happened.I am so sorry for what you are dealing with, its strange, as we grow, we are shown ideals about love, relationships and all that goes with it, we all know we are meant to fall madly in love with the first person we meet, and everything is perfect for ever more?? Is it any wonder we mess up, panic and feel guilty at every move? What you did, you did in a moment, a moment with a person that you have been with for 2 months and seemingly at that time had feelings for him? I really do understand if its against your values it must be upsetting to think that you allowed yourself to get carried away but you didn’t actually do anything wrong and I really need you to know that, you didn’t do anything wrong and certainly nothing that warrants you hating yourself for. If this has affected your relationship in a negative way than that would be a terrible shame unless you just don’t have feelings for him anymore because it seems like he has listened to you and tried to be understanding and hopefully left any further offers of contact well alone. As far as breaking it off, if you are not happy with this person then don’t hang on wasting your time or theirs but that is a different thing. You do sound confused and as you call your post conflicted. Take some time, really think about your true feelings for this person because losing someone you genuinely care for and who cares for you would be very sad indeed and I do not want that for you. I hope some of what I have said has helped you a bit. Much love Lisa.x
Well there is nothing to feel bad about in my opinion. It is good to talk about such things with your boyfriend when experimenting. Talk about your experience with him and decide what is ok and what is not. it is only natural to try things out to see what you are ok with and what is going too far. You both have done nothing wrong you are just trying to figure this and so you are both enjoying yourself. There might be some conflicting feeling and such but all it comes down to is if you are both having a good time and if you are both ok with it. Communication is key here. I hope this had helped you at least a bit
Hi @ayyjayydee When we start our “sex life” everything is new and if you’ve tried something with your boyfriend that you didn’t like, then its ok. This is something that you have to go thru in order to figure out your own sexuality. What makes you happy. So, look at this as a learning experience and not something horrible. You’ll probably have more bad experiences, but you will also have very good ones too when you find the right person. ~Mystrose
Hey there AyyJay. What is considered normal in one relationship is not normal in another. This being your first is something you have to feel your way though. Talking about how you feel is always a good thing. It seems like you are questioning everything and need some time to figure it out. Also if it has been just 2 months, then this might not be for you at the moment. Just some food for thought.
Hey there, I dont see what you did wrong here - as long as it was all consented on. Communication is key in any relationship you are in. Being open and honest is always the way to go. This relationship is yours and his. No
one else’s. I think you did nothing wrong here and talking about it with him is also a good thing. You are valued and loved.
Hello, ayyjayydee! Your relationship is still quite new and especially it being your first one I’ll give you a piece of advice that I only know from being a third party observer my whole life. Don’t do anything hasty and talk to your bf. Love and healthy relationships are not about rash decisions or feelings of shame over doing what feels right in the moment. It is about doing what feels right and talking about it with your partner when you feel like you need and want to talk. Trust your feelings and yourself. You should be able to get to a place where you feel comfortable being completely open about your fears and concerns with your bf and it sounds like he is willing to talk to you based on what you’ve said. I hope you find the courage to tell him what you’ve told us and talk to him about what you are feeling.
The dread you feel when you are not around him may just be your fear that you somehow did something wrong but that sounds like it is just your upbringing and your anxiety. The fact that you feel okay when near him seems like a good sign. It tells me that he calms you down and makes you feel safe? Does that sound right? Try and figure out what you feel when you go from dread and fear to seeing him. If the feeling is security and safety then I think you should definitely tell him what you are feeling, because that feeling of security is your subconscious telling you that it thinks you can trust him with your true self and your doubts.
A bit of general advice about this and any future relationships you have:
I have never had a relationship myself, but I have spent decades watching my friends go through unhealthy relationships and finding those they are just perfect with in the end. The bad relationships are always the ones where my friend’s personality and who they truly are becomes lost as they hide their true selves from their SOs. But when I can see my friend clearly when they are with their SO I know that it is a good match and I always hope it stays good. If you ever find that you’ve lost yourself in a relationship look at why and see if you can come back to who you really are to determine if you should be with that person. And all of the good relationships are they ones where they talk to each other and do not hide their fears and concerns. Where they talk about life and the relationship. Once they have been together long enough to even think about serious steps they know what each other wants before the actual discussion happens because they know each other so well. I hope you get there at some point with whoever you find to trust in life.
Sorry that ended up so long. Good luck with everything and I hope you feel comfortable talking to us again and posting. And I hope you talk to your bf. See you around stream, friend