Knowing When To Say Yes

Hi, I feel really really guilty about having a relationship before marriage. Im not religious however feel it in a way sometimes as I hold strong beliefs about this sort of thing. Its all making me really unwell physically and mentally. I also feel bad because I don’t believe I was in love with this person however I did care about him. I don’t know why as he wasn’t a very nice person. I was also really vulnerable at the time and just suffered a nervous breakdown and he was always around and constantly calling me. I kept saying no to him for over a year and eventually I agreed to try having a relationship with him and then I let things happen. I hate myself for giving in I should have just kept saying no and now I feel like hes taken something really precious from me that I cant get back im so upset. What can I do, will I ever feel ok about it all? Can I just pretend it didn’t happen as most the time it couldn’t fully happen anyway?

I’m sorry that you’ve had such a negative experience. It sounds to me like you are less upset about having sex before marriage, and more upset by the fact that you had expected your sexual experience to look and feel more special to you than it did.

It sounds to me like looking back – that hindsight – is hurting you. This is not done any favors by the fact that it sounds like this guy was not the most awesome person.

Let’s get one thing straight, though. He didn’t take anything from you. In our society, we attribute so much of our sense of self from our sexuality. Women who have too much sex are sluts, but if they don’t know how to have sex well enough they are prudes. Women who enjoy their sexuality are promiscuous but, on the other hand, we want sexually open women. There are so many double standards, so many places to get caught up.

Even without society telling us how to have sex and how not to have sex, there’s still a lot of stuff that comes from inside of us. The regret of having an experience that wasn’t what we wanted it to be. Being physical with a partner who we didn’t connect with, and feeling poorly about the experience. Even worse, winding up with someone who is emotionally or physically unkind to us.

I don’t want to say that you aren’t justified to have those bad feelings. You should feel how you feel about the situation and thats okay. I would recommend that you use that hindsight to move yourself forward. Think of those experiences as guiding lessons for what comes next. Find someone better, find someone who is truly worth your yes. Someone who knows you are saying yes because you want that experience, not necessarily because they’ve simply worn you down. Have wildly consensual experiences. Ones where you’re both screaming yes! Only have experiences you’re truly excited about, I suppose. Try and find those right times to say yes and the right times to say no.

Many of us have experiences that make us feel a little eh. I have been in situations that I wasn’t super excited about and I am equally divided between these two emotions. “I sure wish I’d just waited for something more exciting” and “I’m glad I gave myself the opportunity to see if that was for me.” I don’t think you should let those experience taint how you feel about yourself, or about your sexuality.

I think that you can move on from this if you see your past as your past and your future as full of new opportunities. Sex is something that offers opportunity for growth. You can have better experiences.

Do you have a question about sex or sexuality, love, relationships, or life in general? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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