adds mguire asks: My boyfriend is a little older than me and is ready for more things than I am. He is very understanding, most of the time. Others not so much. He is sometimes very persistent and wants to do things I’m not ready for. I tried to be nice and try something out that he liked but all it did was end up making me feel distant and violated. He was very apologetic and all he wanted to do was make it up to me. I don’t know if I should voice my feelings or just avoid that situation again.
Hi adds mguire –
Okay, let’s get your last question out of the way first: As long as he stays your boyfriend, you won’t be able to “avoid that situation.” “That Situation” is called him being interested in you and desiring you, and you can’t avoid it any more than my human friend Handsome can avoid me being interested in food. If I’m around, he’s dealing with it.
So my wish is that, yes, you voice your feelings. Big!
But I also want you to do it in the right way.
One of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written (you can find it on the AskShirelle website) is to a question from HarrietteS, about how to deal with a date’s advances. Now in her case (or, as I explain in my answer, in MY case), this wasn’t a serious boyfriend, but rather just an attracted male. But my main point remains for your situation as well: it is vital that you realize your rights to your own body, your own feelings, your own wishes. Sure you love him and want to make him happy, but there are lots of ways to do that (cookies are great!). And you’re only saying that there are things you’re not ready for – not that you would never want to do them in the future – so there’s no reason for him to doubt what the relationship could sometime become.
The problem I often see in situations like this, when the girl (or woman or boy or man – whoever’s feeling pushed beyond their comfort level) is able to state their boundaries, is that the pursuer ends up feeling shamed. Like there’s something wrong or bad in your boyfriend’s desires.
There’s not. Not at all.
So what I want you to do is to tell him just that. “I know you want things, and I love that you do. I love that you’re attracted to me, and want to have these experiences with me. And I want to make you happy. But as we’ve already found, if I’m pushed beyond where I’m comfortable, it does awful things to me, and hurts our relationship, and even makes you feel bad. So can we just slow down? Not stop, I love your touch and your affection. But slow down how fast we move forward?”
If he loves you, and it sounds like he does, I think he’ll be able to accept that just fine.
Then, I want you to keep that promise. So how do you do that? Well, here are some thoughts:
- Give each other massages. Neck and Shoulder rubs are great, very loving, and quite intimate. Then you can move forward to other levels – like feet!
- Try taking a long walk holding hands. And then just touching your index fingers together, and then each of your other fingers, for a long time each.
- See how long you can sit and just look into each other’s eyes. It’s okay to blink, but looking away’s against the rules. What do you see in each other’s face? How many colors are there?
- Turn out the lights so there’s absolutely no light in the room, total darkness, and sing to each other. Just focus on the sounds of each other’s voices.
- Make up your own ideas of what you’d like to do together, and tell each other the stories. I don’t mean just about sex or such, but like “We ride horses up into the mountains and sleep under the stars, and in the morning a light rain wakes us and we ride through it till we’re both soaked to the bone.”
Do you see where I’m going? It’s actually fun to slow things down. And can be for both of you.
There’s a great old song Handsome likes that talks about this beautifully…
Let’s take it nice and easy
It’s gonna be so easy
For us to fall in love
Hey baby, what’s your hurry
Relax and don’t you worry
We’re gonna fall in love
We’re on the road to romance
That’s safe to say
But let’s make all the stops
Along the way…
I envy you how much fun this ought to be!