This is...complicated...

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This is...complicated...

Post by Dannyboy on Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:49 pm

Alright, I really need to get this all out there, I have a lot of things to...unpack I guess. You guys might not like me after this.

So, today started out really good. I've been taking little steps to improve myself, I've been seeing a therapist for my anxiety, I'm slowly on the road to getting sober ( I've been committed for about two months, sadly with several relapses I'm only a week past my last drink), I'm doing better at work, I'm getting back into an exercise routine, I've been texting this one girl I met a few weeks ago and enjoyed it, and just today I went to a Unitarian Universalist church and talked to several people (hell, I went out to lunch afterwards with several of them). Anyway, point is things have been going pretty good. I did drink a lot of coffee against my therapists suggestions, but I was feeling fantastic.

Anyway, then I got a message from this one girl I went out on a date with two years ago but ultimately ghosted because I didn't feel personally compatible. I later apologized to her, and that was that. As the years went by she got a boyfriend (which I knew about since I followed her on instagram) and I pretty much forgot about her and we didn't talk. Anyway...I was curious as to why she wanted to contact me after so long and... I got the idea into my head that she had split with her boyfriend and was desperate for sex. So, I contacted her back, though felt guilty for doing so with that thought in my head. It turns out she had broken up with her boyfriend and she says that she wished she and I had had more dates. So we kept texting, back and forth, and I asked her how fast she wanted to go if we dated again. She threw the question right back at me. So I told her that I was really antsy to get into an emotional and physical relationship. She told me that that was fine, that we could have sex and just start the relationship in earnest. We made plans to have sex on Thursday, she asked me to be her date to her best friends wedding, then we started sending nude photographs to each other. As you can see, I rushed into a brand new sexual and romantic relationship with a girl I wasn't sure if I really liked just because I really wanted to have sex. I...used her.

After um...pleasuring myself to her pics I felt really awful and dirty and I realized that I had just made a horrible mistake. I contemplated ghosting her again, just cutting off all contact. But I thought better of it, realizing that would hurt her and that I had to fess up to my crimes. I told her the truth, that I had just rushed into things to get my dick wet, and I apologized for manipulating her. She told me that I had not manipulated her, that she had wanted to have sex with me (she said she had been looking for somebody to have sex with for awhile) and had wanted to send me the nude pics. Ultimately I decided not to pursue anything further with her despite her suggesting that we just go on a normal date instead of having sex, I got the feeling that she wanted to start a romantic relationship and I'm just not ready to jump in headfirst. She told me that that made her sad, and that she really liked me and wanted a relationship.

I don't know what questions I should even be asking you all. I feel horrible, like I know I should, like I know I deserve to. I don't know what to do with myself. What I did was not ok, especially for an adult of 25 years. I just used someone and made them feel like shit. What's wrong with me? What do I need to do to fix this? Should I even be dating at all?!

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Re: This is...complicated...

Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm

What do you think you did wrong here? Do you want to talk about why you think it was wrong?

My guess based on how you're phrasing things is that you think masturbating to her image is one of the things. But, you sent her yours, too. What do you suppose she was doing with it?

IMO, being honest about what you want is not wrong. Changing your mind about what you want is also not wrong. Assuming you meant what you said at the time, about wanting an emotional and physical relationship, that doesn't sound like manipulation, just some earnestness that later made you feel guilty (why?).

Third-hand, it sounds like she does want to eventually wind up having some kind of serious-ish relationship with you, but is willing to go at your pace. Exhibit A: You asked her up-front what kind of pace she wanted and she asked for your answer so she could agree to it.

If she's still willing to talk with you, she'd probably appreciate knowing where your head's at right now. If you just feel like you're not ready to commit to a Relationship right now, but think you might in the future, just say so. If she wants to invest the time and energy for a "maybe" later on, I'd say that's her right. If it's something else, maybe it's hurtful in the short term but allows her to make a more informed decision. Either way, you both get to decide whether or not you want to consent at every step. You can even start dating, try things out, have a relationship, and then break up later. It's probably disingenuous if you start dating with the intent of breaking up later, but letting it stay open as an option doesn't strike me as any kind of uniquely disgusting human behavior.
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Re: This is...complicated...

Post by Enail on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:56 am

It sounds like you wanted a sexual relationship and some sort of romantic connection, but had reservations about compatibility and maybe weren't sure whether or not you were all that interested in dating her altogether. And she was equally keen on a sexual relationship, but also would have liked to have some kind of capital R Relationship with you. And now you feel bad about the mismatch?

I'm not clear whether you're interested in some kind of more casual dating situation with her but don't want to get serious, or if you aren't interested in having any kind of relationship beyond the sexual? And I'm also not clear on if you misled her on your interest in an emotional connection, or if you felt enthused about something emotional as well but then realized you put yourself up for more than you actually want?

Obviously, if you intentionally lied about what you wanted, that's a shitty thing to do, and I think apologizing and letting her know what you really want or ending things is the right course of action. But if it's more that you were honest about your feelings in the moment but changed your mind or realized you were mistaken, or that you were sincere that you wanted to give something romantic a go but got uncomfortable at how serious a relationship she wanted, I don't think you've done anything particularly wrong. Maybe try to give yourself a little time to figure out how you're feeling before you act on it in the future.

I agree with NT that you don't have to be 100% sure you want a Relationship for it to be okay to try dating. It sounds like she's pretty comfortable speaking up about what she wants, is prepared to be flexible, and has multiple wants that she might be fine with separating ("she'd been looking for someone to have sex with" sounds like fwb or booty call is something she'd like in some circumstances) so if you are still interested in something, I think it's fine to let her know where you stand and see if she'd be interested in the same thing. Given that casual things with people who would also like something serious can get complicated and that you're already having lots of feelings about the mismatch, it might be better to give this one a miss altogether if you're definitely not interested in even giving a try at dating with the possibility of a more serious relationship, though. And pay attention to your feelings, and if you're not comfortable, listen to that.
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