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August 17, 2014

Ask Me Anything: On Sexual Bullies & Quarter-Life Crises. {Weekly Advice Column}

Photo: Daniela Vladimirova via Flickr

*Disclaimer: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here. 

~

Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, elephant journal’s weekly advice column, where no question is out of bounds!

To submit questions for next week, email me at [email protected] or private message me on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you.

~ Erica

Dear Erica,

I am so confused and frustrated and I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know where to start or how to explain this. *Deep breath.*

Okay, since I was young I’ve been attracted to other women, as well as men. I never acted on it until I was in my early 20s, when I had a friendship with a married couple that then became sexual. It was a very confusing time because I developed deep feelings for both of them, and they, individually, developed feelings for me.

This went on for about a year and ended badly. I left them for my current boyfriend and then they divorced.

I was very honest with my now boyfriend about all that happened, and for a while that was fine but recently he began using it against me. He thinks that because I was willing to have a “three way” with this other couple I should be willing to do the same with him.

I have tried to explain that that was a unique situation and ultimately I didn’t enjoy it and don’t want to do it again, but he says if I am still attracted to women (I am), then I should share this experience with him.

I feel guilty that I don’t want to do this, (he’s right, I did share it with someone else) and angry that he refuses to understand my point of view. It’s gotten to the point where he brings it up daily.

Otherwise, our relationship is great, he’s a great guy, has a good job, and says he loves me all the time. I do not want to break up over this, but the constant pressuring is really getting to me. Nothing I say has any impact.

What should I do?

~ Guilty Girlfriend

~

Dear Girlfriend,

Your boyfriend is a bully.

Can you imagine, if the tables were turned, and there was something sexually you wanted but he felt very uncomfortable with, insisting over and over again that he do it anyway?

Of course not. That would be selfish and mean.

You should not feel guilty that you “shared this experience” with someone else, but now do not wish to repeat it. Each relationship is different, you learn as you go, and if you decide you don’t like or want to do something—especially sexually—that is 100 percent your prerogative and should be respected.

Tell him one last time that you do not intend to participate in a “three way”—and that if something ever happened to change your mind he’d be the first to know—but that if he brings it up again it’s going to be a deal breaker.

I’m betting he’s going to go right ahead and bring it up again anyway. When he does, you must realize what this says about his character. He isn’t concerned about you or your feelings, but only about himself.

I give you permission at that point to leave him and gladly go about the business of finding someone who wants to be with you whether you have three-ways or not.

Style: Raw/Flickr

Dear Erica,

I’m in my mid twenties and have no idea what I want to do with my life.

I look around and it seems like everyone has a job– a real job (I’m just a waitress), a boyfriend and a plan.

So many of my friends are getting married and even having babies, I feel like life is passing me by.

The only thing I ever wanted to do was write, but you can’t make a living writing, and the idea of sitting in an office cube somewhere makes me want to tear out my hair.

I live in a great city (San Francisco), but I moved here from a small town in the south and haven’t made new friends. There are people I know from the restaurant, but they all have their own established social circles.

I feel so stuck and sad and lonely. What would you do?

~ Waitress

 

Dear Waitress,

First of all, waitressing is a real job!

I was a waitress for years and learned more doing that than I did doing just about anything else in my life.

Second of all, you can make a living writing, but it is very challenging and not for the faint of heart—and may require decades of waitressing to supplement your income.

Be glad you are not getting married and having babies. Ideally, your twenties are the time to explore you, to be wide open, and to not have the answers. You will never get this chance again and if you spend it pigeonholing yourself into a life you’re not ready for simply because you don’t know what else to do, you are doing yourself (and you future husband and children) a huge disservice.

Also, be proud of the fact that you moved to San Francisco. That in itself is a bold play that will pay off in dividends down the road. As you are finding, it can be lonely charting unknown territory, but doing so is how our characters are forged.

Without realizing it, you are in the process of discovering yourself.

To enhance this process, I recommend buying a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron—you can find it for as little as $2.98 on Amazon. This is a wonderful book which will help you focus on your writing and uncover your dreams.

Also, when I Googled The Artist’s Way, I found several Artist’s Way meet up groups—which are kind of like artist support groups—one of which is in your beautiful city, San Francisco. I would strongly suggest you drop in on a meeting and check out what’s going on. You never know who you might meet or what adventure you might have.

 

 

 

 

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Flickr; Style: Raw/Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

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