Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected] or private message me on Facebook.
I look forward to hearing from you!
It seems like all my boyfriend wants to do is have sex.
We are each others first even though we are relatively old—he is 21 and I am 18—so I get it, it’s new and exciting, but since our first time like a year ago that’s all we do!
When we first got together we used to go to movies and talk and just do normal stuff, but now as soon as he sees me he just grabs at me and won’t chill out until we have sex. Afterwards he’s very friend-like, not making eye contact just kind of matter-of-fact, even a bit distant.
We never hang out with friends together, which is okay since we both have different sets of friends but still seems weird to me after all this time. He never even invites me over for dinner—he still lives at home and his mom makes dinner every night. I thought his mom liked me!
I really love this guy but I really hate our relationship right now. If he didn’t say he loves me back I would think I’m being used—but he’s put in so much time, how can that be true? We’ve been together for over two years.
I do think he loves me and I’d like to imagine a future together, but this is bringing me down. And yes, I’ve tried to talk to him about it but he just acts like I’m crazy and changes the subject.
I’m going to college next year and need to decide whether we should stick it out. He will continue to live in our home town to finish his degree and I don’t mind driving back on the weekends and so forth if it is to build a relationship, but I don’t want to come back for this.
Is my boyfriend using me for sex? Or is this just a normal phase that will pass?
~ On The Fence
Dear On The Fence,
I receive many letters from young women in relationships that are not worthy of them—now I can add yours to the list.
For the most part it is simply your naiveté which has led you to this unfortunate impasse, but unless you want to continue feeling—and in fact being-–used, you’ll have to grow up fast.
For some reason we women have a habit of doubting what is right before our eyes. You and your boyfriend have been together for over two years yet you don’t share any mutual friends, you don’t do anything recreational together (besides the obvious), you don’t interact with each other’s families and you don’t even talk.
You asked me if you are being used for sex and the answer is yes. Perhaps it is hard to accept this truth because you would never do that to someone yourself, perhaps you are just in denial– but this is a good time to start listening to that soft little voice in your heart that always tells the truth.
If you were my daughter I would urge you to go to away to college unfettered, allow yourself to fully embrace the experience and worry more about what you want rather than what anyone wants from you.
I feel angry all the time.
I don’t know why because my life is pretty good; I have a decent job, a nice apartment and a nice boyfriend. I didn’t have the best childhood—my dad is an alcoholic and I was pretty nerdy but whatever. Everyone has problems, right?
The thing is, at my job, if someone asks me to just do something small, like some extra piece of busywork I don’t have time for, I flip out. I don’t say anything, but inside my head it’s like a black cloud opens—like I actually hate that person in that moment.
It’s the same thing with my boyfriend. He’s really chill, but if he does something that annoys me I get so mad I imagine punching him and just hitting and hitting him or hitting the wall. He has no idea that I feel this way because I know it’s wrong and I try and just get away from him until I relax.
My question is, is this normal? Is everyone secretly this angry all the time or is something wrong with me?
One of my favorite quotes in all the world, and an idea I return to constantly for it’s illuminating qualities is;
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions come from fear.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ros
In other words, the negative emotions you are experiencing are fear disguised as anger. It is easier to believe we are angry than afraid—we mistakenly imagine we are less vulnerable—but as you have come to understand, being in a constant state of anger is isolating, unproductive and damaging to your being as a whole.
But before you get down on yourself, remember that fear is a real and necessary part of the human condition: the trick is to understand it and the first step is to recognize what you are afraid of.
There is a wonderful book called Emotional Alchemy by: Tara Bennet-Goleman which can help. Goleman teaches us to understand our emotions using the practice of mindfulness and thereby gain empathy and compassion for ourselves, effectively releasing fear– including anger.
If you find the problem is too overwhelming to deal with on your own, I would highly recommend talk therapy. With some effort, you can definitely diminish your anger and make room for more love-based emotions.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Erica Leibrandt
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock