I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year now, yet despite being together for so long, she still has trouble expressing herself, both physically and emotionally. When I bring this up to her, she basically says that she’s afraid of putting herself in a position of vulnerability, due to bad experiences in the past, but wants to stay together and claims that she’s trying really hard to change and open up to me. I have been nothing but patient and understanding, but I’m getting to the point where I’m questioning the extent of her feelings. It is my belief that when you truly care for someone, you love them while knowing that there is always a possibility of being hurt. I really do love her, and have a great time when I’m with her, but am I fooling myself by thinking there is hope for us? By the way, we’re both 20, and she’s a virgin(but isn’t waiting for marriage). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Patience young grasshopper.
If you truly love her, the yes it is worth it. My husband and I have been married for almost a year and we are still learning more and more about each other everyday and learning how to be completely open with each other about everything. True there could be a possibility of being hurt, but I trust my husband completely and I know he truly feels the sames and loves me just as much.
The more often you both communicate the easier it is to open up. As for age, I relly don’t think that matter being my husband was 20 and I was 21 when we married. Besides, if you truly love then, then age does not matter.
Your girlfriend needs to come to terms with the fact that the past is just that, the past and she can’t assume each new relationship is going to be the same. It sounds like she is holding back to avoid being hurt, but you really can’t do that or you will never be able to let anyone in. I guess try to imagine what it would be like if your girlfriend was no longer in your life. How would this make you feel? If you can’t even imagine being without her then it is worth staying with her. But if you can handle the idea of not being with her anymore, then maybe it is time to move on.
If you truly love her, then love her and everything that comes with her. I could say in a way that you are being selfish but I won’t because this is the real world. You should go with her to counseling if she is willing. If she says she is trying and is unable to do it then she needs to get professional help. She has to want help or it will do no good and excuses will be made. You cannot force anything on anybody, it has to come from them and remember this. It is going to be very hard but my wife is the exact same way. I can talk very freely about anything to anybody but she however has a difficult time expressing herself and it usually takes a fight for something to happen. I have been married for seven years and I could not take anymore so I was going to leave. I came home because my son of six asked me too. There was a four page note on the door and I read it before I walked in and my wife basically wrote what she fealt on a piece of paper. Maybe you guys should try writting letters to each other, for some it is much easier to express themselves on paper. Just start leaving her notes and she should respond plus it will add a little romantic flare to it. Do what the others have said, imagine your life without her. You can always find someone else to love as there is not one person in this world of many that you are capable of loving however keep in mind that the person you find may be no better and will have faults too. If you love her like you say, make it work. It is a choice you make. I used to look at it like this when I was dating, I would ask myself is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? If the answer is no then move on but if it is yes then find a way to make it work. This is of course if you are looking for marriage. As a last note, you said in your post that “I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year now, yet despite being together for so long, she still has trouble expressing herself, both physically and emotionally. When I bring this up to her, she basically says that she’s afraid of putting herself in a position of vulnerability, due to bad experiences in the past, but wants to stay together and claims that she’s trying really hard to change and open up to me” Is this not a form of her expressing herself to you? It is small but it is a start, she is letting you know why, now it is up to you to try to understand and help her work through it. My opinion. I wish you the best of luck and I really hope you make it work because as a rockband once said, I love you- I hate you- I can’t live without you. How true.
Well I think you need consider the following questions
What do you want from this relationship?
What type of previous experiences have you had with other relationships? How quickly have you been able to express yourself before?
How much do you understand what has happened to her in the past? I’ve dealt with similar ‘defense mechanisms’ in myself… it is very hard to get by them… it takes a LOT of work.
Whats your MAX BENCH?!??
I like this idea of the letter writing thing. Often there is so much going on inside of a person like that that it helps if they can write. Also asking yourself what you want from the relationship is a good idea. It sounds like the main problem is that you want to have sex with her but she doesn’t want to? Am I right? Finally, WHAT IS YOUR MAX BENCH?
just wait man. shes a virgin there is no need to pressure her.
I’ll “third” the writing idea. You may even suggest that she write just for herself: about things that bother her or life in general. Afterward, she can burn it; no one else needs to see it. This can be very therapeutic for someone dealing with past issues.
My girlfriend also had some baggage because of a shitty past relationship, but she eventually came around and started expressing herself to me. Be patient with your girl and encourage her to open up by opening up to her… but don’t expect it in return right away. She’ll come around.
Once again, I am the dissenting opinion. Granted that situations like Teela’s may occur (once in a quadrillion) where at a young age two people meet and are “soulmates” or whatever corny term you want to use, fall madly in love and live happily ever after - that simply ain’t reality for the majority of us and most likely isn’t going to be reality for you either. Most twenty-somethings are so incredibly sophomoric in their self-evaluations of maturity and understanding of the world and their place in it that they make horrible choices and waste precious years of life chasing fairy tales.
Points of your post to note: “I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year now, yet despite being together for so long…” So long? A year is only a year. If it seems soooo long, you have to ask why? What is your definition of a “long relationship”?
“…she’s afraid of putting herself in a position of vulnerability, due to bad experiences in the past…” Believe me, I understand bad experiences in the past and how they can manifest changes in your attitude years down the line. But there comes a time when you have to move on with your life. She hasn’t. She needs to in order to be able to have a genuine relationship. Fucked up thing is though, is that when people finally get their heads screwed on straight they are different people than when they began and they want different things from the people in their life. That’s a long way of saying that if you stick with her through her “discover/recovery” phase, you are in all likelihood not going to be the man she wants to marry. Sure, she’ll love you. Sure, she’ll be incredibly attached to you. But no, she probably won’t have that “in love” feeling and want to marry you. She will feel she has outgrown you.
“I really do love her, and have a great time when I’m with her, but am I fooling myself by thinking there is hope for us?” What is love? How do you define it? Is it having a great time with someone? Is it sexual attraction? What is this “hope for us” thing? Where do you want it to go?
Hon, you’re 20. You have so much life to see and explore. Why are you tying yourself to an emotionally handicapped and unavailable girl? Do you deserve someone that will be as open with their feelings as you are with yours? Don’t you deserve reciprocity? Let her do her soul searching and growing up. You do yours. Should your paths meet again someday - wonderful. Let each of you search out what it is that is the medicine for your souls. It just doesn’t sound like she fulfills that for you, and she’s not allowing you to fulfill that for her.
If you would care to describe “bad experiences”, that would help us tremendously, because being afraid of a position of vulnerability is basically saying, “I don’t want to take any risks - I want you to do all of that.” (Selfish thinking - was this girl an only child?) Poor relationships - weak excuse. Abused when younger - good reason. But without knowing more, I think I’ll have to side with ~karma~ here, but only from personal experience. All the other advice may be the “right” thing to do, theoretically, and I applaud you if you can stick this out and make it. BUT, I always ended up being the most attracted to girls like the one you’re describing. Until I realized that each experience left me completely broken, used, and hurt. I dare say that this girl will not change until she has to. I also think you will end up being hurt in the end, and while fear of pain is a poor reason to make a choice, fear of wasting time (and your youth) is a good one.
Now that I think about it I have to ask you a few questions. Your post said “that despite being together for so long” makes it seem that 1) you have not ever been in a relationship as long as this one or 2) It seems like a long time and you have wasted it with her. I need you to be totally honest here and answer this one question. Are you staying with her just to try and bust it out? Maybe just a little bit. I noticed in your post that you put the Physically before the emotionally part. In other words let me see if I can sum this up. You say you love her but she is having problems expressing herself which means you are not having sex because you are being an honest and faithful boyfreind because you love her but you can’t take anymore because of all the other young hotties you have running around in front of your face and it is making you want to personally train each and every one of those hotties in the horizontal bop? If this is the case then just break up with her and be nice about it. Who knows, you stay in touch with her and one night she might call you up and say hey, I just made some cherry pie want to come over. I need you to be totally honest on if this is the case. Please get back with us.
Thanks to everyone who replied. First of all, I actually already thought about the writing thing, and sent her an e-mail a couple of days ago, expressing all the things I liked about her, as well the things that have been frustrating me lately. Her reply was helpful, but was still quite vague.
I could definitely picture me with this girl for a long time, seeing as how we have a lot in common and get along great, but I’ve also taken into consideration that I’m young and have my whole life ahead of me. By saying “we’ve been together for so long,” I guess I meant that more relatively(I have been in one longer relationship, when I was much younger). I just thought that being a year into a relationship, without much progress being made, was a little strange.
The physical part of our relationship is also seriously lacking, not just sex, but all other forms of phsyical expression as well(We seldom exceed the kissing phase). Don’t get me wrong, I have been very much looking forward to training her in the horizontal bop, but have never pressured her. I told her I would understand if she was not ready or not comfortable, but she claims it is because of self-conciousness (Which I have a very hard time understanding, because she is honestly one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen, and is constantly complimented on it).
And Karma, all the points you have raised are extremely valid; I had already been considering many of the things you mentioned. I guess I define love as a combination of having a great time with someone, physical attraction, and a strong emotional connection.
I have confronted her about her “bad experiences,” and she refused to tell me about them saying “it’s not a big deal.” Well, after about 45 minutes of badgering her, she told me about a guy who cheated on her a couple years ago. She actually began to cry when trying to put the words into her mouth, and I couldn’t help but think there was more to the story, but that’s all she would divulge. And I must admit, there isn’t a shortage of hotties that are waiting for my training:), but I would never let that fact affect my current relationship.
I guess my head keeps telling me it will be better in the long wrong to stop seeing her, but my heart won’t let me give up so easy. Oh yea, and my MAX BENCH is around 315, LOL.
Well, In my opinion I must say I think you have your head screwed on straight except for this little problem you are experiencing. Are you sure she really is a virgin? Not trying to be rude here but for a girl who is only 20 and to act like she did just because a guy cheated on her usually tells me that she was attached to this guy and she gave it up to him. I speak from experience because my wife lost her virginity to another guy when she was about your girlfreinds age and she STILL will not talk about the details of it. She just says it was wrong and she regretted it. I know she was not raped and it was of her choice but she will not talk about it to this day. Your girlfreind seems to be acting in such a manner that would suggest that it was more than just a bad breakup, she lost something in that breakup. Have you two had sex? If you have what is it like? I am not trying to get personal just get a better understanding. If you do have sex, does she just lie there with a far off gaze and is not interactive at all? In other words you would get more responses from a blow up doll? Some women are very attached to there virginity and their upbringing may be the problem. Sorta like girls who do not like to be eaten because its dirty because mommy said so type thing. You have to understand also that maybe she did not give it up yet and she is afraid that you will leave her and she is holding back because of that fear. Worded in another way she will not allow herself to get close to you because she wants to ride you hard and put you away wet until the cows come home but she is afraid you will leave her so she is withdrawing. Lots of options here but I think they are legitimate ones. Knock her over the head with a louisville slugger and have your way with her, JK. I wish you luck and get back to us with some more answers.
Well I think karma and ru12nvme’s advice here is really good. karma summed it up best with - "Let her do her soul searching and growing up. You do yours. Should your paths meet again someday - wonderful. "
And this advice is especially better after you tried the letter thing, I mean, you gave it a shot, and of course, I am assuming this is not the first attempt at trying to reach her?
The part about being unavailable is dead-on, there is nothing about you personally that can change her to open up, she has to figure things out for herself, and meanwhile like karma said, you are losing time that you cannot get back, waiting on her to come around. That she would nearly start crying when you asked her about how she got hurt in the past, tells me she's stuck in another place and has not yet gotten past it. That you two have not been intimate will make it easier to move on if you choose to. Have fun, see the world, do what makes you happy, and you'll end up with someone when you least expect it. Good luck bro. And nice work on the max bench. ;-)
No ass after a year? Oh hell no. And shes not waiting for marrige? So that means she just doesn’t wanna fuck you. You need to move on bro. Good luck
She’s being selfish. Everything that you have said that comes from her is about her, not you. I haven’t heard you mention how much she cares about you nearly as much as I’ve heard her say how much she worries about herself. Diction is a good indicator of meaning. If most of the subjects of her sentences are “I”, “myself”, “me”, etc., then you’ve got a good idea of what’s important to her. I hope she soon realizes that, in relationships, that stuff has to go. She’s making you put yourself in a vulnerable position, but she’s not even attempting to meet you anywhere remotely near the middle. These could be reasons why she was cheated on as well. I know that if a girl wasn’t opening up to me after a year, I’d be a bit bitter. I would suggest finding happiness elsewhere, but I wish you luck most of all.
I was in a very similar situation with my ex. She being 20 -virgin (I am from denmark, geing a 20year old virgin is very uncommon here), unable to open up.
You have to consider wether you want to be the one who ?gets hurt and end up having a hard time expressing yourself…
From my experience came bitterness and I am fighting not to become cold and cynical…
If she really wants you tell her you won’t be with her untill she opens up -she will change for you if that is what she wants. You would do it for her in a heartbeat!
Basicly don’t sell yourself short -you deserve a girl that loves you to the same extent as you love her.
I would hate for you to miss out on that deeper level of emotional intimacy -I thankfully had a 4 1/2 year relationship with a wonderfull woman and it has made me grow in so many ways!
By the way I am only 24 so my veiwpoint isn’t that far from yours…
What du you squat?