Solving Your Relationship Problems One Question At A Time
Hi! Welcome to Feminspire’s inaugural sex and relationship advice column! I’m Jess Mary and I have the solutions to all your problems.
A little about this new feature: we’re hoping to make it a regular occurrence! I’d like to make it an all-inclusive place where anybody can feel free submitting a question. There’s going to be no shaming based on sexual preferences. As long as it’s safe and consensual, I think it’s fair game. If I ever say anything you believe to be shaming, feel free to call me out.
I do need your questions, though! E-mail them to me at [email protected], along with your age and how you want to be credited. Or just leave a comment here!
Doing some serious thinking about your problems!
On to our first set of questions:
How do you change the structure of your relationship when trust has been broken in the past and possessive behavior comes into play on both ends? How do you make it work and make it healthy and let go of the “OMG WHY ARE YOU TEXTING THAT GIRL WHO IS SHE???” mentality? - A.B., 21
Oh man, once trust is broken it’s so hard to get it back. But good news: if you’re both willing to make it work, that’s the first step. Always keep this in mind: both of you want to be in this relationship.
The most important thing is to communicate. Communicate a lot. Be 100% honest about what you’re feeling, even if it’s not what your S/O wants to hear. Frame your feelings in “I” statements, though. Attacking someone (i.e. “you’re making it hard for me to trust you!”) understandably puts someone on the defensive, which means things have already escalated before they’ve even begun. If his/her texting another girl is bothering you, be open about it, but don’t be angry. “It makes me feel insecure when you text a girl and don’t tell me anything about her” will be a much calmer place to start a discussion than “Who is that girl?! Why haven’t you told me who she is?!”
Pick a time when you’re not actually upset about anything to discuss openness. Tell your S/O that you are going to try to always share your feelings before they blow up and something minor becomes something huge. Encourage him/her to do the same. In return, promise to always take a second and consider what the other person’s really saying before reacting in the heat of the moment. During fights, I often excuse myself or walk away so I can process what’s going on. It makes me really annoying to fight with (just ask my boyfriend!) but it often leads to calmness, resolution, and ultimately, growth.
I don’t believe in trying to restrict your S/O’s behavior. I would feel resentful towards my boyfriend if he tried to dictate who my friends were and where and when I could go out. All you can do is calmly share that something makes you uncomfortable. Chances are, if s/he is truly serious about trying to make it work, s/he will take that into account and take steps to ease your concerns.
Trust is both a choice and something that grows. You’ve already chosen to learn to trust him/her again. Be patient with each other and give the other opportunities to prove him or herself. It will get easier over time!
How do you keep a long-distance relationship feeling like a relationship and not just a friendship, since you can’t express intimacy physically? – K.H., 20
As someone currently in a long-distance relationship, I feel you on this! This is the hardest part for me. I think physical intimacy is so important: so much is communicated in little touches and kisses. Not to mention, SEX!
Naked pictures are always fun. My friends don’t have naked pictures of me. (I mean, I assume and hope that they don’t.) My boyfriend does. Phone/Skype sex can also be really fun, and is a really great way to get to know each other sexually. Talking out your sexual encounters while masturbating together is a great way to bring up some of the more kinkier things you may want to do. Have you been trying to get your boyfriend to choke you? Bring it up during phone sex. Talk about it enough over the phone/in texts and s/he won’t be surprised when you’re in bed and ask for it. There are many sex games you can play over the phone: take turns telling each other how exactly to masturbate–how hard, how fast, etc. Don’t let each other come until you give the okay!
If phone/Skype/text/AIM/whatever sex isn’t enough for you, remember this: a relationship is more than a friend you bone (those are called friends with benefits.) There’s a reason we call our S/Os “partners”–because that’s what they are. Be each other’s support system. Help each other solve problems. Push each other to succeed where you alone might give up. Just because you’re not in the same location doesn’t mean that you’re not in this (this being life) together, for as long as you choose. Tell your partner your deepest fears, your wildest goals. Dream together, of a life you might one day have. One thing that’s nice about long-distance is that you are forced to talk…a lot. There are definitely days you might want to curl up on a couch in each other’s arms and watch a movie. It sucks that you can’t. But you’re forced to get to know each other, inside and out, in ways couples lucky enough to live in the same city are not. Long distance has its challenges, but it can also be the base for a strong relationship. I’ve heard a lot of couples who survived long distance (whether they started that way or not) talk about how it just made them stronger.
I’m moving cities soon and I need to find new sex partners. I currently have 2 FWBs that I’ll be leaving behind in Boston. How will I sex in NYC? HELP. -A.P., 18
First of all, you’re lucky because you’re moving to NYC, which is like, the easiest place to sex in the world. NYC apartments are tiny (take it from a current Brooklyn resident) and nobody spends time in their home, because hanging out in the couch in the kitchen which is also where your roommate keeps his dresser because his “room” is actually a former closet completely filled by a twin bed sucks. (This is the actual layout of an actual apartment I’ve been in.) Lots of bars are tiny, too, and if you’re the slightest bit extroverted, striking up conversations in bars (or in coffee shops or bookstores or wherever people congregate) is the easiest thing in the world.
What you’re really asking is, ‘how do I make friends?’ because a few of those friends inevitably end up being the kind with benefits. I’d highly recommend becoming a regular somewhere. Pick a favorite bar or coffee shop to hang out in and go in often, so you start to recognize people and they recognize you. Always say hi and make small talk–that leads to deeper conversations. You’ll get to know the staff, who will treat you right (free beer and/or coffee!) and you’ll meet other regulars. Once you start to befriend people, you’ll meet other people and you’ll be having more sex than you can handle.
Also, the internet is the best thing to happen to casual sex since condoms! (Do you know condoms have been around since the Renaissance, and possibly even earlier? Obviously they weren’t Ribbed for Her Pleasure, but they were something!) There are roughly a bajillion dating sites out there, many users of which are not actually looking for a relationship. OK Cupid seems to be the most popular, but there’s always plentyoffish, match.com, or the ever-weird Craigslist casual encounters section. There are dating sites for all sorts of demographics. There used to be this whole stigma attached to online “dating”, but now it’s common. Just be prepared for a lot of creeps to message you. (Delete, delete, delete!)
It’s always hard at first, but once you meet people in your new city, you’ll meet the people they know and then you’ll meet more people and I guarantee you will want to touch their genitals with your genitals with some of them and some of them will want to touch genitals with you. Especially in NYC, we’re all broke all the time and just have beds and can’t fit any other furniture in our homes.
Have you ever faced any of these problems? Got any wisdom to share? Join in the discussion in the comments!