Going too far too fast

New town. New people. How far do I go to make friends?

Our elder says slow down to avoid regrets.

Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read my letter; whatever advice you can give me would be amazing!
So I (female, 16) moved to a new town before the start of the school year. I didn’t know anyone besides some family that I don’t really get along with. I started the school year, knowing no one my age, just flying through blind. It was hard. I had lived in my previous town since I was born, I grew up there. My friends are gone, we don’t talk much anymore. Everything I know is gone.

But I started making friends, Jacklyn and Jeremy (fake names). I get invited to Jeremy’s house and it’s fun. Sure I’m a little awkward, and maybe I don’t know what to say. But I have fun. And he kind of starts hitting on me, and I’m just laughing it off, thinking he was upset because he and his girlfriend weren’t doing great at the time. On a break then, and broken up since. And then we start fooling around, and it’s fun. He’s sweet about it. But I would very much like to clarify that I was not raped, I said yes. I let him touch me. But every time I go over there… We’re laughing and it’s fun, and we just show each other random stuff from our phones. And then he gets a little handsy, groping me, touching my thighs and ass. It does feel good. But I still feel gross. And uneasy. I don’t know if I’m embarrassed because I’ve never really done this before or if it’s because I don’t actually like it. I don’t want to mess this up, he is one of the very, very few friends I have here. What do I do? Thank you.

Roxie replies:

It is hard for all of us to be in a new place, not knowing anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for someone your age when friends are so important. I completely understand why your relationship with Jeremy matters so much to you.

But, sex complicates things. This isn’t to say that it can’t be wonderful and that it isn’t a very important part of life. It needs to feel right, however, or it just leads to problems and regrets. If you are finding things with Jeremy gross, and you are uneasy, you need to put on the brakes for a while. My guess is that part of your reaction has to do with the fact that he doesn’t seem to have clearly broken up with Jacklyn. Or, you may not find him sexually attractive. But either way, I think that at least for now you should stop going over to his house and “fooling around.” There is a good chance that things will escalate and you will find yourself doing something that you will regret.

Could you talk to him and explain that, much as you like him, you would be more comfortable keeping your relationship on a strictly friendship basis for now? If he is really a friend, he will ease up. It may be that he feels you are sending him conflicting messages about what you really want. Perhaps you could find another place to spend time with him, where the temptation to have sex is more easily resisted.

In the meantime, I would urge you to try to find additional friends. I know that the current social distancing requirements or guidelines in many places make it even harder than usual, but are there any out-of-doors activities (such as cycling or hiking) that you enjoy that might make it possible for you to be around other people? Or does your school have any interesting online groups? It takes courage to put yourself out there, but I think that you will find that it is worthwhile.
When the right situation comes along, having sex may make you nervous at first, but it will also feel right, and it is worth waiting for.

Category: Dating/Relationship
Letter #: 459287

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