Dear Captain Awkward,
I’m 24, a lady, and I have never been in any kind of a romantic relationship before, until now. I think I’m fucking everything up. Here’s the lay of the awkward;
Some mutual friends of ours set me up on a blind date about a month ago and we really hit it off, or at least he really did and I kind of did. I enjoyed our first date which was just talking, and our second time hanging out was at his apartment and was just making out, I wanted to do it and it, and I was probably no kind of good considering this is the first human penis I’ve gotten to know. But after that, that’s all our relationship has been, arrange to hang out at one or another of our places, delightful sloppy make outs that end when he comes, and then cuddling and pillow talk, (possibly dinner) before going our separate ways. Classic college hook-up and I’m pretty happy with it despite that I haven’t gotten off with him yet. He’s leaving the country in a few months for an internship and I will probably not see him again afterwards. So this relationship-thing has a built-in expiration date.
So, sometime into this hangout-hookup thing I loose my penis-in-vadge virginity to him, and it goes ok, but I was not super into it and it hurt. I bled a bit and then I was kinda sore for a couple of days. (yes we used a condom) The Awkward began shortly after that, the last time we were together; we start out at his apartment, I got to meet his roommate, we all talk for a while, then myself and the Young Man are making out in his room but I can hear his roommate and some other people in the other room.
Things proceed as they have before; he asks if I want to be penetrated again? I say no. I explain that it hurt. He is ok with this but seems put out by it. The atmosphere is not good partly because of that, partly because I can hear roommate and roommate’s guests in the other room. Afterwards we’re talking and he tells me he has to take his parent’s aged cat to the vet in the morning to be put down, so he asks if I want to stay the night with him at his parents house? as they are out of town, I say sure. So we get some groceries and go over there.
We opt to sleep in his parents bed rather than his sisters, So he gets into bed with me after making absolutely sure that his cat is in the bed too, and we’re making out (which involved shoving the cat out from between us) and he indicates that he’d like me to go down on him and I am all like “ok I can do that” only to look up mid-suck to his cat on the bed on the other side of him looking me dead in the eyes with that “what are you doing new human?” cat-expression I laugh because it’s awkward and he’s like “don’t think about it, don’t think about it” and I get back to work, by now thoroughly unaroused but willing to try. Next thin I notice he puts his hand on the back of my neck and is squeezing it.
Captain Awkward, I hate it when people squeeze the back of my neck. My Dad used the Vulcan Death Grip on me as a disciplinary tool all throughout my childhood and I have only recently learned to tolerate light friendly arms around the shoulders from trusted friends.
I hate explaining this to people, because I love my family and I love my dad. He’s been a really good dad; this was about the only form of corporal punishment I ever got as a kid. Some kids got the belt. But nobody ever playfully smacks you with a belt and expects you to like it as an informal friendly gesture and people put hands on shoulders and necks all the time. I tend to avoid casual social contact because of this, because somehow it’s not weird to not like to be touched at all, but it’s weird to not want to be touched in specific places.
Back to that blowjob, I stopped, I took his hand off my neck, I said, “not my neck please” and I got back to work. I got him off, we cuddled for a bit, didn’t talk and then I pretended to sleep while listening to him snore and wanting to be home in my own bed all night.
This is the beginning of spring break. So I go home, he takes his parent’s other cat to the vet for the saddest vet-vist ever, (this is not perv-cat) I forget to charge my dead cellphone and am only contact-able via internet for two days while I sit in my cocoon and enjoy being on vacation from people. Because I am not answering my dead phone he panics, calls me repeatedly, contacts some of my friends to inquire as to my whereabouts and comes over to pound on my door.
Which from my perspective was: somebody came over randomly to pound on my door. I did not get up. The UPS leaves sorry-we-missed-you slips if they need a signature. I live alone and was not wearing pants at the time.
So, after a day or two in the cocoon of solitude I charge and turn on my phone, it has some messages for me and missed calls. He calls me in the evening. I, not wanting to spend the night at his place again, I say I don’t want to see him right now because I am “enjoying some Me time” and could we postpone this until tomorrow? He responded sarcastically to this statement with something like “oohhh okayy, if you say you need Meee time, I guess that’s important”. I hung up.
He calls again the next day, the first time well before I am awake, I answer the second call three hours later, we jointly and tersely determine that he should not come over if I am doing chores and shopping expeditions all day.
I update my facebook page to a status indicating that I am enjoying my time alone. He calls the next day as soon as I touch my faecebook (probable use of the friend-activity sidebar) to ask if that meant that I wanted him to stop calling? The answer to that question was yes. I explain that I feel very badgered right now and that I will call him later. He explained that he was only worried about me.
So, Captain and Crew, my previous experience with dating has been unrequited crushes and occasionally meeting people from OKcupid that I never wanted to talk to again. I am enjoying these nice friendly hookups I’ve been having, despite the occasional aggravating comment from the Young Man to the effect that I am “way earthier and more free then those repressed catholic girls I (he) used to date” (which is to say that I am a slut for sleeping with him) All I want is a little sexual experimentation, cuddling afterwards, and some smart conversation. He keeps talking about names he wants to give his hypothetical children, and how much he’s looking forwards to settling down and having a family. I like him rather a lot, he’s good-looking and very smart, but I’m not crushing on him like I have previously crushed upon others, and I feel like he wants more of my time and my energy than I am used to giving up to anyone. Also the whole, won’t-stop-calling-me thing leaves me feeling like a cat that’s been chased under the sofa. As much as I do want to be with him right now, I also need my own space and for that space to be respected.
My friends think I’m over reacting and that he will probably not want to see me again at all after all this. This and they think we’re perfect for each other personality-wise (we’re socially awkward and loud nerds the both of us) so, I don’t feel like I have a sympathetic ear for this most first world of problems. Just because we’ve been going out for a month doesn’t mean I trust him implicitly and want to be around him all the time.
Should I explain that this isn’t working and be done with it? He’ll be gone for good in August anyway. Should I try and make it work? He’ll be gone for good in August anyway! This is the circle of stupid I’ve been pacing.
Thank you in advance for applying your time, attention, and editorial oversight to this matter
I Have No Idea What I’m Doing
Dear Have No Idea:
Here’s what’s happening: This guy likes having sex with you and hanging out with you WAY more than you like him.
“I have to kill the family cat tomorrow, want to come over and have sex in my parents’ bed? While the cat watches us during some of its final moments?”
There is better sex than this on heaven and earth, Horatio.
So here’s your break-up script: “I’m glad we got together, but it just isn’t working for me, I’m sorry. Can we not hang out for a good while and then pick this up down the road as friends?”
Deflect any “Why” with “I’m sorry, it’s just not working for me.”
Chemistry can’t be faked. The two of you don’t have it. This has nothing to do with you, and nothing to do with sex (you’re going to have awesome sex with someone awesome, I pretty much promise you), and everything to do with this being a doomed relationship between two people who aren’t that into each other.
It’s not a reason for rending garments and heartbreak. What you got here was good information about what you like and what you need in a relationship, and the more you frame it (with him, with your mutual friends who set you up, and with yourself) as “Glad we tried that out, thank you!” the happier you’ll be moving forward.
Let me plug Jaclyn Friedman’s book once more: What You Really, Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Sex and Safety.
Go forth and sin again, my child. With someone else next time.