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Dating and Sex after a Relationship

By Anonymous September 15, 2011 - 11:44am
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I am a 25 year old woman that got out of a 3 year relationship about a year ago. I have put a wall up when it comes to men and have completely made myself undesirable. The thought of sharing my life and my body with another man is terrifying so I don't allow myself to have a dating life or a sex life. I am 25- I should be dating and putting myself out there- but I constantly protect myself from getting too close to men in fear of choosing the wrong person again. I work full time, exercise often and strive to stay balanced in all other aspects, but I'm afraid if I get involved with a man I will be expected to have sex with him and feel instantly disrespected. I also have a constant fear of men giving me an STD, which I know would ruin my life. Putting it simply, I am extremely fearful of sex with another man and the stipulations that may come along with it. I want to get married and have children, but I know if I keep my wall up this will never happen. How do I move forward and allow myself to be an energetic, positive, and dateable young woman?

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EmpowHER Guest

You said it yourself in your post. Clearly you're an amazing woman and you need to let that shine. Men love to see a woman who loves herself and knows how to enjoy life, that's what they find desirable. As far as the walls, sure, totally a scary thing...but think about it...if at some point we didn't build up those walls... we'd let anyone come charging at us... don't think of them so much as a bad thing..but rather your mind/body's natural survival and protecting your heart.

As far as venturing out to find other men... go out with several to test the waters. And not 'go over to their apartment and chill' make them work for you, a nice dinner, fun activity, etc and then leave. Just avoid the in-house hang outs and see who you connect the best with and have the most fun with and keep sex out of the picture. If you wait out the physical intimacy part for a bit...you'll be able to tell if a guy is after your heart and or just your body, if he wants both, he'll do what it takes to have you let him stick around.
best of luck :)

October 5, 2011 - 11:01pm

Hi anon,
I love what Susan has written. You are not alone, the "wall" which you call it naturally comes after a long-trusting relationship and it takes a while before it disintegrates into nothingness and you can move on. I am also 25 and I think its our age to feel lost, confused, and perhaps scared because we are young adults, still need to define ourselves, and perhaps make a difference.
I think if you can focus on the betterment of yourself and tell yourself everyday that everything will be fine!
I thought I would share and let you know that you are not alone in feeling the weight of the "wall". I thought I had surpassed it but it took me being by myself to face the reality of my situation. But, this is just a beginning. One day we will look back at this and laugh! :)

September 15, 2011 - 1:02pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

May I ask what happened with your 3 year relationship that is causing such fear with you now?

Did you have this fear when you met your ex or are you feeling this way since the breakup? Was the breakup really bad? Are you over your ex?

If your ex made you feel badly about yourself or was in any way abusive, this might explain why you are feeling the way you are.

But regardless, it's often hard to start afresh after you have been with someone for a few years. It's always a risk and everytime we go on a first date, we're sticking our necks out. You may just have to stick your neck out too.

You said you work hard, exercise well and have a balanced life - but you also say you have made yourself "undesirable" to men. Not "unavailable" but "undesirable". Can you tell us what you mean by that, because you sound like someone most men would really like to date.

Don't ever feel rushed into having sex. I know you are still quite young - at 35, you'd be laughing at any guy trying to push this on your but the 20s are far different. However, always talk and look like you have control and tons of confidence. Laugh at a man who thinks you should be jumping into bed on the first date. Tell him how lame that is! Put him in his place and don't be afraid of doing that. Own your own confidence! And if you're not feeling that confident - fake it until you make it. I promise you that tactic will work for yourself.

Avoid (or drastically lessen) the possibilities of STDs by always using a condom. If a date tells you he doesn't have one, always carry one. If he says he doesn't want to use one, tell him you're out the door - and mean it. You really have to walk tall. This isn't arrogance, it's good and healthy self-esteem.

Do you feel that talking to someone may help? A few counseling sessions? I think this could help you sort through some things and put things into perspective. I was 25 once, too and was far less confident. I wish I could keep you 25 and give you the kick-ass power and confidence of a 41 (me!) year old! You have everything on your side - good health, you sound educated and probably very pretty. All you need is more self-confidence and to regain your power. That will happen with time and practice.

I wish you the best!

September 15, 2011 - 12:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your quick response! I really appreciate it.

The relationship wasn't physically abusive, but I stayed with him far too long and it has taken a toll on my emotional well-being. He kept me around to be more of a trophy (to fuel his ego) than to be with someone he actually cared for or wanted to grow with. I am very thankful we are not together anymore because I am now on the road to finding someone I can share my life with that actually will appreciate it.

I do have a lot to offer; I have a zest for life, an incredible and fun family, friends, I own my house, pay all my own bills, love to stay active and have long term and short term goals that I work to accomplish on a daily basis. I do have self-confidence but I think what may have brewed from this situation is trust issues with myself and my decisions regarding who I choose.

After being someone's "ego fuel" for 3 years I am fearful of trusting myself to choose a good person to grow with. Will I know if someone is worthy or not? I may need an attitude adjustment when it comes to men- right now I see them as evil. Maybe it's a generational thing and I should put my feelers out for a guy that actually has his life together? I really cared for my ex and kept trying with him hoping one day he would mature into a man and embrace what I had to offer. Unfortunately, when I communicated my goals and values to him, the truth came out that he truly did not care about the relationship. I like working hard for something but after this relationship I realized it shouldn't have to be hard- it should be mutually enjoyable.

I think the wall (or attitude I have toward men) is my biggest burden in moving on. I know I need to change my attitude in order to accomplish relationship goals, and eventually marry and start a family. I am over my ex- I guess I just feel like I have done a disservice to myself allowing him to have me for so long.

I would be willing to go to counseling- you can only talk to your mom about it so many times, right?- but I am to a point where I need to be proactive and move forward. This is my first attempt at reaching out- and I do have a wonderful support system- but I definitely do not want to close myself off any longer!

Thanks Again,

September 15, 2011 - 1:22pm
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