An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

The problem was that he wanted us to have sex.

Sharing an email – received it just a day before the Delhi High Court ruling discussed in the previous post.

This email also highlights unrealistic expectations Indian society has from young Indian women and how it can confuse a young mind. So, good Indian girls should not have boy friends, if they do, they must marry the first man they go out with, breaking up is not an option – because it implies the girl has a ‘past‘. And otherwise old fashioned boyfriends can have ‘liberal’ ideas about premarital sex.

Since boyfriends are not permitted there is no guidance about rights in a relationship.

Is your relationship healthy?

Your Rights in A Relationship – A Desi Girl’s Guide to Relationship Survival.

An email from Almost Twenty.

Should I ask this guy to get back together? Please guide me.

I am 20 and have been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years. I was really serious about him. He is wonderful. I don’t know how I managed to find somebody who was perfect for me, but I did.

Then the problem started. We were both REALLY close to each other. We shared everything. Since I don’t believe I was doing anything bad, I was very upfront about our relationship to my family and friends and even my extended family. I don’t care about the neighbours. He wasn’t. We are from different communities. His family was old fashioned. He had been born after two girls, the “ladla”. I have no idea how he wasn’t spoiled.

I tried to tell him that his family discriminated on the basis of gender and I would not be able to stand it at functions (we were thinking of getting married then.) He accepted that he would be called JKG. He assured me he would handle his family in such a situation.

He knew about my family life. And he knew that in spite of it all, I wanted to take care of my parents. Though I doubt they would take my help since is so little affection between us. But he knew that because of my family, I would probably be more caring about his family than him. I was.

He used to say that I am all talk. I lay down a million ground rules and then break them all for him. I did that because I loved him and some things just didn’t matter as much.

The problem was that he wanted us to have sex. I had made it clear that I didn’t want to. I wasn’t comfortable with it. Yet, he schemed repeatedly, and manipulated many times to get me to his house. Sometimes it was pressure because other couples were fine, so why couldn’t I?

The more he did it, the more wrong I felt, and the more nervously he acted. I don’t doubt that he loved me. But perhaps his love was selfish. I don’t know. He is a good guy. I don’t doubt that he would have married me if I wanted that.

But I used to hate each time he tried to talk about it. I also worry about possible consequences. We are kids. We aren’t supposed to have kids until we can financially care for them, so we shouldn’t have sex until we are prepared for the consequences. No moral nonsense, merely my personal views. We never went far, because I didn’t want to. It frustrated him. I think one reason he kept doing it was because he thought (absurdly) that I didn’t find him attractive. I did, of course. And so he pressurized me and then he hated the fact that I would say no, and it would go on. I get why he was doing it- the media always shows a girl saying no, and then doing it, do they not? It was easy for him to pretend that I was fine with it, because we were going to get married anyway. I do not think I would want to have sex with him the first night of the marriage either- that concept is difficult for me. Also, I had once mentioned in passing that even if I felt like doing it after marriage, I would probably keep saying no for a long time if he asked about it (till I “settled”.) I understand this is a result of social conditioning making me believe that wanting sex is “slutty” but I can’t change this feeling and I don’t really want to.

I do not think he had bad intentions to “use and throw” or whatever, but the idea didn’t sit well with me. Another reason I wouldn’t do it was because he was so old-fashioned – he had never had a female friend before me. He hadn’t told his family (about me), even.  Only his sister. I do not think premarital sex is bad, but I don’t know why I didn’t like the idea. I just couldn’t do it. I think somewhere I have always been aware that he cares a LOT about “society”- a LOT. I always wondered about it – in case of an accidental pregnancy, it would be I at risk with the whole Indian abortion setup – where woman are abused.

I know he would have supported me – he would even have told his family if I insisted on a marriage, but we aren’t even earning – the idea is just so irresponsible to me somehow.

Also, I think one reason he wanted to do it was the fact that I would be unlikely to end the relationship with him afterwards. Or so he thought. He isn’t liberal like me, after all.

I ended the relationship the day he tried to pressure me into *other sexual acts*. Sorry about being crude, but I just COULDN’T fathom how he had no idea of how much pressure this was causing to our previously almost perfect relationship. I now think I should have handled the relationship differently. I should have probably put my foot down on the issue and never broken up. But it is done.

Post break up, I thought I would be relieved. I have had two break ups before and they didn’t hurt me at all. But I found that missed him every day and thought about him all the time. Our friend circle hated me, because they were his friends.

I rarely make friends and my boyfriend wouldn’t let me talk to my few friends, because they weren’t fit for his social status and because he is a jealous person [I am smiling as I say this because he never caused trouble for me. I always scolded him in public when he acted like this! And he always accepted that he was wrong, but said that I should sometimes indulge him after he threw a tantrum, so I did when I felt like it.🙂 ] I know that was wrong and possessive. But I didn’t mind. He was all I needed.

And I didn’t listen to him when I actually wanted to talk to somebody. And I lectured him about it when he got too far. So, it was fine. But when he wasn’t around I realised I had nobody to hang out with.

Have you ever been invited to a party and then gone there and nobody will talk to you? They will all smile and say a few sentences and turn away. They all know you are alone but nobody cares. That is how my situation became.

Moreover, his friends bullied me. They called me a slut, used hindi gaalis on facebook. One of his friends… kept talking about how I wasn’t “Indian” (Indian girls = first boy friend is last boyfriend) which made me think- really? He had had 7 relationships till then and he had no intention of getting married to the girl he was with and they did a lot of stuff together! Same case with the girl also. And he says I am not Indian because I don’t fit his ridiculous moral standards when he doesn’t fit them either!

I don’t think my boyfriend asked them to do it. He most probably didn’t tell them the real reason though – how could we? So the reason I gave everybody was that he lied. He begged a lot when I broke up. But he was just refusing to think.

The problem is that it has been 8 months now. And I am still as much in love with him as I was then.

I found out a few weeks back that he had accepted a girl’s “proposal” but had then rejected her in a month. He said that he had known I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. (Probably because he felt I had to; because I had had relationships before him while I was his first? He had never cared about my past, after all.) He told me that he had immediately realised that he was in love with me and so he had ended this relationship in a month. I was really hurt though so I ended up telling him that I still loved him.

Maybe he was entitled to a relationship? Was it as fine because we had already broken up?

So, if he knew that he loved me, then why did he go out with another girl? Why do it? How can he say he loves me? Also, he has been talking to this girl for 8 months now. What about her? He will have to tell me about her and lessen talking to her, but would I be able to trust him again?

The problem is that I can’t forget him. And I am not a liar either. I fear that I will not be able to pretend to my husband when I marry. And I will get married to get out of my family’s atmosphere. My family can’t be trusted to get me married. Also, my relatives knew about the relationship- including my grandmother and they keep asking about him. I don’t know how to explain to them that I have broken-up. They are typical Indians and don’t understand break-ups. I am so tired of it all.

I was depressed for 3 months, post break up. This was the second time. I know our relationship was healthy and I love him a lot, and not because he fills a void in me that was created by my family or any other psychological assessment. I simply love him. Apparently, Bollywood style love is possible (to an extent anyway.)

So, I have been considering asking him to get back together. To save his face in college, I couldn’t tell anybody the real reason. My “honor” too, but I admit I care very little about honor, but he seems to care about the society a lot. He once wanted me to pretend that I belong to his community so that people wouldn’t do the whole- “love marriage haw” thing. It was a joke and I was scandalised so he never brought it up again. It was the easy vs. right question! But his family is pretty normal. In fact, his sister is surprisingly in love with a guy from my community and they are getting married soon! So, I would have fit right in, without major problems. I was also willing to adjust (and I am rolling my eyes as I say this is a new low.)

Now, should I ask him to get back? I fear he may be over me, but if he is, he will just tell me and what harm can that do? Or I will find it out and then end it. I do not care about potential embarrassment or ego. But right now I feel like I have no closure. And I keep thinking that I will never love my husband because I will never meet a guy I respect. I am so like you girls here. I have no idea how you people found a good guy but for me, things aren’t going to be easy.

What complicates the matter is that I told my boyfriend that the reason I was ending the relationship was because of the lies. I figured this was better and easier. Also, he was refusing to accept the problem. When I would tell him that his odd insistence on us getting physical made me feel like something he was using, he would get this horrified look and once started crying and told me not to say such things. *eye roll*

So, he knows deep inside the real reason, but might be pretending to himself, you never know. He was good at that, like most Indians.

So, should I? Shouldn’t I?

Please post this on your blog, after shortening it up. I want to listen to what people have to say.

I only wrote the family part so people would know that I am already too cynical to trust and how the arrange marriage scenario is risky for me. I admit if I lived in a place where dating was accepted, I wouldn’t have considered getting back with him.

I know that it is possible for me to fall in love again, if I meet the right guy. But right now, for realistic reasons I feel that I might never meet a guy who would let me be myself.

Also, I do love this guy, even though his behaviour hurt me, so I do want to get back together. And his parents now know about us and live in the same city, so the case of sex is closed, at least while we live in this city. But if he takes me back, I think he won’t pressurize me about sex anymore because he will also want to make it work.

Thank you,

Almost Twenty

117 thoughts on “An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

  1. Food for thought. If a girl asked her boyfriend for sex and he kept saying no, would we think it is ok to end that relationship? After all, one person’s needs are not being met. Is it shallow? Yes. Is it wrong? Not necessarily.

    On a slightly unrelated note, reading the girl’s views on premarital sex and pregnancy, I realized being around her age I completely identify with it. I want to have sex with my boyfriend, but I am afraid of getting pregnant. While the internet is full of information it seems more like a marketing ploy for contraception with too many facts and no real reasons. I wish I could speak to my mother about this issue, but she will freak out with anything related to sex before marriage. So, why dont you do a post on contraception. What do indian women use? Is the pill really bad for your body? Are condoms only 85% reliable? How do you ensure no stds and pregnancy as a sexually active young woman when you dont get this information from anyone? Most boys I know think condoms are fool proof. I think a blog post on what you men and women have used (anonymously if that makes people more comfortable) would definitely be helpful to the young subscribers of this blog.

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    • Avoid birth control pills unless absolutely necessary.

      I recommend condoms because they offer protection against STDs as well. In addition condoms are less invasive than female contraception options (the pill, IUDs, diaphragms).

      You may want to explore the female condom as well. I’ve never used them and don’t know how widely available they are, but they appear to be safer than male condoms.

      Why not consult a gynecologist? Some of them these days are more open than they used to be.

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      • I have found birth control pills to be really effective and comfortable. It never interfered with my health either. Of course, consulting a gynaecologist before starting to take pills is a must.

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      • It’s a pity that a 20 year old is not aware of safe ways of having sex, and despite claims of not giving a damn about honor and society, clearly that’s not true in this case. Sex is typically a very important part of a relationship (whether married or not), and if one person involved wants it while the other does not, then chances are good that this relationship will not have a happy ending. So it’s an excellent situation that they’ve broken up. That said, this story is a very sad depiction of our societal bias towards women remaining virgins until marriage.

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      • Hormonal contraception is safer and cheaper than many people think. Religious lobbyists often try to present it as the ultimate evil and a major health risk, when in fact using birth control pills contributes to advanced testing and cancer prevention (it’s a prescription drug so regular doctor visits and check-ups are necessary).

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    • RD,

      There really isn’t any such thing as completely safe sex. The only foolproof way to never get an STD is to not have sex at all (the same applies to unexpected pregnancy).

      The best way to minimize the chances of an “accident” is to use a combination of contraception methods so that you have some amount of redundancy in case one fails.

      Condoms (i.e male condoms) are usually very reliable, and coupled with birth control pills, they provide a more than adequate amount of protection against both STDs and unintended pregnancies.

      Some women are not comfortable with birth control pills, so another option to consider is a spermicide film. In North America, it can be found pretty much everywhere (Walmart, CVS, whatever). It is not that widely available in India, but it can be ordered online. This should, of course be used in conjunction with a condom or diaphragm.

      There are also various contraceptive gels available, but I’m not sure how effective they are.

      The most foolproof option against unintended pregnancies is of course, surgical sterilization, but apart from being permanent, it offers no protection whatsoever against STDs.

      As biwo has suggested, contact a gynecologist for the best information. Doctors, just like divorce lawyers and real estate agents, have a tendency to be relatively immune to what society thinks about these things, and they’d probably be more than willing to help you out and maybe even throw a few pointers on sexual health your way.

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      • “Doctors, just like divorce lawyers and real estate agents, have a tendency to be relatively immune to what society thinks about these things, and they’d probably be more than willing to help you out and maybe even throw a few pointers on sexual health your way.”

        Um, doctors in India vary. My cousin once went to a gynac for a prescription for the morning-after pill (it was not OTC then) and got a lecture on abstinence.

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        • I hope your cousin told him to cut the crap and write the prescription.

          You’ll always find rotten apples, I guess, but somehow I find that doctors don’t usually share the usual taboos of society. They’re too far gone to care.

          Although some get a little crazy too.

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        • I agree with The Bride. When my friend went to her doctor for advice, she was told to not take birth control pills “because they will make you infertile”. Needless to say, she started practising the “withdrawal” method and ended up having a child within six months. So much for doctors in India.

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        • Not to mention that the same doctors are much more in favour of abortions than protected sex.

          Talking about what is good for health! Pfffft!

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        • Okay, I stand corrected.

          I admit I don’t know that many Indian doctors, so maybe it is different here.

          Fem,

          I think I read an article once which said that because pre-ejaculation fluids naturally secreted during intercourse can contain viable sperm, the withdrawal method is actually very ineffective and the perfect use pregnancy rate for it is completely misleading.

          As a doctor, I would’ve thought he’d know better than to advise something like that.
          Doctors really shouldn’t have agendas, at least when they’re dealing with patients. I mean, if a lot of Indian doctors are like that, they’re actually ruining lives. Unexpected pregnancies can be disastrous.

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        • PT,

          In many cases, these women consult gynecs who are family / relatives / friends, and are told such things. I am amazed how someone whom you should be able to trust doubly (as doctor and as friend) could advise such things.

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        • Being a medico, I’d like to say that it is not easy for us to judge each situation separately. Now, the cases of even 8th and 9th graders coming for gynaec consultations are on the rise. While I truly agree that the more the awareness, the better it is, there is also this other aspect here, where the i-pills and emergency pills are being abused. Young girls who do not even know the impacts of such pills on their bodies, find popping a single pill after sex to be safer than asking for a condom to be worn. Or best be, to abstain from sex relations unless you are absolutely sure about it. In many cases we have to take a stern stand and advice against pills, especially considering the age group. And with the cases being piled upon, it may not always be feasible to give a complete individualized consultation, especially when such girls are never honest about their ages. But yes, I do agree that there are many insensitive doctors on the prowl too. Withdrawal method is never considered safe. We almost always suggest contraceptive pills to married women. For the rest, we suggest condoms as the hormonal impact of pills on a young body may not be always be termed safe. .

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        • Replying to Sashu. Agreed.

          However, how do you justify the doctor’s conduct in the case of Fem’s cousin?

          Telling a patient that the pill will make her infertile is an act of inexcusable negligence.

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        • Replying to Biwo. I totally agree there. This must have been some qwack of a doctor. There is no justification to this one. I was giving a more general perspective.

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        • “I’d like to say that it is not easy for us to judge each situation separately.”

          But isn’t that the very job of a doctor?.That is, to judge each individual case separately, of course, taking into consideration the body of knowledge they’ve imbibed and their experiences of different cases.

          Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by it’s not possible to give individualised consultation.

          “And with the cases being piled upon, it may not always be feasible to give a complete individualized consultation, especially when such girls are never honest about their ages.”

          Again, regardless of the workload, I would think if someone came in for an individual consultation, that’s what they should get. I delivered both my babies in a public hospital in Hong Kong where the workload is incredible. But I don’t think the doctors would ever say that they could not deliver an individual consultation because of the workload. They’d be in deep trouble if they did. They were rushed sometimes but one would hope that they considered my case as an individual and not gave out generic advise. And if I asked hazaar questions, they answered them.

          In terms of finding out the age, it would be wise if doctors registered patients at their practices with some documentation, while assuring patients of confidentiality. This is standard practice in many parts of the world. One could also explain to the patient the importance of being honest about their age because that would affect the appropriateness of the treatment.

          “While I truly agree that the more the awareness, the better it is, there is also this other aspect here, where the i-pills and emergency pills are being abused. Young girls who do not even know the impacts of such pills on their bodies, find popping a single pill after sex to be safer than asking for a condom to be worn.”

          Yes, even I heard firsthand from a teenager how the morning-after pill has become popular as contraception of choice. It is now over-the-counter so no need to go to a doctor for it. (My cousin, however, was over 21 and was well aware of the risks of popping it randomly which is why she went to doctor.)

          However, don’t you think there’s a contradiction in what you’re saying. How would young girls know the impacts of such pills without education and who can best spread this awareness except gynacs? If more 8th and 9th graders are coming for a consultation that’s a very positive thing, don’t you think?

          ” For the rest, we suggest condoms as the hormonal impact of pills on a young body may not be always be termed safe.” I guess you know best about the hormonal impact of the pill on young bodies. And condoms would prevent STDs too. But the pill gives the woman a choice to control contraception while condoms means having to convince someone else.

          I think everyone, including 8 and 9 graders, should be given the options and it be explained to them and their views be taken into consideration before arriving at what would be the best contraceptive method for them. Taking a “stern stand” seems very paternalistic. Of course, everyone – not just young people – should abstain from sex until they are sure but preaching abstinence has become increasingly ineffective.

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        • I guess I’ve been vague here. Let me try to explain what I meant.

          “I’d like to say that it is not easy for us to judge each situation separately.”

          Here, what I mean is that, unless the patient (or case out-patient) comes clean of their detailed history, we cannot offer our services in the fullest. I have known cases (during my internship in the busiest of gynaec & obs hospitals in the whole of asia) where the patient claimed to be 19, and a rape victim, demanding abortion. Owing to the sensitivity of the matter, we had to undergo detailed tests and reviews, which made us realize that the patient was bluffing. The girl was neither raped nor was she 19. She was a 14 year old, more developed for her age, if put medically. Since the girl mentioned rape, we had to undergo a medical examination in detail which put the truth out. But had the consult been an OP consult, on a particularly busy ( we work for 48 hours without breaks such days) day, and rape wasn’t mentioned, we could have (please note – doesn’t imply we surely would have) gone ahead with a D&C for abortion, when in such cases, concerning adolescents, we go for non-invasive procedures, as much as possible.

          “But isn’t that the very job of a doctor?.That is, to judge each individual case separately, of course, taking into consideration the body of knowledge they’ve imbibed and their experiences of different cases.”

          Yes totally, that is our job. And that is exactly what we do. We do not go about giving prescriptions without taking a look into the history of the patient, and more importantly without a physical examination. A mistake might cost a life. We are well aware of that fact, and I truly believe that none of us would want to jeopardize any lives because of medical negligence. What I am trying to emphasize is that it may not always be possible to spend too much time on one patient, trying to draw out the true history, because we have more patients to attend to. Regarding the documentation part you mentioned, it is surely a more logical way. But I still do not know how practically possible it is, in today’s case scenario. It can be done, in a private hospital, where you pay enough (and sometimes more) for all the individualized attention you get. But take the case of a government hospital, a single visit to one of these places will give you a clearer idea. So unless we are provided with a true history, it might not be possible for us to judge the best possible remedy. In more visible conditions, we trust our physical examination, blood routine and other tests. But in case like suggesting a contraception best suited for the person, we would have to trust the individual’s statements, regarding age, previous history of any contraceptive use, underlying diseases, and several other important parameters. To sum it up, I meant that we may not have enough time at hand to draw these details out from a reluctant patient. It is possible that we trust people with their history, but later come to know it was all bluff along the way.

          Regarding adolescent girls, I believe that gynaec consults are positive in promoting awareness. And we do offer all the available options. But we do not hold back from suggesting abstinence as the best way. And most often, they do not pay heed. I have known cases where we have offered detailed counselling. But having heard of a particular brand from a friend or family, many a time, these girls are dead stubborn on having the same pill that their so called friend had. It might have been wrong for the girl, and yet, many a time, they do not understand how much ever we explain. We have even refused from writing such prescriptions unless accompanied by an adult/ guardian.

          The use of pills at adolescence may have hormonal impacts which may affect the physical as well as emotional well being of a still-growing body. That is the reason, medical as well as ethical, that we are not encouraged to suggest pills in teenagers. I do agree that they offer freedom to the individual to sex without worries of pregnancy. But medically, we have to follow medical basics first.

          @Bride, I hope I have managed to put my point across, clear this time🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think what Sashu is trying to say here is (and do correct me if I’m wrong), in order to obtain good treatment, you need to be a good patient.

          Most of us who have experienced client/practitioner relationships from the practitioner side can probably relate to what she is saying.

          That clients lie, or try to somehow conceal or misrepresent the truth, is an open secret in most professional fields.

          Even in corporate law, where you tend to deal with large, faceless entities instead of individuals, some clients lie all the time. They lie about things they think are embarrassing to them, things they don’t want everyone to know about. They lie about their practices, they lie about their procedures, and they lie about what they do with their money. They know they cannot get skewered by lying to their law firm due to non-disclosure clauses (as opposed to what happens if they lie to the public), so they will hide or misrepresent facts as and when it suits them.

          In my field, this can result in missed opportunities, increased costs, unfavorable judgements and a general erosion of wealth. We work round the clock to provide quality counsel to clients, but it is very hard to do that when you are misled about facts and details that the client didn’t think were relevant, but which actually turn out to be important.

          In medicine, I suppose you have a similar scenario, as well as a lot of do-it-yourself doctors who think they know better. Of course, the consequences would be far more serious because you’re dealing with
          actual human bodies, and the wrong remedy could cause irreparable harm.

          So I think the bottom line is, don’t lie to the doctors and they (generally) won’t lie to you.
          Does that sound right?

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    • @IHM,
      You are a saint who has patience to read all these emails then edit them and post them. Hats off to you.
      @Ex GF
      You are 20, there is life ahead. We all thought it was just 20 but see here we are in our 30s, 40s and more.
      Desi Dilemma: To Get laid or Not to Get Laid
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/desi-dilemma-to-get-laid-or-not-to-get-laid/
      The truth about more than perfect
      Signs of an Abuser
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/signs-of-an-abuser/
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/signs-of-an-abuser/

      How Abuse Begins
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-abuse-begins/
      Cycle of Abuse
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/cycle-of-violence/
      Love, Sex Aur Dhokha: A Tale of Blackmail
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/love-sex-aur-dhokha-
      a-tale-of-blackmail/

      IF IT AIN’T FEELING RIGHT, IT AIN’T RIGHT.
      NOBODY IS WORTH YOUR INTEGRITY.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      Like

      • I think it’s jumping overboard to introduce the abuse-factor here. They are a young couple (probably both in college) and young couples in love usually want to have sex with each other. To automatically assume that it’s abuse is grossly wrong in my opinion.

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        • Folks! The question she has asked is different. Should she get back with him?

          I say NO. He does not seem to respect her as an individual, and has certain notions which do not match with hers. He He has made her miserable.

          I don’t think there’s anything to consider, even. This girl is just 20, FGS. She has her whole life ahead of her! This is NOT LOVE. Love is a positive, healthy feeling. This is infatuation, and time + repeated bad experiences will kill it. Guaranteed.

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  2. Dear Almost Twenty,

    I am Almost Sixty and can share a few facts with you.

    1. Guys want sex because they want sex.
    2. They will do almost anything to get it.
    3. An unwilling girl is a challenge; he won’t give up unless he’s certain you won’t give out. Then he’ll either leave for greener pastures or force you.
    4. During dating, he is on his best behaviour; After marriage it will get worse. This includes all aspects of the relationship. Once he has you, he has no reason to be respectful of you unless his respect is genuine.

    Those are very general statements, of course. And, of course, there are exceptions. Not all guys are dogs, but when it comes to the type that are so very sexually oriented, the vast majority are.

    Dear young woman, my advice is to dump this loser and promise yourself you’ll find someone who will give you the respect you deserve. You can and will move on and look back with great relief that you weren’t suckered in. And never forget that your body is yours and no one, NO ONE, has any business coercing you to do anything you don’t want to with it.

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  3. Dear Almost Twenty

    Sometimes in life, you get so involved in a person that you tend to think that person is always right and anything you deny to that person is wrong…that may be anyone..your friend, your parents, your siblings..etc etc

    Whether you want to go ahead and have sex with him is definitely your decision, but as someone who is thirty, here is what I have to say..before that let me confess, I have never had a boyfriend (I know I am sad eh) and I have had a proper arranged marriage

    1. Its YOUR body..what you want to do with it is up to you and not upto your boyfriend (including agreeing to have sex)
    2. Sex is often over rated…but again so is virginity
    3. You need to be absolutely sure that you want to have sex with him and then go ahead..dont get swayed by anyone’s words or comparisons..because once you go ahead, thats it, no turning back
    4. I have no issues against pre-martial sex just as you, but again, I think the logic you have given about you being young and you not financially independent etc etc seems really sane to me
    5. I dont think you did anything wrong by breaking up..whats the point in being in a relation if its going to give you a headache

    and lastly

    6. Is the guy really worth so much thought? he may seem perfect, but if he pressurizes you on something that you DONT want to do, should you go ahead with such a relation

    I think you are still too young..and if you are so sane and balanced in life, you sure will get other guys who are equally perfect..

    Loads of hugs to you okie?

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  4. You are not yet twenty?
    Concentrate on studies and a good career.
    Marriage to the right person will happen at the right time.
    If you plan to get back into his life tell him up front that your stand on sex is still the same.
    (I presume it is?)
    If he respects your wish and preference, he may be worth your affection.
    If he resumes nagging you to have sex, dump him and get on with life.
    Twenty is hardly an age.
    You have many fruitful years ahead of you.
    Don’t waste it on guys who don’t deserve it.

    Best wishes
    GV

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  5. The real reason for your break up was he was INSISITING on sex right?? I guess he was obsessed with the idea and focussed only on that part of relationship, Right??

    Unless that issue is solved I do not think going back to him makes sense. Plus you being liberal & him being not has got nothing to do with you not wanting to have sex. If you don’t want to do that’s your will and think there is something that is stopping you from doing it right??? Think what is that beyond the reasons that you have mentioned above. Is it that in the heart of your heart you really don’t trust him with something that you value a lot.

    Besides that I can feel that there is a readical difference in your thinking & his. Do you feel that is workable??? Because my dear if you are thinking of marriage, then it is a big commitment. And you are what Just 20???

    There is life beyond love-breakups-marriages etc. I am sure that if you try really hard you can get over the relationship. There are many more things that you can do with your life than being depressed over something which is now a past. Make a career, meet new people, learn new things and in no time you will be past him. I am saying this out of experience.

    So chill!!! Instead of giving this relationship another chance give yourself a chance, a chance to live you life.

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  6. Almost Twenty,

    It appears to me that you are a highly intelligent, well centered person, as well as being a lot more self aware than many people your age.

    Please read carefully. (In case you find it relevant, I am a 38 year old male, and have been married over 8 years now)

    One of the cardinal rules while dating or being in a romantic relationship is to trust your instincts. Always. If you are feeling instinctively uncomfortable, it is a bit like one of those little warning lights on the flight deck of an airplane that light up and say “caution” . Your gut is trying to tell you something, and you ignore it at your own peril.

    Before going ahead, you must be convinced that it is indeed a false alarm.

    In this case, you were uncomfortable with his attitude about sex and marriage. You saw that this was not a false alarm, and ended the relationship.

    I think this was a good decision.

    Let’s face it, sex is important.
    When you are having a long-term relationship with someone, you do not have to be perfectly compatible. No one is perfectly compatible. You will always have a few differences, a few quirks, a few disagreements. After all, you are not clones.

    However, all disagreements are not equal. There are important disagreements and there are unimportant disagreements. While the relative importance you assign to various issues is a completely personal thing, some general assumptions can be made.

    For example, unless you are a big-time activist, things like political disagreement are relatively unimportant. If your partner likes tea over your favorite coffee, that is probably unimportant. If you love romantic comedy and he loves drama, that is unimportant.

    But in almost every case, sex IS important, because sex is something that most people feel VERY strongly about. If you cannot agree on sex, if you cannot be frank with each other about sex, if you have wildly different attitudes towards sex, you are setting yourself up for major-league incompatibility in the future.

    I believe you when you say you love him, that you miss him, that you feel lonely without him in your life. Trust me, I know how it feels to break up with someone who you thought was almost perfect.
    But always remember: While love is powerful, it is not nearly powerful enough to paper over major incompatibilities.
    The fact that you love him now will not prevent you from hating him later, once you are fully committed and see the incompatibility cropping up.

    Love or no love, if the differences are too great, it is a no go.

    In short: You took a GOOD decision and you should stick to it.

    With that said, let me address some of your other concerns.

    First, if the dating scene has taught me anything, it is the fact that there is no such thing as one perfect person for you. Everyone has multiple almost-perfect persons, and although it may take a while to find them, the wait is more than worth it.

    The second thing is that in my experience, people who don’t want to stay single seldom stay single for long. Like every human on earth, they find a way to get what they want.

    If you are worried about the lack of a dating scene in India, I suggest you completely remove that worry from your mind. Contrary to popular perception, urban India does have a rather active dating scene. And one of the biggest places for meeting potential partners seems to be the workplace, an area you haven’t yet had the opportunity to tap.

    Finally, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing this, twenty is far too young to be thinking about marriage! It is the rare college relationship that blooms into a long-term, loving marriage. At this age, you should be independent, you should be getting out, you should be experimenting, meeting people who are more your type.
    Don’t feel that you are the only liberal person to date in India! I know many young people get that feeling, but it simply isn’t true.
    Once you move out of college, start earning, start living an independent life, you’ll meet many people who are liberal, who are willing to have a relationship that will not necessarily lead to marriage.

    As I have said, you are more mature and self-aware than most people your age, but even so, you do not yet know yourself well enough to understand what you really are, and what you really want in a partner. There is no remedy to that apart from time and experience, and the more you experience, the more you will know.

    Without trivializing your issue – it is not trivial at all – I would strongly advise you to treat this as just another experience in your journey of life. You learnt something about yourself, and you learnt something about relationships. You may feel miserable to have broken up right now, but believe me, this misery does not begin to compare to the misery of a broken marriage.

    When it comes to relationships, it is better to be safe than sorry, better to have no relationship than a bad relationship.

    And with your personality, I would not worry too much about the no relationship part either.

    You, are all set to have an exciting life ahead. Move on.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brilliantly written PT. Kudos!
      I agree with everything you’ve said. And love the tone you have used wiht the words…neither comes off as condescending nor judgemental nor all-knowing…just right balance between mature and understanding.

      You’ve said it all…

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      • Agree with Ashwathy.
        PT, You are my favourite commenter!
        All the long comments you type are sensible and I look out for them to read.
        Your comments add value to this great blog.

        Regards
        GV

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        • Vishvanathjee,

          I hold a similar opinion about you.

          Often, I start to reply to your posts, but find that I really have nothing more to add, and hit “cancel” instead.

          Thank you.

          Like

    • PT
      This is one of the best responses I have ever read. You explain it gently,rationally, coolly, logically and as Awasthy says in a non-judgmental manner. I really have nothing more to say to twenty something after reading your excellent response!
      p.s do you have a blog !

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      • Ruchira,

        Thank you very much.

        I used to have a blog, but it is currently in deep freeze, due to the fact that neither me nor my wife can find time to devote to it.

        It takes a lot less time and effort to write out a response to a question or a problem or an email in IHM’s blog than to run a blog.

        Running a blog that is as successful as The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker remains one of my fantasies – something lined up for when I retire, heh.

        Like

  7. Dear Almost Twenty,

    Speaking very frankly, I am very happy to hear that more and more women are getting liberal about having boyfriends / girlfriends. I have had my share and at 29 am still single. Trust me, you still have a long way to go and going back to the guy just because you fear he is the best you might get is just plain stupid. There are better men out there. Most men and women around your age (I got a quite a few friends in that group) get into the act of sex due to simple peer pressure. I applaud you for having held out so far. Do remember, that once you start there is no going back. I know you dont care about the slut tag, but even with the same guy repeated requests are going to be the rule not the exception.

    Credit to the guy, that he has been around waiting in spite of wanting it so badly. But I feel it was a case of sour grapes. Which might be the reason for the other girl you mentioned ever making an entry. He might still love you but has now found a way to get what he wants and if he gets back together with you he knows he can get away with it.

    The society can go take a hike. I havent cared and still somehow remain a good guy in most books.

    Heart breaks happen. There are better men out there. You can either stop talking to him and make it easier on yourself or keep talking to him and he will keep thinking that you will give him another chance. Please do make a decision soon, coz the waiting for an answer is a pain.

    Personally, I wouldnt ever get back together with a girl who went out with someone while we were on a break (it means that person knew it was over.) But then like you said, Indian men are above ridicule. I hope that you wont either coz I would like another Indian girl doing what people are not ready to accept as her choice.

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  8. Dear, I think you are a very clear headed girl and am impressed with the way you handled your boyfriend. When in love, heart rules the head, so in spite of knowing that what you did was right you are being emotional over this guy. I understand your sentiments but trust me when I say, this too shall pass. I mean right now, you might think he is the best but just go through the heartache and keep moving forward without looking back. Do not start imagining your future or worse think bad about things which might never happen in your life. Easier said than done but you have a whole life ahead of you and there are many wonderful guys whom you will meet once you start going out. Divert your mind, concentrate on your studies, get into something that’s your passion, channelise your energy towards something constructive. Distract yourself away in what ever possible way you can think. Move out of the town, if you have that option. You are a strong girl and you need someone who will be able to respect and love you back without any conditions. Don’t rush, this might seem the end but as far as i see you are getting another chance in your life to make a new beginning. There is no gain without pain. Take this, as a sign towards a bright and beautiful life ahead. Good luck and keep smiling.

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  9. At 20 you seem to be very clear on what you want which is very very good.. I havent met many young people at this age who have so much of clarity in thoughts…some might have it…but will find it difficult to express or implement it… So I feel its good that you have stopped seeing him… and there is nothing weird about wanting to get back together…even if and when you guys get back together on your terms, the guy might start pressurising on the same topic after a considerable time has passed..I dont know..somehow i feel it will be just cyclic..how much of tolerance you will have until you want to put a stop to it…Its not that the guy is bad…but this cycle of being together and seperating becasue of pressure of sex is going to repeat until you guys decide to get married…so i would say, dont take on unnecessary pressure at this young age…enjoy what the life has to offer…meet different people…maybe you might meet someone of similiar type but with no pressure on sex! even if you do miss this guy , i would say the feeling of missing him is much more welcome than the feeling of irritation/betrayal/does-he-like-me-at-all?/does-she-like-me-at all? questions that might crop up while being together.

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  10. i agree with praveen up above, but i do have one thing to add. you broke up with someone you thought was perfect for you. there’s a rule i like to follow–it takes at least half the time you’ve been with someone for you to even consider your feelings for them realistically, usually as much time as you were together! i broke up with my boyfriend a year ago. i still miss him and i still wonder if i should get back together with him, because i don’t know if i will meet someone who GOT me like he did. but i also know i broke up with him for a reason (it was like we spoke different languages) and well its something that isn’t going to disappear. we might both change and come to a stage when we are speaking the same language, but it will probably take 2-3 years. so hang in there. if you’re sad, be sad. talk to people–if you feel you don’t have people in your life to talk to, i volunteer =) feel what you’re feeling and one day you’ll wake up and it won’t feel so bad. and if that really doesn’t happen to you, especially once you graduate and start doing other things, if you find yourself waking up and missing him in two years, well then maybe it will be time to reopen the conversation.

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  11. Dear Almost Twenty,

    I smiled reading your email and remembering what it was like to be almost 20. Sorry for sounding like an old grandma, but these days I feel like one. Just a few things I thought of when reading your long mail:

    1. You gave a lot of reasons for why you didn’t want to have sex. All of them are logical and very valid. However, even if you gave the most illogical reason – I didn’t feel like it, it didn’t feel like the time was right etc. – you would be right. There’s no point having sex unless you want to. And as you said, in India there is this whole baggage that comes with pre-marital sex and if you’re anyway unsure why take it on? I say this as someone who had sex with my first boyfriend, fairly soon into our relationship, at 17 and have no regrets. I also think it’s important that your first experience of sex be with someone you love and trust completely. You love this guy but don’t trust him completely so not having sex right now is a good choice.

    2. “I should have probably put my foot down on the issue and never broken up.” But it would have got really tiring to keep putting him off every time, no? Guys can be very persistent when they want to have sex, and this guy doesn’t sound like he would have been able to stop his demands. He might have controlled himself for a while, but I’d wager the pressure would start again. I feel that this would also happen if you got back with him. He might agree to put off pressuring you but I have a feeling he will resume after a while. It’s actually quite natural for human beings to want to have sex (like him) but it’s also natural for people not to want to have sex (like you). So neither of you are wrong really, though him pressuring you is not gentlemanly behaviour.

    3. About him “accepting a proposal” from another girl (I presume you mean dating and not marriage) and whether this means he loves you or not and whether you can ever trust him again…things need not be so dramatic. In this sense, real life is a little more nuanced than Bollywood. First, It is possible for him to have strong feelings for you and have some feelings for the other girl too. If he chooses you, the important thing is whether thereon he commits to and focuses on you. Only you or people close to you both will know whether this is likely or not. Second, rebounding after a break-up is something I have seen a lot of guys do to get over a break-up. Women do it too but almost every guy I know has gone this way, some have even rebounded disastrously into arranged marriages. It’s not healthy but it’s what they do. Sometimes the rebound relationship works, most often it doesn’t. It doesn’t really mean anything more than that or reflect on whether he really loves you or not.

    4. The most important thing I wanted to tell you is this. You feel like you love this guy and will never love or find anyone like him. That is youth. Believe me, you will get over him and find someone else. Unlike the movies which suggest that there is only One person out there for each of us, I would say there are a number of suitable possibilities and which one we choose depends a lot of factors.

    Right now you feel like wow it’s been 8 months and I still love him. Healing takes time. What you need is something to distract you from the idea of him. (That’s how rebound relationships work also… as a distraction). Unfortunately, you seem to have lost your friend circle, who would normally help distracting you, and to make matters worse people are being mean to you. Maybe you could focus on building your friends circle or throw yourself into something that interests you or volunteer at a charity or something. Just keep yourself busy is what I’m saying.

    I don’t know why you feel like you won’t meet any suitable guys. Do you live in a way small town? Even so, once you start working, you might have a chance to move out. Also, you are too young to be thinking of marriage. People do get married in their 30s and beyond you know.

    5. And finally, since I’ve gone on for too long, don’t pin your hopes of escaping your family on marriage. Pin them on becoming financially independent.

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  12. Look, you’re both at an age where you want sex. His gender shields him from thinking beyond instant gratification. Yours, combined with conditioning, has painted a bleak worst case scenario for you. That said, its your body so No means NO.

    The next question is whether you should get back with him. Why? You mention that if India was a country that accepted dating you would never consider it. So why get back? Do you believe that you’ve made your choice and have no option now? Do you somewhere believe that your first boyfriend has to be the one you marry? IHM’s blog has discussed volumes on a womans right to walk out of a marriage if she wants to. What’s your compulsion? Love?

    Do you believe that the way you feel about him now is a betrayal to your future husband (in case this doest work out)?Its very easy in college to believe that your world as you know it, is going to be the same forever. Feeling on everything are so intense, ones of love even more.I’ve been out of college for 7 years now and I cant even begin to tell you how perspectives change within a few years of graduating. I had a boyfriend back then whom I adored. It didnt work out and I was crushed. The boy he was will always be special to me. Does that mean I love my husband any less? No.

    I’ve read some of the comments advising you to dump the ‘loser’ and move on. He sounds like he’s got a lot of growing up to do. It makes him a little immature not a bad person. Also, if you’re broken up, then he can speak to or date any number of women he wants. I know you’re the one who dumped him but a part of you is annoyed he’s not overtly pining for you. I wont vote for or against getting back with him. But i’ll leave you with a few thoughts on helping you make the decision –
    1. Dont want him back because he’s seeing someone else. The “I can have him back any time I want” attitude is not fair to him.
    2.Dont want him back so that you can restore order in your social circle. If people cant see that you’ve a right to be or not to be with anyone they need not count as your friends.
    3.Dont want him back because you thought you’d marry at some point and to go back on that now is unthinkable
    4. Dont want him back because your parents expect it. If you’re a liberal in this country, then you know enough that to be one you’ve got be tough and not care about what anyone says.

    He could be The One, or he could be just a special someone you knew at some point. Whether you get back or not, please dont think about marriage right now and dont let anyone else pressure you either. Give yourselves a couple of years in the ‘real world’ before you decide anything.

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  13. Almost Twenty ,

    I completely agree with what Praveen has said. it must hurt to break up and feel lonely now, but having been there and done that I know there isn’t a concept of one perfect person for you. It is simply about the right person being there at the right time , really. Everybody has said 20 is a young age , it really is. When you get a job and move out(which is a great way to get away from the family) , you will grow more as a person . You will discover who you really are , what you think matters vs what really matters. Heck , sometimes it takes a few relationships even to figure that out. It seems like he was really filling a void and you miss being with someone. I look back now at the person I was and the person I am and I know that the College BF and I wouldn’t have made it . It isn’t a decision I regret.

    A break up happens for a reason , and more often that not even if we don’t realise it, for the right reasons. The reason you felt pressured – in this case about the sex, there is no guarantee this issue will not come up again once you get back together. You need to do what you feel comfortable with and what you gut tells you. Trust me , gut feelings are never to be ignored. All the things that you think of as a big deal now? No one gives a damn down the line. This isn’t really what people remember. There is nothing wrong with getting physical in a relationship , but as long you both feel comfortable. There is no point in doing stuff coz others do it and they are fine. Rebound is a very powerful thing , it makes you miserable. So be careful and this is when you are the most vulnerable. Do give it some time and it gets easier. Trust me.

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  14. Dear Almost twenty,

    I speak from experience, I was in an eight year old relationship with a guy who said he loved me, didn’t tell his parents about me, when he did, they disapproved and he said he would never go against his parents, but was persistent with his ‘I want to make love to you’ stance with varying degrees of emotional appeal. I just didn’t get it, how could I be so wrong for him and his family in the long term, yet it was perfectly fine for him to have sex with me? i wasn’t sure i wanted to have sex with him, so i didn’t. its tough in an 8 yr old relationship to do that…we finally broke up, i was heartbroken and took a while to get over it. that was 10 years ago. when i look back, i thank myself repeatedly for listening to myself and not trying to prove anything to anyone… I was very young and was eager to please the man in my life, to prove to him I was worthy of his love… yet i held onto the niggling thought about why there was a difference in what he was saying, what he wanted to do and what he was actually doing.

    Your body is yours… to want to have sex or not is completely your decision. but i will repeat what most people have said here… listen to your instincts. they are almost never wrong.

    you will move on…believe me…when you look back later in life, you will only be happy to have made the decision on your own.

    goodluck!

    Like

  15. Dear Almost Twenty,

    I remember feeling the same at 20, not being opposed to the idea of pre marital sex, yet scared of pregnancies, and not comfortable with being pressured into it, even with someone you otherwise trust. Dating 20 year old boys who all eventually seem to want sex, and will try to get you to do it, talking about marriage and future when there is so much uncertainty as to what and where you will end up , and then being thoroughly confused about it all.

    Just a few things that may reassure you…

    – It is completely OK, to NOT have sex until you are ready to. There are many guys (yes.. even Indian) who will appreciate this , and be mature about it.

    – You seem to say that you want to get married, to get away from your family. I just want to say that this is NO reason to get married. You only need to get independent and move away.

    – It is much MUCH MUCH better to be single , than to be in a stressful and uncomfortable relationship. You don’t HAVE to get married, even ever. Its definitely possible to be single happy and fulfilled all the same time.

    – i agree with PT above , there are many many places to meet people, office, interest groups, parties with friends and friends of friends, postgraduate studies, online (dating sites), etc etc…. so don’t despair that you will never meet another almost perfect guy…😉

    And lastly , you are only twenty…😉 If you decide to move on, and it may seem impossible now, but one day he will only be a fond memory, without the heartache.

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  16. Looks like more than anything you are worried about your life and marriage prospects ahead. Are you trying to convince yourself that he is “the” guy just because it seems easy at this point of time getting back together with him?

    “But right now, for realistic reasons I feel that I might never meet a guy who would let me be myself.”

    Letting you be yourself is not something someone will grant you. Its your right which you need to exercise. You say you are almost twenty. Give yourself some time and focus on making a life for yourself other than marriage. You are already showing a lot of maturity by not giving into peer pressure, why retreat your steps now? Do what feels right for you and not what your ex, your family, or your relatives, think is right for you.

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  17. dear almost twenty, im a twenty something woman..24 to be precise. so i believe u can relate to me well and visa verse. You know what you did(breaking up) was right for u.. you don’t need an answer from us !! what u need to know is ..standing up for wht u believe is way tougher than you thought.Sadly, We live in a country where.. Individuality is discouraged (for both guys nd girls alike) why??its very simple..if you are encouraged to develop your own beliefs and Morale.. how wud u follow these stupid rules/morale in the name of culture nd tradition🙂

    So if u want an easy way, you can become the sheep that india accepts with open arms,live by the rules of the society like your ex boyfriend.(i assume he is also your age, so may be he will go ahead nd become a better individual..may be but still he is worth your pain/discomfort until then)
    But problem with girls like us is we r just too smart to con ourselves into thinking tht we r happy when we r not.. so we have no other option but to fight it.

    At 20, fighting ur own peer pressure is bad enough to fight this societal shit i know! but trust me… THINGS WILL GET BETTER once you r 23 nd strt living on ur own… now tht i m 24(i was very much like you) ..Im so glad so glad tht i didn’t give in to “wht is expected of me”..i thank my 18-20 yr old self everyday ..!!🙂 So please stick with your decision nd block all those losers from the facebook who try to intimidate you by calling you names. your ex boyfriend is no dudh ka dhula i tell you, even if he didn’t ask his friends to do so, he could have stopped them from doing so..or demanded them to take it back..if he least respected you..!!!So No you shouldn’t ask ur ex back.

    Let me tell you something abt my personal experience, I was 18 then, we were watching some stupid telugu movie proclaiming these “pseudo indian culture” morals.Me, my mom and my lil sis..she was 11 yrs old then..(we r a very close knit family..we talk .we don’t agree on everythng but we r honest ..so a supportive happy family all in all) So i told my mom..”wht is this bull shit..”the person i love, the person i sleep with , and the person i marry can be three different people” whats the big deal in it???? ” Thats it!! Hell broke loose:) me my mum had a heated argument..she accused my grand father for making me read all foreign books so early on in life:) i laughed to my hearts content ..nd told her she is just jealous that she wasn’t as liberated as me..in her age nd time:) Off course there was a family “intervention” held for me on this subject . it wasn’t easy but i just didn’t give in bec they didnt make sense to me then!! I experimented my own share, went to first base with some, second base with someone else..but funnily enough(just a co incident).. it didnt feel right( just instinct nothing else) to go all the way until i met my now boyfriend .we r together for almost 4 yrs now and we took our own sweet time …! Its just that simple sweetheart.. listen to your own self nd nothing else… then there will be no guilt or regret what so ever.

    You are lost now..(a bit here and there) but give yourself some time nd until then just take things as the come..work to make youself independent..cut yourself some slack..you have just turned an adult.. you have a lot of time to figure out how things work..and STOP just STOP OBSESSING ABOUT MARRIAGE. Its jus a legal arrangement with a lot of complications. Girl you r just too young for it. Educate yourself about safe sex..all sex need not end up in pregnancy..you r almost paranoid about it.

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      • Cracked me up too, because it’s actually rather true.

        Imagine an alternate reality where couples just lived together and there was no such thing as marriage. What would you miss? The only thing I’d miss is the platinum wedding band on my hand, which my wife presented to me.

        Other than all the traditions and stuff, it really wouldn’t be that different, and you’d be saved the trouble of spending long nights trying to figure out ways to “wealth-optimize” your marriage in order to save tax.

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        • Actually, for me the big reason for marriage is the legal stuff:
          a. That signing a contract makes the commitment stronger.
          b. That I’m eligible for benefits such as dependent visa, spousal insurance, tax benefits etc.

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  18. Hi almost twenty!
    I had a similar story – felt like a butcher cutting him to pieces when I told him it wouldn’t work out – after two years. Everyone thought I had gone insane, considering I had told my parents and they were ok with it. But sometimes, instincts need to be followed. Forget the society. It is going to be scandalised for a few weeks and months, and then, they will all forget about it. But if you have even the smallest of doubts, let it go.

    IHM,
    I am in love with your blog, but have a question. When you post these e-mails, is it you who “bolds” some parts of the mail or is it the author? If it is you, can you please not do it? I can see that you want the discussions to take a positive route, but it is very distracting.

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  19. @ Almost Twenty,

    1. You have every right to say no and mean it. If he forces you into sex, he would be technically committing rape. Manipulating, scheming to get you alone and touching you when you didn’t want it amounts to sexual harassment. You might have spent a lifetime with him, but if he does so without your consent, you are being molested.

    2.Your reasons for not having sex are valid, and I appreciate your clear headedness in not wanting to take the risk of pregnancy when you aren’t yet earning. If you can handle lack of a sex life, no one should make it their business to question it.

    3. Sex does not make you slutty. You might not want to change this feeling, but if you continue to accept that, you will never find sexual satisfaction in a partner you MAY want to have sex with at some future point.

    4. A man with such regard for society is a bad bet in the long run. No matter how much he loves you (and I don’t doubt your words when you say he does), he will always love society more.

    5. Sex or babies are not a reason for marriage. But I think you already know that.

    6. It is a grave mistake many Indian women make that they completely give their friends a miss once they have a serious relationship or when they get married. The guys will not do the same, so why should a woman do so? Take a lesson from this, and ensure you don’t behave like this in future. No person who has been thrown over for a boyfriend will want to talk to you when things are over with him, and to be fair, why would they? Jealousy is not “cute”, it is a form of control.

    7. He has every right to go ahead and try to find happiness with another person. You had made it clear you wanted the relationship ended, so it is not fair to kick up a fuss now. Your hurt and anger is understandable, but it is best he goes his way and you yours.

    8. Why should you want to pretend to your husband? It is no real marriage when you start pretending to your partner. What did you have in mind when you wrote this?

    9.Families are the worst in these cases. You might want to consider moving to a hostel or something. Or if you are brazen enough, just tell people to mind their own business. This is going to be a toughie at your age, but trust me, it gets better and easier to handle when you grow older.

    10. No, you shouldn’t get back with him. You have separated, and done so for a valid reason. Take this opportunity to learn how to handle heartbreak, because life has a tendency to throw them your way often enough.

    Good luck!

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      • I’m late to the party, and was about to say the same thing Fem says in point 6🙂

        NEVER allow your partner/boyfriend/spouse take over your your life so much they literally become your “other half”. This is a common mistake, I’ve done it too, and distanced dear friends, and felt devastated when the whole romantic castle in the air came crashing down my head. No matter how much you’re in love with him, you need to be complete, not one half of a whole. Though it does sound cute as a concept, it has an eviller sounding name – co-dependency.

        Love and all is all very well, but you need an identity of your own – your own friend circle (apart from mutual friends), your own interests/passions (at least a few that don’t overlap with the significant other), basically your own life. Love between two such people is less prone to problems, like clinginess, over-possessiveness (how much possessive is over-possessive?), and jealousy.

        Another thing I’d suggest is, after a breakup, do a postmortem of the relationship, what made you happy, and what made you unhappy, and come up with a checklist of what you don’t want (and for extra credit, what you want) in a potential partner. Will help you from being struck by the same lightning bolt twice😀

        Good luck!

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  20. Here is the deal,

    The guy is a classic hypocrite. Clearly conservative yet with a fixation on the ‘forbidden fruit’. Such types never change and should be avoided at all cost.

    Loneliness is a part of life. It touches almost everyone at some point. Being in a crappy relationship just because you are scared of being alone is not gonna bring anything good.

    There are enough alarming signs to see that this relationship was NOT HEALTHY: pressing for sex, avoiding telling the truth about the relationship itself and about the background of the girl, probable cheating, lies, and contunuous lack of communication and respect.

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  21. It will take you around 6 months to get over a normal break up. But then again, you keep listening to what he is upto, so your period of getting over him is getting longer. Try to tell your friends and his to avoid telling you anything about him, this doesn’t need to be permanent but for the time being, stay away from any news of what he is doing/saying etc. Trust me, though you feel right now that you love him to death and miss him, its not true. Its just the loss of the familiarity.

    The other point is about sex. Well in that case girl, don’t you see he seems to be keen on just the sex part but not the commitment that goes with it. There seem to be a lot of double standards here. Could it be that he is fixated on sex because it seems to him that you may have been intimate with the other boyfriends you had but not him? If that is the case, it is insecurity, but even so run far away from such a person. You can’t change that about him. You could be Mother Teresa but your sexuality will always be a concern. And if you are not yet twenty and he has already asked for ‘other acts’, that’s a major red flag.

    You are right with abstinence if that is what makes you feel comfortable. And considering you are quite young, it is a right choice. Also, please read your letter towards the end, it feels that because you are missing him, you are finding reasons as to why everything was perfect and that how all of his irritating mannerisms had some deeper meaning. You know as time passes in a breakup, people generally tend to forget the bad and only remember the good. Your guy maybe good, just a little immature too, but get clear on everything including sex before getting back. You will feel worse if you get back and the fight over these issues continue.

    And through my various misadventures in the field of love, my mom told me one thing that has stayed with me. A relationship breakup is never one person’s fault, so it is never if only I had been more this or that. A relationship is two people, so the breakup is also the fault of two people. (of course I am not talking of abusive ones here). So it won’t be just you changing yourself (if you decide to get back) but he will also have to change what was not working for the two of you.

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  22. Almost Twenty,

    My two cents:

    1. You did the wisest thing by breaking up with someone who wouldn’t take no for an answer. That by itself is a big, bright red flag. All guys would love to have sex at some point in a relationship but they need to wait until the girl is willing–simple. If they just can’t wait, they need to walk out of the relationship and find someone else who might be willing. Nagging, pestering, emotionally manipulating and virtually doing everything short of using outright force appear to be signs of an abusive relationship in the making. I am glad you went by your instinct and walked out. As PT put it so eloquently, there’s something to be said about trusting your gut feeling and proceeding with caution until you are convinced that it was a false alarm.

    2 I’m impressed with the way you’ve articulated your dilemma. You come across as a sensible young girl, but I don’t understand why you are so caught up with the idea of marriage .Twenty is no age to be worrying about marriage. Actually it is a bad idea to be even thinking of marriage– whatever your age– before you’ve made yourself financially secure.You’ll get plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded guys once you start working, and I am sure you’ll find somebody who is more worthy of you, who accepts you as you are and who respects your wishes.

    Best wishes and good luck!!

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  23. Dear Almost Twenty,

    The reasons you had for breaking up, would most likely still be valid now. Do you really want to go through all that again?

    And your reasons were very valid. Anything that makes you uncomfortable, you are well within your right to say no to. Given that the situation made you so uncomfortable, you made the right decision to break up.

    Apart from that, you and your ex boy-friend seem to be very different, in the way you think, already. You are just twenty, why not give it some time, see where life takes you. As both of you grow older, gain new perspectives, ideas change, thought processes change.. You might be a different person in a few years. And then if both of you still want to get together – what’s stopping you?

    You say ‘And I will get married to get out of my family’s atmosphere’ For the purpose of getting out of your family circle, the more effective way might be to get financially independent, move to another city. Your perspective might change when you are away from your family, and the need to get away might be less. Being independent, might take off the pressure of getting married quickly, just to get away.

    You are young, you have your whole life ahead of you, and from what I can figure out, a very sensible head on your shoulders. Give yourself time, and I am sure you will find yourself in a much happier place.

    All the best!

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  24. @ Twenty,
    Before I get on with my rant, I want to tell you this, you come across as a strong person and as someone who can hold on to, not go against and stand up for what you believe in, even under great pressure. So trust me when I tell you that I believe you will get over this relationship and your ex too, in time. The key is to take it one day at a time.
    I don’t think that your boyfriend was wrong to ask you for sex initially, and you weren’t wrong either to refuse it, where it went wrong was that he kept asking you repeatedly after you refusing him so many times. I have a problem with people who do not respect boundaries; it definitely is a red flag that his requests turned to nagging, manipulation and coercion. Also making you have sex with him to use it as a means to keep you in the relationship speaks of control. Ideally you two should have broken up a long time ago when you discovered that he wanted sex and you didn’t.
    I agree with you that while premarital sex is not wrong or bad, it should not be forced, but if you feel that you may not know how to practice safe or responsible sex, then its time you educated yourself. There are so many options available these days. There are birth control pills that work 100% and are safe if you take them correctly. Also when you decide to have sex, have your partner always use protection too, so that you can enjoy the act without worrying about unintended consequences.
    While, I don’t know what your family situation is and why you want to get married to get away from them, I can tell you this, you are wrong to think that you aren’t trying to fill the void created by your family with your boyfriends love and affection. You also mention that you make friends rarely, why is that? It is understandable that you got dealt the wrong people as family and can do nothing about it, but you can choose your friends, so go out and make some new friends and build a good support system for yourself.
    Most importantly, you say that you’ll be 20 soon, which means that you will soon enter the workforce for a job and career. Focus on that, remove the “friends” who post gaalis and insulting messages on facebook. They are not your friends, what they are doing is harassment. Have facebook block their accounts. Employers these days visit a job seekers social network profile too and it does factor in their decision to hire you or not.
    Also, remember getting a job, becoming financially independent and moving away is a better option than marrying to get away from your family.


    Love and marriage though huge for a lot of people are only “part of life”, so don’t worry yourself to death about not being able to find someone or about having to reveal your “past” to your future husband. The only times when you are obligated to reveal past relationships are when they will affect your present ones like a child from a past relationship or a disease.

    You are probably confused right now, but 10 years from now, you would laugh this off. So do not even dream of taking him back in the next couple of years, focus on things that need your immediate and undivided attention right now.

    Like

    • I have been researching birth control methods and my understanding from the pamphlet given to me by the nurse at our local Maternal Health Care Centre in Hong Kong and a quick google is that the pill is not 100% effective, but about 98%. And this is if you remember to take it as prescribed – if not, obviously the efficacy goes down. This is why it is not my preferred option; because I’m forgetfull.

      Actually, it appears that there is no 100% birth control. My preferred option – tubal ligation, where the tubes are tied, also does not have 100% efficacy although it is much more efficient than the pill. There is a very small chance in tubal ligation of the clip or stitch used coming undone.

      Women for whom pregnancy would be a disastrous consequence of sex could opt for using two methods simultaneously… like the pill and condoms together, as PT suggested. There are some people whom the pill might not suit as well – like if you have a history of ovarian cysts – so best to discuss options with a gynac before deciding.

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  25. Not much to add considering all the good advice above, All I want to say is, you’re just 20. You have your whole life ahead of you. It might seem painful right now because you are feeling lonely, but it will get better, I promise. You will make new friends, fall in love again and all that whole deal. You broke up for a reason, please don’t consider going back because the past seemed better than the present. The future will be even better. Just keep walking!

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  26. dear ‘almost 20’… yes about 20 is the correct age to get laid, not 40 when ur rich and famous but on aphrodisiacs. all other guys r out hunting , so there is peer pressure.

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  27. Almost 20 — Gosh that sounds soo young🙂

    1. If you get back togethe are you ready to have sex with him?
    2. If he asks you have sex will you get mad again ?
    If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no then go ahead and get back together,

    If you still are thinking the same way why even bother getting back together, he’s not going to miraculously NOT want sex !!!!
    If he changes and does’t want sex is he happy to be with you, or is he back with you because he can’t find anyone else???

    I may sound like an old aunty ( which i am) but once long long ago i was 21 and in love too. luckily for us we were gainfully employed and capable of supporting ourselves, so I’d suggest that first. Get employment, earning and supporting yourself will change your outlike to what you want in life considerably. The fact that you answer to no one will play a big part in picking the correct relationships.
    As i say time an dtime again, do what makes you happy, do what you think will make you happy, If your Gut says no then no it is. if you have been with him for a few yrs and then broke up there was a reason for it, just because you are feelinglonely doesn’t make that reason go away.

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  28. Dear ‘almost 20’, you are not alone in trying to handle boys whose hormones are on overdrive. Many a girl in your situation has been pressured to give in to sex. And the fact that you refused might hurt you now, but when you look back, you’ll be glad that you didn’t give in, and stood your ground.

    His friends targeting you should not make you change your mind. Other people only see what’s on the surface. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t! If you had slept with him and by some bad luck gotten pregnant or contracted an STD, then they would have spread bad rumors about you in that situation too! Society’s reaction is usually a bad way to decide your path of action in cases like these.

    Also, you mentioned that he’s been with 7 girls, It’s not clear what kind of sexual acts were involved but he may have an STD and considering the taboo of getting tested, he may not even be aware that he has one. Many people ignore symptoms or have no symptoms at all.

    While you may look at this as a loss for you and your future prospects, I think it’s a victory for you. But if you go back to him, you will be at one level lower than him in the relationship and that’s not good at all!

    This is why many women choose to date older guys because guys usually take longer to grow up than women of the same age. He too may grow up eventually, or might remain the same boorish person, but it’s best for you if you don’t wait around to find out. Move on, and look at this as a chance to break out of your comfort zone and find new friends, and make this whole situation a truly positive one! Good luck to you!!

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    • Sorry I read your email wrong. It was his friend who has had multiple relationships.. Please ignore that part of my ‘bhashan’..(thanks for pointing it out IHM!)

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    • I think a person’s chronological age has very little to do with their level of self-awareness and emotional maturity.

      I have met many forty-something men who displayed lower levels of maturity and self-awareness than my teenaged cousins.

      Your growth as a person and your capacity for introspection and reflection has more to do with emotional maturity than just age, IMO.

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  29. De- lurking for the first time here actually-

    Dear 20 something,
    Three things to say to in fact:
    1. Him wanting sex, you not wanting sex( for whatever reasons) is a situation that presents itself to any number of college couples. It’s very very common infact. The healthy thing to do would be to talk about it and find some middle ground. HOWEVER , that didn’t seem to happen in your case. The choice of words that you used to describe what he did : schemed, manipulated, pressure- PROVE you REALISED that what was happening was not right.

    2.Another flouroscent-red flag- him not ‘letting’ you have friends- that smacks to me of controlling behaviour.

    3. This ‘love’ that you feel for him right now post- breakup – it’s natural to feel deeply attached to someone who probably played a big role in your life for so long. However, acting on those feelings , without actually OBJECTIVELY re- evaluating this guy would be a little premature.

    4. Most importantly, do you think HE still loves you? If you were to get back together, would the physical intimacy stuff and other stuff continue to be issues? Would the re-union be on your terms? Or will you have to ‘compromise’ your position to get back together with him?

    I’m saying all this because I was in a very similar situation in college. The wanting physical intimacy before I was ready for it, the feeling ‘jealous’ of my friends, the thinking that he was ‘too cool’ for my friends- been there done that. We broke up. AND I GAVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE.
    Guess what- It didn’t work out. And I do feel like I ‘wasted’ 3 years on a guy TRYING to make a relationship work, when I could have been free.

    This isn’t to say that you ex is a ‘bad’ guy.. I’m sure he was a decent enough person who probably taught you a lot about love and relationships. However, SOME aspects of his behaviour obviously troubled you enough to get out of the relationship. And in my opinion, those aspects of his behaviour will probably NOT change, even if you do decide to get back with him ( but I could be wrong and ultimately it’s your call.)

    And I’m not going to tell you to ‘focus’ on your studies and career.. it’s perfectly okay to want a relationship at this age. We Indians are generally bad/immature in navigating romantic relationships precisely because we tend ‘postpone’ them to ‘after completing studies’. But I would say that marriage is not something you should worry about right now.

    Bottomline: It may feel like you are in love with him right now, but it’s just ‘leftover’ feelings that EVERYONE feels after a breakup( ask any psychology student) Therefore, if you do decide to give him a second chance(and that’s not something I’d recommend) please base it on how HE is towards you and whether HE is capable of giving you the relationship you deserve!

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    • @Chocoholica, While I agree with almost everything you’ve said, I think the reason everyone including myself suggested that she concentrate on her studies and career for now, was not because she should not have a relationship at this age, but because a little break from all this drama will do this girl a lot of good. She does not have a supportive family and friends circle and I think at this time focusing on her studies and career would be the best distraction for her.

      Also I don’t think that we indians are bad at navigating relationships because we postpone them, but rather because the navigation is done by others most of the time.

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      • @Desi Woman
        Having left college a little under a year ago, I am slightly oversensitive I suppose, to the infantalisation of young women by Indian society at large.

        And that’s how I mistakenly took the comments. I apologize for misunderstanding the intent behind the advice , and I completely agree that while in college, education comes first. And yes, drama does no one any good, and that’s why I urged her to disregard her feelings and to look at him through the lens of objectivity.

        As for navigating relationships, LOL about the navigation done by others bit. That is SO true! However, these ‘others’ are also the same people who condition us to think that love/relationships have no place in college and are best left for ‘later’. THAT is something I disagree with.

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  30. Dear Almost Twenty,

    Falling in Love is a euphoric experience. It blends the line between I and the other to a point where you wont know where you begin and the other ends. Nature has designed it so that we will propagate our genes. While it is a wonderful feeling, please understand that Only You should be the one who Chooses what you Want to do with your Life and your Body. While all of Life is about Love(loving money/job/parents/sibling/friends etc.) and nothing comes to our lives without that emotion of Liking/loving/wanting, the truth is, it all starts with Loving Yourself. I want to congratulate you on getting that one important thing RIGHT. Your decision to want to be responsible for your life – bodily, financially and emotionally, taking care of being capable, saying NO to the pressure your boyfriend applies….all these imply you are on the track of Loving yourself. Now whether you get back with him or not is also a decision that I trust you will make out of that place of Loving Yourself. I leave you with one thing I have learned in life(yes, I am much older than you are) about relationships – They are like Beautiful Glass Vases, holding the elixir of bliss, Should the vase break, even chip, the cracks will always show. No amount of glueing, colouring over or patchwork will help those cracks and there is no way of putting the exilir of bliss back in the Vase.

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  31. He wants sex so he is probably not going to stop asking even if you get back together. Don’t have sex with him until after u r married or at least engaged. Talk to him and tell him how you feel. Tell if you want to get back together but don’t want to have sex yet. If he agrees, then get back with him and if he doesnt then leave him for good. Do you think if he says he won’t pressure you for sex, he will keep his word? How much do you trust him? These things are important in determining if you should get back with him or not. At the end, don’t let him pressure you into doing anything. its your life and your body. If he tries to say things like “if you love me, u wil do this….” etc. Tell him “if you love me enough, u will wait until after marriage”.

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  32. Dear Almost twenty,

    First of all, I agree with most of the readers here that you are a strong person who thought things through with a lot of maturity.. so kudos to you! Most people have given awesome suggestions, but I would like to add a few things here… Before that, I would like to mention – I am 25 and just broke up with someone who I was dating for almost 5 years.. And the reason was we were incompatible – I’m liberal while he is more conservative and cares a lot more about society.. My instinct told me it was not gonna work in the initial days, but I didn’t believe it then because he is an awesome guy and I was in ‘love’ with him.. I found that, in the long run, the issues we had just kept increasing – and they were mostly because of a different set of value systems… Back in college, I thought we were perfect for each other, but stepping into the real world changes your perspective a lot..
    Coming to your post,

    1. “He used to say that I am all talk. I lay down a million ground rules and then break them all for him. I did that because I loved him and some things just didn’t matter as much.”
    I have done that too, but do you think it’s worth doing it for someone who doesn’t even realize that you are sacrificing something for him? I would not make weekend plans with friends, waiting for him for everything, but then I realized that I stopped doing most things I liked and hardly spent anytime with my friends..

    2. Regarding sex, I think it’s entirely up to you to decide. I can’t add much to what people have already said in their comments.. But please never force yourself either way.. I have been in relationships but not had sex with anyone so far coz it didn’t feel right.. Only one of my boyfriends pressured me for sex (I was 16 and he was 18 then), and when we broke up because of other reasons, he said ‘why are you crying so much, it’s not like we had sex’. And yes, I never doubted that he loved me and all that, but sometimes, things look way different in hindsight.. I have friends who (a) had sex with their boyfriends and are happy about it even if the relationship didn’t work out, or (b) had sex and regret it when the relationship didn’t work out, or (c) didn’t have sex coz they didn’t feel right about it. So it’s entirely upto you to decide, there’s nothing that you need to do unless you want to and you feel it’s right!

    3. Regarding possessiveness, it might look cute now, but it can get very suffocating. Especially in the long run, the excitement of a relationship wears out, and you need your space to go out and meet people, get involved in things you are interested in, and you may not want your boyfriend around all the time.. Also, the insecurity level also reflects on the person’s maturity and trust levels.. Someone above said – ‘these things get worse after marriage’ and I totally agree..

    4. Please try and build relationships with friends.. I was very much like you, but I realized that my friends were the ones who helped me get through the tough phases of my life.. I’m close to my family and share almost everything with my mum and sisters, but sometimes you just don’t want to talk to them coz you don’t want someone to get all worried and protective about you.. it’s very crucial to have friends you can count on.. and trust me when i say this, you are young, and will find many people who share your ideology and interests.. especially in college/postgrad studies/workplace.. I’m working on this right now, and it is very helpful… And please block the friends on FB who are abusing you – they are not your friends.. I’m shocked as to how people can behave like that!

    5. To get over him, try and cultivate whatever hobbies you have.. Get involved in group activities with like minded people – it may seem difficult to go alone the first few times, but then you will start knowing people and may even end up making some good friends! Also, if you like, go for a walk/run everyday or when you are feeling low – any physical activity – I found that it helps me feel much better..

    6. You say that you won’t be able to forget him.. You don’t need to forget him – you just need to get to a point where you can remember the good times you shared without any hatred/longing/guilt/regrets.. And that usually takes time.. Also, in a few years, if you feel that you still love him, you can always get in touch again.. At that time, you can see how you both have changed with your experiences and if you still want to be together, if you are compatible..

    As you say, you are open to the idea to falling in love again.. so just hang in there, and you will meet someone who will seem right.. When I read these blog posts, I feel exactly the same way – will I ever find the right guy? But just that insecurity is not reason enough to be with someone who you think is not right for you.. Because eventually, a happy relationship consists of two happy people.. If you are not happy, the relationship will gradually take a turn for the worst.. So please stay strong and take care of yourself!

    And you are just 20, please wait for a few years before thinking of getting married.. I’m 25, and my friends are getting married left, right and center.. but I still I’m not prepared to get married until I meet the right guy.. Doesn’t mean you can’t date/get into serious relationships – but please don’t get married until you feel its right!

    Hugs to you.. Take care and stay strong and positive.. feel free to email me if you want to talk (kinminsworld@gmail.com)..

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  33. Almost twenty,
    At your age, I used to think that I had seen everything, knew everything about relationships, have gone through all the ups and downs of life. Of course, now I realise what an idiot I was!
    Believe me, life has a way of throwing surprises at you. There are points in your life when you will think that it could not get worse than this but a year down the line and you will realise that your life has turned 360 degrees. Sometimes, the seeds of the best of the times in your future are sown during the worse of lows.
    Coming to this guy, in my opinion you should not go back to him. What he tried was normal but if he really loved you then he would have stopped after attempting it once or twice after seeing you uncomfortable. He would have talked to you about your feelings (he might have) and would have respected that and would have waited for you to come around.
    I have been there done that so I know how it works. Sex is important but it cannot be forced or plotted.
    Once you start earning, you will meet a lot of fabulous guys out there. Breakups are normal. They do not make a guy or a girl slutty. And try to stay away from people who demorlise you. They are not worth your time.
    Stop worrying about this guy. You have your whole life ahead of you.🙂

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  34. Dear girl
    I would first of all want to congratulate you for being fir to your instincts. Like what PT has said, I too believe in our basic gut instinct. You opted to end the relationship based on your intuition that it was not going to work out, especially with your boyfriend demanding something ( sex here, but it could have been just anything) that you didn’t believe in or you did not want to indulge in. What ever the reasons be, they do no matter. What actually matters is your take on things in your life. If you have repeatedly tried to put your stand clear and the other person refuses to accept it, that sure indicates the level of consideration he has for your views. I would say that you are much better off without such a person in your life.

    I agree that heart breaks are very difficult. It is indeed very hard to move on in life, having lost someone you’ve loved. But the world never stops there. You move on and am sure you’ll find someone who will value your decisions and feelings much more. Till then, focus on being you. Let everything else take a second seat!🙂

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  35. I tried to tell him that his family discriminated on the basis of gender and I would not be able to stand it at functions (we were thinking of getting married then.) He accepted that he would be called JKG. He assured me he would handle his family in such a situation.
    – But would he really? Would he stand upto them?

    The problem was that he wanted us to have sex. I had made it clear that I didn’t want to. I wasn’t comfortable with it. Yet, he schemed repeatedly, and manipulated many times to get me to his house. Sometimes it was pressure because other couples were fine, so why couldn’t I?
    – Don’t if you don’t want to. He ought to respect that and if he cannot bear that, move on to someone else. Also why did you not want it? Social indoctrination? You did not feel comfortable?

    He is a good guy. I don’t doubt that he would have married me if I wanted that.
    – Just because a guy would marry you, does not mean he is a good guy. He is also a result of our society.

    We are kids. We aren’t supposed to have kids until we can financially care for them, so we shouldn’t have sex until we are prepared for the consequences.
    – You are legally a kid. Sex does not mean you will have kids if you use contraception.

    I get why he was doing it- the media always shows a girl saying no, and then doing it, do they not? It was easy for him to pretend that I was fine with it, because we were going to get married anyway. I do not think I would want to have sex with him the first night of the marriage either- that concept is difficult for me. Also, I had once mentioned in passing that even if I felt like doing it after marriage, I would probably keep saying no for a long time if he asked about it (till I “settled”.)
    – Our society never teaches us to be clear and honest on these things. That is the problem.

    I understand this is a result of social conditioning making me believe that wanting sex is “slutty” but I can’t change this feeling and I don’t really want to.
    – It is not. Not wanting it means something is missing. It could also be due to repression and guilt built in with it by religion/society.

    Another reason I wouldn’t do it was because he was so old-fashioned – he had never had a female friend before me. He hadn’t told his family (about me), even. Only his sister. I do not think premarital sex is bad, but I don’t know why I didn’t like the idea. I just couldn’t do it. I think somewhere I have always been aware that he cares a LOT about “society”- a LOT. I always wondered about it – in case of an accidental pregnancy, it would be I at risk with the whole Indian abortion setup – where woman are abused.
    – These are other trust issues in the relationship. You don’t trust him. You feel insecure as he cares so much about society now. Will he support you later on if society looks down upon you guys alter on?

    I ended the relationship the day he tried to pressure me into *other sexual acts*. Sorry about being crude, but I just COULDN’T fathom how he had no idea of how much pressure this was causing to our previously almost perfect relationship. I now think I should have handled the relationship differently. I should have probably put my foot down on the issue and never broken up. But it is done.
    – You break up for a reason. No matter what, you have to remember the reason though you may have a strong urge to get back to something familiar. If you can discuss it out later as mature adults, then go ahead.

    Our friend circle hated me, because they were his friends.
    – I totally dig that. Always I say always maintain your own friend circle in a relationship.

    I rarely make friends and my boyfriend wouldn’t let me talk to my few friends, because they weren’t fit for his social status and because he is a jealous person
    – No guy should be allowed to control your social life as that means we are curbing our personality. He just sounds immature. When in love, we often think he is all we need but later you realise that is not the case. Life does not stop at one person though they may be important.

    – State the real reason for break up

    The problem is that it has been 8 months now. And I am still as much in love with him as I was then.
    – Because you are not letting yourself move on. We can have many soulmates not just one.

    – He was trying to make you jealous.
    – Marriage is not the end of life.
    – he just makes excuses about community and all. Looks like he cares more about them than you.

    But right now I feel like I have no closure.
    – there is a closure. you have broken up. Move on even if it hurts.

    And I keep thinking that I will never love my husband because I will never meet a guy I respect.
    – How can you say that? How many people have you met? This is just depression and self pity taking over you.

    I am so like you girls here. I have no idea how you people found a good guy but for me, things aren’t going to be easy.
    – never easy for anyone honey.

    What complicates the matter is that I told my boyfriend that the reason I was ending the relationship was because of the lies. I figured this was better and easier. Also, he was refusing to accept the problem. When I would tell him that his odd insistence on us getting physical made me feel like something he was using, he would g
    So, should I? Shouldn’t I?

    Please post this on your blog, after shortening it up. I want to listen to what people have to say.

    But right now, for realistic reasons I feel that I might never meet a guy who would let me be myself.
    – You can . Study, move abroad for higher studies, or work. You can find people. You admit it you want to get back because you are scared you will not find anyone else . That’s what I thought too at times. But is being single so bad?

    Also, I do love this guy, even though his behaviour hurt me, so I do want to get back together.
    – Its your fear speaking

    Just move on. Life does not end here.

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  36. Dear 20 something everyone over here has told you how mature you are and that you have done the right thing. Let me tell you my story:

    When I was 18 I had a BF who was 20. My first serious relationship, I was having major issues with my family (I hated my parents at that time and wanted to leave them and get married at 18) This guy was crazy about me and worshipped the ground I walked on. He forced me to have sex insistently even to the point of getting me drunk and for the first year I persisted and said No, which lead to tantrums and tears on his part. We broke up a few times and got back together and he would start again till one day I gave in and had sex with him. The sex was great and I wanted more and more of the forbidden fruit (I later found out he was having sex with the whole world and its mother and I was just the virgin he had not had). So after the sex was over everything was good for a few days and then the abuse started.

    1) He became too possessive – He was already possessive which I thought was very sweet and I did not mind at all. I used to love the fact that he wanted me only to myself. He made me stop talking to all my friends, which was ok for me as I only wanted him. But after we had slept he also became Jealous. Suddenly I could not talk to any man. If I didn’t meet him someday or didn’t answer his call he labelled me a whore and suspected me of sleeping with several men. I had once gone for a picnic with some friends, that evening he called me abused me so much that I did not sleep and eat for 2 days because I was so shocked that he was capable of that.
    2) He became abusive – He suddenly became really abusive and mean to me. He would not call me for days and because I was so dependent on him and had no friends I would wait for his calls and cry for hours like a fool. I remember sitting in a PCO booth and crying on the phone when he abused me.
    3) I became the one breaking his family – His mother did not like me because we were not from the same community and religion and he always told me he will stand by me. Suddenly that became an issue and he would not stand against his mother for me. His words were I can’t hurt my mother.
    4) His friends and family abused me – His brothers were in the same college as me, they used to verbally abuse me, threaten me and even told me that they will throw acid on my face if I saw him again. For sometime I became the college Slut and not once did he tell his family or friends to back off. At one point I wanted to leave my college.
    5) Sex was the only thing left – Our whole relationship changed now he only wanted to meet me to have sex. We never met for any other reason.
    I tried breaking up but he would never let me and somehow we would be back together. Finally one day I found out that he was sleeping with another girl and I gathered the courage to confront him and broke it off. He abused me, threatened me, cried like a baby, begged, screamed but I did not give in. My parents knew about the relationship so it was also very difficult to tell them that we were not together.

    I was miserable for 2 years, I cried and was mentally depressed and had no friends for support because I only wanted him and I was not prepared for a life without him. One day I just decided enough was enough.

    1) I blocked all our common friends as they added no value to my life. All they did was tell me what he was doing and tell him how miserable I was.
    2) I completely cut him from my life. I changed my cell number, my email address so he could not get in touch with me.
    3) I got myself a job and became financially independent so I could support myself and even took care of my family gaining there respect (my mother is my best friend now and she respects me and admires me and actually admits she was mean to me)

    I learned a lot from that relationship and went on to have a few more boyfriends but I made sure none of them made me do what I didn’t want to. I also made sure I had my set of friends and the man in life had to accept them wether he approved of them or not.

    I went on to do my Post Graduation, traveled the world (which I never imagined due to my financial background) and fell in love finally with an amazing man who I ended up marrying. I told him about my past and he has never thrown it on my face in all the 7 years we have been married.

    My ex got in touch with me last year and apologised for what he had done but then he tried to get me in bed with him again and see if his charm worked. Can you imagine after all these years. BTW in these years he had been married twice had a bitter divorce with his first wife and had a child with her and was extremely unhappy with the second wife and had a child with her also. He was still bullied by his mom and he admitted to me his mother had destroyed his life and he wished that he had the courage to stand up to her when he was with me.

    So my friend my message to you is, it is your life and your body. If you have made this decision don’t doubt yourself. End of the day you will be the one who will loose your virginity to someone who did not even value it in the first place. I still regret losing my virginity to that slime ball, I wish I would have waited till I was more matured and in a better position to take that decision with a free mind.

    Like

    • Thank you Bella, for sharing this with us. Personal histories help a lot, because they demonstrate that you’re not the only one dealing with *&^🙂

      Like

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  38. Dear Almost twenty. There is only one rule about sex “No means no.” There is no need to debate whether you are modern or traditional or what people think or want. You do it if you want to, you don’t if you have even the slightest doubt. That is all. Don;t beat yourself up for being “all talk”. Because you are not. You are not judgmental. And you are thoughtful. I am pro-choice. Would I essentially have an abortion without thinking about it if I were unexpectedly pregnant? Possibly not without thinking of it. Does that make me hypocritical, no, just careful. Your situation is similar. You did what you felt was right. Now don’t be guilted into something which you do not find right.

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  39. Tell him you would like to remain a virgin until married, and see his attitude after that…🙂

    My cousin was in a similar situation, she refused to have sex with her ‘wonderful’ boyfriend that she ‘loved’ and he was a totally different person when he became sure that she would never get into his bed. He became aloof, cried, abused and finally broke up with her too saying that she ‘hurt’ him with her attitude🙂 and all this only because she was not ready to sleep with him at 19.

    Your boyfriend may be different, but if he loves you, cares for you he will never force you do anything that you do not want. If he does, remember it will only become worse and the same attitude will extend to everything else in life.

    Your life, but give it a thought. Hugs to you.

    Like

    • While I am sure this is not the implication; in a culture like that of India where pre-marital sex is still a taboo, it can have the unintended consequence of a guy getting lured into marriage where sex is the bait. I have seen a number of this types of marriage actually happen, among Desis while some got burnt, falling into the ‘waiting game’ this implies.

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  40. Hiya, I’m a 22 year old girl, so I feel I can relate🙂

    The previous posters have commented a lot about your ex boyfriend but I can’t say anything objectively about his character.

    But what I can say from your letter is that you don’t seem to respect this guy very much. You make it clear that you need to be with someone you respect, but then consider yourself liberal and him conservative and too concerned with society. I think it is obvious that you find him childish and you know that you are stooping to a low to make things work with him.

    Question is, why are you doing this to yourself? You are obviously bending over backwards a lot more than you need to. Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, having different values in life makes it too difficult to be happy.

    In the beginning of the letter, you feel he is perfect for you when the rest of the letter has multiple reasons highlighting how you two are completely different people.

    I know it is hard, I’ve been there before, I’ve been with a guy whom I found easy to open up to and love but we both had different views of life. I tried to get him back and learnt the hard way that closure never comes from the ex.

    I also know that after the 1st painful breakup from someone you loved very deeply, it feels like you will never love again. The loneliness makes you want to run back into the arms of the person who hurt you in the 1st place, because you impulsively think ‘this is better than nothing, i can adjust, we just need to try harder’ Well, don’t do that to yourself. You deserve more than a compromise.

    Don’t settle for anything less than a relationship you are 100percent comfortable in, we are too young for that🙂 And you know what, only you can give yourself closure. Hope this helps you!

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  41. Bottom line:
    A guy that really was “serious” about you would have found time and oppurtunity to introduce you to his family (other than his sister),even if he knew they would frown on this. So he couldn’t have been that much into you but seems to have seen you as a way to “get rid of that manly urges” aka sex and then eventuelly move on, finish school, career and marry a younger virgin that his family would approve or even select.
    Maybe the guy wasn’t as bad as other guys but dont idealize him. You are lucky to be rid of him, he did not do you any good. Now try to find some girlfriends that really do care about you and dont view you as a way to easy sex. You deserve to be respected not pushed into something. If you want to have sex its ok but you should do that because it feels right. The thing is even if you get back together ,your wishes and desires will take a backseat to his. Really, why do you want to put up with this? Exorsise him out of your life and surround yourself with positive stuff. Focus on people who respect you and love you for whom you are. Eventually you will find them.

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  42. Forgot to add: a guy who would really care about YOU (and not his ego) would not tell stories about you to his friends nor tolerate them harassing you. (and dont kid yourself into thinking he doesent know, he does but most likely either chooses to overlook or even encourages this)
    The problem is you seem to be smitten with this guy and just dont realize how unhealthy he is for you. Try googling “women that love to much” and “jealousy and posessive relationship”
    Do you recognize some parallels;

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  43. Dear Almost 20 ,

    I am a 23 year old single girl and I can relate to you so well .I was in a relationship for 2 years with someone similar to your ex.Possessive ,extremely cautious about society and old fashioned ,in every single way .A lot of times ,we get into a relationship just because we are lonely. I have had issues in family since childhood and I know what you have been through.But before you make a decision ,ask yourself honestly .After 30 years ,when you wake up one day and realize that your big decisions in life are already made,wouldn’t you regret even for once that you have not waited for a better guy ? Deep inside, do you not believe that you deserve someone better who understands that you have the rights to make your own decisions? All of us here are just re-iterating what you want to hear .The minute you have second thoughts about your relationship ,is the minute your relationship is over .Because people like you do not have second thoughts unless the problem is worth it.

    All said, just wait.It is a beautiful world out there .You deserve someone who treats you like a princess and not a pillow !

    I admit if I lived in a place where dating was accepted, I wouldn’t have considered getting back with him. – don’t these lines explain enough ?

    Being single till the right person comes along can be scary ,but trust me,it is worth the wait.You cannot be in a relationship just because you can’t be single. All the comments out here should show you that there is a world that cares and that knows and still loves you for what you are.

    Love ,
    S

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  44. There are so many things off in this problem that I don’t know where to begin. The first is, as someone already mentioned, the guy IS a hipocrite. He is traditional where it suits him and is more than willing to forgo the tradition when it gives him access to the ‘forbidden fruit’, so to speak. Isn’t premarital sex supposed to be a taboo in the very society and parental ‘sanskaar’ that he believes in.

    The second is, in spite of the girl’s clear headedness and maturity on the issue, she is still a little too inexperienced and tradition bound herself. She explicitly stated she wouldn’t be with him if there was a dating culture where she had more options. Sounds like she is ‘bargain shopping’ on the issue. She also seems to be rather too eager about marriage, over the potential freedom from her parents that marriage entails. Thats a very wrong reason to get married. She gave up her entire social circle just to be with him, in a typical Desi ‘self-sacrifice’ expected of women. She has no clue about contraception, believes in antiquated notions of sexuality (he has to pursue, I have to say no) and is overall, quite naive on the sexual aspect of relationship. It is a relief that she didn’t cave in to his demands, this was one situation open to abuse and exploitation.

    Both of them are in the relationship for all the wrong reasons, even though these reasons might be considered acceptable and normal in Desi cultures. The guy seems to be in it only for sexual ‘potential’, while the girl wants to hold on to a ‘good guy’ for marriage because she feels she isn’t going to get any better. I am not going to bother advising on what to do, since a lot of readers have done already, but I though I’d put it in perspective.

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  46. hi! i m 21 n i hv been through all of dis. my boyfrnd was d most insecure person i had ever come across. he ws my 3rd n he made sure dat i stopped talking to each n every1 in our class so dat dat sum1 else dsnt snatch me away frm hm! d relationship has ended for me but not for him. i agree he cares for me d most but i feel suffocated. he thot dat sex is gonna solve everythng n i vl b his forever, despite me being strongly against it. unfortunately, v had it n i hate hm to d very core now. he stl loves me n cares for me. v fight daily n he says he comes begging back everyday just coz v r ‘bonded’ now. dats hs justification n he stl dsnt thnk it was wrong. today, i absolutely abhor him. i wish i was strong enough to maintain my ‘NO’.

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  49. The walk towards office ……………………..
    The walk towards office after getting down from the train was full of thoughts,
    a mini explosion in my mind!!!!
    Many things have acted as triggers……………
    things happening rapidly in past several days !!!!!
    It’s me dealing with or rather knowing some things abt ppl closest to me,
    or at least who were close to me and now hv left abruptly
    so feeling a bit lost suddenly!!! And this event has acted as a very powerful trigger and pushed me back into my past!!!!
    But dat person herself had formed a strong bond with me(also I allowed n accepted it n she never forced me to do anything, it was a mutual decision, obviously) and now suddenly she has left!!!!!!!!!!
    How can ppl change so fast????????? I am trying to understand w/o blaming anyone. I gave her all d support i could
    But……………..she wanted a commitment from me,
    At-least reciprocation of love which I never did,
    ‎ And I don’t regret that at all…………….
    In-fact I was d one who always told her that she is free to love anyone else as and when she gets reciprocation of love from someone!!!!
    But she always said no to that idea and kept on saying that she can’t live w/o me for past 9 months………………

    But now I am left with a big vacuum to deal with and dat has pushed me badly into my past
    She suddenly started loving a guy in her office, whom she actually didn’t liked at all (actually got irritated coz of his chipkugiri n constant sms) and now she is in a committed relationship with him!!!
    It just became ugly,
    I never wanted it to be and I am a bit confused abt how things happened so rapidly???
    I never wanted it 2 be ugly!!!
    This girl had already gone through an ugly break – up!!!
    And she received strength through me during those 9 months dat she spent with me and also provided emotional support to me…………….
    No no ………………she is not a cheap girl!!!!
    She is still a genuine girl!!! With a very good character ( n a caring n sensitive heart, I guess…..at least for the new special one in her Life)
    And dats d precise reason why she could come so close to me…………….
    bt i think dat her own vulnerability pushed her into taking such an urgent decision with immediate action!!!!
    It has really shocked me!!!!
    Initially she really didn’t like this guy!!!
    She herself said it.
    Though I never inquired!!!
    There was no need for her to lie at all!!!
    We both were very open to each other………….
    But she had also told me dat this guy is behind her since d moment he saw her for d first time in her office!!!
    I think, as I hv mentioned earlier, may be her vulnerability forced her into it!!!!
    And right now she seems extremely hpy with him.
    So even I am hpy for her!!!
    No regrets at all!!!
    Letting go all d confusion and anger and feelings of betrayal…………………
    I hope she enjoys d bliss of real love and stable relationship for d rest of her Life
    But I had not expected such a sudden n abrupt ending……….it’s painful, really very painful, excruciating heartache!!! But I need to deal with it w/o causing any kind of trouble to her.

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  50. Just my two cents – If actions speak louder than words, then the girl is more traditional and the guy is more liberal🙂 so cut the crap on thinking “liberal” while acting “traditional”

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  51. Any kind of pressurizing is unhealthy in any relation , So I dont think this was a healthy relation, more over what right his friends have to write BS on facebook and he is not stopping that too…
    I will say relation not worth.

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