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Sex and Sexuality:
"I feel like I'm letting my boyfriend down."

Hey Terra,

My boyfriend and I have been going out for over a year. I am pretty conservative with my boundaries and don't want to go past kissing. He tries to persuade me that going further physically in our relationship will bring us closer together and that I need to just trust him on that. We are super close, but still I don't want to go further than kissing even though I really love him. What should I do? I feel like I am letting him down. How do I explain to him that we can have a really serious relationship without going further physically?

Confused

 

Dear Confused,

Forget about "letting him down." When you go against what's right for you, you let YOURSELF down. That's going to lower your self-esteem, your self-respect and it's also going to make you resentful toward your boyfriend. None of those are going to make a positive contribution to your spiritual and emotional growth.

You're the only one who can decide what level of physical intimacy you're comfortable with. His trying to "persuade" you isn't helpful and isn't respectful of your boundaries.

The problem, as I see it, is that you and your boyfriend have different definitions of what a "really serious relationship" is. For you, it probably includes lots of emotional bonding (talking, doing fun things together, supporting each other, sharing ideas, dreams, fears, etc.) and kissing. For him, it obviously includes your definition plus more physical intimacy.

Your problem isn't how to "explain" your definition to him, your challenge is to get him to quit pressuring you. If he's unwilling to respect your boundaries and you are unwilling to reconsider your boundaries, then you will most likely have to end this relationship.

In friendship,

Terra

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