The guy I’ve been dating for 5 months wants to have sex. I told him no and that if he really loved me he would wait. He said no and that he needs sex. He said we should take a break. I said no. You can understand why I said that, right? I feel fine. I just need to be reassured that I didn’t do something stupid. Maybe we could have worked things out?– Shanelle, 16
You absolutely did the right thing because you acted on your values and your feelings. You knew in your gut that it wasn’t right. You have nothing to apologize for. When you’re ready to have sex, you’ll know (hint: in general, if you have to ask yourself if you’re ready for sex, most likely you’re not).
What this guy is doing is blackmailing you. He’s using your relationship as a weapon to get what he wants. The message is: Give me sex, or lose our relationship. It reminds me of the girls in nursery school who tell you they won’t be your friend anymore if you don’t do what they want. We call that relational aggression (and the stuff that girls do in this area doesn’t end in preschool, either).
Here’s the deal: If your BF is so hung up on sex that he would actually leave you if you didn’t give it to him, then it means (1) he is being really shallow (2) he is angry or hurt and may come back and own up, and if he does, then maybe you can talk and/or (3) he is focusing on a superficial aspect of a real relationship. What’s most important in a relationship is the love that two people feel. It’s love that should enable him to respect you’re not ready. People don’t threaten relationships because they love you. That’s the opposite of love. If he can’t access real love, then he actually isn’t ready for sex, either. And I don’t want you having it with him.
So, no, you so didn’t do the wrong thing. I’m proud of you for speaking your heart and acting on your values. You rock!
Need advice? E-mail Rachel! firstname.lastname@example.org