my boyfriend has nudes of a handful of women he dated before me saved on his phone. i've expressed how unusual i think this is, but he seems to think it's totally normal. maybe it is, but i keep picturing him looking at the topless photos of his ex while he masturbates. please help.
i do think that a person in a healthy relationship should be able to make peace with the fact that their partner will occasionally have sexual thoughts and even fantasies about people that aren’t them. maybe those fantasies will include someone from their past or maybe it will be someone they know now. it’s just something that those of us who are bothered by that kind of thing should collectively avoid thinking about.
what i don’t think a person in a healthy relationship should have to put up with is photographic evidence of this fact, as is the case with your question. i’m not sure that i have a concrete opinion on whether or not people should keep old nudes when they enter into a new relationship but i will say for sure that if they exist, they shouldn’t be something that their partners are finding or having to think about. regardless of how you found out, you know about these photos now. i assume you’ve expressed to your partner that they make you uncomfortable. i hope you’ve expressed the specifics of that fact and your fears about it to him as you have to me. if his response to that hasn’t reassured you, i think we need to look at why that is.
do you feel that he isn’t connecting with you or understanding how his keeping these makes you feel? has he made attempts to rid you of these negative feelings—even if those attempts don’t explicitly translate to him deleting the photos? ultimately, that’s all that can really be done. i assume if the only outcome you’d be satisfied with is him deleting the photos, you’d have just told him to delete the photos or the relationship would end. so the questions you need to ask are, ‘what will it take for me to get through these uncomfortable feelings?’ followed by ‘can the person i’m with provide that?’
the resolution to this issue will need to come from both of you. your boyfriend will need to make a solid effort to assure you of his commitment to this relationship and to show you that he’s capable of being compassionate in the face of unpleasant feelings. and when (or if) he does that, you’ll have to take him at his word and make an effort to let this go.
i was wondering, as a young bi teenager, what can i do to get a significant other? i wouldn't say i’m the most attractive of people, nor the most self-disciplined, or passionate, and i’m part of a nerdy ish friend group. A lot of people will talk to me and no one (that i can tell) outright dislikes me, and yet everyone i like either ends up being awful, aro, or straight/gay (depending on whatever doesn't work for me). sometimes multiple of these. i find a lot of people attractive but i’m not the most outspoken, even though i get praised for being confident. is there any surefire way to get someone to like me back, or at least do you perhaps have any philosophical words to encourage me to not care about what others think about me if i go around and start asking out cute people?
i would first challenge you to dig a little deeper into what is you want out of a romantic partnership. intimacy, compassion, companionship, and sexual fulfillment are things gained from people—not from the title that those people hold in our lives. and it doesn’t sound to me that your life is lacking in people. you have a friend group and it sounds like you’re fairly social. you should give yourself credit for that.
what jumps out at me about your question is the ambiguity of it. you’re looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend. you’ve got a role you want to fill but you don’t have a specific person in mind. it sounds to me like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself and i think the people that you’re interested in may be picking up on this.
i think it’s possible that the title of romantic partner is a type of permission you feel that you need to initiate romantic interactions. to correct this, i would put the concept of—and all of the notions you have about—partnership out of your mind. the next time you’re interested in someone, make a goal to have the interaction with them that you want to have (with respect, obviously, for their comfort). maybe that interaction is a conversation, maybe it’s a compliment you want to give, maybe it’s exchanging contact information, maybe it’s a kiss. whatever it is, ask for that and understand that romantic interest is, at its best, something that develops after a great many of these interactions. and the best partnerships start a little while even after that.
i’m recently single and am having a difficult time finding a guy i’m interested in. i always seem to find something wrong with them and i’m starting to think that it’s because i’m either too picky or my heart is not open to anyone else right now. should i keep using these dating apps or give it a break?
a while back, when i was newly single, i spotted a girl on OKCupid that really struck my fancy. that app in particular provides quite a bit of information about users. after reading through this person’s many public opinions, i decided that this person was a great fit for me and i swiped right, really hoping i’d get a chance to go on a date with her.
before we’d matched on any apps, though, i happened to run into her as it turned out she was a friend of one of my friends. reader, it is with very little hyperbole that i say to you this girl was one of the most annoying and stressful people i’d ever met.
the point of my little story is: you really can’t tell very much about a person from a dating app. especially not the ones like tinder or bumble. and when you do connect with someone on a meaningful level, it won’t be because you’re both really into Chumbawumba or because they looked really good in a denim jacket during the golden hour one fall afternoon in 2018. it’ll be for reasons that don’t fit into the 500 characters or less in your tinder bio.
that said, it is a little telling to me that you’re wanting to label many of these people as uninteresting after a few photos and a short snippet of shallow information. i’m of the belief that all relationships involve a decent amount of rounding up. my partner, for example, rounds up the fact that i always leave the hairdryer plugged in after I’m done using it even though she’s written me a nice note near the plug to unplug it when i’m done. if you can’t round a person up from a dating profile to a “unique human being with their own experiences and insights into the human condition”, that might be a sign that you aren’t ready to be looking for dates just yet.