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Relationships chat with peer advisors
Chau and Caroline regularly answer relationship questions on askTheSite through the online peer advisor scheme, and Clare is a key member of the online volunteering and advice team at TheSite.org towers. The three of them came to a live chat session and answered your questions on exes, pregnancy, pornography, and date ideas.
Barbie: Hi guys, I need some advice (duh)
Chau: No worries, go for it.
Barbie: OK, so basically my ex-boyfriend and I had been going out for a year and six months when I decided to go to law school in the same city as him. During the summer holidays we broke up and ever since then things have been really hard for me.
Chau: It must be pretty tough still being around him. Do you still see him often?
Barbie: I don't really know anyone here, I've almost completely stopped going to university and all this time I've still been sleeping with my ex in the hope that he would 'see sense' and get back together with me. I don't really feel like there is anyone I can talk to about it. No one really seems to understand. Now I've tried to cut him out of my life by blocking him on facebook and deleting him from my MSN but he still calls me everyday even though I don't pick up.
Chau: It can be hard talking about it with others because of a fear they'll be judgemental, it's good you're looking for advice. Have you spoken to him about the situation?
Barbie: Only in times of anger; usually when I try to talk to him about it he just says he doesn't know what he wants. He never lets me socialise with his friends and never invites me round when he has his house parties. I feel like I'm being used and I just want to get out of it but it's hard because I still care about him and then sometimes I'm not sure I want to move on. I just want it to go back to the way things were.
Clare: That must be really hard. It's always more difficult when you have to see someone who you cared about every day. It sounds like he is making it harder for you by constantly calling and what you really need is a clean break.
Caroline: It does sound like you're really self-aware of the situation and that's actually a really positive thing. Sometimes it can be hard to let go of the past, but when you do it can be liberating.
Barbie: I'm trying really hard. I just don't know what he wants from me. If nothing, why won't he leave me alone?
Chau: I know it can feel isolating when you feel like there's no one to talk to. What about friends from home or family?
Barbie: They're kind of tired of talking to me about it; they feel like I know the right thing to do and I need to 'just do it'.
Clare: Well, that's easier said than done, especially when he is acting this way. There are a few different ways that we could suggest for you to try.
Chau: You've recognised the problems you're having, so you're halfway there already. You also mentioned you've deleted him on facebook, having this space can be really helpful.
Barbie: Yes I have. I've tried to eliminate every single possible form of contact, but I don't have the facility to block a number from calling!
Chau: It sounds like you do know what you want; don't be afraid to have faith in your own judgements. Talking with your friends may be good, even if you think they're getting tired of it, they'll understand if you can explain how hard it still is. Focus on yourself for a while and don't forget that there are so many opportunities at university. You deserve to be happy and enjoy your university life.
Clare: Getting back involved with university would be a great distraction and give you something to focus on. You could join a club or society to meet new people? Accepting it's over is hard, but it sounds like that's what you want to do and you'll get there - annoyingly it can just take a bit of time.
Amilie_Rose: On Monday I found out I was pregnant. When I told my boyfriend he went mental, called me a cheap slut and basically doesn't want to know. I was aware this could happen, but he won't speak to me at all. This is as much his fault as mine and I feel that even if we don't stay together, he should be offering me some form of support. Am I wrong in wanting this?
Caroline: Hey Amilie_Rose, that's really tough. It sounds like he's being unsupportive and unfair. You do need support at a time like this. Unfortunately, you can't make anyone be supportive, is there anyone else you can turn to who will support you? A close friend or family member?
Amilie_Rose: My mum knows, and I've told my tutor and year head.
Caroline: Maybe your boyfriend is in shock, that's quite a big piece of news to take in. That doesn't excuse his behaviour at all, but it could be helpful to think of why he's acting the way he is. You might want to write him a letter explaining how you feel, maybe to give him a chance to calm down or think about the situation rationally.
Ultimately, make sure you look after yourself at the moment. It sounds like you're being quite mature and sensible about this situation by telling your mum.
It can be easy to have this expectation that a new relationship should be perfect... but in reality it might not be as smooth going as this.
Amilie_Rose: I know, and I need to decide about what to do...
Clare: The Education For Choice website can help you make a decision about what you want to do next. Have a look at their article on making a decision. It gives you lots to think about and helps you work out how you actually feel and what is best for you. You can also look at this archived question from someone in a similar situation.
Amilie_Rose: I will. Thank you.
Caroline: Remember, it's your choice. No one can push you into a decision or make you do something you don't want to do. Good luck with everything.
Icelandicbreadthief: I'm going on a date with a lass tonight to the cinema (original, I know), we've already been for a drink, but I just wondered if any of you ladies, or guys for that matter, have been wooed on a date by the creativity behind it? I want to do something fun, but something that's not going to cost me a bomb?
Caroline: You could find somewhere nice to go for a walk?
Clare: Soon the clocks are going back so you'll have lots of chances to do things that are outside. Depending on where you are you could find a river or lake and get a boat. You could take a picnic with you?
Caroline: What about free art exhibitions and museums, if there are any near you?
Chau: There's always the classic bowling. Sometimes there are 'buy one get one free' deals on games you could look out for. Or you could cook her dinner? If you're not that great at cooking, you could get her to help and have a laugh making it together.
Clare: How about going to a gig or a comedy club? If you meet up before you'll have a chance to chat, and then talking about it afterwards is a good conversation piece. Hope that gives you some ideas!
button86: I have been with my partner a year. I have always known he looks at pornography; we have talked about it over and over and he knows it makes me feel insecure, inadequate and uncomfortable. After a big talk he agreed to stop and I said we'd compromise by watching it together. We have been doing that, but I don't enjoy it and I know he misses watching it alone. The mere thought of him masturbating to porn makes my stomach churn and I resent him for enjoying it.
I resent myself for not being one of those girls who is really indifferent to it. Can anyone help?
Caroline: It's good that you're talking about it together and that he's prepared to listen to you and compromise.
Clare: Try not to beat yourself up about not being indifferent to it. Plenty of women don't feel comfortable about their boyfriends watching porn. Perhaps focus your energy on working out a better compromise as this one doesn't seem to be working for you.
Caroline: Lots of guys look at porn when they are in relationships, but it doesn't have to reflect directly on your relationship with your boyfriend. For example, it would only turn into a problem if he didn't have sex with you, but he looked at porn instead. However, if looking at porn makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to watch it. It may be something you'll have to try to accept, but try not to take it personally.
Clare: There's a question here from the Lovers Guide by someone with a similar problem, it might be helpful to read the answer. Perhaps ask yourself if you find it offensive in general, or if it's more just the idea of him getting pleasure outside of your relationship? You're not alone in how you feel though, not many people would be totally indifferent to it and many girls will say they just try not to think about it.
Katchika: If you've started seeing someone new, how perfect do you expect them to be? Do you let people off a bit and overlook any bad points? I'm seeing someone new and I'm really bad at all this stuff. I really like him but he kind of let me down this weekend and I don't know if it's worth it. I'm scared of getting hurt.
Clare: I guess it depends on how he let you down and whether you can understand why he did what he did? For example, if you were really ill you might not want to see someone as you would be worried you would look bad or make them ill, too. Some people cancel dates because they have a big spot, for example.
Chau: It can be easy to have this expectation that a new relationship should be perfect, especially from movies and TV, but in reality it might not necessarily be as smooth going as this.
Caroline: That's very true, it might not be absolutely perfect but sometimes you've got to trust your gut instinct as well. If you feel that something really isn't right, then sometimes it can help to act on that.
Clare: In the same way, if you don't feel like things have run their course yet then just see how it goes and maybe give him another chance.
Jo7: Remember, you can ask questions on anything relating to relationships that you might be going through anytime on askTheSite.