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Thread: Feeling guilt and shame, please help!

  1. #1

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    Feeling guilt and shame, please help!

    Hello,

    First of all, thank you for reading this post. Please bear with me and I will try to keep it as concise as possible.

    I have a friend called Ash (not his real name) who I met in college and who I have known for 10 years now. During that time we had always been just friends and kept in general contact with each other, he had had various girlfriends and I had had a boyfriend throughout the time we've known each other.

    We now live in different parts of the country but still kept in contact on friendly terms. He has been in a relationship with his gf for roughly 5 years now. I had been single since 2015. In 2017 he started being very flirty with me via online messages and started suggesting sexual things towards me and generally giving me the "green light". At this time I had moved away from family friends etc to an new area for a job and was single. I was lonely and had no other "interest" on the table at the time, and so, in the knowledge that he had a gf, I gave him the green light back. For over a year or so we "sexted" every so often via online messages a handful of times, at most, in between day to day friendly chat. Sometimes we would chat every day sometimes we would go a few weeks without contact.

    We met for lunch once but nothing happened and we didn't discuss the "sexting" or anything sexual at all during our lunch. At one point, via online message, we had discussed meeting for sex, but in the end we couldn't both go through with it, but we continued to sext every so often. Just to make it clear, nothing physical has ever happened between us. I never wanted a relationship with him, for me it was never emotional, it was purely because, I guess, I was craving attention. At the time I knew what we were doing was wrong. He told me his gf and him were having a rough time and he wasnt enjoying being with her, they weren't having sex, going through a rough patch and he had spoken about breaking up with her etc. But after a while it became clear he wanted to stay with her which didn't bother me, because, as I said I didn't want anything to develop. After a year or so I could feel that I wanted to put a stop to it as I felt the whole exercise was pointless and I knew that I couldn't go through with being physical with him and I didn't want anything to develop anyway.

    I have been on and off a dating app many times since around 2016.

    Last year (2018) I "met" a man on the dating app, John, and we started to go on a few dates. At this point the last time I had "sexted" with Ash about a month prior to me "matching" with John on tinder. At first I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to proceed with dating John, but after the 3rd date I felt like I wanted to keep seeing him. Even though no sexting had taken place between me and Ash for a while (since before I matched with John), I decided to tell Ash I was now dating someone, I wanted to see where it would go, and I wanted to just bring a close to our "arrangement".

    Ash was very understanding and accepted the position. He told me he had no hidden intentions and that it "wasn't serious anyway". Afterwards Ash and I kept in contact after but since then I have been distancing myself from him.

    I continued to see John and a few weeks ago, after dating for about 3 months or so, we made our relationship "official".

    I recently had a conversation with John about some of our past crushes, dates, general experiences, relationships etc. but I decided not to tell him about Ash as 1) what happened with Ash had happened before I even knew John 2) I put a stop to the Ash thing after our 3rd date and before I knew I wanted to proceed with John and 3) it's embarrassing and I feel guilty and ashamed about what I did due to Ash having a girlfriend and it's not something I am proud of or really want anyone to know about. Ash is now engaged to his gf.

    I feel that if I tell John about the Ash thing he will think less of me, lose trust in me and end our relationship and I don't want that.

    As we met on tinder, John was accepting of the idea that I may have been speaking with other men at the time we were dating, and he said that he actually thought he was just "one of many other men" I would be talking to (which I wasn't). I told him I wasn't speaking to any other men on tinder and I even showed him my tinder account messages.

    I'm feeling very ashamed first of all for even sexting Ash knowing he has a gf, but second of all for not "coming clean" to John.

    Originally after I had "cleared the air" with Ash, I forgot about it and just went on to enioy spending time with John, and at first I was happy that I had done the right thing. But this chat about previous experiences has just brought it all rushing back to me and now I'm wondering if I should bring it up with john and risk losing this great new exciting relationship I have with him.

    Prior to all of this I had had one relationship with someone for 3 years and was always 100% faithful. I am disappointed in myself and its not the person I am.

    If you were in this situation what would you do?

    Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
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    I don't see why you'd need to tell your boyfriend about this.

    This inappropriate fling with Ash is over, it's been over a while, it was over before you even met John, you've learned from it, and frankly - it's none of his business. You're overthinking this, girl.

  3. #3
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    I agree - you are overthinking.

    This thing with Ash was nothing more than a flirtation and an ego boost to you both. Itís not someone you see regularly. He lives far away. Nothing ever happened.

    Yes, it was in the realm of shady as he had a girlfriend. You probs shouldnít have been doing that. But... thatís really more on him, IMO.

    Your new bf is a bf, not your priest (lol). You donít need to confess every flirtation youíve ever had. There is zero risk of STDs, etc.

    I donít think you need to tell your bf about this at all. There is not much to tell... nothing happened anyways.

  4. #4
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    I think you feel guilt due to behaving on appropriately and want to offload to someone. As mentioned already, a priest is the person to offload to (or a counselor) not your bf! It's none of his business and entirely irrelevant.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Dating is to get to know someone, it's not a true confessions game. Only reveal basics and skip this type of TMI. Respect your privacy. Start dating in a more mature fashion and skip the high school "crushes, dates, general experiences, relationships" talk.
    Originally Posted by Sheen32
    I recently had a conversation with John about some of our past crushes, dates, general experiences, relationships etc.

  7. #6
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    Why do people think they have to give a detailed account of their past love life to their current partner? You don't, in fact I would say you shouldn't.

    I've never gone through a list of my past bfs with a current bf. I really dont see why he would need to know the name of every guy I've had sex with.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Iggy5129
    Why do people think they have to give a detailed account of their past love life to their current partner? You don't, in fact I would say you shouldn't.

    I've never gone through a list of my past bfs with a current bf. I really dont see why he would need to know the name of every guy I've had sex with.
    In my opinion the only important details might be: "is this the person's first relationship or not" (to give an idea of what to expect and how to proceed), possible STDs (important to protect the health of the partner and allow them to make informed choices), previous marriages/kids (important to plan the future with that person and what to expect) and any other detail the partner might ask within reason.

    Anything else like previous crushes and hook ups, sexual details, emotional details about previous relationships, etc are not relevant to current relationships in my opinion. These are things you might tell a trusted friend, but not a partner. If the past relationships/crushes/hook ups involve deep traumas and fears that's to be discussed with a therapist. Partners are not therapists despite the common belief that "total transparency and honesty" include giving partners all the sordid details about past relationships, crushes, hook ups and etc.

  9. #8
    Gold Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Annia
    In my opinion the only important details might be: "is this the person's first relationship or not" (to give an idea of what to expect and how to proceed), possible STDs (important to protect the health of the partner and allow them to make informed choices), previous marriages/kids (important to plan the future with that person and what to expect) and any other detail the partner might ask within reason.

    Anything else like previous crushes and hook ups, sexual details, emotional details about previous relationships, etc are not relevant to current relationships in my opinion. These are things you might tell a trusted friend, but not a partner. If the past relationships/crushes/hook ups involve deep traumas and fears that's to be discussed with a therapist. Partners are not therapists despite the common belief that "total transparency and honesty" include giving partners all the sordid details about past relationships, crushes, hook ups and etc.
    Totally this.

    To the OP: I understand that with not being anyone for quite a while you may be eager to talk about your dating past. That's your choice. However, there is such a thing as too much information. As Annia mentioned, there are pertinent past relationships to bring up, but anything beyond that is not his business. Crushes? No. And...why in the world would you show him your tinder messages?

    Look, you seem like a very nice and a very intelligent person. You're honest, which is great. But you weren't sleeping with Ash, and even then telling John about him would be debatable since you fully closed things off with Ash before you were official with John.

    To answer your question if I were in your situation I would just let things be and enjoy my new relationship.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    I agree with the others, the past is the past and thatís where you should leave it.

    Beyond marriages, kids, and STDs...thereís nothing else that needs shared. All it will do is cause insecurity, which is absolutely STUPID because everyone has a past, doesnít mean they donít deserve a future.

    And honestly, I donít think you should be such an open book. Offering up whatever info the other person wants (like showing him your Tinder account...why!?) is 1.) A red flag to many emotionally intelligent people, and 2.) A sign that youíll be easy to control/manipulate to those who are not exactly emotionally mature. Especially with OLD, you must be more careful!!

    Just enjoy dating John!!

  11. #10

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    Teil him everything :3

    In my opinion you should tell him everything and here are the reason why

    Being accepted for who you truly are/was is a wonderful feeling and if he really loves you he will accept you and your past regardless of what had happened. In addition to that you already said that you feel bad about your past, right? Sometimes it really helps to tell someone you love about those exactly feelings, maybe he'll even understand it completely (ofc it does not have to) and help you to improve your self image.

    However, like I said, if he is the right one he will accept you and your choices

    Good luck and best regards :3

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