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Is this one step ahead...or one leap back?

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Due to some childhood trauma, I haven't ever really dated. I've steered clear of dating and haven't even called anyone a "boyfriend" since seventh grade, (although you can scarcely call someone a boyfriend at that age). I never even really kissed anyone. As a kintergardner I'm sure I ran around the playground kissing and chasing all the boys and even through elementery I'm sure. But I've never been in a serious relationship and kissed a guy. In fact, I'm really just not comfortable with all of that physical stuff. Which is a big part of why me and my seventh grade 'boyfriend' broke up.


I've been asked to date guys many times. I've been asked by some I would never really see that way, by close guy friends, by some "hot" guys at my school. But I have always politely declined. One of the so-called "popular" guys at our school, who yes, (he is quite appealing as far as his appearance goes), asked me why I never dated. And I said I just didn't and whatnot. He told me there were a lot of guys who liked me and to be honest? I was quite surprised. I'm not a popular girl, I went through a phase where I hung out with the popular crowd, but it wasn't for me and I preferred a more realistic bunch. I'm also a bit of a loner. And also, I do not consider myself very flattering in appearance. I'm actually terribly self-consious (which I suppose also has a hand in the fact that I do not date).


Anyway, the point is, I just don't date...until very very recently. No, I'm not dating still, BUT I found someone that I would actually consider... He's very very sweet. And he's real. He listens to me and I talks to me. We are friends..but I have been told he likes me, which I know he does, and he was told I do not date...but, I don't think anyone really realized until last night, that I do like him. I had to be an arbor girl (because I am in the top ten of my junior class) for homecoming. Which means I had to get all dressed up and go to the dance, and blah blah blah. I talked to him a little at the game, and he made fun of me for being in a dress (which is something I rarely do). Then when we got to the dance and I was finally let loose to do as I pleased, he gave me a white rose and just hung out with me the entire time. We talked a little, and danced together...slow danced. We laughed and chatted and I talked with some of his friends and some of mine. We were rarely apart from eachother the whole time. This is terribly abnormal for me, because usually the idea of being constantly by some guy that I know likes me is not easy. But he wasn't all pushy and clingy. I suppose I was the more assertive one even. Which is just...very abnormal for me. How we met, was this summer, at Warped Tour. Or well, I met him(Ben) once before that when he was hanging out with a member of my band and I was introduced. But at Warped he was part of the group I went with. There were four of us, and my one friend was in a cast, so the whole time we are in this moshing crowd, I'm trying to protect her arm from too much slamming into and whatnot. Ben was behind me and everyone was pressed so close together that when the crowd leaned and so on, you were pulled wherever the majority desired. I had never been to a concert like this, so I had worn my very long hair down. Bad idea. It was pulled in every direction and I kept getting pulled back. Ben put his hands lightly on my waist to keep me from being thrown around. Again, this would normally make me terribly oncomfortable, but it was instead largely appreciated. He didn't say anything about it or try and be any way about it, he just was simply being nice. Then when my friend in the cast had had too much, the four of us tried to wade back out of the crowd while the band was still playing. Crowd control pulled her and my other friend out but Ben and I were left behind to make our way all the way back through the crowd. Which, let me tell you, was not easy. We grabbed one another's hands and he led us out. We walked a little bit after we had made it out then both realized we were still holding hands, and let go. I had to retie my shoes so he wated and then we went to find the group.


Anyway, that's how this all started. Ever since that day, I haven't been able to stop thinking about him. I've never felt so comfortable with a guy. I told no one that I thought anything of him. However, as school started up again, I was told by one of his closer friends that he talked about me all the time. I didn't know what to say, secretly, he was constantly on my mind as well. Then last night with homecoming happened, and it's I suppose obvious to him that I do think something of him.


In a way, I feel like...maybe I'm finally getting over some of the guy struggles that the early childhood trauma instilled in me. On the other hand, I am terribly afraid that I'm letting this all wrap me up and it will only make things harder. I know I really want to be his friend...and I know that he makes me feel incredible just to see him smile at me. And I even love having his arms around me. But oddly enough, I don't know if I could date him. Because then there comes the issues of kissing and all of that. Stuff I've never done, and not due to him, but due to my past, are quite frightening. I'm afraid that if he sees that I'm not into all of that it will be because of him. And also, I'm afraid dating him means I will have to explain why I want to take things very slow...that it's only fair to him if I date him to be honest...and I don't know if I could do that.


I really just don't know what I am supposed to do or think. I'm frightened this whole thing might be a big mistake. And perhaps more frightened that I almost don't care.

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I can relate to you totally, i have always been my little shy self, never socialised or been comfortable with guys, until my best guy friend came along, who i completely adore.


If you don't tell him how you feel you will regret it, it will eat you up inside, and you'll always be "what if", tell him, you will be able to make it work, you're not going to be the only one in this, so this guy would be helping the relationsip work too, so don't worry that you lack experience.


This guy obviously means a lot to you, and you're comfortable around him, go for it, he obviously cares for you too, so your friendship would always be there.



Edit should really be paying attention to my own advice, this is what i should be doing aswell.

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I think it's wonderful that you are allowing yourself to feel these feelings even though you have been hurt in the past. You are experiencing falling for someone, which is a truly wonderful part of being human

I am a therapist myself, and so I would recommend

1. take it slow

2. be honest

3. pay attention to what makes you feel safe. For instance, you mention in your post that you felt safe at the concert - my guess is because there were many people around, and that he wasn't being pushy, and that his physical touches were not overtly "sexual" - so you felt in control. If you establish a romantic relationship with him, it will be up to you to tell him what you need and how far things can go - so have a clear idea in your mind and don't be afraid of doing this.

4. While I don't know the nature of your past trauma, it would be helpful to get counseling from a professional who has experience in these matters. Childhood trauma always affects adult relationships, sometimes in ways that the individual is not completely aware of. Even if this relationship doesn't work out, there are future ones to look forward to.

5. You also might want to check out, if this is relevant to you, sexual abuse recovery books and websites - there is good information for women who have experienced past trauma "reclaiming" their sexuality, so to speak.

Hope this was helpful.

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