My Relationship, Manipulation, and Too Much Pressure

So, my ex-boyfriend Chris. The asshole that I wrote a fuckin song about, who I gave my first kiss to, who I basically had to turn off my feminist brain to even tolerate him–well, he’s a self-centered prick. And it’s taken some distance from the relationship to realize it. Everyone warned me about how annoying he was, and I’m sure they all wondered how I didn’t see it. Well. . . that’s what I’m wondering now, too.

See, me and Chris had had an on-again-off-again thing since fifth grade. Between the multiple times he’s dated me, he’s gone out with literally fifteen other girls, whereas my only other boyfriend threatened to kill himself, so I was already just a tad insecure coming into the relationship. Chris had all this experience–had gotten WELL past a kiss loads of times–whereas I was just sort of sitting here with lips that had never touched anything more interesting than cookie dough ice cream. For months before we went out (the most recent time), he always talked about how much he wanted to make out with me (and all the things he wanted to do, which I realize now in hindsight was a little weird on his part). He complimented me and called me pretty and told me I was important to him and all of that stupid bullshit you’re supposed to say to a girl when you want to get in her pants. And I fell for it. Oh, I fell hard.

See, me and Chris, for all the times we’ve gone out, didn’t really know each other that well. It’s not like I was going to just spill all my daddy issues to this guy I had a crush on. But that’s what he wanted me to do–in his mind, he was my only confidant and the only person I could trust. He said shit all the time like “You know, I’m good at making you feel good about yourself” or “I bet I’m the only person who tells you how beautiful you are.” A lot of the time, I would call him out on it. But a lot of the time I would just let it slide, because it’s not like what he was saying wasn’t true. It was just also insanely manipulative bullshit with a healthy dose of his delusions of importance thrown in.

One time, he actually literally said to me “What would you do without me?” And I yelled at him about it for god knows how long, and it basically crushed his delusions of me needing him. I flat out told him that, even though I didn’t particularly want him to, if he left my life for good I would get over it easily enough. He was groveling at my feet in no time (which, I guess, was kinda manipulative on my part too).

Back to the part about how I was a kissing virgin pre-Chris. Well, he solved that little dilemma for me quickly. The first kiss wasn’t exactly amazing–not the way they make it seem in movies, at least. But it certainly wasn’t terrible, either. It let me know I wanted more.

But from that moment on, there was no talking in the relationship at all besides flirting and lust and him inexpertly attempting to turn me on. And I didn’t mind at first–hey, a guy with a six-pack wanted to kiss me, I wasn’t going to complain–but eventually, it got really fucking annoying. He was expecting me to be some sort of supergirlfriend who would just skip class with him because he was horny or send him naked pics whenever he wanted to be turned on.

(((I never did skip class with him, by the way, and he stopped asking pretty quickly since I was obviously not interested. I’m too much of a goody-two shoes for that particular type of rule breaking. I also never, EVER sent him nudes, not even on that temple of sexting known as Snapchat, because as stupid as I got, I never got quite that stupid. I didn’t want pictures of me like that to ever exist, let alone be in the hands of a stupid teenage boy.)))

As much as he wanted me to be, I could not be a supergirlfriend; it was exhausting trying to keep up the stupid flirty banter which I honestly didn’t particularly like, not to mention annoying to listen to him talk about my lips all the time. Honestly, Chris, I don’t give a fuck what my lips taste like. If I wanted to know, all I would have to do is stick my tongue out a couple centimeters and see for myself. Please kindly go fuck yourself.

Through all that manipulative bullshit, I stayed with him because hey, this was the guy I had a crush on for over four years (which is a long time in teenager land, by the way). Plus I, like most people, found kissing pretty fun, and he was definitely good for that if nothing else.

You would not believe how pissed off he got when I wouldn’t let him touch my boobs.

He tried to get to second base less than a week after I had had my first ever kiss. And for a second I really thought I was going to let him. But then my body tensed up and I pulled away from him and actually, seriously, shoved him off of me. And there he was apologizing and groveling and swearing up and down he would never do anything to make me uncomfortable, and that he would never try again if I didn’t want him to.

Now, I’m not saying this isn’t normal for a lot of girls. For plenty of girls, second base (and beyond) might not have a whole lot of strings attached. And that’s totally cool too. I’m just saying that for me, there absolutely were strings, and they were getting pulled and tangled every which way. It’s not like I was never going to let him touch me. It’s just that at the moment, I didn’t think I was particularly ready.

I was unprepared for the conversations that would follow. Every single day for over a week (and I am not exaggerating, I honest to god mean every single day), we would have an exchange like this:

Chris: Hey, so, you know I would never do anything to make you uncomfortable?
Me: Yeah
Chris: Well I just want you to know something
Me: Oh, yeah, what’s that?
Chris: That one time you let me touch your boobs, I really liked it. I want to do it again sometime.
Me: No. I told you no. I don’t want to.
Chris: I’m sorry baby I would never do anything to make you uncomfortable it’s just that I want to see your boobs.
Me: Stop it. No means no.
Chris: Sorry, I would never do anything to make you uncomfortable.
Me: Okay. Thanks.
Chris: But just so you know. I like the way your boobs feel.
Me: NO MEANS NO.
Chris: Sorry I don’t want to make you uncomfortable please forgive me. This was the last time I promise.

Literally, this was my life every day for over a week (which is, again, pretty long to the mind of a teenager). I contemplated breaking up with him but I’m ashamed to admit that by that point, I was pretty roped in to his bullshit. I really believed that every time he mentioned trying to touch me would be the last, just because he said it would.

I was a fool for thinking that a concept simple enough to teach to a toddler or a dog could be understood by a fourteen-year-old boy who goes to a gifted goddamn school. The next time we kissed, his hands went right back up my shirt. And the next time. And the next time after that. And finally I just stopped pushing him off because he “just couldn’t control himself, because he just wanted me so badly.” I learned to enjoy it–learned to want it, actually, until finally I actually asked him to put his hands there.

But at first I hated the feel of his hands on me and he fucking knew it (actually, I spent a lot of time wondering if a girl’s hands would feel better, but that is for a whole different post). I might always wonder if me wanting him to touch me was actually me, or if it was his manipulations messing with my head. I wonder if I was ever more than another hookup to him. I wonder if I would’ve ever found my lusty side if it weren’t for Chris being such a jackass, and I wonder if I should thank him for that.

(I’m not actually going to thank him, by the way. Yes, he woke me up to the fact that I am a human being with sexual desires. But he was also fuckin’ awful and he deserves no praise).

Because I’m pathetic and he’s a manipulative bastard, it went on until my mom forced me to break up with him. At the time, I was on the verge of tears knowing that I had to end it with Chris.

Now, I’m thrilled that I did.

I don’t particularly know why I posted this story, although I had to gather up all my courage to sit down and write it. I can’t quite figure out why it was so hard to write, nor why I wrote it in the first place. I’ve certainly vented at length about the situation to my friends many times before, so it’s not like I was looking for an outlet. I’m not looking for pity and I’m certainly not looking for anyone to shame me for giving in so easily. It would be nice if someone would start ranting about how men are pigs and how I deserve better down in the comments, but I’m not looking for that, either.

Maybe I just want to stop other people from making the same mistakes. Maybe, I want to remind myself not to make that same mistake again. Because as strong-willed as I like to think I am, I’m really easily manipulated and easily pressured. So maybe the fact that I’m stuck with this really strong sense of shame for giving in to his manipulations is the wake up call I needed. But I would’ve preferred to have never needed it at all.

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5 comments

  1. Oh dear god how familiar this all sounds to me. Had to go through a lot of emotional trial and error to figure out what I’m comfortable with or not – and really, I’ve only exposed the tip of a very large iceberg of personal boundaries. Not gonna speak for you, but this was therapeutic to read. Hopefully, it was just as therapeutic for you to write.

    1. Oh, it was definitely theraputic to write. But I’m not gonna lie, it also made me feel a bit guilty. Yeah, Chris might ACT a piece of shit, but believe it or not he’s actually a human being (with actual feelings. Who would’ve guessed?!). At one point he really did care for me, maybe even still does, and he’d probably be really hurt by this.

      I think in the end, it was a valuable learning experience. At least I’m starting to know what I like and what I don’t (sort of). And, at any rate, I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  2. Oh how I don’t miss those days! I’ll never forget the first time a guy tried to grab my (pretty much non-existent) boobs. I freaked out, pushed him away and that was it. Way to go by standing up for yourself, he definitely seemed like a manipulative asshole. And there is nothing wrong when you realized you were ready to be touched by a guy, that’s your choice and only you can decide when you’re ready and who you want to touch you!

    Whether it be by a guy or another girl!! 😉

    1. Haha, you’re probably right.

      Although I don’t want people to think I’m sort of man-hating feminazi, because I’m not. My stepdad, for example, is a genuinely good guy who treats my mom well. I’ve got lots of “guy friends” (more like close acquaintances, honestly) who are fairly respectful and definitely not manipulative. There’s a couple of senior boys on the speech and debate team, sweet, smart, nice guys who I absolutely adore.

      But then again, I’ve also known plenty of adult men as well as upperclassmen (a.k.a. technically adults) who act like little boys whenever they get the slightest opportunity. So I definitely see what you mean!! 😛

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