Is My Boyfriend Using Me For Sex?
Editor’s Note: We’ve been answering questions from high school girls lately, and if you have one, we’d love to hear it. Today’s question is by Caitlin. She’s a junior and attends a public high school. I’ve written a response to her question, but if you have any words of advice to add, feel free to do so in the comments! – Lauren
QUESTION: “My parents said that all boys want is sex. I told them that my boyfriend isn’t like that at all! I haven’t talked to him about it, but how do I know who is right? I don’t want to think that’s all my boyfriend wants.”
ANSWER: I’m sure that your parents have your best interests at heart, but a more accurate statement would have been, “a lot of guys in high school are more interested in sex than in relationships.” Not all boys are the same, and not all men will be the same. This will continue into the rest of your life. For the record, some girls use guys for sex too. Also, girls (as a whole) enjoy sex just as much as guys do.
What you need to find out is if your guy is dating you for sex, for you, or for both.
Having a conversation with your boyfriend about it is a great idea. But you can also tell a lot from your boyfriend’s actions, behaviors, and what he talks about around you. The easiest way to tell what your boyfriend wants from you, is to look at what he’s asking you for. This may be direct (asking you to have sex/telling you he wants to), implied, subtle hints (you know it when you see it), or just something that you’ve agreed to participate in without disagreeing (him initiating physical relationship and you responding positively).
Take a look at the way he and his close friends talk about their girlfriends, or girls they like. Are they talking about having sex all. the. freaking. time? Are his friends sleeping with girls frequently, but treating them poorly? Guys that your boyfriend respects will tell you a lot about him.
If you aren’t having sex, it’s a good chance that he’s not using you for sex. Unless you’ve been dating a short time and he starts getting aggressive or upset that you aren’t giving him what he ‘needs.’
If you are having sex, it’s not a guarantee that all he wants is sex, but it does make it more difficult to tell. Nothing against him, that’s just the math of it.
Personally, I believe one of the greatest reasons to not have sex when you’re dating is simply to make sure that the guy wants you for you, and not just sex. And then to build the sexual relationship on top of the “real” relationship. If you love this guy, I’m assuming you’re hoping you’ll be together for awhile – and if things go well, forever. Speaking from personal experience, the less time you spend on sex in the beginning means the more time you spend on true, honest friendship. It can be really, really difficult to not have sex, but if it’s a good relationship, the struggle will actually strengthen it. And that’s invaluable to your future with him.
(Translated: Did you know just about every single marriage goes through weeks or months where they don’t or can’t have sex? You wanna make sure that you and your boyfriend can make it without sex before heading towards a marriage! If not having sex for a couple weeks or months seems to result in irreconcilable differences and/or bad fights, you may have just avoided a potential divorce or extremely painful break-up years down the road.)
At the end of the day, I understand what you want to know: That he cares about you, not just your body. Holding out on sex while you’re building a friendship means that you’re choosing to give more value to the foundation of the building, and that’s ALWAYS a good thing. Sex is like a brick. It can be used to lay a foundation of love, care and trust – or it can be used to throw through a windshield. Handle it wisely, and be extremely careful whose hands you entrust the brick to.
So. If you’re sleeping together, the first thing to do is decide if you want sex to be part of the relationship right now. YOU decide this. Not your boyfriend, not your friends – - you decide. Talk to girls and women you respect. Practice making clear-minded choices about yourself. (And if you feel like you aren’t completely sure what you want, I’d recommend that you take a break until you can make a whole-hearted decision. If there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to be having sex or wishes you weren’t, when you look back on this, you’ll feel like you weren’t the one making the choice. And that really sucks.) One thing to keep in mind while deciding: Make sure that your physical and emotional intimacy is always on par with the level of commitment in the relationship. People may have differing opinions on what this ends up looking like, but if something is sitting wrong with you and you don’t think your physical relationship matches up with the level of commitment, that isn’t good.
The second thing to do is have a conversation with him about sex, based on what you decided. See how he responds. Ask him how he feels, and what he’s thinking. Pay close attention to his reactions, and if your relationship seems to change over the next few weeks. Does he agree? Disagree? Get angry? Is he understanding? Does he say that he “respects your feelings” but then asks you to continue something you just expressed you didn’t want to do? Does he make it clear that he is attentive and caring to your feelings and/or concerns?
If he is using for sex, you’ll know soon, and hopefully your heart will be strong enough to make a healthy decision for you and your future.
If he isn’t using you for sex, this is an amazing opportunity to strengthen your relationship, and be much more intentional about how you make decisions individually and together.
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