Ask J-Ro: When Past Hurts Become Present Issues

I’ve started seeing a guy, and it’s going well. We get along great, the sex is amazing, and hrs just generally a good person to hang out with. We’ve both been hurt in the past though, and we’re both hesitant. I’m afraid to let myself fall for him, and I think he’s the same. What do we do?

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When it comes to recovering from being badly hurt in past relationships, I think it’s important to work at your own pace. The idea of moving on is great in theory but in practice it’s a bit more of a bumpy road than simply just meeting someone new and ‘boom’ everything is perfect. Real life is a bit of a gowl like that 🙂
Patience and communication is the best combination in cases like this. You will both have your own time-frame and process of getting over past hurts so by being aware of that will help lessen any worries or insecurities on each other’s part. But really when it comes to dealing with any emotional issues in a relationship, there’s no substitute for honest communication. I know it’ll be a big risk coming from a place of having been hurt before, but sometimes you have to power through and take a chance anyway, especially if you see a long-term commitment with this guy.
It’s also worth actually saying out loud to yourself that he is not your ex, and you are not your partner’s ex. You can’t make the next person pay indirectly for someone else’s mistakes. You have to tell yourself that every new person is a blank slate, a clean start, and enjoy the feeling of liberation that comes from that realisation.
Most of all, try not to allow your previous partner to occupy any more of your head-space. That’s an awful lot of power to give someone who’s not in your life any more. Make room for something new and exciting and issue-free! Be nice to yourself 🙂

Ask J-Ro: In Sex, It Works Both Ways…

I’ve been seeing my bf for 3 months and we’re mad into each other. There’s talk of living together and all kinds of long term plans. One problem. I go down on him and he doesn’t reciprocate. I don’t want to ask for something he doesn’t enjoy but I’m not going without for the rest of my life. Advice?
Oooh, it’s a tricky one! My first instinct would be to get rid of him because if he’s not willing to give you what you need to help fulfill your sexual needs despite the fact that you do it for him, I’d consider it a dealbreaker. I’ve heard from the senior women in my life that “If he’s selfish in bed, he’s selfish in life” – and I can tell you that it’s the truth. Real men take pride in the pleasure they give their other half, and it’s no chore to visit the South, if you know what I mean 🙂

But I hear you saying you’re mad about him, so it might not that simple. It seems that you haven’t broached the subject with him, which is an issue in itself. For something as intimate as sex and going down on someone, it’s so important to talk about it. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject of conversation. Good open communication is the foundation of a great sex life within a relationship. You guys HAVE to have a chat about this; your long-term sexual satisfaction is at stake here. If you don’t say anything and you guys are in it for the long haul, it’s going to be a source of resentment for you, and you won’t want to even go down on him in time because it will seem unfair. If sex becomes a battle-ground instead of a place of happiness and intimacy for you, that can only spell disaster. Talk, talk, talk. You may die a little at first, but think of what you may gain in the long run…

It may be that he doesn’t feel confident going down on a woman, or he may never have done it before – only he knows why he doesn’t do it, so chat with him and see why. The best time to bring it up, ironically, is while you’re having a bit of a post-sex pillow talk. Start by chatting about what you liked about what he DID do, ask him if he likes the stuff you do, then when he brings up you giving him oral sex, say something along the lines that you’d love to have that done to you, and you bet he’d be really good at it – or whatever way suits you! You could even tell him you read an article online that talked about sex tips and how to enhance women’s pleasure in bed and you saw one that tickled your fancy, so to speak..he’s bound to be curious, so let him have a read if he wants. If he’s as mad about you as you say, chances are he’ll want to be the kind of guy who makes his girlfriend feel like a billion dollars in the bedroom.

Those are just a few suggestions on how to broach the topic if you’re feeling a bit shy. I’ve put some links to popular articles from Cosmo below (The bible for topics like these!) so you have some evidence of things you’ve read. The first one is actually very funny, maybe you could share it with the boyfriend and have a bit of a giggle. It’ll make sure he won’t feel like he’s being attacked, and he may take your points on board.

Ask J-Ro: Getting Back In The Game

Idk what sort of questions you answer but any advice for someone trying to be more confident with boys after a long (5 yr) relationship where I didn’t really realise I was unhappy? I love your Twitter by the way & you seem so confident!

Oh thank you! I dunno about confident, but you’ve got to try and lift yourself up as much as you can don’t you? 🙂

So you’re out of a long-term relationship and you’re feeling a bit fragile, which is completely understandable. Five years is a long time to be with someone with whom you’re not 100% happy with, so naturally you’ll be feeling like your self-esteem has taken a hit. But fear not! It’s just a period of adjustment, so try not to take it all too personally. You’re still the same awesome person, and now you’re in a new phase in your life, which can be as exciting as it is scary depending on what way you look at it!

The most important thing is to carve out a social life for yourself independent of any guys you might have an eye on, so spend time with your friends and any hobbies or things that interest you. Throw yourself into life, have the laughs and focus on being happy in yourself. Have the banter and the flirts with the boys in your social circle if you feel like it, there’s nothing nicer than a bit of back-and-forth with the fellas to boost your confidence with getting back in the dating game!

Make sure you’re feeling happy in yourself whatever you get up to, there’s nobody more attractive than someone who smiles. Treat the guys you meet the same as your friends, after all they’re just people too, and they may not be feeling as confident as they seem. Don’t put any undue pressure on yourself to be super-confident, I don’t think anyone is ever always at the top of their game confidence-wise. Take comfort in the fact that when you really think about it, most folk are thinking the same way you do. Everyone wishes they were more outgoing & confident, the difference is some are better at faking it than others (me included!) 🙂

Most importantly, just relax and be patient with yourself. You’ve got some fun times ahead, and if you nurture the relationships with your friends, your happiness and confidence will flourish and the rest will take care of itself. Hope this helps! Best of luck!

<3

Ask J-Ro: Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Rightly So…

My last boyfriend was really shit and kind of abusive. I’ve been through therapy and am pretty unscathed at this stage. i’ve just started dating this new boy who i fucking ADORE, but i’m very very reluctant to open up about my past- which is weird, as i’m normally v open and honest. what do i do? 🙁
When it comes to opening up about past traumas or painful memories in a new relationship, I’m always of the opinion that you should take your time, trust your gut, and don’t feel pushed into revealing anything you don’t want to. Someone has to EARN the right to access those emotional parts of you that are hidden from public view. So it goes with starting a new relationship. I think you’re right to be reluctant in opening up, and it’s not really to do with your new boyfriend.

It’s fantastic that you seem to have sorted through it in therapy, and come through it ‘unscathed’ as you said. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not still going to be wary as feck about any other man that comes into your life. Being over-cautious and playing your emotional cards close to your chest in the beginning is a defense mechanism, and a natural one at that. You may be ready to move on and found a guy that you adore, but deep down in the part of you that was hurt, it’s understandably going to take a wee bit longer to feel safe and secure.

The outside world these days will tell you that when you meet The One, you’ll click instantly. Like two soulmates bonded together for life, there’ll be no barriers between you and all your mutual emotional secrets and dark sides will be exposed and your worlds will mesh together for blissful eternity…that’s bullshit. All that intense stuff takes time and trust and patience. My advice is don’t worry too much if you’re not opening your soul early on, if it’s looking like it’ll be a long-term relationship that will come naturally in time. Trust your instinct. If you really feel like it’s imperative that he knows about it, you can give him the general gist of what happened without feeling too vulnerable. But don’t be worrying too much. Enjoy the process of a new relationship! You are more than the sum of your past experiences, and I’m sure he’s with you simply because he thinks you’re an awesome person.

So go forth and let yourself be adored, and lose yourself in the buzz of a new relationship where BOTH of you can explore getting to know each other’s pasts and get stuck into making a new future 🙂

Ask J-Ro:  No Laughing Matter

Jen, I’ve been a bit down lately due to homophobic comments slipped into normal conversations with a friend. They pass them off as humorous, but it’s still quite uncomfortable to say the least. I only recently started coming out as gay but he makes me feel ashamed of my sexuality. Thoughts?

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First things first; don’t EVER feel ashamed of your sexuality. Your friend is clearly the uncomfortable one, not you. As us Limerick women say about people like that, “He’d want to go away and have a chat with himself”.

You made a seriously courageous decision to come out as gay, and your friends need to have a bit of understanding in how difficult it must have been to take the leap and tell them. In groups of friends, there tends to be a lot of mental categorising of individuals; the funny one, the mad one, the Star Wars nerd etc…and nobody likes it when the balance is upset because it shakes up preconceived notions about who people are. The reality is you’re still you, and you’re still their mate whether straight or gay.

If it’s just the one guy responsible for the homophobic comments, then he’s got his own issues that are feck-all to do with you. Not that it hurts any less to know that. Maybe he’s an out and out homophobe, or maybe you’re his first gay friend and he’s all discombobulated (Been waiting to use that word!). Or maybe he’s not secure in his own sexuality. Either way, totally HIS problem.

Whatever the reasons are behind his obviously shite attempts to disguise his discomfort with ‘jokes’, it needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. If for no other reason than to save him from losing a hell of a lot more friends down the line if he keeps it up.

Phase 1 would obviously be to talk to him one-on-one, not in an aggressive confrontational way. Tell him you find the jokes that he makes really hurtful, and as a friend he should be aware of what it took for you to come out, and hearing stuff like that won’t help ANYONE who’s thinking about doing the same. If he’s your true friend, chances are he’ll be thoroughly ashamed and won’t have realised he was hurting you. Then he’ll hopefully beg your forgiveness and find another source of ‘comedic’ material. If, however, he gets defensive and says things like “too sensitive” and “only a joke” etc, it means you’ve hit a nerve and he doesn’t like being called to his account for his behaviour. In which case you can move swiftly to Phase 2.

For Phase 2; I would suggest a subtle push of reverse peer-pressure. Have a chat with one or two other mutual mates in your group whom you consider to be loving, supportive friends to you. Let them know that what he’s saying is not funny to you, and is really hurting your feelings. If he’s saying these things in a group, and nobody is calling him out on it, they are complicit in his actions. So a simple request for others to call him out on his crappy homophobic comments – or, worse yet for him, not laugh or find it funny – could be the kick into the Personality Hole this fella needs. No harm for him to know what it’s like to feel real shame.

If he persists in being an insensitive gowl-bag after all that, feel free to tell him go fuck himself. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you to live a fantastic authentic life. Hop to it!

Best of Luck <3