Dear Wendy: “I Was My Boyfriend’s First. Will He Leave Me To Experiment?”

I’m 24 and my boyfriend of two years is 25. When we began dating he told me he had slept with his long-term ex-girlfriend before we got together, and I told him that I had slept with my ex-boyfriend. After we had been having sex for a couple months, he confessed that he had actually been a virgin when he first slept with me, explaining that his ex wanted to wait until marriage. After the initial shock wore off, I understood he was embarrassed about it, and eventually forgave him for lying. However, now that things are getting serious, I’m worried that if we get married he will always regret not sleeping with someone other than me. I discussed my concerns with him, and he explained that he had plenty of opportunities to have sex before he met me, but he isn’t comfortable having one-night-stands, and wouldn’t have sex with someone who wasn’t his girlfriend. This negates the possibility of us breaking up for a short period of time so he can have his fun and come back to me, and means that I would have to break up with him and wait for him to find someone, build a relationship, have sex, and have the relationship fail (or maybe not!). I’m not willing to wait years for him to do all of this just so he can get another notch on his belt. Is it really possible he will be happy having the same partner his whole life? — Cherry Popper

Whoa, whoa, whoa, CP, the first thing you need to do is relax. You’re getting way too worked up over something that’s really not a big deal — at least not to anyone else but you. Your boyfriend loves you; he obviously takes sex pretty seriously and isn’t interested in hopping into bed with just anyone. The fact that he had plenty of opportunities to sleep around before he met you and chose not to is a sign of how meaningful his connection is with you. Don’t underestimate the power of that connection. And don’t throw away what you have with him because you’re afraid of what could happen in the future. Sure, your boyfriend could get curious about what sex with someone else is like and act on that curiosity, but lots of things could happen to end your relationship — the apocalypse could wipe out all humankind, you could be abducted by aliens to an undiscovered planet, you could meet Jon Hamm in an elevator and decide after experiencing his magnificence in person, you simply can’t be with any other man. My point is, lots of things could happen to rock the equilibrium of your relationship, but unless you’ve been given signs your worry is substantiated, you’re wasting your energy getting worked up over something you don’t have control over. Enjoy what you have with your boyfriend. Trust that he’s capable of making serious decisions about his future and what he needs to move forward. And don’t sabotage your relationship with unfounded fears of what could happen. Life’s too short.

I have gained a substantial amount of weight the past two years (about 50 pounds), and I’ve had a lot of bad experience with yo-yo dieting and exercise regimes. I’ve also recently been put on medication for depression that seems to make it harder to shed weight. I’m unhappy with how I look and feel, but to make things worse my father is constantly commenting on my weight. We can’t have a conversation without the issue coming up, and he even grabs my arms to comment on how “flabby” they’ve gotten. Don’t get me wrong — I do understand that I have to get my weight under control someday, but how do I get him to back off? He can be very irrational at times, and I don’t want to cause another argument, but I feel like I can’t continue like this. It’s getting to the point that I just want to avoid his calls and his company. — Fat Daughter

Look, your dad’s being a big jerk and you need to call him out on it. Does he know how much his words are hurting you? Does he know you’ve tried losing weight and haven’t had success balancing diet and exercise? Does he know you’re on an anti-depressant that’s causing weight gain? You need to sit down with him and tell him all these things. Chances are, he’s worried about you and wants to help but is too insensitive to find the right words to say. If you’re in a place where you’re ready to try losing weight, let him know you’re open to support and encouragement but that his criticism doesn’t help. If you aren’t in a place where you’re ready to try losing weight, tell him you’re aware of your rapid weight gain, but you’re focusing on your emotional well-being first and his support in that arena would be far more helpful than making put-downs about your appearance. Finally, while you say you understand you have to get your weight under control “someday,” I encourage you to start making healthy decisions now that will make that battle a little more manageable. Even if you if just make one or two healthy decisions a day — swapping a processed snack for an apple; going for a walk around the neighborhood — you’ll begin the momentum to regaining control of your life, obtaining emotional well-being, and achieving a sense of accomplishment.

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