How can you stop seeing sex as an obligatory part of dating / relationships? : dating_advice

TW: brief mention of sexual assault

Hi! I (21F) have just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 years (M22). It was a difficult decision but ultimately for the best i think. At the minute im understandably going through the breakup stages – i mostly feel good but get a bit down in the evenings (understandably as it gets a bit lonelier). I havent seen a friend in 8 weeks cause of covid but overall i am doing ok.

One of the biggest reasons i broke up with my ex is because earlier (and occasionally throughout) in our relationship he did things that were triggering for my sexual assault that happened when i was 16. When we started dating he was quite pushy sometimes, he has always had a higher sex drive. Long story short – he made me feel bad about having a lower sexdrive, even when i was going through a load of issues making sex very painful and often impossible for me. I ended up viewing it as an obligatory thing in a relationship to keep him happy, and even when his views relaxed and he wasnt pushy or made me feel guilty, i couldnt get over the anxiety, at times i felt like a complete failure as a girlfriend and that i was broken.

Now im out of the relationship and dont have that pressure over my shoulders, i dont intend on dating for a good while.

I am worrying that my view on sex now in dating and relationships is not going to change. Im worried ill always feel this underlying and that its going to be hard to find a guy with a compatible sex drive. Also i know i need to be firmer in setting boundaries.

Any tips on how to navigate this? I know a therapist is something im looking into. Im just not sure what to do now to prepare myself for the dating scene when im eventually ready and find someone who is going to make me feel safe sexually and not guilt me for not wanting to do certain things / have sex.

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An open minded personality.. fun to be with, because of my positive vibes. God fearing, for without God I am nothing.. Moved with compassion when dealing with you, not selfish or self-centered...

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