Physical Intimacy: I Want It, But should I Go In For It? [#ReachOutThursday]

Posted: March 3, 2016
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A young woman faces a dilemma over physical intimacy in a relationship, while another is unable to take a call on divorce. What would you suggest?

Every Thursday, the Women’s Web expert panel with the support of Healtheminds, answers questions from readers facing relationships issues, emotional and mental challenges and other such issues.

Physically intimate: To be or not to be?

I am in a relationship with a guy from last three years. We are in a long distance relationship living in two corners of the country. To say the least, we both are head over heels in love with each other.

We want to marry but our families are yet to be informed about it. We know that convincing our families will take another 2-3 years as he is still studying and it will take 2-3 years for making his career. From the last few months, whenever I meet him, I just want to make out with him. But I don’t want to do it before marriage. Please suggest what should I do?

Hi! Thanks for writing to us.

There is no universally right or wrong answer to your dilemma; although it is natural for you to feel the desire to be intimate with your boyfriend as it is an expression of one’s love and affection. To answer whether to engage in a physical relationship is something you have to arrive at by yourself.

You need to look at what does ‘Physical Intimacy’ mean to you in a relationship. Is it just an expression of love and affection or is it also associated with the conditioning that one can be physically intimate only with the person one is ultimately going to marry? Look into your definition clearly.

Any decision you make should not leave you with any regrets or guilt in the future. Currently it is not clear whether you will end up marrying this person, and may be only time shall reveal. If you decide to make out with him, you need to make sure that it is out of free WILL with complete awareness of the act and with the readiness to face the future.

The onus is on you and not your boyfriend. Tomorrow you should not feel bad or regret having done it or blame your partner for having pushed you into it or took advantage of your emotionally weak moments. You should be completely happy to own the decision and be prepared to face any consequences in the future (if any).

Do not let it become the reason for increased emotional suffering in case things do not go well between the both of you in future. It should be an expression of your true love and affection; living it fully and having the capacity to grow out of it if needed will be useful.

In any case, one must be very responsible towards each other and one’s own life, with no unnecessary complication arising out of it. Use appropriate protection.

If you think you are not prepared for the above and it is against what you believe deep down in your heart, it is better to not get into it right away and wait for the right time.

Manasi Jain, Psychologist, Healtheminds

Should I get divorced or not?

I am 27-year-old married woman stuck in an unwanted marriage. (I have been married for an year). I am considering divorce. But my parents warn me that I won’t be able to survive without a family since the world is a bad place and I might fall into the wrong hands. I don’t want to remarry again either. How do I take a decision?

Hi! Thanks for writing to us.

Do you also believe that your future could be worse than your present, like your parents are trying to tell you?

Marriage and relationships are complicated and require constant effort, time and commitment at working on oneself and the relationship. It is important for one to stay in or get out of any relationship for the right reasons. Your query does not voice your difficulties in your marriage. It is also not clear if you still have a chance to enjoy a more satisfactory married life, provided both of you want to give it another chance to make it work. It is not appropriate to provide a recommendation on such a brief query.

You are certainly not obligated to hold back, if you are seeing yourself suffer endlessly AFTER having made honest efforts to make it work by understanding each other and being true to yourself in the relationship. Continuing to stay in a painful relationship just for the fear of future is an ignorant idea. However, one must make sure that an objective assessment of the situation is made before taking such an important decision.

Without elaborating much on this, I would request you to consult a professional and talk it out in more detail to get further clarity. It will help you look into your situation closely and from an objective viewpoint, see if things can be made better in your marriage with professional couples therapy or ending the relationship at this point in time is the right resort.

– Manasi Jain, Psychologist, Healtheminds

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