I’m 18 and my girlfriend dumped me recently. I was ready for it to end, but my ex says that her new boyfriend excites her much more than I ever did.
I’ve lost my confidence and, if I do have sex, my mind wanders and I worry that my penis is too small.
There is nothing wrong with you. You have just been in the wrong relationship. Your lack of sex drive is not permanent.
You’re just not ready for another relationship yet. And your penis is normal, it’s just that your ex-girlfriend is cruel.
Any female who dumps a guy and then rubs his nose in her next boyfriend’s sexual prowess hasn’t got a sensitive bone in her body. You are better off without her.
The best thing you can do is to delete her number, forget that she ever meant anything to you, and remember that what goes around comes around.
Teenage relationships are a critical part of emotional development because they enable young adults to separate from their parents and develop a sense of independence.
Most teens experience all sorts of excruciating encounters with the opposite sex before they manage to conjure up a proper relationship, and sex is generally not the thing that makes the difference.
Although attraction obviously plays a part, the decision to become someone’ s partner is based much more on emotional connection.
This girl was someone you trusted, someone with whom you could be truly intimate, someone who helped you to understand the complexities of the opposite sex, someone who was not your parent, yet who was, for a time, prepared to love you unconditionally.
Falling in love like that is a mind-blowing experience and feeling it all for the first time makes it all the more pure and intense.
Unfortunately, the flip side of such sweetness is very bitter indeed. When things began to go wrong, all that emotional investment turns to dust.
Coping with the pain of a teenage break-up is incredibly difficult for either sex, but in some senses it is easier for girls than it is for boys.
The female sorority thrives on emotional issues, so a girl who has been dumped can whinge to all the friends she has ignored for the past six months knowing that she will be given emotional support, scented tissues and cappuccino.
A boy by contrast is left to fend for himself. If he has close friends he might get a sympathetic “there’s plenty more fish in the sea”, but not much else.
The male brotherhood has been taught to harbour grief internally, because to show hurt is to show weakness, but boys who don’t cry find that their emotion seeps out in other ways.
Grief, rage, loss, loneliness and betrayal manifest themselves as aggression, depression or, in your case, loss of confidence, low self-esteem and a dormant libido.
You say that you were ready for the relationship to end, so the fact that you were dumped should be unimportant, but, of course, it isn’t.
Consciously or subconsciously, you berate yourself for not taking the initiative and allowing yourself to be humiliated by this girl and, because you exposed your heart to her, her cruel rejection cuts deeper.
There is little I can say to ease the pain.
“Time is a great healer” sounds like platitudinous nonsense, but when you get burnt, waiting really is the only salve. The best you can do now is to stop trying to fill the girl-shaped hole in your heart.
Replacement relationships which don’t hold your attention are a waste of emotional energy and serve only to undermine your already shaky confidence.
So take a sabbatical from sex and concentrate on building stronger relationships with your friends.
When you get past 30, your teenage dates will be an embarrassing blur, but you’ll probably still be watching football with the friends you made at school
* Send your questions to email@example.com
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved