Dating after Rape (Part 1 of My Ongoing Diary)

30 Jan

Guys and girls can be just friends… (courtesy of EliteDaily.com)

The dilemma starts two nights ago, when I was formally, politely asked to be kissed by a man that I’ve known since university. Now let me backtrack, because it’s been so long since I’ve updated this blog that I’ll lose us both in the story if I’m not careful.

How far back into the past should I go? You may have read about the first and second time that I was raped already. I’ve also written about trying to move on from my experiences, but that was more than a year ago – talk about procrastination! I guess it’s best to tell you first about when I met this guy. There’s already a “J”, so I’ll call the new one ‘Jay’. Just keep in mind that, so far, he’s the good version. And really, he’s the first version – I met ‘Jay’ about a year or two before J.

The Story

Jay and I were introduced through a mutual female friend, and my one and only “hippie summer” followed after that. As I remember it, Jay along with three other friends of ours and myself ended up spending every single day together, going to outdoor concerts and festivals, hitting the clubs at night, and being wild, carefree and crazy in general. (I think most people have one of those epic summers during their high school years, but I told you I was a late bloomer!) It was strictly platonic between us all. Though I found Jay attractive, I knew he had a girlfriend spending her summer outside of the country, and I enjoyed Jay’s company so I rarely thought of him beyond that level. I taught him to dance; he taught me to play pool.

After the summer ended, it was back to business as usual. Jay and I said hi when we ran into each other outside of classes, but being in separate programs of study, that didn’t happen often. He kept up with me on Myspace first (remember Myspace?!) and then Facebook, he sent me an e-mail or text message now and again – and  he gradually fell into the background of my life. I lost my stepfather to cancer, got kicked out by my mother, got involved with J, ran away to a different city, got involved with N, and have been picking up the pieces of what N did since then. My college days weren’t exactly at the forefront of my memory.

Jay kept writing, however, and when I told him that I had moved back to my hometown (after reaching my limit with N and the church’s torment), he started to call. When he found out about the second rape (he had deactivated his Facebook account, but one of our mutual friends told him about everything I posted online), Jay was supportive and wanted me to pursue justice – like my good friend B. But sometimes I would get inexplicably irritated by Jay being optimistic when I just wanted to be left alone and miserable. I fought with him a few times over stupid things – I know they were stupid because I can’t remember what they were now – and then we had a big blowout where I called him everything but sincere and cut Jay out of my life. I ignored his text messages some times, and other times I would be civil but distant. I felt like no man could be trusted, and going forward I thought I didn’t want any “friends” at all – male or female – just the family members that I could trust. That was around the time of this post.

Okay, So … Explain the Kiss?

In September (2012), Jay called me out of the blue asking if I wanted to see a movie. I figured that was harmless enough and went. Jay paid for the movie, we had some upbeat conversation on the way home, and the fight never came up. I didn’t think about him again until a few months ago, when Jay called again to see how I was doing. Long story made short, we went out for coffee (well, lattes in my case – I don’t like coffee). We hung out a few more times, and slowly began to talk about how dumb we both felt we acted in the past – me for fighting his friendship, and Jay for assuming that I could heal myself in a day. Two nights ago, before Jay took a trip overseas that he’d been planning for a year, he invited me over to watch movies, he made us dinner, and that was when Jay asked if it would be okay with me if he kissed me. Normally, asking permission would be strange to me, but in context of what’s happened in the past, I thought it was the greatest courtesy he could give me. So I said yes. And it was … nice.

Now What?

In a way, though, I’m relieved that Jay’s going to be out of town until March.

  1. I realize that I had big, BIG issues with trust. Though I met Jay before life started going haywire, I’m having a hard time not wanting to dock him several points just because he’s male. I know Jay, but I don’t know know Jay – does that make any sense? I don’t know what’s truly in his heart, and how to know that he’ll be different from my experiences.
  2. I think that because Jay is single, has been single for about a year, and has been acting sort of ‘date-y’, that his intention is move us out of a platonic relationship into a dating one. I’m not sure how I feel about that, if that’s what’s going on. Jay is still attractive, we still get along terrifically, I used to think it could be nice to date him, but … yeah, I’m not sure that I’m excited to try it now. I’ve gotten very comfortable with being alone, although I know that nobody can hide from civilization forever. Somebody somewhere out there is going to try to get to know you, somehow.
  3. The kiss was nice, but I was excited and uncomfortable (by Jay’s closeness) at the same time. Maybe I’m not ready to be kissed even after all this time – or maybe it’s a normal reaction to physical intimacy after going through rape?
  4. Is Jay going to look forward to kissing every time we see each other now? I can’t figure out if that’s good or bad.
  5. What if sex comes up? I think I’d run and never look back. The idea of having sex again turns my stomach.
  6. I’m comfortable with Jay and hanging out at his place, but I don’t want to let him into my place for some reason. And I don’t want to be hanging out at his place all the time – just in case.
  7. I kind of miss Jay’s company, already.

I’m trying to get back into counseling, I know I’ll need the support – but for now I only have this blog. What has been your experience with dating after being assaulted? Does anyone have any advice to share?

I’ll post updates to my story as they come. Thanks for reading, and happy belated new year! I wish you all a recovered and revitalized life in 2013!

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