Direct Answers – Shifting The Burden

Shifting The Burden

I'm 20 and think of myself as average looking, but I have struggled with confidence in the past. I have used a few escorts. I know paying for sex is a debatable topic and where I live, illegal.

I treated the women respectfully. I am not a misogynist and didn't view it as buying sex. I believed it was consensual. I used protection, felt safe before, during and after, got tested and was negative for STDs.

However, I regret it. I am trying to learn from that mistake and learn to accept myself every day. I'm ready to put it behind me. Through this I learned I'm a relationship guy. Maybe it was a good thing to get a bit of promiscuity out of the way. I would never think of doing it again because I believe I am a good person.

That said, if I were involved with a woman who was promiscuous or even admitted to being with a gigolo, it wouldn't change how I thought of her. But I know women feel differently.

I do care about people, but at the time I was foolish and naïve. I didn't know about trafficking and other dangers, and I never picked up women off the streets. They seemed like normal people to me.

It's not like I'm the first or last guy to do it. That's not the point, I know, but I know it's not that uncommon. I know I have something in common with Hugh Grant, Charlie Sheen, Jason Biggs and Jerry Springer.

Do you think I've damaged my chances for a relationship? Down the road, should I tell my partner? I'm young with my whole life ahead of me. I try to be an honest person, but I think this might be a skeleton that will never come out of my closet. Thoughts? Am I being too hard on myself?

~ Kyle

Kyle, ask yourself three questions. Why do I want to tell? What do I expect from telling? When would I tell?

Would you tell to get it off your chest and feel better? Would you use telling as a test to see if a woman accepts you? Would you use telling to push a woman away from you? Can you see that unburdening yourself doesn't make it go away. It puts the burden on the other person.

What reaction might you expect from a woman? For "a girl next door" the whole concept of prostitution will be foreign. With her morals, would she accept you any more than she would accept a guy who deals drugs?

If you tell a girl with a past, she may be willing to accept you because, by comparison, her past doesn't look so bad. She may feel what you did is illegal and what she did is just trampy.

But don't think you can now calculate how you will feel about a girl with a past, because your own unforeseen reactions may surprise you. What was okay for you won't seem okay for her.

Plus, when to tell? First or second date? Six months? When it feels right? What could you be putting in a woman's head? In the future he will pay for prostitutes.

Perhaps you need to tell a few times to see what happens. But you may lose someone you care about over this.

Our advice: a girlfriend isn't a therapist, and neither is a relationship. You don't get to use a relationship to dump guilt on someone else. But if you want a relationship, you need to absolutely know this behavior will never reoccur using any rationalization.

Not only will you hurt yourself, you will destroy another person's trust and confidence in you. Don't tell and don't do it again. That's what we suggest.

We are allowed to change and move forward, but if we haven't changed, we don't get to move forward.

~ Wayne & Tamara

 Column for the week of October 27, 2014

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