I have been hearing lots of stories from my college ladies lately and I have to be honest, I am getting a little worried. Let me share a few with you.
Recently, I heard one about a junior that had been sleeping with her boyfriend for a year and only had fake orgasms since she didn’t want to hurt his feelings or tell him that she had actually NEVER orgasmed. Sound familiar?
Here is another…A sophomore who was taking 3am drunk calls from her ex and hooking up, but ended up feeling lonelier and more depressed the next day. Although she keeps regretting it, she doesn’t know how to stop. Has this happened to anyone you know?
You might be saying “Kira, these have nothing to do with me,” but hear me out. They have EVERYTHING to do with you. Here is why.
Since I started coaching college women, I feel like I am living in a world of stories about drunken hook-ups, walks of shame and disappointment. Understand, I am not judging AT ALL. Hooking-up is part of the college culture and can be a lot of fun. My point is that after the laughing dies down about their latest escapades, I hear the sadness in their voices about how they thought he would call or that it would turn into more. Rarely do they truly express too much since it somehow seems weak to say that they really want a relationship or to feel love and affection. I, too, have been guilty of the idea that to be a strong woman I should not want or need anyone, let alone a man. But that is a lie that we have bought in to. The real strength is understanding how we can grow into better individuals by being in relationships, learning from mistakes and by choosing love. Even if sometimes it doesn’t work.
Here is the most worrisome part of all. The aftermath of the quiet heartache and bad decisions. The blaming. Here come the inevitable comments…What the f*ck is wrong with college guys? Why are they all players and a**holes? Why don’t any of them want a relationship? How could they act like fill-in-the-blank? You get my drift.
I believe that I actually have the answer to that question…just most of the time it is really hard to hear. The answer is us. The women they date, hook-up with and sleep with. WE are what is wrong with college guys (or most guys in general). Before you start your hate comments below, hear me out.
One of the quotes I have fully embraced as a coach and as a person is “we teach people how to treat us.” If you feel used and abused, unheard, unloved, taken advantage of, sh*t on, ignored, left out, whatever, most likely somewhere along the way you let the people in your life think it was OK to treat you like that. Don’t get me wrong, you did it with the best intentions. You wanted to be liked or loved and thought by allowing bad behavior they would turn around and love you. But what actually happened is that by not setting up boundaries, you allowed them to walk all over you and disrespect your time, body and feelings.
Here is the real issue, ladies. Not only do your choices affect you , they also affect all the women you know, and even the ones you don’t. Why does it matter to you that someone else is faking orgasms or letting some guy treat her like crap? Because after awhile that is what guys start thinking is the norm. When that guy dates someone else and uses his “magic moves” he is going to be confused and frustrated when they don’t work. Is it really his fault if she never took the time to show him what she liked? If she never communicated with him what worked and what didn’t? She has just set him (and every other girl he dates) up for failure. What about drunk 3am guy? If she keeps hooking up with him, he is going to start thinking that is acceptable behavior. Why wouldn’t he? He is rewarded every time he does it.
So when you are disrespecting yourself, you are teaching that guy that is how you (and every woman) deserve to be treated. I mean who do you think is teaching them these behaviors that all of you complain about so much…their mom?
I am well aware that guys need a talkin’ to, but we are going to work on the one part of every relationship you can control. Yourself.
Ladies, we need to stop hating on guys and each other and starting helping our sisters out! Pay it forward, if you will. By taking care of ourselves and each other, we create a better future of relationships for all of us. College is first place we really learn how to date on our own and paves the way for the future.
How can you do that? As Gandhi says “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Here is how you can start.
– If constant hook-ups are leaving you feeling more lonely and depressed, hand them your number instead. Trust that there are plenty of good guys out there (I believe there are) and they will call you if they like you and are interested in starting something.
– If you see your friend making a mistake that she is going to regret, intervene.
– If you want a relationship, admit it to yourself and others and actually DO things that are going to lead to one.
– If you are having sex and not getting what you want, get to know your own body and what it likes and then communicate it to your partner. (And yes, I am talking about “private” sexy time.)
– If someone is treating you like crap, let them know it is unacceptable and then follow through on your word knowing that you will feel better alone at night then with someone who doesn’t treat you well. Alone doesn’t have to be lonely.
– If you are hooking up regularly, just check in with yourself every once in a while to make sure you are still feeling good about it. Ask yourself if you feel like you have power in the situation. What are your expectations? Is this for fun or to fill a void? Just keep this in mind: hook-ups don’t necessarily equal a relationship. If that is the only tactic you are trying, you are probably going to end up with that sick feeling in your stomach.
– Look for the good guys. They are out there. Promise.
– Know that you, and every woman (and man for that matter), deserves to be loved and respected. But you have to start by respecting yourself and creating healthy boundaries that create a space where love and respect can grow.
If it is hard to do it it for yourself, do it for all the other women out there. You won’t regret it.