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Hi Amy,

I have just started dating a new guy. I'm 21 years old, and still a virgin, well not technically because I was raped when I was 16. Besides the rape, I am a virgin. Anyway, I have just recently gotten more comfortable talking about the rape, I finally told my sister after all of these years.

I realize that this is why I never stay in relationships; I usually break up with guys after about a month because the idea of sex sometimes terrifies me. I really feel like if I told the guy that I'm dating, he would understand and we would be able to talk, and then I wouldn't get all scared and end the relationship like I tend to do. I just am so sick of letting this rape continue to ruin my life. I really like this guy and I don't want to lose him by just shutting down and avoiding him.

I don't know how or when to talk to my new boyfriend about what happened, that's what I need advice on. It was hard enough to bring the topic up with my sister, but I knew how she would react (she was wonderful), but I have no clue how a current boyfriend would react to hearing about something that happened 5 years ago.

Don't know what to do,



Dear L,

I think that you have to go with your instincts, certainly it can only benefit your relationship. He probably realizes that there is some obstacle, but doesn't know what it is. I think that you can just say it essentially as you said it to me. There is no perfect moment or precise way to say it, but just feeling it in the moment. When I have had emails like this in the past, most people are very comforted by getting it out there. I hope that helps, and being open I think you will be surprised at the support you get.

Take care,

-- Amy