What do you wish you could tell your younger self about sex and relationships? I’m sure a few things come to mind, some embarrassing and hard to admit and others so obvious to you now you can’t believe you didn’t know it sooner. Yeah, same here – but let’s talk about it.
From the Women’s March to the #MeToo movement, women are speaking out more publicly than ever before to demand respect. As we continue to face the harsh realities of our society and its treatment of women, we have to continue the conversation, sharing what we wish we had known with the girls of the future. From focusing less on the opinions of others, to owning your sexuality and paving your own path, we’ve all learned a thing or two when it comes to sex and relationships.
With varying experience and ages ranging from 19 to 66 years old, these ten women all stood firm in one belief – the relationship that’s most important is the one with yourself.
“I think I would tell myself to have more confidence in my timing when it came to losing my virginity. Everyone moves at their own pace, so it’s important to always trust your gut.” – Brenna, 23
“I put a lot of pressure on the first time and thought it would be amazing, but it took time and figuring myself out to get there.” -Rosie, 19
“I wish I would have focused less on what other people’s opinions of me were. Your sexuality is yours and only yours. Express yourself in whatever way you feel confident and to anyone who you feel comfortable with.” – Calla, 22
“When I was younger, I feel like I put a lot of pressure on my relationships. You always think ‘this one’s the one,’ but in high school and into my 20s I was still figuring myself out. I wish I took more time to focus on me and less on molding myself for my relationship just because I was determined to make it last.” – Kate, 28
“I took things very lightly growing up and had a lot of fun, but after a while, things do become more serious. The carefree fun doesn’t last forever, there are factors that should be looked at when committing yourself to someone for life. Circumstances change as you get older, and things that I swept under the rug came up later.” – Lisa, 59
“You don’t have to think of every guy as ‘the guy.’ It’s okay to date even if it doesn’t feel 100% right because that’s how you learn what you want and don’t want. No relationship is a waste of time. If it doesn’t work out, you grow from the failures.” – Courtney, 33
“A lot of women think they need to marry the perfect man – a man who is financially set, ready for children and will take care of them. But I believe that a woman can take care of anything and focus less on what a man needs to bring, leaving herself free to marry for love.” – Jean, 55
And learning your value along the way…
“One of the most impactful experiences I’ve had as a young adult was traveling alone, because it taught me to value my relationship with myself. Looking back, I would tell my younger self not to get so caught up in the expectations and experiences of others that you forget how to enjoy the presence of your own company.” – Eden, 23
“Your self worth should not be dependent upon another person. You should believe and respect yourself first and foremost. Always.” – Daniella, 42
“Don’t permit anyone, by word or action, to convince you that you are anything less than you are or are striving to be. You deserve to be treated well with kindness and respect. Your self esteem and confidence should never be undermined in any relationship.” – Gail, 66.