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Was I groomed?

Saltw88Saltw88 NoobPosts: 2 Newbie
Basically, I am unsure if a previous relationship could be considered grooming. We met in an online chat room when I was 15 and he was 25. It wasn't a sexual relationship to begin with but did develop into one. We met up once in a public place when I was 15 and then waited until I was 16 to meet up again. All the while we kept contact and had a sort of "secret" relationship. When I turned 16 we started dating and the relationship became a physically sexual one. We broke up when I was 17/ my 18th year. My current boyfriend has never been with another person (and yes I know it sounds naive but I do trust him) but I have just found out I have an Std. The doctor said that because no symptoms presented I could've had this for a while and not known about it. About my current boyfriend, I trust that he hasn't been with anybody else, he also discussed with his parents so that has been sorted.
Sorry for such a long post but I cannot tell if I was groomed or if this was just a relationship? Is a relationship with 10 years between normal when it involves someone so young? Obviously I know when I was 15 it was wrong. Thank you for any help.

Comments

  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 13,283 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    Hey

    Im glad you didnt have sex with him or date - when you was 15 cause that would be under the age of consent.

    I dont really know but it sounds nothing illegal as you was over consent age but it doesnt sound morally right. I guess knowing if you was grooming was how you felt in that relationship and how he treated you. Because i also guess with someone being 10 years older, at that age, there is some sort of power imbalance.


    Did you feel like he had more power over you or did you ever feel like he controled you or pressured you? At 16 someone can feel very vulnerable and easy manipluated. And feel pressured into have sex because the older person may of already had the expereince. And i guess that maybee - even though at the time you didnt - you may think it was wrong now? Do you feel different about it now or regret it all? Or did you feel you was older enough to make those desicions?

    Was he kind and respectful? Or did it feel really unequal? I guess if the answers to these questions are negative then maybe would be then to ask if he did groom you because would be an unhealthly relationship and may of been with you just for sex. But i hope he didnt disrespct and i hope you never felt forced into sexual acts.

    Sorry for the many questions but suppose may help you think but did you ever ask him why he was with someone your age when he was 25? Because tbh in my opinion someone who has some respect at 25 wouldnt go for someone so young unless all they wanted was sex because at those ages you dont have much in common or things to talk about and are at different stages of your life. And is more concerning you say it was a sort of a ‘secret’ relationshsip.

    It sounds like you got the std from your previous boyfriend. Really sorry to hear :(. Do you still have contact with him to ask? Or is that not something you would wanna do?

    I am glad to hear you trust you current boyfriend 😊 sorry if i wasnt helpful. I wish you the best.
    Take care
  • L100L100 Fast Newbie Posts: 128 The Mix Convert
    i don't think so because it sounds like you didn't sex when you were 15 so no it isn't as 16 is age of consent.
  • PuffinEthicsPuffinEthics Posts: 74 Moderator
    Hi @Saltw88,

    I hope your doing okay. Thanks for sharing.

    It can't be nice to wonder about that, I think like @Shaunie said, how you feel about it yourself is very important, and the most important thing really.

    A relationship between consenting adults can have varying age gaps, and defining what normal is, is quite difficult (or impossible), perhaps its best to say a 10 year age gap at that stage isn't typical, but every situation is different, it really depends on how you felt and feel about the whole situation.

    What was the relationship like if you don't mind me asking? And why was it secret at the beginning?
    Am i right in thinking some of the questions come from that you met when you were 15, and how you met, on a chat room?

    What has made you question it now? How are you feeling?

    I don't think its naive to trust your partner, positive relationships are built on trust, and that's great that you have that. It's good you've both spoken about your sexual health and it's positive that he can be open with his parents.

    We're listening, I hope your okay, let us know how your feeling.

    Thank you,

    Puffin Ethics :rainbow2:
  • Saltw88Saltw88 Noob Posts: 2 Newbie
    Hi, thank you for your answers. Yes the questions are coming from the way we met and how young I was etc. The relationship was a secret to begin with because when we were in an "online" relationship I was still 15. When I turned 16 my parents were told we were I'm a relationship and although they were concerned and constantly asked questions etc (which I had no problems with) he would not tell anybody that knew him. So his whole family and friends group had no idea I existed. I went to his house when his mum was away and stuff like that. So the relationship for him was basically a secret the whole time. I'm questioning it mostly because other people have reacted oddly when I discuss it and it's made me feel like I'd been naive. He was a nice person and never did anything harmful but at the same time I just feel like because I was 15 when we started talking why did he have that interest in me. To answer shaunies questions I do regret the relationship now because I felt like a horrible secret and that the relationship was wrong, he had said a few times that people would find it weird if they knew. I also have deleted him and blocked him from everything so cannot discuss the situation with him.
  • Candlestick56Candlestick56 Posts: 90 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hey @Saltw88,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. 10 years between is not uncommon, even at the ages you were.

    The NSPCC define grooming as when someone builds “an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking”.

    It’s hard to say whether your previous relationship could be considered grooming from the information you’ve shared, but there is nothing wrong with having a sexual relationship after the age of 16, and keeping the relationship a secret if you don’t want to share it with anyone else doesn’t make it grooming. It’s also worth noting that Stds are really common and are not themselves indicators of sexual abuse or exploitation. The problem is if you feel you were being abused or exploited in the relationship. You say he was a nice person and never did anything harmful, so I get the sense that you didn't feel this way?
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