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Boyfriend went to the red light district

My boyfriend was thinking of going to Amsterdam with his single mates so they can go to the red light district and do other legal things if you know what I mean, he booked this while we were together and I’ve expressed that I do not feel comfortable with him going. He knows lately that I’ve been struggling with my self esteem and I’ve explained to him that the thought of him admiring or even looking at these girls makes me feel like shiiiiiii especially about my body. He assures me he loves me and that he’s going on this trip either way. So the first night he gets there guess where he goes yeppp that’s right however I don’t find out about it til the next night me being upset I was surprisingly calm and trying to get him to understand that because of this I don’t know how I’d feel being able to get fully naked with him now. What do I do ?
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
My boyfriend was thinking of going to Amsterdam with his single mates so they can go to the red light district and do other legal things if you know what I mean, he booked this while we were together and I’ve expressed that I do not feel comfortable with him going. He knows lately that I’ve been struggling with my self esteem and I’ve explained to him that the thought of him admiring or even looking at these girls makes me feel like shiiiiiii especially about my body. He assures me he loves me and that he’s going on this trip either way. So the first night he gets there guess where he goes yeppp that’s right however I don’t find out about it til the next night me being upset I was surprisingly calm and trying to get him to understand that because of this I don’t know how I’d feel being able to get fully naked with him now. What do I do ?

I am far from the world leading advise on relationships, but am I under the right impression by assuming your boyfriend had sex with a sex worker in the red light district?
Reply 2
Original post by Dan1298
I am far from the world leading advice on relationships, but am I under the right impression by assuming your boyfriend had sex with a sex worker in the red light district?

He did not sleep with them but he purposefully went there to look at them which might not seem like that big of a deal but it is Kindve to me idk if that’s too much
If you explained beforehand that going would be crossing a line for you, then you need to have a serious conversation with him when he gets back.

I’m concerned about his “well I’m going anyway” attitude which suggests he may not be empathetic about your worries. For many people that would be a dealbreaker.
Its a difficult one.

Should he respect your request or are you controlling him?

Like I say, it’s difficult and it’s fior you to decide how you feel about that.

All I can tell you, having been, is that the red light district in Amsterdam is a very short street (half a dozen windows) with older women lounging in their underwear.

Honestly, you see more at the beach and you defo have nothing to be jealous of.
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
He did not sleep with them but he purposefully went there to look at them which might not seem like that big of a deal but it is Kindve to me idk if that’s too much

Honestly I wouldn't take it personally. I highly doubt he will find you less attractive. Going to the red light district is just one of the sights to see in Amsterdam. It would be shame for him to go all that way, especially with his friends, and for him to miss out on that experience with his mates. Is isn't really anything to do with you. It's just part of the experience of going to Amsterdam. Its kind of like him going all the way to Vegas, and never stepping inside a Casino you didn't want him to. Remember, trust goes both ways, if you want him to trust you, and then you need to trust him also. I know you haven't mentioned anything to do with trust, but the bottom line is, he is just making the most of his time in Amsterdam. I personally went to strip club with my mates for my birthday. Wasn't planned, we just ended up there at the end of a night out. I didn't do it because I felt as though my girlfriend at the time wasn't attractive, I was just having a good time with my friends.
Reply 6
Original post by Admit-One
If you explained beforehand that going would be crossing a line for you, then you need to have a serious conversation with him when he gets back.

I’m concerned about his “well I’m going anyway” attitude which suggests he may not be empathetic about your worries. For many people that would be a dealbreaker.

I did multiple times before he went and even when he was thinking about it, I’ll have updates when he gets back on Thursday !!!!
Reply 7
(un)reatedly, there's a lovely Buddhist temple in de wallen, actually

There are also 3 RLDs in Amsterdam, de wallen is the biggest.
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous
I did multiple times before he went and even when he was thinking about it, I’ll have updates when he gets back on Thursday !!!!

I think you need a serious conversation. Him dismissing concerns in the way you have reported is not exactly deal.
Reply 9
Original post by Johnny Valentine
Its a difficult one.

Should he respect your request or are you controlling him?

Like I say, it’s difficult and it’s fior you to decide how you feel about that.

All I can tell you, having been, is that the red light district in Amsterdam is a very short street (half a dozen windows) with older women lounging in their underwear.

Honestly, you see more at the beach and you defo have nothing to be jealous of.

I get that I do obviously I have never been there so I don’t truly know how pretty or ugly the women are and yes one part of it is jealous but another part of it it’s that he didn’t rlly take on board how much it does hurt me and makes me feel disregarded. I think I’m definitely overthinking it to an extent.
Reply 10
Original post by Anonymous
I get that I do obviously I have never been there so I don’t truly know how pretty or ugly the women are and yes one part of it is jealous but another part of it it’s that he didn’t rlly take on board how much it does hurt me and makes me feel disregarded. I think I’m definitely overthinking it to an extent.


How about if you were invited to a hen party, with all your mates, and there was a male stripper, and your boyfriend wasn't comfortable with that, and asked that you left the party when that happened? You wouldn't like it right? But yourself in his shoes, nobody likes being told what they can and can't do. How about if he told you, you couldn't wear a dress out because it was too revealing, or you couldn't go topless at beach to get an even tan because he didn't like it. The poor lad is probably in Amsterdam right now, not being able to fully enjoy his trip because his torn between what he wants to do, and what his girlfriend is letting him do. Best thing you can do, is tell him you hope he has an amazing time, and enjoy it, and that your looking forward to seeing him when he gets back. That way he'll know what amazing girlfriend he has.
Original post by Anonymous
I get that I do obviously I have never been there so I don’t truly know how pretty or ugly the women are and yes one part of it is jealous but another part of it it’s that he didn’t rlly take on board how much it does hurt me and makes me feel disregarded. I think I’m definitely overthinking it to an extent.

Overthinking it is natural, because we often believe that everything happens for a reason.
The truth is probably much simpler than you think: he didn't want to miss out on hanging out with his mates, wherever that may be, especially if he had no plans to have a hookup anyway.
The sex workers and their attractiveness may not have even been the primary reason he was going, it might just have been because his mates were going there and so he didn't want to miss out.

If you feel disregarded, that matters too. When your BF gets back, explain how his going against your will made you feel.
Remember, this is a two-way street. Both of you have to compromise.
There is a fine line between enforcing healthy boundaries and being flat-out controlling. Being insecure and overthinking may well manifest itself in controlling behaviour.
I'm not at all saying that this is the case with you, but it's an extreme example of what can happen.

Your BF is his own person and he deserves to have fun with his mates, and the same applies to you too. Both of you have to work together to set healthy boundaries that respect your individual feelings while also preserving your independence and autonomy. It's not always easy to work these things out, and, as in this case, there will be times when there is an imbalance and one of you feels like your boundaries have been crossed.

But trial and error is how these things happen, and the strongest relationships that stand the test of time, do so because of these trial and error moments that have led to mutual improvement and respect.

Good luck, let us know how things go on Thursday!
Reply 12
Original post by Dan1298
How about if you were invited to a hen party, with all your mates, and there was a male stripper, and your boyfriend wasn't comfortable with that, and asked that you left the party when that happened? You wouldn't like it right? But yourself in his shoes, nobody likes being told what they can and can't do. How about if he told you, you couldn't wear a dress out because it was too revealing, or you couldn't go topless at beach to get an even tan because he didn't like it. The poor lad is probably in Amsterdam right now, not being able to fully enjoy his trip because his torn between what he wants to do, and what his girlfriend is letting him do. Best thing you can do, is tell him you hope he has an amazing time, and enjoy it, and that you’re looking forward to seeing him when he gets back. That way he'll know what amazing girlfriend he

I have no problem with the other things he does I was just rlly uncomfortable with him going to the red light district especially since he disregarded how I felt before hand I get that it’s a popular place but my boyfriend knows Damn well that if he was this uncomfortable and upset about something I would not do it. However to reference one of your examples I think him telling me what to wear and me telling him to not go see almost naked women is abit different 😂
Reply 13
Original post by Anonymous
Overthinking it is natural, because we often believe that everything happens for a reason.
The truth is probably much simpler than you think: he didn't want to miss out on hanging out with his mates, wherever that may be, especially if he had no plans to have a hookup anyway.
The sex workers and their attractiveness may not have even been the primary reason he was going, it might just have been because his mates were going there and so he didn't want to miss out.

If you feel disregarded, that matters too. When your BF gets back, explain how his going against your will made you feel.
Remember, this is a two-way street. Both of you have to compromise.
There is a fine line between enforcing healthy boundaries and being flat-out controlling. Being insecure and overthinking may well manifest itself in controlling behaviour.
I'm not at all saying that this is the case with you, but it's an extreme example of what can happen.

Your BF is his own person and he deserves to have fun with his mates, and the same applies to you too. Both of you have to work together to set healthy boundaries that respect your individual feelings while also preserving your independence and autonomy. It's not always easy to work these things out, and, as in this case, there will be times when there is an imbalance and one of you feels like your boundaries have been crossed.

But trial and error is how these things happen, and the strongest relationships that stand the test of time, do so because of these trial and error moments that have led to mutual improvement and respect.

Good luck, let us know how things go on Thursday!

Thank you !
Reply 14
Original post by Anonymous
My boyfriend was thinking of going to Amsterdam with his single mates so they can go to the red light district and do other legal things if you know what I mean,

By 'other legal things' do you mean going to coffee shops? Because if it is, I'd be far more concerned about that than going to the Red Light District, new rules on tourists and drugs notwithstanding.

Speaking from personal experience, the Red Light District attracts tourists of all ages. As it runs north-south it's also the quickest way to cut through to the east of the city, to some lovely non-touristy restaurants down the side streets. But the sex industry isn't completely avoidable; there are brothels dotted around Ansterdam anyway, having had a scantily-clad women giving me the come-on through a big glass window - when I'd just walked out of visiting an old church, and I'm female! Then there's the Bodyworks exhibition...:colondollar:
(edited 8 months ago)
Depends really because honestly the RLD is just a tourist attraction for many people without there being sex involved or it actually involving any sexual feelings. I remember when I went there it was just plain weird seeing half naked women standing in windows and stuff, it just made us feel awkward and uncomfortable lol, especially as they hold your stare as you walk past them haha.
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 16
He does need to listen more to your concerns and feelings. He has dismissed them. He either does not understand how you feel, or he understands but decided to dismiss your feelings, as he saw no reason why he should not do this in Amsterdam. Most likely he didn't understand and didn't see why he should not walk through the red light district with his mates. Either way, it could be a red flag for the future. I have walked through the red light district and it is as described above (put your mind at rest, he is very unlikely to be lusting after those women). However, the issue is that you were not happy. He probably just saw it as one of the sights in Amsterdam.

In terms of what you do now, I would talk to him about this, as it obviously bothers you or you would not be asking on here. Listen to what he says - as in really listen to his approach and his attitude to this and how his mind works. That could be enlightening for you if you are thinking of some kind of a future with him.
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous
My boyfriend was thinking of going to Amsterdam with his single mates so they can go to the red light district and do other legal things if you know what I mean, he booked this while we were together and I’ve expressed that I do not feel comfortable with him going. He knows lately that I’ve been struggling with my self esteem and I’ve explained to him that the thought of him admiring or even looking at these girls makes me feel like shiiiiiii especially about my body. He assures me he loves me and that he’s going on this trip either way. So the first night he gets there guess where he goes yeppp that’s right however I don’t find out about it til the next night me being upset I was surprisingly calm and trying to get him to understand that because of this I don’t know how I’d feel being able to get fully naked with him now. What do I do ?


You told him how you feel about him going there and he still did it, meaning he would instead do something that he knows you don't like rather than listen to you and comfort you. If he loves you then he would respect your feelings and try to understand it. It's not controlling if you're saying you don't feel comfortable with him doing something. He's initially looking at other girls with lust which is a bad habit to have. Im not saying you have to break up with him but just keep in mind that when he's with you he may look at other girls and you have no idea what's going through his head. If you bring up something he did and he still doesn't change then his actions aren't a mistake and instead are something he's consciously doing knowing it's hurting your feelings. Honestly, girl you have a lottt of patience and I don't think any girl should have to sit around for a man to act right. You deserve better but I do think you should talk about it with him and ask him if he truly thinks he can be better for you. Ask him if he thinks you deserve a guy who lusts over other girls. Depending on his answers you can either take a small break or completely break up or even still talk but give him some time to work on himself. Just know that his behaviour has nothing to do with you. You're a beautiful girl and deserve someone who will take your feelings into account when doing something. He's the one who has issues and probably feels insecure which is why he tries to go to them places to try feel more wanted.
Reply 18
He was willing to totally ignore your feelings on this and do what he wanted. Doesn’t seem he’d be genuinely apologetic. That said what he did was relatively commonplace and harmless. What you do depends on how you feel about him
Reply 19
I think you are overthinking it too much.
So he went to Amsterdam on a mate's holiday. That was straightforward.
The top activities to do in Amsterdam when you're with your friends are to visit the museums, explore (but not necessarily do) the 'shops of a high' nature, and visit De Wallen for the touristy windows of workers.
Not everyone does, and it depends on the type of mates who are interested in this.
You expressed concern about him going to this area of Amsterdam, given you don't feel comfortable.
But if you flip the switch, and you go on a girl's holiday to Ibiza, Magaluf, Aya Napa etc, I'm pretty sure your boyfriend would feel uncomfortable about you going to clubs and being around all that sexual energy too.

Have you yourself been to the district? Honest question.

For my advice on what you should do:
A) Suggest you both go to the district together on a future visit, join a walking tour that explains the history and why it's even called the district, and use it as an educational visit, rather than a sexual release thing.
B) Have a chat, say it made you uncomfortable that he went, and find a way past it. Ask him about his thoughts if you went on a girl's holiday to see Magic Mike or some other holiday that had sexual areas in it.
C) Stop overthinking, allow him to enjoy his holiday, check in every so often and enjoy your days with your friends. What you don't want, is him to return with a whole textbook of activities he and his mates did (sightseeing, museums etc), and you just sat on the sofa, twiddling your thumbs, overthinking everything. Get out there, meet your friends, do activities you enjoy, make the most of the week whilst he's away. So that when he returns, you can tell him about what you got up to.

Hope this helps.

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