- January 9, 2017 at 10:34 am #668136
From a LW:
Last year I got out of a long term relationship- we lived together for 6 years. We met early in college, shared extremely difficult times together, grew up together. We both came from bad home lives so it was us against the world. It was a very tumultuous relationship that even had bouts of abuse in the first year. We worked through every imaginable relationship issue to get to a mature and healthy point. We finally matured enough to feel stable, and he decided to suddenly give it all up without so much as a conversation with me. It was and still is like the sudden death of a partner/ friend, yet I embraced closing that chapter of my life and moving on.
When I was least expecting it, I met someone who was the polar opposite of my ex. We have nearly everything in common, even our birthdays are the same. I feel safe and loved by this man, but we often lack passion or physical chemistry. It feels like us just going through the motions, sexually. And many times he struggles to have orgasms. This makes me start to lose confidence in the bedroom as well. I feel guilty for having doubts because he is such a great guy and exactly what I was searching for in my last relationship.
But irony is cruel- and now even though I love the stability, I miss the passion. I know the frequent high-highs and low-lows of my last relationship were very unhealthy, but we had a magnetic spark that I haven’t felt with my current relationship since the beginning. I know he struggles with feeling confident physically but I think it’s affecting how I’m seeing him now too.
I do find him attractive, kind, intelligent, and funny… Is there something wrong with me? How do I even approach talking to him about this? We’re very honest and open with one another but I don’t even know where to begin. Is that spark something couples can generate? I don’t want to turn down a great partner for something that could be worked on if so. But I fear it’s a connection either you have or you don’t. As an emotional person, I do need to feel connected to someone to feel fulfilled.
Fulfilled In Almost All the Right PlacesJanuary 9, 2017 at 10:44 am #668139
This is a tough one. You seem very self aware which will help you navigate this and other things in life. You’re absolutely right that the high-highs of a tumultuous relationship aren’t going to be the same in a more healthy one. However, what you’re describing seems to run deeper than that. It could be that you and your current boyfriend aren’t that sexually compatible. I do wonder about him struggling to orgasm though–is he on antidepressants or other medication that could account for the issue? Overall though you shouldn’t have to choose stability or passion–the right partner will offer both (though not in the extremes you had with your other bf).January 9, 2017 at 10:53 am #668143
People are going to offer you solutions (sex talks) for solving your woes, but you are way to early in your relationship to need sexual intervention.
Some people are just wired to need a partner who’s going to press their buttons in order for them to feel engaged in the relationship. Something normal and stable doesn’t do it for them. Your boyfriend is entitled to be with someone who feels passion for him. Let him go instead of dating him because he’s nice.January 9, 2017 at 10:56 am #668144
Problems in the bedroom will bleed out and affect your relationship in other ways. You’re right to want to solve the issue (or mutually move on) instead of letting things fester, because sexual frustration/embarrassment doesn’t stay contained.
A visit to a therapist might help. Or, if that’s too drastic a step, a visit to the bookstore or library for reading material first. And if sex itself isn’t working now, maybe lots of cuddling and physical contact will help you maintain closeness.January 9, 2017 at 11:02 am #668147
I think this is just a normal case of “pendulum swinging,” where you swing from the exciting guy to the safe guy and neither one is actually the right fit. There’s a chapter about that in my favorite relationship advice book ever written, “Is He Mr. Right?” by Mira Kirshenbaum. I highly recommend you read it. It will help you understand what the right relationship should feel like and diagnose what’s lacking in yours.January 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm #668161
If you were with someone through college – for 6 years! – then suddenly met someone new, I would advise it’s time to be single. Focus on you. You’re goals, hobbies, interest, career. It sounds like you are investing a lot in making relationships work when you could be investing in yourself. You’re not passionate about this guy, so be nice and let him go. Do you for a while, so when the next partner comes along, you will have a better idea of what you do and don’t want from them.January 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm #668163
I think Kate is totally right. Your story sounds like mine, Fulfilled.
I had the insanely passionate and wild guy in college and after, then the totally stable man where the sex eventually fizzled to the point where I recoiled at his touch. I was wondering the same things you are, right now, about him. We broke up and got back together multiple times over the last year of our relationship, to the point where I moved out of our home, rented a new place and moved, and then moved back in again three days later. At the end, we were living in separate bedrooms, more as roommates than anything else.
After a year or so, I met the middle ground, and he later became my husband. Don’t settle for sparks or nothing, settle for nearly perfect.January 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm #668179
Thanks for the replies! I agree with most of what you’re saying and will definitely take it into consideration going forward.
I did want to clarify that while we aren’t very connected/passionate in the bedroom these days, we don’t exactly lack chemistry. When we first met I almost fell head over heels for him there was so much chemistry. Everything was so in sync between us that I was amazed. But we haven’t really felt this since the beginning months. Somewhere along the way I know real life set in, his weight and financials started to become an issue for him, and while he’s not on antidepressants I do know that he started to struggle with his confidence. We did have sparks in the beginning, and he would do romantic/spontaneous things all the time but things have just fizzled to a complete halt in that regard. I’m wondering if it’s his insecurities and if that spark can ever come back?
@for_cutie thanks for the advice! My 20 year old self would’ve definitely needed to hear that. But my relationship now is just one part of my life- As invested in my relationships as I can tend to be, I have been invested in myself, career, friends, interests etc as well! That’s something I’ve been able to do alongside this relationship thankfully.January 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm #668181
Sexual attraction (and a sex life) is one of the 5 dimensions of chemistry that book says you have to have. If you’re weak on one of the dimensions, it’s eventually going to derail the whole thing. They all have to be pretty strong. Also, every couple will have some degree of “slide” after the initial honeymoon period is over, but how far you slide depends on a lot of different factors. You can try talking to him about the sex, if he’s feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, or whatever, or thinks there may be something physical wrong, but my guess is it’s just fizzled, because all the chemistry that you really need to have isn’t there. HAVE you talked to him about your sex life?January 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm #668182
I don’t think that it will matter, given the obviously disinterested way that you talk about him, but going forward it would be useful to develop more awareness about what’s going on, what you like, and don’t like rather than just saying that the “spark” is gone or that you don’t have “chemistry.” Is it that he’s lost interest and his lack of interest makes you less interested? Are there things he could be doing to make the experience better for you (you don’t need to get into details here, just something to think about).January 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm #668187
To clarify, you say you don’t exactly lack chemistry but then You don’t really explain how you do…it fizzled sometime after the beginning months.
My relationship with the stable, handsome driven guy was five years. We had a house. Pets. A life. We were on track for kids and marriage, but it just fizzled years into it. He was work obsessed and no longer spent time with me. He’d literally fall asleep eating dinner with me because he’d work long hours and then train for endurance races afterwards. I realized that I couldn’t do that. I wanted someone who was interested in having a life WITH me, not next to me.
Have you communicated any of these issues to him? Made any actual steps to make your sex life or connection better?
Try something. Try all the things. But if you are lacking attraction, a spark, sex and chemistry…and you can’t really talk about it, it’s not going to work out.January 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm #668196
Thanks for the advice Anonymousse. I guess it’s complicated because we have that chemistry in terms of being compatible on 9/10 levels. We get along so well, and we have had lots of excitement in the relationship before.
I tried explaining that from my perspective I think it’s fizzled because of his financial strain and physical insecurities. While we’ve addressed these issues together, that doesn’t make the problem go away and therefore doesn’t fix his lack of confidence. And yes his lack of confidence is affecting me too.
It is a struggle to understand how we could even have an issue with lack of passion in the bedroom given the intense initial connection we had. Honestly when we first met I was just struck by this overwhelming sense that this was “the one” even though I had never truly believed in that concept before meeting him. The first 4 months were just so great.
Ultimately I’m having difficulty trying to understand if Im just comparing it to that initial honeymoon phase and feeling less connected because of it, or if I’m comparing it to the high highs and low lows of my previous relationship, or a combination of both.
Ps. Fyodor, I have to disagree that I talk about him as if I’m obviously disinterested. If I were I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my time even on this site…