“In Three Years, We’ve Never Had Sex”

I’ve been seeing a guy for over three years whom I met off Tinder. We had in-depth text and phone conversation for over a month and never met. Then a few months later I got back on Tinder after a breakup, we matched again, and we picked back up where we had started. We finally met and started spending time together, and we seem to genuinely care for each other and feel very comfortable around each other. Neither one of us is a “going-out person,” and we seem to be more comfortable staying in. I’m a single mom with sole custody. So, after we met for lunch a couple of times, I felt comfortable introducing my son to him. Then it became way too convenient for him to come over to just Netflix and chill — except we have NEVER had sex. For the first few months, I thought he was just being respectful. There was a lot of kissing, heavy petting foreplay, etc., but it would never lead to sex, despite my trying.

Fast forward over three years. We’ve seen each other on and off regularly the whole time about once or twice a month. He isn’t great at answering text messages and never really has been. He also travels a lot. I’ve never met any of his friends, and he shares a townhome with a male “business partner.” The only time I have ever been to his home is when the business partner was away. When he comes to my house, he will help me mow the yard and do chores, he wants me to scratch his back and give him massages, he likes for me to play with his penis, we take showers together, and we sleep in the same bed, cuddle, and do all the relationship stuff other than have sex. He even bought me a dog and acts like it is our dog together. There is very little kissing anymore and he doesn’t seem to want to pleasure me or be very affectionate with me, but he seems to enjoy what I do for him.

He has a very small penis and I know he has some insecurities about it. I still want to have sex though. Despite my being a few pounds overweight, I think I am very attractive. I’ve never been turned down for sex. In fact, I get sexual offers all the time. I’m invested in this situation and I’m just not interested in ANYTHING from ANYONE else.

I just have so many questions:
· Do I just not turn him on?
· Is he testing his gayness with me?
· Does he have a girlfriend and I am the girl on the side? After all, I only see him once or twice a month and it does take him a long time to respond to my texts. He also disconnects from his vehicle’s Bluetooth to not receive notifications when I’m riding with him.
· Am I just the back-burner girl?
· Does he have serious commitment issues?

We’ve never defined our relationship. I’m almost afraid to after all this time. My son really likes him. I’m OK with seeing him just a couple times a month. I enjoy the time we spend together, I am comfortable with him, and I genuinely care for him. I’m just so confused! — Confused

The questions you’ve posed to me about the guy you’re seeing are ones you need to be asking him. Three years together and you haven’t addressed the lack of sex or any of the other odd behavior from his end? Why are you so passive?! Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, something shady is going on. Whether that is another woman, another man, a secret family – who knows. Can you even be certain the house you’ve visited when his “roommate” is out of town is his? More likely, it’s a friend’s home that he uses for rendezvous when said friend is out of town.

There’s a reason you haven’t met anyone in his life before. He’s keeping you a secret because he isn’t supposed to be seeing you. You are the lie he is telling someone else. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who that someone else is. It doesn’t matter whether he’s straight or gay or somewhere in between — what matters is that he is not available to you. And, frankly, for what it’s worth, the theory that he’s gay doesn’t make much sense. People don’t “test out their gayness” for years on end. Clearly, he’s sexually attracted to you or he wouldn’t pursue sexual intimacy with you at all. Why does he stop short of actual sex? I have no idea. Maybe he’s convinced himself that it isn’t actually cheating if there isn’t penetration. Maybe he has a physical or medical issue that inhibits him. I mean, have you truly never asked in three years of being intimate why he never wants to have sex? The fact that you haven’t seemed to question all his truly odd behavior is probably WHY he continues seeing you. You make it easy for him to keep being shady.

This “relationship” is never ever moving forward. You may truly not want ANYTHING with ANYONE else, but I’m telling you: You aren’t getting ANYTHING more from this guy than the sad, waning attention you’ve gotten thus far. This is it. If you aren’t ok being someone’s side piece who gets minimal and unfulfilling sexual attention, you need to move on. And next time, don’t introduce your son to a guy you’ve had a few lunches with. Invest in a babysitter, meet dates on actual dates, and don’t bring anyone home until you’ve met important people in his life and you’ve had some sort of “define the relationship” conversation.

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and have known each other for four. We’ve had quite a few differences but have also had a strong connection since the day we met. The problem is that my aunt is getting married next week and my boyfriend doesn’t want me to go. He despises my aunt more than anything, especially after a very heated argument she and I got into back in April about my daughter, and then the nasty comments that she made about my man. He has been trying to tell me what I need to do to make sure that never happens again. My aunt and I have not spoken to each other like we used to since the incident. She’s seven years older than I am and we’ve always had a special bond; she was my protector.

My boyfriend tells me I shouldn’t go to the wedding at all to send them a message. (I feel like he’s making this more about himself than considering my feelings.) He gave me the ultimatum that if I go to this wedding, he and I are done. He wants me to fight for him and prove my love to him. My kids also look forward to the family time with my brothers. My boyfriend and I have been fighting about this since that incident, and, while I really don’t want to disappoint him, I feel torn either way.

What should I do?? — To Go or Not to Go

Go to your aunt’s wedding, let your boyfriend leave you over it, and thank your aunt for continuing the tradition of protecting you by giving you a great opportunity to end a controlling relationship with a selfish, emotionally-stunted dickhead.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.


  1. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

    LW #1: WWS! And not only that, even if by some miracle you aren’t the other woman or he’s gay, it DOESN’T matter. You aren’t being treated in the way you want to be treated. And this really isn’t the kind of relationship you want over the long term. Time to end it and move on.

    LW #2: You’re boyfriend sounds like a controlling jerk. He wants to you ‘send a message’ to your family because he got into an argument with your aunt. Tell him to GTFOH with that non-sense! Dump him and go to the wedding and have lots of fun.

  2. LW#1 —
    His problem is not inability to commit. Almost all guys who can’t commit are very determined to have sex with the woman they are with: no monogamy, no engagement, no marriage, lots of sex. I think your guy is asexual and looking for a friend. If he were gay and you were his beard, then he’d be showing you off to friends and family in order to prove how not gay he is. Nobody cheats on his wife/steady girlfriend to have a platonic relationship of watching Netflix with another woman.

    I admit that his kissing/petting is not typical asexual. Perhaps he knows that he cannot perform. If this is the problem, you should ask him to look into Cialis/testosterone treatment.

  3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW2 Dump the guy and go to the wedding. Why would you need to fight for him by not attending a wedding? It makes no sense. Anyone who demands you skip some important family event, like a wedding, to prove your love isn’t worth your time. This is just the beginning of something bad, something very controlling and abusive. If you give in on this then there will be some other more extreme proof needed. It will never end. Go to the wedding and regardless of whether he dumps you or not you dump him. Don’t wait for him to do it. Tell him you are done and that you are looking forward to the wedding. This is a run away from this guy type of situation. Dump him and don’t look back. Hopefully you aren’t living with him.

  4. Juliecatharine says:

    LW1 I’m sad that you would settle for so little and even sadder that you would expose your son to this bullshit. Go back on tinder and find a guy who’s actually interested in at least having sex with you.

  5. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 This is all you are going to get from this relationship. Is it enough? Are you happy?

    This guy is shady. Why who knows but unless he has business clients who rely on him to always provide confidentiality there is no reason to disconnect Bluetooth when driving with you. He is hiding you from someone and someone from you. You have settled for a guy who is hiding his life from you. You’ve shared your life and he has hidden his.

  6. anonymousse says:

    LW1: you have been totally passive and just let this go on for three years. Why haven’t you asked him what you are? When you first met, did you tell him you wanted a relationship? When Oh are playing with his penis and clearly want sex, have you just asked him point blank why he doesn’t want to have sex with you?

    It’s alarming to me that you saw him a few times, and felt comfortable introducing him to your child, but now it’s three years later and he’s still practically a stranger to you.

    You’ll never get more from him or anyone unless you make it clear what you want, when you want it and stop settling for less. If a serious relationship is what you want, you’ve just wasted three years with this…friend? Guy you are “seeing?” What do you call him? If you are happy with this 1-2 times month hang out, then by all means, continue. YOU need to determine what you want.

    LW2: don’t miss a wedding for someone you love because your jerk bf is telling you to. You might want to rethink all the comments your aunt made about him. She may have ha s s omen very valid points.

  7. LW1, oh, no, honey. If you can’t talk to him about your sex life after 3 years, there’s no relationship there to save.

    LW2, go if you want to, but also reassess your relationship with all these people.

    Off topic: the ads on this site regularly crash my browser, even using an adblocker, and they’re massively intrusive into the text/screen space. Anything that can be done?

    1. I haven’t heard this specific complaint from anyone else yet. What browser do you use? And what do you mean that “they’re massively intrusive into the text/screen space”?
      I’m not getting rid of ads – it’s how I generate income from the site (so when you employ an adblocker, which of course you are entitled to do, you are impeding my ability to generate income while using resources from the site that I pay for in money and time, fyi), but I do certainly try to strike a balance between income generation and pleasing readers (especially readers who actively support the site instead of just draining the resources), so I appreciate a head’s up when something isn’t working with the ads.

      1. I’ve started seeing ads directly within the forum posts (like not just in the sidebar but between replies). I’m pretty sure that’s a new thing? Other than that though, business as usual for me. No issues on Chrome or Safari.

      2. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Yes, that’s a new thing. Ad revenue has dropped dramatically – in part because so many people use adblockers. It’s been a struggle to maintain an income from the site that can justify the amount of time and money I invest in it, and my ad network suggested placing ads in the forums, which I did last week. To be honest, I haven’t seen any increase in revenue since then so I may get rid of those ads. I am also considering shuttering the site at some point, but I will be sure to give plenty of notice if I do. I am doing some soul-searching to see if I truly want to continue what has basically been a 7 1/2 year labor of love whose traffic and income has already peaked and now is on the downturn.

      3. I’m using firefox, and the biggest intrusiveness is a banner ad at the bottom of the page that ‘floats’–I can x-out of it, but every time the page refreshes, it returns with a new topic. I’ve got a screenshot I’ll send to your email. Others are inserting themselves into the middle of the advice forum pages and do not have a close-ad button. When it freezes the browser, I’ll get a notification at the top of the page saying that there’s a page slowing down the browser, and asking if I want to close it or wait. If I choose to wait, the whole browser freezes.

        TBH, I don’t mind seeing the ones that get through my blocker, and I completely respect your desire/need to monetize the page. It just makes viewing a hassle because in addition to waiting for the page to load, each loading ad makes the sections jump around, and then, at least once a day, eventually freeze.

      4. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Thanks for your sharing your experience. Things have become a big hassle on my end, too, and these messages are helping me weigh whether or not I want to continue with this. Thank you!

      5. Bekahtravels says:


        I really hope you don’t close the site. It’s what I look forward to reading every day. I don’t have an ad blocker on purpose! Could you do another fundraiser? Is there anything we the readers can do?

        Longtime reader

      6. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        That’s so sweet, thank you! No need for a fundraiser – I definitely make enough to cover the costs of the site. But ad revenue has fallen this year, traffic has stalled, and life gets busy. The combination of those things makes me question my commitment to this site from time to time. It’s cyclical — I go through this re-evaluation 2-3 times a year and it usually passes, don’t worry.

      7. It’s the Google algorithm change that took place near the end of last summer. A LOT of businesses are suffering. I don’t blame Google, because the changes they make are to keep sites safe, to keep search engine ranking fair and relevant. But it’s tough because many many sites are being penalized with no idea why.

        I know in the past you’ve mentioned turning your alphabet stories into a book. You could always turn it into an e-book and put a little e-commerce widget in the sidebar of your site. Or a book of your favourite drinks recipes. Or both. Just a quick and easy way to make some passive income… Although I know it’s time consuming to put ebooks together (I’m workin’ on it too!).

      8. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Oh, yeah, I know about the Google algorithm change. Fortunately, I haven’t loss traffic in the past year, but it hasn’t grown either, so that’s frustrating. I’ve got a list of things I’d like to work on, including e-books, and in one more year when Joanie starts public school, I’m going to have so much more time to pursue various goals and projects. Thanks for thinking of me!

      9. Bekahtravels says:

        Well, I know I would be happy to help however I can! You have created a special meaningful place on the internet that has withstood time! Don’t under estimate that feat…

    2. Avatar photo rosie posie says:

      I also don’t have an ad blocker on for this specific reason. I did alter how frequently I check the site, not because I’m not interested but because I no longer check the site from my phone. I don’t have an unlimited data plan and I’m very careful about not watching any videos on my phone unless I’m on wifi. I noticed a number of months ago that the videos in the sidebar automatically start running (even on mobile devices) so I make an effort not to visit from my phone. I think a lot of people now have unlimited data so I don’t know if it would have made any difference in page views.

  8. Bittergaymark says:

    Hmmmm, I’d almost aay he’s asexual. But the touch my penis experimentation combined with the “male business partner” leans me more towards closeted gay — trying to be straight. I very much doubt there is another woman…
    But really? The reason for his behavior matters not. The behavior itself is more than enough. M.O. A.

  9. LW2- what everybody said, and especially what Skyblossom said. Give in to this demand and other things will follow.

  10. LW1: Maybe it is because of low libido. The reasons could be different. There are ways to boost libido, for example by natural remedies, such as dark chocolate, green tea, fruits, and others.

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