While it has been exciting to meet someone as adventurous as I am, I’m also slightly tortured (pun intended) because what I really want is a relationship, not a sex buddy. We get along well enough and enjoy our time together, but we don’t have the spark to be more than casual. I get jealous that she goes on dates with other people and doesn’t make an effort to include me in her life, and my already low self-esteem feels threatened. I understand it’s ridiculous to feel that way when I know we’re not relationship material, but I feel like I’ve put a lot of energy into making dinners and going on dates – not to mention the amount of emotional labor it takes to cultivate a kink dynamic.
Should I dump her because I know we’re not going anywhere and then lose one of the best sexual relationships I’ve ever had? Or keep being hurt by my insecurities because our kink dynamic is fulfilling and hard to find? I should also add that I suffer from clinical depression and often use isolation as a coping mechanism, so I’m unsure if I instinctually want to pull away because I’m having negative feelings and am scared of being hurt, or if it’s the “right” thing to end something that isn’t giving me what I want. — Looking For More
Your instinct to pull away from this relationship is not based on an unfounded or irrational fear of getting hurt. You are ALREADY being hurt, so your fear is completely founded and rational, and to stay in a relationship that leaves you feeling hurt, jealous, and tortured, and one that threatens your already low self-esteem, simply because one aspect of the relationship is phenomenal, is reckless and short-sighted.
Not only is this “relationship” never going to progress past a sex-buddy fling, but also by continuing to invest enormous amounts of energy and effort and emotional labor into this dead-end relationship, you are depleting those resources that you could be investing in finding a more suitable match. Your metaphorical taxi light is off because you already have a ride, and as you pass other potential rides that could result in higher or better fares (still metaphorically speaking), they see your sign is off and wait for the next taxi without even signaling to you that they’re looking.
Yes, sexual compatibility is an important part of a relationship, and when you have particular kinks that may narrow your pool of compatible partners, it’s understandable that you’d want to make a relationship work with someone with whom you share great sex. But as you’re learning, it’s equally important—if not more so—to have a partner who actually wants to be in a real relationship with you and who lifts you up and makes you feel good about yourself. You need to be compatible in other ways beyond just sex, and you and your current sex partner are not.
If you weren’t looking for a relationship, my advice would be different. If the sex you shared with this woman supplemented a life that wasn’t lacking for romantic companionship, my advice would be different. If you had healthy self-esteem that this relationship didn’t threaten, my advice would be different. But then, if any of this were the case, you wouldn’t have written in for my thoughts in the first place.
You need to stop having sex with this woman so you can find a more compatible match. If you find someone with whom you share common values, interests, mutual attraction, and chemistry, and you genuinely enjoy each other’s company, you can work on a satisfying sexual relationship together even if that aspect isn’t a total match right out of the gate. It’s so much easier to work on that aspect of a relationship with someone you click with in other ways than to try to make a relationship work with someone with whom you only click on a sexual level.
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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.