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What would you do?

Published on July 31, 2014 by annawil42

I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years and love him dearly. He treats me like a princess, is my biggest supporter, my best friend, and the list goes on. When we met we couldn't keep our hands off of each other, but the past couple of years I've struggled with feeling 'turned on' and the attraction has seemed to dissipate. Initially I thought it was stress in my life, but since the stress has diminished, nothing has changed. Recently he brought this issue up and said he's afraid to move forward (ie: engagement, as our family and friends have been requesting). Although sex and pleasure isn't everything, he said, it is still an important part of a relationship. I'm at a complete loss - I fear that this isn't something I can 'turn back on', but I don't think walking away from someone who treats me SO well should be the answer when this is the only flaw in our relationship. Any advice, recommendations, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

ANSWERS

Hi there. The reasons you question whether to stay or go is one of the most common. You've been together 4 years and it is natural to experience a decline in the passion department. The intensity of your attraction will never be the same as it was during the initial stages of your relationship. Familiarity is one of the reasons sexual excitement diminishes over time. If you are "best friends" then I wonder if you are not allowing enough separateness or creating enough polarity in your relationship? Sometimes couples get stuck in a pattern of togetherness (symbiosis) that stifles individuality and the contrast required to keep things interesting and HOT. This includes spending too much time together, merging your world views or withholding truths to avoid conflict. While staying with someone because he treats you well is not a good reason to stay, love, respect and connection are; and given that you've been able to communicate about your troubles in the bedroom I would also point out that you have many other strengths as a couple as well. If you have a true love for one another then I encourage you to check your expectations before giving up on what seems a good thing. I also encourage you to find a therapist or coach to help you clarify what is important to you and help you work through these issues as a couple to see if things can improve before you walk away.

I should also mention that I am a topic expert here on Yourtango. You can find my profile and bio here: http://www.yourtango.com/experts/HilarySilver

Is it your partner you are not attracted to, or just anyone in general? Do you get turned on by other people? The above poster is correct in that the beginnings of any relationship are always the "hottest" but there are other factors to consider. Have you started any new medication? Have you put on a lot of weight and feel less attractive? Loss of sex drive can be attributed to birth control pills and antidepressants. He sounds like a great guy and I think you should explore all options before making any decision. Also? It is NONE of your friends and family's place to push you to become engaged. That is between you and him, and no one should be pressuring you to take this step

I think I would look into why your sex drive has declined. Is this a potentially hormonal thing that you should have your doctor look into? Or is this exclusive to him? Uncovering the reasons why you are experiencing a decline take some time and finding that root is key so that you can answer this question from a place of empowerment. Right now there are far too many variables involved that are unaccounted for and as such leave it difficult to provide you with a clear answer. To that end I would have a very frank discussion with him. If you are not willing to approach it from a structured coaching perspective then do the self inquiry as to why you are experiencing the decline in your drive and then have a very real and raw conversation with him. You need to make sure you two are on the same page and if you are not then its time to evaluate where to go. Either way your first step should be exploring all reasons why you feel a lack of drive and attraction. Ask yourself: Do you still masturbate and if so what do you fantasize about? Do you still find the opposite sex attractive or do you gloss over good looking men entirely? Do you still desire sex but just not sex with him?

These are a few starter questions to help you evaluate this. If you want to take things further be sure to shoot me an email and we can set up your free evaluation!

Best,

Laura Brown http://www.yourtango.com/experts/LauraBrown

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