Dear Barb – Lack of Intimacy Could Signal Deeper Problems

Dear Barb:

I can’t believe I’m writing to you, but I’m not sure what I should do. I have been dating my girlfriend for about a year. Everything seems to be wonderful except for our intimate life. She is happy to be intimate once a week, whereas I do not feel this is enough for me. I love her very much and I feel this is a way to express my love for her.

When I talk to her about it she says she does not feel we need to be sexually intimate more than once a week. I feel she is being selfish and not willing to consider my feelings. My biggest fear is wondering what our relationship will be like in five years. I know sexual intimacy is usually more frequent early in relationships and begins to slow down as the relationship progresses. At this rate our intimate life could become very sparse and I know I would not be happy with that.

I don’t want to end this relationship, but I don’t know what else to do. Help!

Ken

Hi, Ken, thanks for the great question. It is very insightful of you to look ahead and see that your present situation may cause future difficulties. Not very many people are brave enough to do this.

You said everything else in your relationship is wonderful. However, as you know sexual intimacy is a very important part of any relationship. Often, if two individuals do not agree on the frequency of sexual relations, this can become a major issue that leads to all kinds of problems. For example, one party can be left feeling undesirable and possibly exploring other avenues to get their needs met. You need to do something before this situation erupts into something far worse.

As you say you have discussed this with your girlfriend, but she seems unwilling to compromise. Therefore I would suggest your girlfriend speak to her family doctor to make sure there is not a physical reason, such as hormone imbalance or any number of other conditions that can affect a person’s libido. If everything checks out then possibly you both could see a counsellor or sex therapist. There may be a psychological reason for her lack of desire.

If neither of these avenues provides any answers, you may have to accept that you simply do not share the same need or desire for sexual intimacy. At this point you will have to ask yourself if this relationship is going to be fulfilling enough. Are there enough good aspects to compensate for what’s lacking? You are the only one who can answer this question, although a counsellor may help you to find the answer.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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