Dear Barb—Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Dear Barb:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for six months.  He’s a really awesome guy, but I don’t feel sexually attracted to him.  We have lots in common and spend a lot of time together, but, when it comes to intimacy, everything changes.  Our relationship has been this way right from the beginning, but I kept hoping it would change.  We can go weeks or even a month without any intimacy, or even kissing.  We have never talked about it or acknowledged it in any way.  We just ignore it, as if it isn’t important.  If he stays over at my place, we sleep in the same bed, but there is no hugging, we go right to sleep.  When he leaves, he gives me a kiss, but just a peck.  I don’t know how he feels about this, but it is beginning to wear on me, and I notice myself becoming attracted to other men.  I am scared to bring this up because we may end up breaking up, and I enjoy his company so much.  On the other hand, maybe I am just prolonging the inevitable.  Looking for any advice you can offer.  Thanks, Stephanie.

Hi Stephanie:

Thanks for your letter.  As you know, sexual intimacy is an important part of any relationship, but what is more important is that you communicate how you feel.  For some people sexual intimacy is not a priority, and, if both parties feel the same way, there is no issue.  However, when one party is not happy with the situation, problems can arise.  Since you mention that your relationship has always been this way, it’s interesting that you chose to stay.  Usually the strongest attraction is at the beginning of a relationship, and if it wasn’t there at that time, it’s unlikely to begin later on.  You may want to consider how long you are willing to stay in this relationship.  Perhaps you two are meant to have a friendship, rather than an intimate relationship.  You can remain friends while you are both in relationships with other people, if this is what you both want.  If you find it difficult to discuss this with your partner, you may want to see a counsellor who may be able to help you to discover if there are any underlying reasons for this lack of sexual attraction.  For example, there may be medical reasons, or emotional causes which are contributing.  It’s definitely worth exploring further before you walk away.  Best of luck in the future Stephanie.