Savage Love Savage Love Letter of the Day
posted by October 7 at 14:37 PMon
I get more letters at “Savage Love” than I could ever hope respond to in the column or in print. But until October 16 you can get a guaranteed response by going to www.noonprop8.com, making a donation of $25 or more, and sending me your question along with your donation confirmation email.
My receipt from No On Prop 8 is attached below. Thanks for doing this, and I’m happy to make a contribution. My question, however, is complicated.
I started dating a girl about a year ago. After about five months, we hit some hard, rocky times and she stopped wanting to sleep together. After working on it for a long time, including seeing a therapist, we’ve gotten to a point where we’re at least happy together again. Lots of cuddling, telling each other how much we appreciate each other; I mean, emotions seem real and not forced. But one of the problems for the longest time was that I made it clear that I wasn’t going to wait forever for her to completely trust me again, and she was dominated by this feeling, i.e. “I need to sleep with him or he’ll leave me!” which made the pressure way too great for her to actually get turned on. The happy period we’ve been in now has at least partially been a result of me no longer bringing up sex.
But we’ve been happy for six weeks now. We’re doing some vaguely sexual things a couple times a week, but still no sex, and anytime we get close it’s never “real” enough, or there’s too much pressure on one of us, etc. My question is, how long should I do this? I mean, I can’t give an ultimatum, and it’s not like she doesn’t know what’s at stake and she REALLY does want things to work out. And we’re happy in pretty much every other way people can be happy. But I get SO filled with loneliness sometimes with the lack of sex, and as much as I know we’re both trying, there’s no guarantee it will ever actually work out. I have to trust her, but every man has a breaking point.
Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Lonely
Hm. You write, “I wasn’t going to wait forever for her to completely trust me again,” SHSL, but you don’t mention whatever it was you did—or didn’t do—to make her trust you less or not at all. I could’ve used that info, you know, as I sat down to write you a little advice.
But setting aside my reservations, I’ll say this: If you’ve only been seeing someone five months and you’re already in therapy, well, that’s a bad sign. At five months, SHSL, you should still be in the honeymoon phase, totally infatuated, and banging each other’s brains out seven days a week. You shouldn’t be sitting on sofa in a therapist’s office trying to pinpoint just when how this relationship—a relationship of all of 20 weeks duration—hit rock bottom. A relationship that require the attentions of professional at so early a stage typically isn’t worth the time and trouble of salvaging.
But, hey, you’ve invested seven additional months here, and so… well. Gee. Maybe you ought to stick it out a bit longer and see what your investment of time and cuddles and compassion got you. But an ultimatum is definitely in order—but not for her, SHSL, as an ultimatum will cause her to freeze up for sure. No, give yourself an ultimatum. Decide exactly how much more time you’re willing to invest and how much longer you’re willing to tough out a sexless relationship—three more months? six more months?—and if that date arrives and you’re still just cuddling, cut your considerable losses and end the relationship.
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