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My boyfriend no longer turns me on

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Hi Mark,

I have been with the same man for three years and we have lived together for the last two. We have had a pretty good relationship for the most part. He is loving, kind, caring, supportive, etc. About four months ago, I started feeling like I wasn't attracted to him anymore and so many things he does bother me to no end. It has been making my life miserable ever since. He is very loving and feels very attracted to me, so the guilt I feel about not authentically giving it back is terrible. Up until last fall, I was sure I wanted to get married and have children with him. Now that feels very wrong to me for some reason.

There are many different factors in play here. We live in a very small apartment in a big city where we don't know many people, so we don't spend much time away from one another. He is trying to start a business from home, so he is always home. Over the summer, his very intense mother moved from across the country to be near us, so now any hopes of us moving back near my family or out of the state have been squashed, even though we don't particularly like it here. I recently went back to school and switched careers, so I am financially dependent on him for the time being. In addition, I have a history of moving from one relationship to the next about every year or so; I am in my early thirties and this is the longest I've ever been in a relationship. I'm feeling lots of pressure and anxiety trying to sort it all out.

Any thoughts?

This question was submitted by 'Katie'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Katie,

It does sound like there are a few issues here that may be getting in the way of you feeling attracted to your boyfriend. Now, I may be way off here, but think about this:

It might be that you are attracted, consciously or otherwise, to high status in men. But his mother has moved nearby and he is around a lot in the day rather than off at some high status job. The fact that, as you say, you have a history of moving on from relationships after only a year hints at the possibility that you may also be attracted by novelty. We get novelty in relationships either by having new and different relationships or by being with someone who isn't always too predictable. Do you think your boyfriend or your relationship with him has, at the moment, become a bit too predictable for you? If you have doubts about marriage, having kids, and so forth, then with this in mind it's probably wise for you to hold off going down that route right now.

Think about what attracted you to him initially. He is still the same man, but circumstances may have changed. It might be that you have started to live 'in each others' pockets' a bit and could do with a bit of space from one another in the day, perhaps by taking some time by yourself at a local coffee shop or joining a local group participating in an activity you enjoy. You mentioned going back to school and changing careers; we also tend to start to feel disconnected from people if we feel their aims or dreams are or have become really different from what we ourselves want.

Most long-term relationships have a kind of ebb and flow element to them, in which attraction is sometimes more intense and sometimes a little less. My advice is to give it a bit longer, see if any of what I have said here makes sense to you, and if it is a question of needing novelty, then find ways to introduce more novelty into your relationship.

I hope this helps in some way.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - February 2nd, 2014 in

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