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Bedroom blues

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 19, 2009 09:20 AM

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Your advice made Ms. Cat Lady very happy yesterday. She e-mailed at the end of the day to say thank you.

I went to see “New Moon” with the contest winners last night. The trend continues – Love Letters readers are very attractive. Not that it matters. But they are.

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. It seems that the same themes keep coming up in our relationship... One of them being that we have very different libidos.

He is fine with 1x per week (and I don't think less would bother him) while I would be happier with 3x per week... he usually just says "no" or kind of laughs when I made advance in order to change the subject. Generally speaking, he says it's "just not that important to me".

It leaves me feeling lonely and sad and disconnected from him. He reassures me that it shouldn't. I understand it's not everything, but I think it's an important part of a relationship. He's promised to try to come to a middle-ground, but nothing has changed.

Is this something that is going to cause huge problems between us if we continue this long-term into a marriage?
Name Confused.

– Confused, Massachusetts

A: I’m sorry, Confused. Constant sexual rejection is pretty miserable.

I get that his sex drive is lower than yours, but it’s no longer OK for him to laugh at your advances or to categorize this problem as a little one. I think it’s a biggie.

Television sitcoms would have us believe that it’s the women who are always rejecting sex and using the old headache excuse -- but in reality, most of the letters I’ve received about wanting more sex have come from women. This men-always-want-sex myth sets women up to feel extra rejected when they're not wanted, and men to feel shamed by their own lack of drive. Everyone loses.

Your guy has mentioned a middle ground, and that’s a start. It’s worth talking to him about your schedules -- whether he might be more interested in having sex during a different time of day. He needs to be comfortable enough to talk about what gets him in the mood, what he enjoys, and how this pressure to have sex has affected his ability to want it.

The other thing to talk to him about is the importance of being physical, even if it’s not all-the-way sex. Cuddling, spooning (sorry, I’m getting mushy), and being touchy in general can keep us feeling connected, even when we’re not as connected as we’d like to be.

Talk to him. And do it during the day, out of bed, in a neutral place. Define that middle ground and come up with a plan to achieve it. Because you’re right – you can’t walk around feeling rejected all of the time. If he doesn't really want to make a change, best to figure that out sooner than later.

Readers? Thoughts? Have sitcoms ruined us? Will there ever be a middle ground? Share.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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