Q: Hi Meredith,
My boyfriend and I have been together about two years and recently moved in together. He's a warm, affectionate, good-natured guy, and I feel completely comfortable around him. But here's the problem: he's not very physically attracted to me. I think it's a combination of him not having a high sex drive and me not being his physical "type." He's not repulsed by me, but also doesn't make comments or get excited when I'm undressed. Don't get me wrong, he cuddles a lot and shows tenderness, but there are no fireworks. I consider myself confident and I'm very satisfied with my body. Physical attraction was never a problem in past relationships, but I also acknowledge that I'd never experienced true love before my current relationship.
We've had conversations about it in the past, and I've felt better afterwards. But is this something I can live with forever? If we get married, will I resent him for it? How vital is this aspect of the relationship?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
– No Fireworks, Boston
A: I want to start by saying that when you've been with someone for two years, you're not always going to get aroused when they take their clothes off. After a while, nudity becomes routine. If he likes touching you, he's attracted to you, I promise.
But in your case, sex just isn't as important to him as it is to you, and it sounds like that's been a problem since the start of the relationship. You're writing to us after the move-in, which means that cohabitation has only made this worse.
You need to tell him where you are with this. It shouldn't be a conversation about his attraction for you (you've already had that chat). It's time to discuss your desires. How often do you want to be intimate? What do you like about your sex life? What would you like to do more often? The talk should be a little bit sexy.
If this doesn't improve after an upbeat discussion, you have to think about forever. Attraction is vital. You guys are building a foundation for the future, and if it's a shaky one, this just won't work.
Readers? Is she confusing sex drive and attraction? How important is it that she's writing this after the move-in? Will another talk help? Help.
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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.