I am totally in love with my partner and have never felt so happy or secure in my relationship. We bring out the best in everyone and make each other laugh all the time. So why do I rarely have the desire or the energy for sex? Is it because I’m 50 and going through menopause? Is it because we still have a dependent child at home? Is it because I feel so happy and secure that I no longer need to seek emotional connection through sex? Surely it’s not because I no longer want my partner? What I do, by the way. Any advice you can offer will be gratefully received.
No lost love, just sex
Dear No Love,
If you’re happy and your partner is happy, who cares if your sex life lives up to some preconceived idea of what it should be? The problem isn’t the sex you have or don’t have, the problem is whether you feel bad about it. Sure could be because you are in peri-menopause, have a dependent child at home, happy and safe, unhappy and insecure, tired, germophobic, GOP depressed, that you love your body, that you hate your body, that you meet early, that you’re on some drugs, or just going “you know what? I’m kinda done with that.
(I might add here that 150 years ago life expectancy was 40, so we’d all be pushing 50-year-old daisies, not Viagra).
But analyzing exactly why things are the way they are is only so helpful. The $10,000 question (which you fail to mention) is: does your partner feel the same way? If so, read further. If not, go to a couples counselor where these things can be discussed with sensitivity and support.
If, on the other hand, you and your partner feel the same way and want to rekindle your sex life, there are a million books, therapists, and even advice columnists out there that have a lot to say about it. You may also want to talk to your GP. But the real question in my mind are you okay with how you feel or not? Breaking away from societal expectations can be very liberating. Detaching yourself from your own expectations can be more difficult. But the only person you have to answer to is yourself and your beloved partner.
I have a roommate who is dating our upstairs neighbor in our building. They have had several conversations about defining the relationship where, regardless of her position, she is deeply upset to the point of crying. She wants to keep seeing him but he won’t define her. Since their most recent convo, she’s been a wild female dog to all of our housemates. It’s clear to me that she has to end it or deal with her emotions and stop being mean to us! How to tell him that?
Get out of the pot!
Dear Get Off The Pot,
I can feel your frustration. However, when you say, “It’s clear to me that she has to end it…..how can I tell her that?” you assume she wants to hear what you think, and….. does she really?
You can definitely let her know what you think (nicely) if she asks for your advice. The problem is, she might not want to hear it, because a lot of people don’t appreciate unsolicited candour.
However, you are well within your rights do not being abused by your roommate. You can say things like, “That was pointless,” “I don’t know why you’re so upset, but it sure isn’t the peanut butter that’s left out of the fridge,” but I wouldn’t to say something. like “Every time you have a relationship, talk to Tad, you’re yelling at us.” Unless, of course, you have a stronger spine than mine and have more friends to replace her when she leaves in anger.
I know a lot of people who wouldn’t hesitate to say such a thing, and part of me even admires it. It’s just not in my DNA. So I say, tread lightly, be caring and honest, but don’t let yourself become its victim. And pray the guy upstairs gets transferred to Keokuk.
What kind of people live where the seasons don’t change?
The kind of people who live where the seasons don’t change have never sat indoors, watched a steady downpour (of rain, snow, hail or sleet) and pictured themselves as the star of a movie. brooding with melancholy music in which the heroine holds the secret of happiness in her heart while entertaining the attentions of a dashing swordsman.
From the reader’s response:
Thank you very much for writing. Your point is well understood! You rightly call me out for assuming that people who don’t ask questions when in conversation with someone trying to engage with them are narcissists. You point out that they might suffer from social anxiety. I always assumed I could tell the difference, but I know some people who appear perfectly at ease socially, are not. It’s a good reminder to think twice. That being said, I happen to know people I’m related to who do this are just plain narcissistic, just to clarify.
Dear Gaby appears in the Round Table every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom and wit. And a pinch of snark. She is by no means a qualified therapist, but has seen and loved many in her time. Her goal is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how diverging from hers. Write to Gaby at [email protected]