I’m totally in love with my partner and have never felt more happy or secure in my relationship. We bring out the best in each other and make each other laugh all the time. So, why do I rarely have the desire or energy for sex? Is it because I’m 50 and peri-menopausal? Is it because we still have a dependent child at home? Is it because I feel so happy and secure I no longer have to seek emotional connection through sex? Surely it can’t be because I no longer fancy my partner? Which I do, btw. Any advice you can offer will be gratefully received.
No love lost, just sex
Dear No Love,
If you are happy and your partner is happy, who cares whether your sex life lives up to some preconceived notion of what it should be? The problem is not the sex you are or are not having, the problem is feeling bad about it. Sure it could be because you are peri-menopausal, have a dependent child at home, are happy and secure, are unhappy and insecure, are tired, germphobic, depressed by the Republican party, love your body, hate your body, have an early meeting, are taking certain drugs, or just plain feel like, “you know what? I’m kinda done with that.”
(I might add here that 150 years ago, life expectancy was, like, 40, so we’d all be pushing up daisies by 50, not pushing Viagra).
But parsing out exactly why things are the way they are is only so useful. The $10,000 question (that you fail to mention) is: does your partner feel the same way? If so, read further. If not, get thee to a couples counselor where these things can be sensitively and supportively discussed.
If, on the other hand, you and your partner feel the same way and would like to rekindle your sex life, there are a million books, therapists, and even advice columnists out there who have a lot to say about the subject. You may also want to speak to your primary care physician. But the real question in my mind is are you OK with how you feel or not? Unhooking from societal expectations can be very liberating. Unhooking from your own expectations may be more difficult. But the only person you need to answer to is yourself and your beloved partner.
I have a roommate who has been dating our upstairs neighbor in our apartment building. They’ve had several define-the-relationship conversations where, whatever his position is, she is deeply upset to the point of tears. She wants to continue to see him but he will not define it. Since their most recent convo, she has been a raging bitch to all of our roommates. It is clear to me that she needs to end it or deal with her emotions and stop being mean to us! How do I say this to her?
Get off the pot!
Dear Get Off The Pot,
I can sense your frustration. However, when you say, “it is clear to me she needs to end it…..how can I say this to her ?” you are assuming that she wants to hear what you think, and…..does she really?
You can certainly tell her what you think (gently) if she asks for your advice. The problem is, she may not want to hear it, as many people fail to appreciate unsolicited candor.
However, you are well within your rights not to be abused by your roommate. You can say things like, “That was uncalled for,” “I’m not sure what you’re so upset about but surely it isn’t the peanut butter being left out of the frig,” but I would refrain from saying something like,”Every time you have a relationship talk with Tad, you yell at us.” Unless, of course, you have a steelier back bone than I do and more friends to take her place when she leaves in a huff.
I know many people who wouldn’t think twice about saying something like that, and part of me even admires it. It’s just not in my DNA. So I say, tread lightly, be caring and honest, but do not let yourself become her victim. And pray the guy upstairs is 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 once sat inside, staring at a steady downpour (of rain, snow, hail or sleet) and imagined themselves the star of a moody film with a melancholic score in which the heroine holds in her heart the secret to happiness while entertaining the attentions of a dashing swashbuckler.
From the reader response:
Thanks so much for writing in. Your point is well taken! You rightly call me out for assuming that people who do not ask questions when in conversation with someone who is trying to engage with them are narcissists. You point out that they could have social anxiety. I always assumed that I could tell the difference but I do know that some people who seem perfectly comfortable socially, are not. This is a good reminder to think twice. That being said, I happen to know that the people I am related to who do this are just plain narcissistic, just to clarify.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim 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 much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.