I have been dating my boyfriend for almost three years and he is fantastic. We are both in our mid 20s and have been living together for a few months near Boston. He truly inspires me to be a better person, is always there for me, and I think we make a great team. However, our sex life could use some help.
In the beginning of our relationship, the sex was good and happened fairly often. It was never mind-blowing, but I was never unhappy. Now (and this started before we lived together) the sex is still decent when it happens, but it happens less often. It also takes a lot more for me to get in the mood. My fear originally was that I was no longer sexually attracted to him, but I've noticed it is harder to get turned on even when I am alone. I cannot figure out what is at the core of the problem. Why is it so hard for me to get into it? It is making me doubt our entire relationship.
When I think back to the beginning, I now think, "Well, I guess we never had a lot of chemistry early on," or "Maybe we don't click as well as we should." Is there something wrong with our relationship? Or am I looking for excuses for something good to fail out of fear of something? I love him and I want to be with him. But I keep thinking, "Shouldn't the sex be easier?" or "How is this supposed to last long term if our sex life seems already on the decline?"
He is beginning to notice and fear that I am no longer attracted to him, and it is breaking my heart to see him upset. If this is just something that happens over time in every relationship, how does anyone ever stay satisfied in long-term relationships? Should I be looking for someone who I am more compatible with, or am I just a grass-is-always-greener person who will never be satisfied? Am I trying to live up to some imaginary standard of what sex/love/relationships are? I'm starting to think that this would happen with anyone and that I'm not meant to be with one person forever.
– Always confused
The possible lack of chemistry at the start of your relationship is a concern. In long-term relationships, it helps to be able to remember how excited you were about your partner in the beginning. You've focused on the negative in this letter, but can you spend some time thinking about why you were drawn to your boyfriend in the first place? What about him turned you on? What was different about the rest of your life back then? Was there less stress? More sleep? Consider all of the variables.
While you focus on those questions, make time to see your doctor about your sex drive. You've made it clear that this is an issue when you're alone. It would help to quiz a medical professional about this kind of decline.
Also sign up for some therapy. It's very possible that you're just not as into your boyfriend as you should be, but it doesn't sound like you're sure about much right now. You asked eight big questions in your letter. You should give yourself the time and space to find some answers.
Readers? Is this a normal issue for a three-year-old relationship?