My sex drive is back

Good morning. I'm still looking for updates. If you're a former letter writer, send us an update and let us know how it all worked out. You can email your update to meregoldstein at gmail dot com. Put "update" in the subject line and use or include your original email address so we know it's you.

I am in my early 50s. About four years ago, I met a guy (we'll call him John) through online dating. He's a really wonderful guy — something I never thought I'd find at this age. We have been through a lot together, including the deaths of our parents. Shortly after we began dating, menopause hit. My sex drive completely disappeared, which, if you knew me, you would never believe for a second. I used to be by far the most sexually active woman I knew. I had a great time.

Not only did my sex drive disappear, sex itself became painful. We tried various solutions to these problems, including talking to doctors, my going on hormone replacement, and switching some medications that could impair sex drive. We tried all sorts of activities to get me in the mood but it just never happened. Reluctantly, I told him he should start dating other women because I could not give him the complete relationship he wanted and deserved. Just as reluctantly, he began dating others, though nothing has ever come from those attempts.

We continued to hang out as friends and spend a fair amount of time together. We get along well and have developed a lot of things in common and enjoy each other's company. Recently, within the past few months or so, I have felt my sex drive come roaring back. The problem is that I am not remotely attracted to John anymore. I have so thoroughly put him in the friendzone that the thought of even kissing him is revolting. There is a much younger guy at my gym who hits on me almost daily and I find myself fantasizing about him constantly. He would be nothing more than a slumpbuster, but I just can't bring myself to do anything because of John. I know John would love to have a whole relationship with me and he would be devastated if I started sleeping with or dating someone else. Now that my sex drive is back, I want to start dating again and look for a relationship. What can I do about John without hurting him? I care for him so much as a friend that if it came down to hurting him or not dating, I wouldn't date. Can you help?

— Wanting the Wrong Guy

"I want to start dating again and look for a relationship." "... if it came down to hurting him or not dating I wouldn't date."

Those are some conflicting statements, my friend. My guess is that the first one is more honest than the second.

It's time to be honest with John, even if it means hurting him and losing the friendship. You have to tell him that you want to date other people. You must explain that while you still care for him, your relationship is no longer romantic, at least on your end. Let him know that you both need space to pursue other opportunities, because as it stands, you're in each other's way.

This is going to be difficult for both of you, but it can't go on like this. You should be able to bust your slump, and he should be able to focus all of his attention on someone who isn't revolted by his kisses.

Readers? Can she keep John in her life? Slumpbuster?

— Meredith