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I've been dating an amazing guy for three months. He is kind, considerate, funny, and I'm attracted to him. It took him five dates to ask if he could kiss me. That in itself was perplexing to me. He kept asking me out on romantic dates and it seemed like he wanted to make a move, but just couldn't. Finally I spelled it out-that it seemed as though he liked me, but if he didn't make a move, I would not continue to go on platonic dates. He did at the last second and it was great, we had a little make out session and after that he's been very tactile and affectionate towards me.

 

We then had several weeks of just making out-it was exciting, sometimes he would be shaking just from simple touch. I know it had been a while since he had been with anyone. I wanted to wait a few months before it got too sexual, but by then he was encouraging we should and I really wanted to. It happened around 5 weeks. The first time, he couldn't come. He said sometimes it happened to him when he got too much in his head and was anxious about disappointing me. We tried again and it worked, but the next day I panicked that everything had changed between us and said we should go back to not having sex. He said fine. But then I realized I was overreacting and that I might have made him feel bad.

 

The next time I saw him he asked how long I would make him wait and I said we didn't need to. Since then, we've had sex a few times with varying levels of success. About half the time he is able to come, but I started to feel like I was always the initiator, that it was one-sided. So I stopped trying. I felt really hurt and undesired but kept it to myself.

 

He has only had two serious relationships before in his life. He was married for 14 years to a woman who asked him out, asked him to marry her and basically called all the shots in their life. He said they rarely had sex and for the last 18 months were in separate beds. His other serious relationship was 3 years- with a woman that cheated on him repeatedly and he kept taking her back. These indiscretions were well known by all the people in their social circle so it did a lot of damage to his self esteem and I know there is still bitterness on his part.

 

From the beginning of our relationship he has needed a lot of reassurance from me that I feel the same way. He told me both these previous relationships were basically loveless. That he's never been with an affectionate, sexual woman, that desires him and wants sex and reciprocates his feelings. He says that when he can't come, or last time lost his erection during sex, that he is so scared of screwing things up and losing me that he can't get out of his head.

 

When it happened this last time, a few nights ago, the first time we'd tried to have sex in about 2 weeks, I thought he might cry. He clearly felt terrible about it. But I felt terrible, too. I want him to know that we're in this together, that there is no pressure on him and no time limit. But we haven't talked about it.

 

I read about this issue the day after it happened and the suggestions were: have sex often so it doesn't get built up as something that needs to be earth shattering every time. I've expressed that it's the physical touch and closeness I crave.

 

Another suggestion was ask him to try to be a bad lover, or his idea of it- again to take the pressure off.

 

The other school of thought was- don't mention it. Remain affectionate. Treat all the time as foreplay.

 

Truthfully, it has affected me. I am sexual. Love any physical touch, love kissing, making out and want to be like that every time we see each other. If I could we would have sex all the time. And it feels like he's scared now of disappointing me. Or, maybe it is simply that he no longer desires me and thinks of it like a chore.

 

I know this man is incredibly thoughtful, kind and caring and also affectionate. I know sex isn't everything. But I want a friend, partner and lover.

 

He has shown me in every other way that he wants a future with me. He's introduced me to all his friends and family, we're making future plans, but this is an issue. Ever since it happened and we didn't talk about it, I feel really stressed and less close to him.

 

I just need some advice.

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A lot of guys are hesitant and anxious at the beginning of a relationship, and it just passes as trust is built up and you get accustomed to each other. If he's feeling fragile to begin with then scenarios like this will not help one bit:

We tried again and it worked, but the next day I panicked that everything had changed between us and said we should go back to not having sex.

 

It actually sounds as though you're as anxious as he is, in your own way. You are aware that he has issues in this area, and to feel 'hurt and undesired' doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to move forward from this because you've blown up the sexual side of your relationship to be something so huge it eclipses everything else; even deliberately 'taking the pressure off' is making an issue of it. Just relax and enjoy whatever comes up between you - whether that's enjoying a movie together, going for a walk or whatever. Don't think of it as foreplay, just BE!!!

 

For what it's worth, I had a wonderful physical relationship with a guy many years ago. For the first three months of dating, we didn't do anything more risqué than a peck on the lips, and it took a few goes before the sex really started to take off... but then it really, really did. Not least because trust and friendship had been established, enough to overcome fears carrying over from previous relationships.

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I've had the same sort of problem unable to finish ect. I think it will only get better if the pressure is off. Meaning who cares if he can't finish. Just try again later no big deal. There's I'm sure alot of woman out there that it doesn't happen all the time for them and it's not a huge deal. Practice and enthusiasm go a long way. Maybe just concentrate on him meaning not sex. That takes pleasing you out of his head. Or get him there then have sex. Good luck

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Relax and stop trying to fix him. Your anxiety and resentment and frustration and questioning are certainly making this worse. Are you pleased? So what if he doesn't come? He doesn't have to every time. Don'y play doctor, nurse, therapist, etc.

 

As far as ED, try to create a more relaxed setting. No alcohol no pressure, just a Netflix and chill kind of evening let things go where they go without robotic or purely mechanical demands and talks. Focus on romance and affection and let it flow from there. Stop being so 'clinical'.

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I would tell him to relax, you aren't going anywhere and you can work on this together. You do need to talk about it. It's the elephant in the room. Maybe he can get some Viagra until he settles down and stops worrying he is going to blow it with you. Clearly he likes you. His nerves seem to be getting the best of him.

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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful advice. So, two days after I posted this he enlightened me a little more as to what might be going on for him.

 

A few weeks earlier I had gone home to visit friends and family (I moved to his town about 6 months ago and met him 3 months ago) he told me he thought I was going to tell him I was moving back home when I returned.

 

But here's the main thing: when I got back I went straight from the airport to see him where he was playing at a busy ball tournament. I felt too shy to go on my own and asked my cousin to join me. When we arrived I felt quite anxious. There were a lot of people around, I know nothing about this sport, and almost all of his close friends were there. I knew he'd talked to them about me and this would be the first time meeting any of them.

 

When we showed up he was busy and didn't come over to greet me right away, when he did he hugged me and I guess I gave him what he described as a 'side hug.' My cousin left me on my own there and I then stayed for his entire game and felt quite awkward. I hadn't been introduced to his friends and just sat there not talking to anyone. He asked me a few times if I wanted to leave and told me I could if I wanted to. At the end of the game he hugged me again and he says that when he tried to kiss me I turned away. Honestly I don't remember, it was freezing cold and I was really tired, but definitely it could be true. I then went home and he called me later that evening and said he'd felt worried by my response on our first time seeing each other in over a week. I thought I had reassured him that night, and over the next ten days we were in constant contact and did a lot of fun stuff together. I honestly thought things were fine between us aside from the aforementioned sexual issue.

 

So 11 days after that day at the game, he told me he was still really upset about what happened that day. We talked about it for two hours. The woman that had cheated on him previously and left his self esteem in tatters had basically acted like they were platonic friends in public and any affection was behind closed doors. So I can see how what he perceived as being snubbed by me in front of his friends woud be triggering for him.

 

I felt and still feel devastated that I hurt him, but also kind of confused that it took him 10 days to mention it, during which time he'd acted normal towards me. I apologized and told him I adore him, and he said he felt the same.

 

But this weekend when we went away on a trip together he was all over the place-caring and considerate sometimes, and frankly, a bit mean at other times. When I called him on it he told me he was being standoffish and what had happened that day at the game had been a major turn off for him. He also said he felt like he wasn't being himself with his friends with me around.

 

Fair enough. I came into a large group of close-knit friends this weekend, knowing no one and did my best to be social and relaxed. It went ok, but I was pretty quiet a lot of the time. He also left me alone for hours at a time while he went golfing and fishing. He did ask me if it was okay if he did this, and of course I said yes, but it meant I spent a lot of time on my own.

 

I just wondered if it was worth it. I felt very on edge a lot of the weekend, and no longer felt like we were on the same page at all. I wanted so badly to reach out and be affectionate but was scared of being rejected. That led to sleepless nights and my emotions were very raw. I asked him what can I do for you to make things right between us, and he said he didn't know and was sorry he was being mean to me.

 

I guess I got pretty maudlin by about day three because on one of my many solitary walks I wondered to myself if this was my lot on life-to build up guy's confidence for their next successful relationship. That has definitely happened to me in past heartbreaks, but this relationship felt different. Better.

 

So, I'm wondering I guess, does it seem pointless now? Does it sound from his behaviour towards me like this day at the ball park was a deal breaker for him?

 

Is there any way to go back to how it was before? The way we left it when we came back from the trip today he hugged and kissed me the most he had all weekend, sent me off with a care package of food and asked me what I was doing tomorrow night and when we could see one another next. We've texted back and forth all evening. The man he was before this all started happening is someone I was very close to falling in love with and trusting with my whole heart. Now I just wonder if we can get back to that and how that might be achieved.

 

Would it be better to take some time and space to focus on other aspects of life and get some perspective, or just act 'normal' keep communicating and try to go back to being normal with each other.

 

Any suggestions welcome. I don't want to break up over this if I can help it.

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