Q. My boyfriend and I have been together about two years and recently moved in together. He’s a warm, affectionate, good-natured guy, and I feel completely comfortable around him. But here’s the problem: he’s not very physically attracted to me. I think it’s a combination of him not having a high sex drive and me not being his physical “type.” He’s not repulsed by me, but also doesn’t make comments or get excited when I’m undressed. Don’t get me wrong, he cuddles a lot and shows tenderness, but there are no fireworks. I consider myself confident and I’m very satisfied with my body. Physical attraction was never a problem in past relationships, but I also acknowledge that I’d never experienced true love before my current relationship.
We’ve had conversations about it in the past, and I’ve felt better afterward. But is this something I can live with forever? If we get married, will I resent him for it? How vital is this aspect of the relationship?
NO FIREWORKS, BOSTON
A. I want to start by saying that when you’ve been with someone for two years, you’re not always going to get aroused when they take their clothes off. After a while, nudity becomes routine. If he likes touching you, he’s attracted to you, I promise.
But in your case, sex just isn’t as important to him as it is to you, and it sounds like that’s been a problem since the start of the relationship. You’re writing to us after the move-in, which means that cohabitation has only made this worse.
You need to tell him where you are with this. It shouldn’t be a conversation about his attraction for you (you’ve already had that chat). It’s time to discuss your desires. How often do you want to be intimate? What do you like about your sex life? What would you like to do more often? The talk should be a little bit sexy.
If this doesn’t improve after an upbeat discussion, you have to think about forever. Attraction is vital. You guys are building a foundation for the future, and if it’s a shaky one, this just won’t work.
Don’t project your insecurities onto him. If anything were turning him off, that’s probably it.
12 ANGRY PORKSHOPS
You claim you have talked this out with him in the past, and after each conversation, you feel better. Uh, no, you don’t. This issue is eating away at you and is eating away at the foundation of your relationship.
You seem insecure even though you say you are comfortable with your body. Figure out if this is you being insecure or him really not being attracted to you. I can’t tell from the letter.
I don’t believe for two seconds he has said to her “I’m not repulsed by you; I have low sex drive, and you’re not my type.” No, she thought that.
If you go to a restaurant for lunch for two years and the food is getting worse do you then decide to go there for lunch and dinner? Think about it and get yourself free.
BZZNINACIRCLEColumn and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.