How Important Is Sex

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Greetings, Dr. Darcy:

For almost one year, I have been getting to know a lovely man who resides on another continent…  In the midst of getting to know [him] and recognizing that this is taking me onto a path of love, I find myself feeling sad about a couple of problems:

He has a problem with sex.  We have had sex one time and messed around when I saw him last, but he says he does not enjoy sex in general… He was very honest with me about this problem and explained that since his last boyfriend died, it has more or less been this way - and this is where the second concern pops up.  Apparently, I remind him of his deceased boyfriend, who tragically died of a drug overdose after discovering his boyfriend had cheated on him (which I was also informed of early on).  Yes, the guy I am seeing now cheated, which resulted in his boyfriend taking too many drugs and killing himself…

While he does not go on and on about how I remind him of his dead lover, which initially was more of an odd coincidence in my mind, I also admit that I do look a lot like this guy, and when I fist saw a picture of him I had chills.  He says that he knows that I want to have sex with him and that it is okay, that he wishes it were different, and that he hopes that someday he will not feel this way…

Sex is not a super-important thing for me like it was in my 20's, and the emotional and supportive elements of my relationship with this man are great.  However, like any man, I want sex -at least on occasion.  We share intimacy in other ways, but still it is not the same.

I would like to discover if there is more between us, but I also wonder if I should just back out now before I am hurt, or he is hurt, and if there is anything I can do to help him with this problem.  I feel like being patient has misled him, especially if I just end it outright.

What do you think about all this?

ANSWER

I think that if you’re comfortable being in a relationship that doesn’t include sex, than this relationship has a chance of working. If, however, you’re dating this guy in the hopes that he’ll change, you’re in trouble.

People don’t change, generally speaking. Not unless they themselves have a problem with the status quo. Your guy doesn’t sound like he has a huge problem with not having sex. And although you may not want sex as much as you did in your 20’s, you still want it. And that’s going to pose a problem in this relationship.

You’ve picked a guy who lives on a different continent. Under the best of circumstances, your geography isn’t lending itself to a wild sex life. So it seems that from the get go, you have a roadblock to sexual intimacy. Add to the equation the fact that your partner doesn’t enjoy sex, and I don’t see how this story is changing to include a different ending than the present day one.

It would stand you in good stead to ponder why you are attracted to someone who is unable to fully meet your needs. There’s a reason why we’re attracted to and attracting the people in our lives. Usually it has to do with a core childhood wound that we’ve not yet healed. You can dump the guy, but you’ll still be left with you, and until you heal the wound that caused you to pick this man, you’ll continue to find yourself in relationships that in one way or another, fail to meet your needs.

Writer’s Stats: Male, Gay.