Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceI (25M) may end long term relationship over sex (23F)

I (25M) may end long term relationship over sex (23F)


My girlfriend and I have been dating over 5 years. The first 2 years, the relationship was amazing. She was my first serious girlfriend and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. After that, for the past 2-3 years, our sex life has been awful. I’d say we’ve had sex less than 15 times in 3 years, and that may be on the high end.

We’ve had repeated talks about this. She blames herself, saying its due to her insecurities and possibly past trauma, and nothing to do with me. I’ve been understanding, but it started wearing on me. Over the past year the whole situation has had me very down. I feel that it only gets worse over time. Every time I bring it up, she gets defensive.

The lack of intimacy has made me fall out of love, now even if we could rekindle the intimacy, it would feel forced. We have an amazing friendship and I know she loves me more than anything. It breaks my heart thinking about breaking up with her, but I also know that I’m wasting years of my life being with someone who I am not sexually compatible with.

I really don’t know what to do.

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  1. “The lack of intimacy has made me fall out of love”

    If you don’t love her anymore, end the relationship, you’ll both be happier in the long run, being with people you actually love.

  2. The longer you wait to end things, the more you’ll regret not doing so sooner. I was in a dead bedroom relationship where she eventually left me for someone else. I regret not leaving her over lack of intimacy.

  3. If she hasn’t received counseling to deal with the past trauma, she needs to. Until she deals with it, it will continue to be a roadblock in any relationship she has. It sucks, but I’m speaking from experience.

  4. If you’ve repeatedly tried to talk to her about it and nothing has changed then there really isn’t anything you can do. You could suggest she seek some form of therapy but even then it could take her a long time before her sex drive gets better. If it ever does. Some people really are ok with having very little sex. If thats the case then y’all just aren’t compatible in the bedroom and its better to end it sooner rather than later.

  5. So, I actually just read a book about this written by two marriage counselors who are married. Every one deals with this issue. I’m gonna be honest. It sounds like your issue is more on the extreme end.

    If you feel done, own that and walk away. If you feel like fighting, do so. Open communication is extremely necessary, usually necessitating a therapist as well. What’s your dynamic like? Are you both in this hyper-masculine “getting things done” stage of life, is one of you taking on a parental role over the other, are there power dynamics in your relationship that is hitting a nerve with either of you somewhere?

    Getting past this problem is going to NEED to include open dialogue about the root of the issue. Ask her what it feels like when you have sex, what she thinks about, truly what makes her want to say no. Come to her from a place of love, not fear, and encourage her to do the same. It’s human nature to want to be understood. Seek to understand her before coming at her with “well I want-“. If these conversations don’t flow naturally, try adding a therapist for a mediate to facilitate these tough conversations.

    It’s not easy though, and it’s totally fine to feel like it’s not worth it. If it’s not, be truthful and walk away.

  6. If she won’t get counseling, you should break up. I’ve been there and it took years to undo the damage staying in that relationship caused me. It isn’t worth it.

  7. Just rip the band aid, the sooner the better. I’m sorry about this, I bet you love her but the truth is, she is not willing to work on the problem, so it’ll never get better.

  8. “we have an amazing friendship” so make her a friend.

    Explain to her your need have not been met, you’ve talked about it repeatedly and nothing has changed.

    From now on your relationship is as friends, ,and you will be looking for someone else.

    If you’re not living together, it will be easy. If you are, then you have to stop living together.

    Don’t let her starve you of sex. It’s her right not to have sex if she wants. It’ also your right to find a partner who DOES want sex with you.

  9. I think you do know what to do, as you’ve already said it. It’s just really, really hard to break up with somebody that you still care about.

    You have to do it, though, because the alternative is to stick around until you don’t still care, and you resent each other, and break up on bad terms with years wasted.

    The right thing is to end it now.

  10. I mean it sounds like the relationship is over for you. Your doing yourself and her a major injustice by staying. Being sexually incompatible sounds like a dealbreaker for you. You sound like you care about her, so I would say rip the bandaid off and stop prolonging the inevitable because your only hurting her and yourself more by waiting and continuing on while you are unhappy

  11. I wonder why her insecurities/trauma didn’t affect your sex life the first two years of your relationship, that may be worth speaking about. I also (female) was in a pretty sexless relationship and had these same talks. Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do, and if your partner doesn’t want to address their issues and improve your sex life… I guess you just have to do the hard thing. My ex was my best friend but the level of intimacy wasn’t there, and I knew in the back of my mind he wasn’t the one. I was in denial about this for a long time but eventually I broke up with him. It’s not easy, but I knew our relationship wasn’t what I wanted for myself and my needs.

  12. I’m in a very similar boat. We’re about to hit 6 years next month. First 2-2.5 years were pretty decent. The last 2 years or so has taken a gigantic downhill roll. I can literally count on my 2 hands how many times we’ve been sexually intimate in the last 2 years (most of that being the last 6-8 months) and so much arguing. We’re taking a trip for our 22nd birthdays and anniversary (both birthdays and our anniversary is within 9 days) and idk how to bring it up that I’ve fallen out of love since holidays are right around the corner and that seems like the worst time possible

  13. I don’t really understand why the reasons she gave make sense. If it was great for two years, why would insecurity and trauma all the sudden kick in for the latter 3? Is she doing things to address these issues, such as attending therapy sessions or getting in better shape? Again, it’s a little strange these issues would emerge after years of a healthy sex life.

    It’s certainly not likely to magically get better, so you need to diagnose the actual reason this is happening.

  14. It must be hard for you to imagine breaking things off with her, but you deserve more. You are still learning about yourself and your next relationship will be better for it.

  15. I finally left my marriage, after four years of basically no intimacy at all – a severe decline from the first twelve years. No amount of talking about it helped. Romantic vacations didn’t help. Fell out of love, indeed

  16. You leave. Sex is absolutely a valid reason to end a romantic relationship.

    She has her issues and that’s her responsibility. Sure you want to be supportive but never light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.

    You’ve communicated your needs, offered to help work through it, and been patient with her. She has shown through her actions that progress on this front isn’t important to her.

    It sucks but it seems like you two just aren’t compatible.

  17. I was in your gf’s position and it could also be that you aren’t meeting her needs in some way. My husband and I were in the exact same position. Like, it took me a while to realize why my libido died and why our sex life went to shit. I realized that he wasn’t really expressing love in the way that I desired it and it just made my sex drive die. For me it was also partially insecurities and past traumas, but after we stepped back and reevaluated how we express love to each other and our own desires it got a lot better! It went from maybe every few months to at least once a week, sometimes more. There are still dry spells as we work through this, but it might not be incompatibility.

    I’ve also seen this happen to a lot of women in hetero relationships because romance dies, you love each other, but you might not be showing it the way she desires it. I don’t know anything about your relationship, but if you’ve stopped flirting with her, giving her flowers/surprising her as a reminder that you think about her, wooing her, etc that could be a huge factor. Woman want to feel like you think about them and want them, and there are so many people who find being desired a turn on in and of itself.

    Its up to both of you if you feel like the relationship is something worth working on, because it won’t be easy to figure out and address the issue. All relationships have problems and you will never be fully compatible with someone, but you really have to pick your struggles. This is absolutely something where you really need to look in to yourself and figure out what you need out of a relationship, and that can be a lot of work. If you decide it’s not worth fixing, don’t string her along and tell her it’s over. The longer you wait the harder it will be. You both deserve happy relationships and you both deserve someone that loves you.

  18. Is she doing anything positive to try and fix herself and get her libido back? Because it’s not going to magically fix itself. It’s going to take work and time, and if she’s not motivated enough to get help, you might have your answer.

  19. This is a tough situation and an upsetting reason to break up, but if sex is important to you it isn’t going to work long term. Better to just end it now

  20. If it is trauma related, I hope she gets help. She might be feeling pressure, guilty like you mentioned, and doesn’t know how to cope. Maybe something you could look into is responsive desire and how to initiate intimacy with no intention of sex. It could help strengthen that bond and start to bring you two into a closer and safe space

  21. Is she going to therapy? Insecurity and trauma can absolutely lead to a dead bedroom, and it’s not her fault it’s affecting her sex drive. However, she does need to be actively working towards helping herself, ideally with your full support.

  22. I am the girlfriend in this case. I’ve had a marvelous relationship with a guy who I deeply love. We’ll make 5 years in January. All things in our relationship make me feel secure and comforted. I would be willing to spend the rest of my life next to this amazing person who is almost everything I want in a lifetime partner. The sad thing is that everyday it has became more difficult for me to engage in sexual activities with him. I normally feel so obligated to just play my role but most of of the time I avoid it. I’m not really sure what the problem is. This started by the beginning of the pandemic and also the beginning of many issues with depression and anxiety. Still, I torment myself constantly wondering if it’s possible that I just don’t feel attracted to him anymore. I love being with him, I love the idea of living together but the pressure of having sex is just too much sometimes. I live in fear that he may end up getting tired of the situation and deciding to end our relationship or, worst, seeking relief on another women outside. All in all, I’m just hoping we can rekindle things as they were before the pandemic, when we couldn’t get our hands off of each other or at least a point where I can feel we reached balance.

  23. For a woman to go from having a lot of sex to barely any means there’s something wrong in the relationship that isn’t making her happy. But 5 years and no marriage is probably the one doing it.

  24. I don’t know man, if you’re having these type of issues this young the future doesn’t look bright.

    That being said relationships take work. What have you guys actually done to fix it? Mentioning it from time to time isn’t a real action. If you think this relationship is worth trying to fix I would put some effort into it. Counseling etc. But if it’s not fixable you absolutely have to move on.

  25. Yes- you do know what to do. You just want someone to tell you it’s ok, and it is. You deserve to be happy, and feel wanted and loved. You’re allowed to walk away when a relationship no longer meets your needs, and you have a responsibility to do so, for both your sake, if you know you don’t love them anymore.

  26. I was in a similar situation and the relationship ended. I talked her a lot about our lacking sex life and it never improved. I began to resent her and fall out of love.

    Ironically, she ended up cheating on me and marrying the person she cheated on me with.

    I will say one thing looking back on how everything went, I’m not saying the relationship would have worked out, but as a male we covet sex but women want the intimacy to feel closer to their partner before having sex. She never really mentioned this to me when we talked, but I definitely let a lot of things slip, I should have held her hand all the time, cuddled, made her dinner, surprised her with flowers, the little stuff women crave and maybe that intimacy would have then led to better sex life.

    Next relationship I was in I did prioritize those things for her and we had an amazing sex life all the time.

    Who knows if our relationship would have been different, I blamed her for lack of sex but I never made a very good effort to do all the little things to improve the intimacy for her that wasn’t sexual.

    Just a thought, but I’ve been there, the lack of sex life is brutal. We were probably once a month at best and it was basically planned and scheduled.

  27. You said the first 2 years were amazing. Just to clarify, did you mean sexually as well? I just don’t see how the sex could be so good for the first two years and then all of a sudden insecurities arise from past trauma and it stops. I understand that past trauma can actually arise randomly with certain triggers, so I am not saying that this can’t occur or that someone can’t become depressed out of no where. But it’s kind of strange to me. I am not judging her trauma or whatever happened to her, I just find it weird that all of a sudden it slowed and eventually stopped your sex life altogether.

    I was with someone for four years and I never stopped wanting sex. It was actually my boyfriend at the time whom kept insisting I wanted too much sex. At that point in time I felt like he was denying me more often than not. For better context we only saw eachother in an intimate setting maybe once or twice a week. We did not live together and other than that, we were out and about going places. When he would drive me home to drop me off I would always try to get frisky in the car since I hadn’t had any physical contact with him for days. He was always working and specifically chose night shifts so then in the day time he was sleeping. None of it made any sense until the end when he finally ended the relationship because he was seeing someone else. For how long he was seeing her before he ended the relationship, I’ll never know. It just goes to show you that I should’ve ended it with him sooner myself, because he wasn’t giving me the physical attention I needed.

  28. I don’t want to jump on the train and say dump her bit I’d have a sit down w her and have a serious conversation about her mental health. She needs counseling or therapy and should have a long while ago, if it’s effective your relationship this much it won’t be any different for her future relationships.
    I understand how being sexually compatible is a big deal so I’d say talk to her, if she’s willing to try it may save things but if not I say end it. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to get help and the longer you stay the more you’ll regret not leaving sooner like others have said

  29. I was in a similar situation. Relationship of 3-4 years, we moved in together. Sex was normal in terms of occurrence but I turned 21 and wanted to go hang out with people and be social (this was bug for me because I’ve always felt socially awkward) amd she was a family/homebody. I didn’t find joy in the relationship anymore although I still loved her immensely. The love was mutual but it felt more like friendship on my end. Did a lot of hard thinking and realized I wasn’t truly happy for various reasons. I also realized it wasn’t fair towards her for me to stay in the relationship if we didn’t want the same things anymore. So we sat down and had a talk and ended it amicably for the most part but man did it hurt and suck. I realized the meaning of “if you love them, let them go” that night. I can say we’re both in better positions in life several years later.

    OP, if you’re truly not in love with your partner anymore then you need to leave/end things because it’s not fair to either of you.

  30. Talk to her.

    5 years is a long amount of time invested in someone to just let go over a potential lack of sexual motivation. You clearly still care for her, so it may just be that you two need to really lay your feelings out on the table and be honest with each other.

    I (25F) was the partner that really lost their sex drive in my relationship at around the 4/5 year mark. My partner sat me down and told me that sex was incredibly important to him and he felt like he was falling out of love with me because I was constantly focused on my anxiety and not allowing him to present me with solutions in adult, calm conversations. I always got defensive every time he tried to help me and pushed him away.

    We eventually sought counselling and I started taking medication for my anxiety which ultimately gave me energy and strength to properly restore my sex drive. (Edit from here) I also started exercising which really helped my libido, but I think a lot of it came from starting over in a way and reconnecting with my partner like we did when we first started dating.

    Talk about your love languages, talk about what made you fall in love in the first place. It sounds like you’re both on different wavelengths so it’s going to take work from both of you to get back into the same rhythm. Make sure she’s aware of where this is all coming from and be clear that you still care and want to try and make things work.

    Sometimes all it takes is a bit of a wake up call.

    Best of luck and my DMs are open if you need a further chat 🙂

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