How Can I Get My Boyfriend to Understand I Love Him But Don’t Always Want to Have Sex?

How Can I Get My Boyfriend to Understand I Love Him But Don’t Always Want to Have Sex

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 3 years. I’m 28 and he’s 26. We’re moving in together next month, will be living together for a year, and then I’ll be sent away to serve as a medical professional in the Navy. I have concerns about not being able to fulfill his sexual appetite now, and more so when I’m away.

In these past 3 years we have seen each other consistently about 3-5 days a week, and we live close to each other. There are only a handful of times I can remember where we got together and didn’t have sex. However, I feel like our sex drives are completely out of sync. He wants to have sex or have me satisfy him every time we see each other, and I just can’t seem to keep up with him and get in the mood myself. Regardless, I please him almost every time we see each other to keep him satisfied, but it can be difficult after my longer days of work. I’m completely exhausted and on top of that I feel the pressure to satisfy him. I never fake sex or pleasure, and there are times where he is disappointed that I’m just not into it. He makes me feel bad that I couldn’t at least pretend to enjoy it.

I finally worked up the guts to have what I felt was an awkward conversation about our sex life about 6 months ago. I explained that I find him so attractive, and that I think we have a great sex life, but that we have different sex drives and it’s tough for me to get in the mood at times. I also told him that it feels like the focus of our relationship is sex and not so much the things that are important to me, which is another reason I may not be as aroused. We agreed that I’ll be more open with him, and let him know when I’m not in the mood, and he’s going to try harder to fulfill my needs.

Since then he has romanced me a little more, which has resulted in a little more passion from me, but I’m still feeling the mismatch when it comes to sex. I’ve been more vocal telling him when I’m tired. So now instead of cutting to the chase, he’ll ask me if I mind if he touches himself, and I respond of course not. Then he’ll ask if he can touch me, and again I have no problem with that. This always leads to him asking if I could touch him, and it’s as if he either forgot or didn’t care that I just said I was tired. I don’t want to reject his request so I do, but I’m completely annoyed that he just doesn’t understand.

I genuinely feel that he loves me and values having me in his life, and he talks about our future all the time. But I’ve been close to tears in frustration feeling like my main purpose is to keep him sexually satisfied, and that it’s the only reason why he makes the effort to spend time with me. Well… I know that’s the main reason any guy puts effort into seeing their girl, but is it too much to ask that we spend the day together and he doesn’t try anything at the end? I don’t want to beat a dead horse by continuing to have these conversations with him, but I also don’t think he really understands what I’m feeling.

I badly want to keep him happy, but I feel like I’m not going to be enough for him if we tone things down, especially when I leave for the Navy and only see each other a couple times a month. What can be a happy compromise for both of us?


I don’t like the way this sounds, Ashley.

This is not to suggest that he’s a bad guy, per se, only to acknowledge what you wrote yourself:
“I’m still feeling the mismatch when it comes to sex.”

And, like I’ve written on many occasions, anything that you choose to be a dealbreaker is a dealbreaker.

For some people, it’s religion. For others, it’s money. For others, it’s height.

Neither of you really wants to make the “happy compromise” that it will take to make your relationship work.

For you, it may be incompatible sex drives.

Listen, it sounds like you’re mature for your age, and you’re handling this about as well as you can. You’ve voiced your feelings. He heard you and made a sort of attempt to appease you. But he wants what he wants. You want what you want. And neither of you really wants to make the “happy compromise” that it will take to make your relationship work. You each want the other person to compromise on your behalf. That’s not terribly surprising, but if you can’t agree on a mutually agreeable solution, there’s nothing that you can really do to salvage things.

Sorry if that sounds like a gloomy diagnosis — I know I’m working off limited information. But if I’m a guy with a high sex drive, who can’t really accept no for an answer, and then my girlfriend is leaving for a military tour of duty? I’m probably not content with that solution. I’m turning to porn first and eventually either insisting that you move back home, looking for another sexual outlet, or breaking up with you. Even if I’m wrong about all of the above, you’re still stuck in the same place — a stalemate between your needs and his needs.

Rest assured that most men’s desires taper off to a more reasonable level over time.

I’m more like you and I’m sympathetic to your more moderate drive, but unless

    a. You can keep up this every-night performance for the rest of your life or…
    b. He can take no for an answer sometimes, and be content with his own hand from time to time…

You’re facing a serious incompatibility problem, no different than when one person wants kids and the other doesn’t. I would have a very serious problem-solving heart-to-heart with him and openly discuss the possible points of compromise.

If they can’t be bridged, you can rest assured that most men’s desires taper off to a more reasonable level over time. Good luck.

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  1. 21

    Is everyone else missing that she just doesn’t want to tell him no?   She’s trained him that “I’m tired.” means, “I need a slower approach- first, ask to touch yourself…”   Based on that, he seems really trainable…

    Before all this worry about him being demanding or having a much higher sex drive, maybe just try actually saying no and then…not.   It may not even be a big issue to him, it could be like potato chips to him- sometimes you really want them, but sometimes you’ll eat a few just because they’re there and hey! chips!   Stop worrying about making him happy to the point of making yourself unhappy- that should solve both your immediate AND any long term problem.

  2. 22

    An ex was the same. Nice guy that pushed for sex. Even down to the ‘can I me/you etc’ schtick. I left him in the end.

    It’s not the sex misnatch. It’s that he pushes and pushes and pushes until you give in. He whined his way to sex. That’s consent enough for him. Then he gets pouty when you arent into it. Or he gets pouty when you say no. He’s being selfish and pursuing sex instead of you. It takes a good level of jerkiness to rob someone of a good night’s sleep as well.

    Women tend   to make plans to leave relationships and that sounds like what you’re doing. But why wait? It’s much more freeing to send him on his way now. Do you really think you’ll enjoy running with him when he’s going to sulk for sex after the race? You’d enjoy it more if you were happy and not burdened with this guy demanding sex the next few months.



  3. 23

    The 5 languages of love.   They aren’t aware or speaking the same language.

  4. 24
    Cara Chase

    As a woman with a higher than average sex drive, I just had to chime in.

    I’m now 47, and have always been that partner that was happy to be intimate daily, 2-3 times in a row (unless a guy is really good a prolonging it an hour or so, then one time is good)

    My 18 year marriage to the father of my children was mostly torture in the intimacy department. Before we were married, he was very willing to match my pace. (22-24) Then, shortly after marriage he turned to porn.   Addict? I don’t know.   Gradually he lost all interest in “normal fun vigorous non painful sex”. I’m not going to elaborate, but by around 10 years of marriage we were down to 3-4x a year, and if it didn’t hurt or degrade me, he didn’t enjoy it.

    Finally, 18 years, we ended it.

    Finally, 5 years later, I’ve found a man who is more matched to me in most areas. My drive hasn’t decreased, though I’ve learned to do without and be ok – I’ve matured! Men mature too.

    And, someone commented about a woman being responsible for her own orgasm.   In my experience, that’s really only necessary if you are having sex with a selfish man.   Yes, you should know what you like, and be able to help him, but a man who is truly giving in bed is going to try to do what it takes to get you there first, before getting his own. It’s just not as enjoyable if you are focused on your own satisfaction.

  5. 25

    For people with mismatched sex drives, there is a trick to determine if a compatible compromise can be found.

    The person with the higher sex drive states the minimum amount of times per month he/she would like sex.   The person with the lower sex drive states the maximum of amount of times per month he/she would like sex.

    If the numbers overlap, then a compatible compromise can be found.

    A workable compromise would be:

    Higher sex driver partner Minimum times per month:   10

    Lower sex driver partner Maximum times per month: 15

    If the numbers were reversed where the higher sex drive partner wants it a minimum of 15 times a month, while the lower sex drive partner wants it a maximum of 10 times a month, then there is unlikely to a compromise where both parties will be satisfied.

  6. 26
    sandra adjei

    my guy only have sex with me only when am asleep….making me angry always. my friends says sex is the most sweetest thing in this world but I dont feel the same maybe I haven’t met my true love. hmmm …what bothers me most is we don’t play romance….got on top of me whenever am asleep ……put his small thing in my vag….after being satisfied ….leave me and sleep.

  7. 27

    This sounds like a situation where the man wants sex but doesn’t want to do the work of seducing and pleasing his woman. He doesn’t get off on pleasing you and doesn’t care that you need more to get excited. He’s a selfish lover. Find yourself a man who will worship you in the bedroom. Not only will you want sex more, you will like it and you will have many orgasms to prove it. I always had a high sex drive, but then I dated men who didn’t care to please me and it dropped immensely. I’ve been with an alpha male (not a bad alpha, the great kind of alpha) who’s pleasure comes as a result of mine, who is a selfless lover and it’s the most incredible thing.. to have a man who cares, very deeply, to please me. I’m ready to go with him anytime. It’s magical. Find yourself a higher quality man.

  8. 28

    I have a similar sex drive situation, and I don’t know what to do. On top of it, he finds things to say to hurt me when I don’t want to.

  9. 29

    My partner is 21 soon and I’m 25 and he just wants sex constantly and trying to touch me wether I’m awake or asleep, I say no and he says “it’s okay relax”.

    He just doesn’t grasp it or get that I don’t want it constantly. I’ve tried telling him I love him but don’t want it all the time and not to mention I’ve not long come out of hospital with IIH I’m not well as it is. It’s got that bad between us where he keeps trying that I’ve actually kicked him out of the bed and put him in a fold up bed on the floor. I wake up during night to him touching me or kissing me whilst I’m asleep.

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