I have been with my girlfriend for a year and a half and there’s a huge difference in our sex drives. Even when we finally get down to it, she often does it just to “tick the box”. She says we don’t often connect and that puts her off, but it’s been like that since the beginning. I am ready to start accepting that we are not sexually compatible, but that makes me feel really unhappy in this relationship.

This reminds me of a classic cartoon in which a demonstrating group of women hold placards saying: “No love? – No sex!” while an opposing male group displays “No sex? – No love!” This common discrepancy in priorities frequently leads to a relationship impasse, as it has done in your case.

People gravitate towards – and remain in – unsatisfying relationships for a number of reasons. Sometimes this goes back to low expectations established in childhood, perhaps through parental modelling of a miserable pairing. Sometimes it is low self-esteem that leads a person to expect less that they deserve.

Think carefully about what might be your true, specific reasons for tolerating this status quo – and perhaps venture to inquire about hers. What does each of you bring to the relationship that is considered more important than intimacy? Could that last for both of you? There are successful non-intimate relationships, but is that what you really want? If not, move on.

This article titled “My girlfriend and I have hugely different sex drives” was written by Pamela Stephenson Connolly, for The Guardian on Monday 14th September 2015 07.00 UTC

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