Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE -

We have been to­gether for seven years now. It’s such a cliche but I fear the itch is form­ing in my part­ner as he seems to have pulled away.

When I try to talk to him about this, the only thing he has said is that I used to be so ro­man­tic and the ro­mance seems to have dis­ap­peared be­tween us. He as­sures me he is not in­ter­ested in some­one else, but I fear he’s ly­ing.

Last night when I tried again to seek re­as­sur­ance, he yelled at me that he was not un­faith­ful, that he has taken our vows of monogamy se­ri­ously, but if I didn’t stop go­ing on about this I was go­ing to drive him away. Is this just an ex­cuse? I love him so much but he’s far bet­ter look­ing than me so maybe I can’t blame him for look­ing else­where. Well, it could be an ex­cuse but, equally – if not more pos­si­ble – it may be that this is ex­actly as he has told you. The two of you, like so many cou­ples, may well have let ro­mance slide, lead­ing to the loss of one of your pre­cious forms of in­ti­macy. Sens­ing that loss and dis­tance, you have be­come anx­ious about los­ing your loved one. Then, rather than take con­struc­tive ac­tion, you’ve de­scended into re­as­sur­ance-seek­ing, which most peo­ple find off-putting af­ter the first in­stance.

Re­new­ing close­ness is a shared re­spon­si­bil­ity, but build­ing or re­build­ing your con­fi­dence is your task and re­quires you treat­ing your­self ex­actly as you would your best friend.

I’d en­cour­age you both to res­ur­rect ro­mance in your daily life. No need for dra­matic ges­tures or can­dlelit din­ners – un­less that’s your style – but think back to what you did in the early months and years; per­haps you shared love notes or cards, small gifts and thought­ful ges­tures. Don’t let those go.

Af­fec­tion re­mains im­por­tant through the life­span. Make sure that your touch is non-sex­ual some­times; a hug that does not be­come a grind but ex­presses your love, a kiss on the neck, a squeeze on the arm or ca­ress on the face.

All of th­ese can and should be part of daily life, as can a text or deep eye con­tact to say: “I love you.” It’s es­sen­tial that none of th­ese come with strings at­tached from you or they de­scend into more re­as­sur­ance-seek­ing.

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