She makes a big deal about do­ing some­thing sexy Sex ad­vice with Suzi God­son

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - Send your queries to suzigod­[email protected]

My girl­friend of four years makes it re­ally clear when she’s do­ing some­thing that’s “just for me”. She does it when it’s some­thing sex­ual, even if it’s just putting on sexy un­der­wear. I’ve tried to dis­cuss it but she didn’t seem to get it. Should I just be grate­ful, even when she’s mak­ing a song and dance about her ‘gen­eros­ity’?

>> You are clearly not pleased about it, so I don’t re­ally think you can ig­nore it. When you were in the first flush of ro­mance, her an­nounce­ments prob­a­bly seemed like an adorable quirk, but now that has passed, be­hav­iours that you pre­vi­ously in­ter­preted as cute or idio­syn­cratic be­come down­right ir­ri­tat­ing.

This may ap­ply to all sorts of small, but none­the­less aver­sive be­hav­iours: the way he eats with his mouth open; the way she talks too loudly on the phone; the way he never fills the car with petrol; how she al­ways has a more ex­treme ver­sion of what­ever ail­ment you com­plain about . . . I could keep that one go­ing for the en­tire col­umn.

Some of these be­hav­iours can be over­looked, but when you start to

feel ir­ri­tated about is­sues re­lat­ing to sex, you are in se­ri­ous trou­ble. If this is hap­pen­ing, it is a clear in­di­ca­tion that the rose-coloured glasses have come off. It presents a

sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge be­cause your part­ner hasn’t changed, but your opin­ion of her has. When the glass was half-full, you were tit­il­lated when she dressed up in sexy un­der­wear and told you that it was “just for you”.

Now that the glass is half-empty, it feels like the sex­ual equiv­a­lent of virtue sig­nalling. She broad­casts the ef­fort she makes to please you to put her­self on a pedestal.

It’s an odd mix of need­i­ness and at­ten­tion-seek­ing, but you might be a lit­tle less cyn­i­cal about her mo­ti­va­tions if you un­der­stood them a bit more. Why does she feel the need to make it re­ally clear when she is do­ing some­thing just for you? Is it a form of con­trol? Does she like the sense that you are in­debted to her? Is it nar­cis­sism or in­se­cu­rity? Is she an ex­hi­bi­tion­ist? Did a pre­vi­ous part­ner get off on it? I don’t know the right an­swer, and sur­pris­ingly, after a four-year re­la­tion­ship with her, nor do you, which sug­gests to me that the two of you don’t re­ally know each other very well.

Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the lifeblood of any ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. I know you have tried to talk to her about this is­sue, but how did you ap­proach it and are you sure you were ex­plicit enough? When you have a dif­fi­cult or sen­si­tive mes­sage to con­vey, ex­ces­sive po­lite­ness can of­ten end up mask­ing the di­rect mes­sage and caus­ing more mis­un­der­stand­ing.

For ex­am­ple, if you said, “You re­ally don’t have to dress up in sexy un­der­wear for me,” it could eas­ily be read as a form of in­verted grat­i­tude. When this sen­ti­ment is re­phrased as, “I don’t like the way you say that you dress up in sexy un­der­wear for me. It puts pres­sure on me and turns me off sex,” it is much more dif­fi­cult to mis­in­ter­pret.

Although speak­ing plainly of­ten pushes us out of our com­fort zone, in sit­u­a­tions like this it is best to be as straight­for­ward as pos­si­ble. After all, if after four years you can­not have a straight­for­ward con­ver­sa­tion, it may be time to ques­tion whether this is the right re­la­tion­ship for you both.

“Be­hav­iours that you pre­vi­ously in­ter­preted as cute or idio­syn­cratic be­come down­right ir­ri­tat­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.