Q My boyfriend and I have been together for two and a half years now and although we are still in love, I am having a lot of doubts about our future.
I am 33 years old and came out when I met my boyfriend. Obviously I experimented with men before taking the step to come out, but overall my experience is fairly limited. I fell madly in love with him and we started a relationship that has been pretty great. He’s older than me, 46, and has far more experience than me including a 14 year relationship that was open its last 4 years and then ended in a bad divorce.
We met about three years after his partner left him and we started dating exclusively immediately. It was a whirlwind the first year. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other and were constantly chatting and spending as much time as possible together.
After about a year, his interest in sex with me slowed down, and I am now the constant instigator when I want to get physical. Another complication is that shortly after we started dating, we started running into guys he had slept with around town. At first it was one guy here and there. Then he told me about his close friend that he dated for a year and last night he told me about another mutual friend that he had hooked up with a couple times before we met. All these things happened before we met and I know he has no desire to do it again, but I can’t help but feel like he’s had an opportunity to explore and I haven’t. Plus, it’s difficult for me to talk to these friends and not think about the things they did together.
If our sex life was better and I felt like he wanted me more often, then this might not be an issue. I’m very confused about what is happening and what I’m feeling. Part of me thinks he is “sexed out” from his previous experience and is fine going months without touching me.
Another part of me thinks it might just be his age and weight gain that has caused his libido to drop. And the rest of me thinks it’s my jealousy or curiosity for not having the experimentation he did.
I’m not sure how to address these issues with him anymore. He has slept with a lot of people in his life, so we are going to run into them.
When I tell him I want to have sex more often he says I shouldn’t associate how much he loves me with sex (which is not the issue). There are so many questions and doubts in my mind that I’m all over the place when we start discussing the issues. I don’t want to open our relationship because I believe that will cause more issues, and he agrees.
What can I do to work through this issue? Is it something I will eventually get over, or do we need to breakup to give me the chance to get more experience of myown?
Is his lack of interest more to do with his experience, his age or his weight?
I’m really lost and frustrated, please help.
A Dear Jacob
The key question to ask is, do you want to be in a relationship with him? Can you imagine living your life without him in it? If you can, then you have already made your decision.
Sleeping around is something many guys do. It’s not glamorous, nor is it the “have to do” thing, even though some guys think it’s an essential part of dating and being single. You don’t have to go down that route if you don’t want to. Keep your integrity and self-respect: stay true to your character and convictions.
When you are in a relationship, the sex and physicality is a big component. However, this does pare down a little as time goes on. It’s only natural, so don’t feel that it’s a snub against you. Age and your partner’s physical condition may also be a factor as well.
Your partner has much greater sexual experience than you. His past open relationship and being older does mean he’s racked up move sexual encounters than you, and yes, gay men do often stay friendly with former sex partners. I know at my wedding to my husband, we invited many friends, some of whom we’d had relations with. The gay world is very small, and bumping into ex’s is quite a common thing and unavoidable — unless you move to a completely different geographic area, and even then you may bump into someone! This is just an uncomfortable fact of our reality — unless you marry someone who has remained celibate his entire life — and you may just have to learn not to be threatened by them.
Ultimately the decision is up to you with what you do. It’s your call. If upping the sex in the relationship will alter things, then perhaps install a date night, where the two of you do something romantic together once or twice a week. Begin the “courting” process all over again. Romance each other. This may help ignite your relationship.
Discuss these feelings again with your partner. Give him a chance to meet you half-way. Then at least if you do decide to end it, you will have honestly shared your concerns with him and explored every opportunity to save the relationship beforehand.
If you have a relationship or dating question contact us by emailing hello@GayDatingExpert.co.uk
JONATHAN WELFORD heads up GayDatingExpert.com, a relationship and dating coaching practice. He was awarded the accolade of being one of the top 10 Gay Relationship Bloggers for 2013. He writes gay agony uncle columns for numerous publications in both the UK and USA, and is also a regular columnist for DatingAdvice.com. He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.