Let’s tackle a reader’s question from Formspring:
So, my partner says she does find me “attractive,” but doesn’t ever really get into the mood. I’m not abnormally hasty or anything. She just says that she doesn’t feel it often, although she’s felt it in the past. I feel…bad about myself. What am I to do?
Answer: It's perfectly understandable that you feel confused and slighted. Have there been any changes in her life or her routine that could have precipitated a decrease in her sex drive? Has she switched jobs? Has she been having any health problems? Is there added stress from family obligations, financial issues or a pending move?
I recommend having a heart-to-heart with her about what she needs from you at this time in her life. Some of those needs may be emotional, while others may be functional or sexual. She may be going through something right now that she hasn't felt comfortable sharing with anyone, including you. Or, it could be that she feels like she's at the end of her rope as she juggles life, work and family.
Try not to broach the matter when you’re rushed or expecting to have sex. After you listen to her needs, ask how you can help her. Listen and then, if it seems appropriate, tell her what your needs are in this relationship. How can you both prioritize the other person more? How can you compromise to both feel satisfied emotionally and sexually? Have you been together long enough that it’s time to try to spice up your relationship? (Spicing your relationship up might involve more romance than sex.)
If you can, don't internalize her problems, although that’s easier said than done when you are in a relationship. I hope that if you’re together, you both find the other person attractive and that your connection is stronger than a change in your routine or the other’s appearance.
No one, especially a partner, should do or say anything to make you feel less attractive. Your partner should try to build you up, not the other way around. Hopefully, you will be able to resolve the situation and feel better about yourself. If that's not the case, though, what can you do on your own to better yourself? That might involve going for a promotion at work, joining a gym, taking a class, meditating, or playing a sport. Think of what would make you happy and give that a try.
Please let me know how the conversation goes. And, readers, what advice do you have for this person?