Like any great love story, it all happened very fast. We met, went on romantic dinner dates, met friends and family and fell in love within a month. The haze of the first few weeks of dating can be so blinding to any red flags. A little awkward and anxious? Cute. Still living at home? Adulting is hard! Not instigating sex? So respectful! Or, so I thought.
Despite all this, though, there was something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on, but something didn’t feel quite right.
We discussed our feelings towards sex early on. What we enjoyed, what we didn’t and what we were expecting from the other. I told him that while yes, I enjoyed it, for me it was more about being intimate with someone else.
He said he liked things adventurous. I admitted that for me, it was more about an expression of love, rather than trying to do it as many ways as possible.
Those first few times were awkward. As a person with a healthy sexual appetite, I thought that perhaps I’d been approaching it all wrong. It’s much better to be with someone who cares about you, than cares only about sex, right? I brushed it off. Perhaps contributing to the awkwardness of every encounter, were my feelings regarding my attraction to him. Of course, there was attraction, though it was romantic, more than it was sexual.
It was strange, because in the past, my desires had been overwhelming in relationships, yet this time, I felt almost subdued.
A few months in, we were very much in love and happy, yet, the frequency was diminishing. Like the frequency of my pay day, it was happening once a fortnight, at best. Every time, for the minutes after, it felt like a relief that our regularly scheduled session was over, and I would be reprieved from the action for at least two weeks, phew.
Well, for me, at least, though I’m sure he echoed the sentiment. I remember sitting on my bed at home one morning, and thinking ‘something isn’t right, this relationship isn’t right, get out.’ Did I listen to my gut? Of course not. But God, I wish I had.
Once a fortnight turned to once a month, and then, it just stopped. At first, I didn’t mind. I enjoyed being with him and seeing him and indulging in all those cute things you do in a relationship. I loved him. At three months sans sex, I started to be concerned. I voiced that, and he agreed that we needed to address it.
That night, we tried, however, his body just ‘wasn’t in the mood.’ As I went to sleep, deflated, as was he (quite literally) I reflected that every time, it was ME who had initiated intimacy, which was fine, but dammit, I just wanted to feel desired, to be desired. I wasn’t happy with this situation. The easiest thing I could have done was leave, but, I was not a quitter.
Once turned into many times. The more rejected I felt, the less desire I had to try. I had stopped trying, and he didn’t seem to mind. All of a sudden, it had been a year since we were intimate. ‘We have a big problem’ I said one day. He agreed, yet again, and expressed that perhaps we needed professional help.