I am a 52 yr. old female, divorced for almost 2 years. I have been dating a man whom I met on an Internet dating site since July 2011 (almost 1 year post-divorce). We spend almost every weekend together & are very involved in each others lives.
Due to our work schedules, we are not able to see each other during the week, but he does make a point of calling me every evening. It was obvious right from the start that we had that proverbial chemistry. Our chat sessions became more & more intimate.
After approximately 3 weeks of on-line chatting, he asked me for my phone number, which I eagerly gave him. He called me almost immediately. We spoke on the phone daily, sometimes even 2 or 3 times a day, for sometimes 1 to 2 hours at a time.
After about a week of phone calls, he invited me to his house for supper. I know I probably need my head examined for going to a man’s home that I hadn’t even met in person yet, but I accepted. His 10-year-old son would also be there, so I figured I couldn’t be in any danger.
When I arrived at his home, there was an immediate physical attraction to each other & all evening, the sexual tension between us was palpable. We engaged in sexual intercourse that evening. I know, I know, I’m an idiot! I commented to him that I didn’t normally have sex on a first date & he commented that he wasn’t into one night stands, so I had better get used to being with him for a long time to come.
During the first 2 months or so, we were like a couple of teenagers again; we couldn’t wait to be alone with each other. One weekend, shortly after our initial meeting, he invited me to his cottage.
Let me repeat, I know, I know, I’m an idiot for going to a somewhat secluded place where there was nowhere for me to run if necessary, but I felt completely safe with him. Needless to say neither one of us spent any time outdoors that weekend.
My problem is this: since the initial 2 months, the sex has stopped.
We are sleeping in the same bed at his cottage every weekend, he will hold my hand when walking, kiss me, hug me, flirt, but actual intercourse, or anything more than a hug or kiss, has ceased. I have tried everything in the hopes of sparking his interest (flirting, sexy lingerie, back rubs), but to no avail. I have asked him if he no longer was attracted to me, if perhaps there was something I wasn’t doing to please him, or something I was doing that he didn’t like, etc.
He replied that sex had never really been important to him & that it had absolutely nothing to do with me in particular. He said that he thought he felt that way because of the line of work he is in (he runs an x-rated theatre) because he only ever sees women being used as sex toys or being placed in degrading situations.
I am totally confused. On one hand, he is still very attentive towards me, but I found out that he is still visiting, on a daily basis, the same dating site where we met. When I questioned him about it, he claimed he didn’t know how to delete his profile. I explained to him step-by-step how to delete it, but he said his page seemed to be different from mine & he couldn't see anywhere how to delete it.
For a couple of days I accepted his excuse. But, the more I thought about it, the more I found his answer to be ridiculous. So, I created a fake profile & initiated a conversation with him. Posing as a rather good-looking woman, I pointedly asked him if he was currently involved with someone & his response was “no, he wasn’t”. I was astounded.
Now, I don’t know what to do with this information. Why would he lie about his relationship with me? I am utterly confused. He still acts as if we’re in a serious relationship, doing everything a couple usually does together, refers to me as his girlfriend & keeps asking me when I'm going to introduce him to my father, but any physical intimacies have come to a complete halt.
I don’t know what to do or think anymore. Is he just using me until something better comes along? I would really appreciate your professional opinion.
My professional opinion is first and foremost to stop beating yourself up and calling yourself names.
Calling yourself an idiot is a bad habit to get into. At best it will make you unattractive to potential good partners and at worst it will damage you on an emotional level. You did nothing wrong. You are a healthy woman who has human needs.
Next, without being able to meet with you both as a couple, I can only form an opinion on what you wrote in your letter, so my scope could be limited. I do not know his relationship history, and I do not know your repeating behavior patterns from your past marriage.
So, if we all did meet in person for a coaching session, I would be looking for such kinds of behavior patterns like if you tend to seek out emotional unavailable men, and if he has kept most of his relations with women limited to sexual interactions.
As I see it, he may have a number of issues going on. He might be over your relationship, but does not have the courage to break up with you, so he is being passive aggressive hoping you will break up the relationship for him.
He may have a fear of intimacy and when your initial relationship was merely sexual he had no problem performing, but now that it seems to have lasted beyond the romance phase, it is challenging him on an emotional level that he is not comfortable with. He could just be a jerk that leads women on because he values a “motherly” attention rather than sex, and tries to rope in as many lonely women into his circle as he can.
Incidentally, to be clear, it is more probable it is not his job that caused him to have a fear of intimacy, but rather his fear of intimacy that led him to that job. Understand?
With all that said, he is not the real issue in this case. You are, as you wrote the letter asking for advice. Your focus cannot be trying to understand why he is acting the way he is acting. Although understanding his motivations can be important, your primary focus must be on YOUR BOUNDARIES.
You may never fully know why he acts the way he does, and quite frankly, who cares? What you are in control of is how you react to his actions. What are your relationship boundaries? For example if sex is important to you, and it is a boundary that you want sex at this stage of your life regularly in your relationships, then it is up to you to communicate that (which you already have) and if he still does not open up or attempt to accommodate you, then leave and find another partner. For example, let’s say the issue is that he suffers from impotence and was using some kind of medical aid to function sexually at that time…this is something he would need to open up about and be honest with you when reaching the boyfriend/girlfriend stage (he publicly acknowledges you as his girlfriend). What are your boundaries about his needing medication or sex not being important?
Your boundaries are the deal breakers of what you will and will not tolerate. They have nothing to do with whom you happen to be dating. Boundaries are all about you and your personal value system. This will include what your boundaries are regarding being lied to, being cheated on, and being sexually rejected. Your boundaries will surely require you to address the issue of your new boyfriend keeping his online dating profile up. (Are you actually telling me that neither of you knows someone that is technical savvy enough to help take down the profile or that you could not have done it for him when next over at his place? Com’on)
I think your instincts are correct about this guy. I would encourage you to learn to trust yourself more. You are not the idiot you claim to be. You know what you need to do.
-Frank, because I have to be