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All advice courtesy of guest columnist The Lawyer Formerly Known As Sarah, Now Known As The Outlier. Send her an e-mail here.

The Disclaimers: Miriam usually agrees with TLFKAS, but there's always the possibility she doesn't, so opinions here in the advice section do not necessarily reflect the opinions elsewhere on this site, and vice versa! And unless you count years of giving advice to various friends, nobody here has training in any kind of counseling situation, so take all advice with the grain of salt it requires. Not responsible for the results of advice. Unless the advice resulted in a monetary windfall, in which case we'll take a 10% cut.

Dear Outlier,

So I hear you're giving out advice, and I could probably use some right about now, so here goes. I'm in a committed relationship - my girlfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years, and things are, mostly, great. We really click - we like the same movies, have similar senses of humor, the same bad habits - and she even watches football with me. I love her more than anyone I've ever been with, and we've talked about getting married, but are going to wait until we've both got stable jobs.

But there's one big problem, and that's sex drive. She tends to want sex about once a week, sometimes less, while I'd be much happier having sex every day. We've talked about this a couple times and each time, we decide to compromise, end up having sex daily or every other day for about a week, and then we're back to a once-a-week rhythm. I've wondered whether it's me - her sex drive was much higher back when we were starting off, and judging by her stories from previous relationships, low sex drive hasn't been a problem for her in the past. She assures me it isn't, but it did make me wonder whether she's just not attracted to me anymore.

Enter the complicating factor. About a month ago, a new girl, "Anne," started to work in my office. Almost from the get-go, she was flirting with me. She's attractive and we get along well, and I've been enjoying the attention. It started pretty innocently, but naturally, the flirting kept escalating, and on Friday, after some after-work drinks, we ended up making out in front of her house. (She'd missed her bus and I offered to drive her home.)

Now I don't know what to do. I really do love my girlfriend, and I want things to work out between us; I've never met anyone that I feel as close to as I do with her. But we just can't seem to work out the sex thing. And Anne is really attracted to me, and if we get into a situation where we can be physical, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to say no. (I've got a lot of sexual frustration built up!) Our sex drives are so different, and my girlfriend just doesn't put any effort into compromising on the issue - whereas Anne is definitely putting in effort!

So, Outlier, what should I do?

Sexless in Seattle


Dear Less,

You need to keep your eye on the ball here. Make sure that Anne isn't influencing how you treat your issues with your girlfriend. Unless you have exhausted all avenues and there's no way to work things out, focus on the girlfriend, not Anne. What have you done, other than call her attention to it? Have you tried to do things from your end to pique her interest? After three years, you're going to have to change things up a bit to keep her engaged. Have you told her how you feel about her? Few things are sexier than declarations of true love. [OK, me, I can think of several things more sexy than that, but then we all know that when it comes to these matters, I'm basically a guy. - Miriam] Have you done something nice for her for no apparent reason? I think folks tend to underrate the sexual potential of doing the dishes or cleaning the house. Sometimes people tend to withdraw in relationships because they feel taken for granted. Make sure you don't make that mistake. If you have done all you can do to draw her back in and the lack of action is a deal-breaker, be a mensch and break up with your girlfriend of three years rather than cheating on her. Don't use this issue as some sort of license to go macking on a co-worker. Work on fixing things with your girlfriend. As an aside, if you do decide to go for the co-worker, check out what your workplace's policies are on co-worker dating. You may have a nasty surprise otherwise.



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