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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.
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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
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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