Dear Em & Lo: BF Doesn’t Want Me, But Can’t Live Without Me

Dear Em and Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. A few months ago we took a break and I moved out. I was really having a great time, but he showed up with roses and tears promising everything would change and that he couldn’t live without me. Fast Forward four months and he is once again being the most selfish person alive. I can deal with tantrums but one thing I can’t deal with is the fact that he is always too tired for sex. I’m a nympho! I want it three or four times a day and we haven’t had sex in a month and that ended with me hopping off and saying, “That’s okay, I figured you weren’t really into it.” Last night I initiated, as usual, and started going down which was fine. When I moved to get on top, he said, “Just stop, you know I’m too tired and you know it makes me feel bad, but you do it anyway.” So I resumed my position, gave him a blowjob, smoked a cigarette, and went to bed. How the hell am I supposed to feel? He lived alone for ten years before he met me. So he has made a ton of changes and I appreciate that, but everything else in the relationship is about him. I’m not a bad person, but I think about cheating all of the time just because I need to feel like somebody wants me. What do I do? Help!

— Neglected Nympho

Dear N.N.,

Remind us why you took him back again? Did this guy hypnotize you? Drug you? Get you to join his own private cult? Seriously: roses and tears?! That’s what you’re supposed to get when he tells you that he didn’t really mean to say that your butt looks big in those jeans. But after a mini-break, he needs to actually prove that he’s already changed, not make some vague promise that he will change. Eventually. When he gets a round tuit.

We don’t have all the facts, obviously, but it sounds like this guy is either a huge asshole or has more issues than Reader’s Digest. Most likely, it’s a combination of both. Either way, giving him unreciprocated oral is not going to cure him. (Actually, it’s worse than unreciprocated oral — it’s downright unappreciated oral!) If you really care about him and want to make it work, couples therapy would be a good next step, so you can seriously try to figure out the root of your mutual sexual and relationship problems with an objective third party.

In therapy you might discover that bad experiences in his past keep him from embracing intimacy. Or that maybe he has performance anxiety. Or that you’re the one who’s unwilling to change for the better. Or that maybe you two just have such differing libido styles and requirements that no amount of compromise or chemistry will make you two work as a couple. We could go on.

But, honestly, it doesn’t sound like you want to make it work. It sounds like you’re looking for an excuse to break up. Exhibit A: considering keeping him around just to cheat on him? You wouldn’t be solving any problems — only creating more! So don’t make it so complicated: just break up with him. You already know that you can have a great time without him, so what are you waiting for? If you’re confident you’re not at fault here in any way, then dump him tonight! We know it’s nice to hear someone say, “I can’t live without you.” But you know what’s even nicer? Great sex with someone who treats you with both love and lust. It sounds like your BF gives you neither, so it’s time to say “I can live without you” (except in a kinder, gentler way).

Don’t worry, you can always get back together later if he really does change in the ways you hope, but he doesn’t need to know that. And right now, you need a clean break (i.e. not a “break”). Tell him that if he truly wants a relationship — either with you or with some other sucker (heh) — then he needs to figure out a way to deal with his issues, whether through solo therapy, gym membership, volunteer work, a stint in the army (kidding), prescription medication, meditation, whatever. If you want to leave the door open just a crack, tell him that he should feel free to drop you a line in six months to say hi — but that you don’t want to hear a goddamn peep out of him before that. Even if he shows up with a goddamn garden of roses and a goddamn river of tears.

If, at that point, he can prove that he’s made significant progress, then you might consider holding his hand — as his friend — through the rest of his self-improvement process. (Don’t tell him this, though — that’s just your top secret back-up plan to help you sleep on those nights when you miss him.) But we have a feeling that (a) That will neeeeeever happen; and (b) if it does, you’ll be so over him by then that you’ll tell him not to cry you a river.

Drill sergeants,

Em & Lo

Say Something

8 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo: BF Doesn’t Want Me, But Can’t Live Without Me"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Madamoiselle L
Neglected Nympho. He wants his cake, but doesn’t want to eat it. SAD! And from a woman who would be happy to have him do so. I think maybe (I don’t KNOW) he wants you so nobody else can “have” you and then once he “gets you” he feels he doesn’t have to put any work into the relationship. Sex is the least he can do, and if he isn’t doing THAT, what is he contributing? (Not that “contributing” anything with NO sex is acceptable.) Why did you take him back again? Breaking Up is HARD to do, but once… Read more »
how do i get him back

Relationships can and do recover from the damage caused by financial infidelity. Rebuilding trust is an essential part of healing your relationship when financial infidelity has occurred. Many peoples relationship problems do not stem from money but the occasional ones do, this is what I have found anyway.

Hello.. he went from 10 years alone to being with a nympho-? thats pretty intense, sounds damaging. does he know he doesnt want to be with a highly-sexual person or is he just forcing himself to go with it until it gets too much (ie, until youre actually very intimate and initiate sex)? relationships are a two-way system, i wouldnt be surprised if his selfishness and lack of sexual interest is in response to you (indirectly or not) not giving him enough time/space to figure out what he wants from the relationship or from himself, and by not communicating with… Read more »
yeah it just sounds like regular compatibility problems. I had the opposite problem with a boyfriend. he wanted it WAAAAAAY more ofteen than I did, and took extremely personally when I just wasn’t “in the mood.” Eventually I had to break up with him, and now both of us are happier, even though he tried very hard to maintain a too-close friendship while he “got over me.” I refused to talk to him for while like em and lo say. Now it’s my go to when ever I talk to girls having guy troubles. girl: “he’s so mean to me… Read more »
This is a problem if sexual desire between within the couple. If that was the only think going on in this relationship ( trouble wise ) I would recommend sending the guy to a urologyst or endocrinologist for a physical. His problem might have physical reasons ( diabetes, low testosterone, high blood pressure, etc.) and those reasons need be addressed. When you talk about his selfishness, then as second element comes into the mix. Do you say he is selfish because of the apparent lack of interest in you sexually? or is he a selfish guy all around? You have… Read more »

Dear Em and Lo,
I grew up believing that girls don’t like sex.
I’m 46 and still believe that sex to a girl is just a tolerated consequence of consumation even though I’ve been married 16 years and we both really enjoy having regualr sex practically every day.
Will I ever be convinced that girls like sex or am I doomed to always feeling bad for having a high sex drive?

Tim H

Where can I meet his girl????