Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

ang071204
Angelo Pezzote
MA

 Keeping Romance Alive in Your LTR

 And to your best girlfriend, "Cling Wrap"..."There are plenty of handsome, stylish, sensitive straight men  out there..."

 


Dear Angelo,

My boyfriend of almost 5 years does not want to have sex with me anymore it seems.

We have been living together for 3 years now. I have broached this subject with him several times and still nothing changes. What can I do to recreate romance between us?

Signed Sad

 

Dear sad,

Take comfort that this is not unusual. While it is hard, try not to personalize it. Sexual desire for the same partner can naturally wane over time. This is normal and expected. But there is something you can do to try and keep romance alive. Lets spice things up a bit.

Dr. Hendrix in Getting The Love You Want has a strategy called re-romanticizing. The idea is to awaken loving feelings by doing loving things. The exercise has you and your partner write down a list of things your partner can do to please you. Make sure they are positive, caring, spontaneous, fun new things. Keep it fresh. Each day you grant a number of these gifts to each other with no strings. Do them no matter how you feel towards each other. That may seem fake, but do it anyway. Do not compete and keep score. It is not one for one. Each of you is to just focus on the giving part.

The idea is that by nurturing and providing love and safety in new ways, the couple can recreate the feelings of romantic love once again out of the ashes. Each partner refreshes their mind's ability to interpret their partner as sustaining. 


This helps the couple take off some of the armor that they may have unknowingly put on over time to guard against each other. As partners fail to consistently meet our needs, and even the best do, the unconscious thinks that they are withholding them from us on purpose. "He knows just what I need and hes not doing it," we imagine. We mistakenly expect our partner to know just what we want, when we want it and how to give it to us, just like our caretakers did when we were infants. We long to feel completely taken care of again.So we regress to whine and throw tantrums to get what we want. When that fails too, we prepare to protect ourselves by fighting or withdrawing from our partner. This is not sexy behavior. So lets take off the training wheels and start the re-romanticizing exercise by telling our partner exactly how they can nurture us as we stay open to receiving it.

Continue talking together. If this does not work itself out, maybe there are some complex, underlying relational issues keeping you two apart. Couples counseling or a support group could then be something more to look into. Asking for assistance could be one new and exciting prospect that jazzes up your love relationship.

 

Dear Angelo,

I am a 32 years old female, and I like gay guys. Of course they don't want me. Do you know what's wrong with me?

Signed,

Cling Wrap

 

 

Dear Cling Wrap,

 

There is nothing wrong with you. You have just been trying to do something good for yourself in a way that is no longer working for you. But all is not lost. Ask yourself, "what good has come from this experience?"

Gay men and straight woman can have a lot in common. Maybe you have met some great friends who are gay, had great times with them and are not lonely. By experiencing that, you may have become aware that you now need to make a change in behavior if you want to date straight men. So you have gained valuable things through this. You do not have to leave your gay friends, but it may be time for you to branch out now.

In moving forward, the issues for you to focus on are generally intimacy and self-esteem. If you really want to be available to straight dudes, but you find yourself hanging with and liking only gay men, then that is self-defeating and isolating behavior. But you must do it for a good reason. So ask yourself, what purpose does it serve you?

My sense is that if you are attracted to men but are afraid of that too, then being around just gay men is actually a brilliant way you came up with to play it safe. You get to be emotionally close to a guy knowing that it will not lead anywhere sexually.

On the surface you may say you wish your gay friends were straight, or that you wish that straight guys were more like gay guys. But there are plenty of handsome, stylish, sensitive straight men out there. So those beliefs may really serve as a smoke screen to block a romantic relationship. In this way, you may keep yourself unavailable from straight men to protect yourself from the intense feelings that romantic intimacy can bring. You are not alone. Opening yourself up to being loved can feel vulnerable and scary. Exploring something spiritual may be helpful in uncovering the un-scared part of you that is already there.


For more information, visit www.askangelo.com.