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How do I uncover the emotional me and start living life to the full?
May 1, 2007 6:47 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I recently had an all night heated discussion about my lack of ability to bring passion to the relationship. It started with my lack of 'animal' behaviour in the bedroom. Never instigating sex and never 'caught in the moment' style ripping off of clothes. It became not only this, but also a self admittance of a lack of passion in all aspects of my life. How do I uncover the emotionally mature side of me?

I've been with my girlfriend for a couple of years and I really, really lover her. She's perfect. She's clever, sexy, witty, we make each other laugh, everything I could want. I really feel like this is 'the one' and I know she feels the same. We're both mid twenties and don't live together. In most aspects we couldn't be happier. This one thing though could become a problem and I want to sort it, not just for the relationship, but also for myself. I've never been an animal type guy, one to throw a lady down on the bed and just get caught in the moment so this isn't something that is suddenly an issue. I really am attracted to this girl but the thought of behaving in that way makes me feel slightly awkward and embarrassed. What if she said no or felt like I was forcing myself on her? The discussion we had also raised the fact that I'm never excited or angry or prepared to show any emotional charge in any aspect of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a robot but everyone around seems to be able to really get excited or really want something and I can't. It has a part to play in me always backing down from opportunities laid in front of and doing a job that pays OK instead of doing something that will really fulfill me and might pay great. Now it's affecting my relationship and I need to do something life changing.
What do I do to unlock an emotional side to me? Where do I turn to discover a side of me that wants, needs, is confident and is driven?
I've listened to a couple of Anthony Robbins style Cd's as I like the concept and how motivated I have seen others with this sort of 'teaching', but never really had the motivation to press through with them and really believe in it's or my own ability.
Thanks for reading and your help.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
How do I uncover the emotionally mature side of me?

If bodice ripping is your gf's idea of a necessity in sex I don't think it is you who needs to worry about emotional maturity. Sure, bodice ripping is terrific fun, but only one aspect of a mature sexual relationship.
posted by caddis at 6:57 AM on May 1, 2007


If bodice ripping is your gf's idea of a necessity in sex I don't think it is you who needs to worry about emotional maturity. Sure, bodice ripping is terrific fun, but only one aspect of a mature sexual relationship.

anonymous didn't say his gfriend said it was a necessity, but even if it was necessary for her, that's not immaturity, that's just shit that gets her off.

anonymous's gfriend has said "Here's some sex stuff I want you to do". The correct answer to her should in no way look like "If you were sexually mature, then you wouldn't need to ask for that."
posted by 23skidoo at 7:05 AM on May 1, 2007


Work on losing your fear. This might not be your issue, but it was for me: one way to begin unlocking an emotional side to yourself is to not be afraid of emotions... and in order for that to happen, you need to not be afraid of being out of control. This can apply both in the bedroom and in the working world (eg, fear of failing -- not in control of circumstances -- at that challenging job or new opportunity). Feeling passion for something is, IMO, ultimately about allowing your emotions to be as strong as or stronger than your intellect/reason -- which can be scary.
posted by tentacle at 7:17 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am not a doctor, but you may be mildly depressed. This sure sounds like "lack of affect" to me. (Been there.)
posted by kindall at 7:24 AM on May 1, 2007


Follow up from the OP:

My girlfriend has in no way said that this is a necessity. We have a really awesome sex life. The only issue surrounds the lead up to the actual sex. I never instigate this sort of thing and I would love to without feeling a bit awkward. It's not a big issue at the moment. I want to make sure it doesn't become one. That's the focus, along with my lack of passion in all aspects of me.
posted by jessamyn at 7:27 AM on May 1, 2007


You have to wonder how much of this issue has to do with your girlfriend wanting to have her bodice torn off in a fit of sexual frenzy.

Sure, she wants to get nailed by an animal. But this talk of you not being emotionally excitable in other aspects of your life could be a little fishy. Does she really care that you don't jump up and down mad or cry during movies? Or is she just broadening the scope of her concern to make it seem like it isn't all about sex.

If she needs you to do certain things to get her off, then be a good boy and do as much as you can. She will uncertainty appreciate it and perhaps this could help you unlock some animal inside.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:30 AM on May 1, 2007


I've spent my life searching for a way to maintain my equanimity while also living passionately, and it sounds like you're looking for something similar. Though I'm not Buddhist, I've found a lot of insight in the teachings of Buddhism, especially Zen.

The general idea in Buddhism is that attachment (wanting/needing/desiring) creates suffering, and the way to stop suffering is to eliminate attachment. When I first heard that teaching, it sounded like I'd have to take on a numb, unmotivated, blah sort of attitude about everything, which reminded me a lot of what it felt like to be severely depressed. Yuck. But obviously a major religion with millions of followers isn't trying to convince people to be depressed, so I knew I was missing something.

I'm still not entirely sure what that something is, but you might find some interesting food for thought if you explore Buddhism a bit. This nice intro to the Four Noble Truths might be a good place to start.
posted by vytae at 7:31 AM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


My partner and I recently had an all night heated discussion about my lack of ability to bring passion to the relationship

Sounds like you have plenty of passion to me; just not the spontaneous"ripping the clothes off let's do it here" type.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:41 AM on May 1, 2007


Just because you found long-term partner doesn't mean you get to stop exploring beyond your expectations and comfort-levels, especially when it comes to sex. If faking it bothers you, imagine how often women fake it, all for the sake of contributing to the spirit of the moment.

In sex, as in all other things: when the bell rings, come out swinging, robot-boy.
posted by hermitosis at 7:42 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am not a doctor, but I think your temperament is just different from your girlfriend's. It's perfectly all right for you to be quieter and calmer and not animalistic about sex. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. IMHO, you are not depressed.

All night heated discussions just wear people like you out. Make an appointment with her to talk--and listen--at a time that's comfortable for both of you. Do not discuss this in the bedroom. Good luck!
posted by Carol Anne at 7:52 AM on May 1, 2007


The only issue surrounds the lead up to the actual sex. I never instigate this sort of thing

Just get playful at times when she might not expect it. It doesn't have to be all serious manly bodice-ripping. Be a little persistent even if she doesn't immediately come around. Imagine something YOU want, then try to get it.
posted by DarkForest at 7:54 AM on May 1, 2007


Is there any (maybe unrelated) part of your life that involves passion? (My guess is yes, since you wrote of your deep love for your girlfriend.) Most people feel passion, but not all feel it in typical ways.

For instance, I don't get passionate about travel, politics, sports or partying the way many people do. When I go to a party, I usually wind up looking for book shelves. Sometimes I wind up pulling a book down from a shelf and reading it -- while everyone else is talking, flirting, drinking and dancing. To all appearances, I'm being the opposite of passionate, but I'm probably deeply passionate about what I'm reading.

I get most passionate about stories (any kind: movies, novels, personal annecdotes, etc.) and details (learning the minutae about a subject). Maybe you're like me. If someone accused me of being dispassionate in bed, I'd try to cure it by reading a ton of sexual manuals and self-help books. Again, this sounds like the opposite of passion -- "don't read about it! rip your clothes off and DO it!" -- but I've learned that I need to warm up to passion via knowledge.

You may not be exactly like me, but you may have some other tunnel trhough which you can get passionate.

I never instigate this sort of thing and I would love to without feeling a bit awkward.

"I've never ridden a bike before, but I'd like to try without feeling a bit awkward." Do you see the problem here? None of us want to feel awkward, but we must if we're going to take risks. And ingaging in new behavior is risky. (Though what's the worst that can happen when you're alone with someone who loves you?)

Do it even IF it feels awkward. Then do it again. And again. Work through the awkwardness. Eventally you won't feel awkward any more.
posted by grumblebee at 8:00 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would sort of imagine some people would think it "emotionally mature" not to get caught in the heat of the moment - but that's kind of a cultural thing. Maybe you're just british at heart :). If you think it's just yr personality, then being a low-key kinda guy is not a crime, so you shouldn't feel you have to change who you are to please yr gf. If you personally feel you're holding yourself back, that you're afraid, then it is certainly something worth working on.

Confidence is almost definitely primary. Getting over a feeling of shame or embarrassment is important, too; if you behave in a way that you might see as silly or dramatic or otherwise negative it can be easy to get that image stuck in yr head and just feel kind of uncomfortable. If you're an analytic or reflective kind of person it is way too easy to overthink emotional behavior. Keep in mind that other people will forget your actions much more quickly, and that the more stuff that's going on, the more quickly older things will fade into the background.

if you try to tell one joke all night and it's mediocre, people might remember that, but if you make lots of offhand funny comments over the night, even if they average out at mediocre, they won't really stand out. you'll be thought of as a generally normally fun person instead of the guy who tried to tell one lame joke. The analogy here is that if try to be really emotional in one scenario it probably will seem awkward, but if you just let yourself generally share a little more you can probably ease into a more emotionally connected world.

Therapy can help, though you may not need to bother with anything professional for this. You could try something like yoga, meditation, martial arts, theatre, or some kind of artsy hobby to "get in touch" with another side of yourself if anything like that sounds remotely appealing.
posted by mdn at 8:01 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


You kind of sound like me. Lazy is not the word. More 'fear of disappointment' is the issue. Not only in the sexual aspect, but in your life, you seem like you don't necessarily
take any risks for fear of failing or being disappointed. So you set your standards low which kind of mirrors a lack of passion.

I have tried to overcome this fear of failure by just sucking it up and saying 'fuck it'. Allow yourself to get excited, even if it feels disingenuous. Try and go for that better job, even you might not get it. Rip the clothes off your girlfriend, even if it feels silly. Once you allow these things to happen, you might find that these emotions actually exist somewhere in you, you just had to force them out.

All these realizations came after coming out of a decade of depression, during the kind of 'numb' period afterward where I was neither depressed nor living life to the fullest.
Just try new things and see what you get out of them. Search for something that really does bring some zest out of you and try to tap into that.

Personally, I found that travel really opened my eyes. Not necessarily to another culture, but to the fact that I only had myself and new surroundings to deal with everyday. I didn't have the comforts and distractions of home to dull my senses and I was forced to do something different every minute and it was great. I came home exhilarated and horny as hell. So maybe kill two birds with one stone and travel in a country with a lot of hot people, and bring that passion back to your life and your girlfriend.

Pardon my spelling mistakes. I tried to type this fast so I could get back to work.
posted by greta simone at 8:09 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sure, she wants to get nailed by an animal. But this talk of you not being emotionally excitable in other aspects of your life could be a little fishy. Does she really care that you don't jump up and down mad or cry during movies?

Doesn't sound fishy at all for me. It's a complaint I've heard more than once. Some people have a certain level of demonstrativeness they expect from people and anything less than that they are inclined to be view as apathy rather than a different way of expressing oneself.

Like most things in relationships, this is something that requires some compromise. Your girlfriend needs to understand that you're just somewhat more reserved and it's part of who you are. You need to recognize that sometimes she's going to tell you about things that she's excited about and it's important to her to know that you're excited too.

That's phrased carefully - look at it. She might tell you she needs you to be excited and you're going to be tempted to say that you ARE excited. But when people tell you that it's important to them that you feel a certain way that's not the extent of what they mean. Hell, sometimes it's not exactly accurate. She needs to see that you are excited too. Sometimes you're going to have to amp you your display a notch for her sake, just like you're going to have to wear a shirt you don't love or go do dinner somewhere you aren't thrilled with, just like she's going to have to sit through a movie when she'd rather be at a different one.

Aside from that, you need to get over this stuff toot sweet: I really am attracted to this girl but the thought of behaving in that way makes me feel slightly awkward and embarrassed. What if she said no or felt like I was forcing myself on her?

If she said no then you'd stop. A fear of getting turned down is an insane reason to never initiate sex in a relationship. You get turned down - so what? Welcome to a relationship, where sometimes one person is in the mood and the other isn't.

Putting that aside, she's clearly told you that she wants you to initiate, and it's completely reasonable. Who wants to feel like the other person in a relationship NEVER wants sex and is only going along with it when it's offered? I've dated that woman, and the fact that I knew she wanted it more often than me and likely would never decline didn't make it any less irritating. It made the sense of feeling undesired somewhat unreasonable, but not all our actions are unreasonable.

Start being an equal player in your physical life.
posted by phearlez at 8:11 AM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like tentacle's and greta simone's answers. I second shaking things up and to be out of control for a short period. This will teach you that jumping into something with both feet and no safety net is much less dangerous than you imagine and sometimes the best way to enjoy things. Travelling and doing some drugs/alcohol will help with that.
posted by FastGorilla at 8:18 AM on May 1, 2007


Practice. I have the same problem you do. Schedule your spontaneity. Pick 1 day a month(x time period) where you are going to surprise your SO. Plan it out. Surprise her, and make it seem completely spontaneous.

If she is not in the mood, oh well, reschedule for a week(x smaller time period) or so later.

The important thing is to plan it out. (Who, what, where, when, how)

It does not matter that it may not be your cup of tea as you will probably find that won't matter during the implementation process. If you have it planned out you will spend less time thinking about how you look and spend more time thinking about how you/she feels.

Wong
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 8:18 AM on May 1, 2007


What if she said no or felt like I was forcing myself on her?

That's what safety words are for.

Or,

Have you ever considered that's what she wants? Some girls have a fetish for that sort of play, with someone they can feel safe with.

It's a bit odd to push yourself out of character with something like that, but it can be fun if you talk it out first, discuss basic ground rules, and have a safety word which means to stop.
posted by disillusioned at 8:35 AM on May 1, 2007


Your girlfriend has no more right to ask you to be more passionate than you do to ask her to be smarter.

Here's why:

People perceive, are motivated by, and respond to the world in a couple different ways, but the major dominant influence for one person may be different than for someone else. The three big ones I've seen are: Physical, emotional, and intellectual.

People who are most in tune with their physical sense are motivated by tactile sensations, visual displays, etc. These are the people who really like rollercoasters, fireworks, etc. It's a common mass appeal. People learn to be this way when they have little fear of being injured and when they find it easy to physically control their world, for example by being bigger or stronger than most other people.

People who are more in tune with their emotional sense may seek out situations where they can be swept away with a feeling. These people may like dramatic movies, and seek out drama in their own life. I think this is a very common sense for someone to be attuned to, and it the appeal of "Sex and the City" for those who don't prefer watching it with the sound off. Sometimes this is called heart dominant". People learn to be this way when they're surrounded by complicated interpersonal situations where they have to develop and cultivate their emotional sense.

Perhaps the most rare type of person is the one who is most in tune with their intellectual, logical sense. These people like drawing connections between disparate phenomena, figuring things out, and setting up "systems".
Sometimes this is called "head dominant". People learn to be this way when they are faced with challenges that require figuring out, and when they find that they may not be also to control the world through strength, but rather through brains. Fear of, or actual experiences of, being hurt, emotionally or physically, can lead to someone developing this sense.

Feeling like you're out of place or a misfit can be caused by being dominant in one sense in a situation where most people are dominant in the other, such as the classic nerd at a frat party.

Here are some more examples:
You're at a football game, and the guy behind you won't stop yelling, even though there's no way anyone on the field can hear him from the upper balcony. You're head, he's physical.

You're at the movies and your girlfriend is sobbing at some sad scene, but you feel that the scene was a little overwrought and kinda silly. You're head, she's heart.

You're at work, and that bastard who's always trying to undermine you comes up and starts saying something in that slimy voice of his about effort and different direction and so on, but you don't really hear what was said because you knew before he even opened his mouth what he was going to say. You're heart, he could be anything, but you can't tell because you're not listening.

Now, just because you may react like I described in the first two scenarios, but not like I described in the third, doesn't mean you lack passion. If someone says you are, it means that those people are emotionally or physically driven, but don't have the level of self-awareness to know that other people are differently-driven.

Your display of passion or motivation may show in your ability to work for hours on learning how to do something in CSS, or your ability to sit for hours and read about the history of Romania or whatever.

The point is passion isn't what other people, who don't have the awareness to realize other people aren't like them, say it is. I've shown a bit of my passion for understanding and communicating myself and helping others to do so by writing this. Again, your girlfriend has no more right to ask you to be more passionate than you do to ask her to be smarter.

The counterpoint is that everyone has all three senses(and probably more), whether they know it or not, and it's generally a good thing to work towards balancing them out. So if you want to find more of what would be considered by your girlfriend to be passion, that involves learning how to be motivated more by emotions and feelings, and that involves listening closely for that faint weak voice of the heart, and trying to pay more attention to it.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:41 AM on May 1, 2007 [6 favorites]


Your girlfriend has no more right to ask you to be more passionate than you do to ask her to be smarter.

Whether or not I agree with Mr. Gunn's advice (I don't), it bears mentioning that you should never, ever say this sentence out loud to your girlfriend, or to anyone else about your girlfriend.

Some people need to be told things like this.
posted by hermitosis at 8:52 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Try getting drunk?
posted by ODiV at 8:55 AM on May 1, 2007


My bet is that you're just worrying all the time and that's what is sucking the life out of you. You've probably been doing it for so long that you don't even notice anymore. Fortunately, there's plenty of help around for people like us. You could start with checking the archives.
posted by teleskiving at 8:59 AM on May 1, 2007


when it comes to being more animalistic in your sex life, part of what's stopping you is the idea that you all of a sudden have to do a 180 degree turn around and be totally different all of a sudden. I know that idea would stop anybody. To go from being sort of quiet and slow about these things (or however best describes you) to being a clothes ripping barbarian or whatever is almost laughable because it would seem so out of character. so what's the solution? the same thing that works for any emotional or social change:

take it slow.

you don't immediately right off the bat have to pick her up, toss her across the room and rip her panties off with nothing but a hard stare and unbridled lust. try, the next time you're kissing her, to just do something simple like moving your hands down towards her hips, and if she responds well to that, then it's a smooth and small but significant motion to just gently pick her up with her legs around your waist and taking her into the bedroom. after that, you don't have to immediately be an animal or anything. just make love as you're comfortable and don't give it a second thought. it's a small step, so it won't be completely awkward, but it'll be a step in the right direction so it'll be met with a kind of happy surprise. it's a little change that shows you starting to express a wordless passion, and that's the key.

after that, it's just a series of small steps that you take when you feel comfortable doing it. say you've found that you like just picking her up and carrying her into the bedroom. maybe next time you don't, and instead just start undressing her (however roughly or gently you feel comfortable doing it) right wherever you're standing and see where it goes from there. or maybe next time, after you've carried her into the bedroom, you decide to see about taking her clothes off a little more roughly. so long as they're small steps, they won't feel so totally foreign to you, they'll just feel like trying out something fun. eventually, you can find a point that you're both happy at and just have fun doing whatever occurs to you at the time.

as far as how she'll react, it's like this: if she's not in the mood and says so, she's not going to hate you for trying. it's still flattering, even if she's not in the mood. when she says she wants you to just throw her on the bed and take her sometimes, she doesn't mean that when she's doing the dishes you're supposed to drag her by the hair kicking and screaming into the bedroom or anything. it just means that when you're both in the moment and heading in that direction, be a little aggressive. there's a difference between aggression and force. aggression, in this context, means you act like you REALLY want her, and simply cannot take the time to be gentle and sensitive because that's just how badly you want her right. now. forceful is brutish and not always welcome and not the point. Aggression isn't doing whatever you want even when she says she's not in the mood. Aggression is just acting like you simply cannot contain your lust for her when you're both in the mood. If she's not, then try again some other time. It's that simple. When she's into it, she'll just be very happy to see the change, and when she's not she won't be weirded out, it'll just be the wrong time.

most of all, the point is to look at it as an opportunity to experiment and have fun with the unknown. it's a side of yourself you haven't necessarily played around with, so you don't know what's there. try to engage your sense of adventure about the whole thing and enjoy discovering a new side of yourself.

which brings me to the passion for life thing. this is very difficult. it's an enormous problem for a whole lot of people. I am not a self help guru, nor could I be. But I've had and sometimes still have this very same problem and I've only discovered one thing that's ever helped me: Force yourself to be active in something, or to go out and do things. Here's what kills motivation and passion for me all the time (or at least, here's some of what does it.): Watching tv. Playing video games excessively. Sitting around at home on weekends. things of that sort. If your plan for the night is to go home and watch a bunch of tv and then go to bed, for god's sake don't do it. You can always download or tivo or whatever your favorite shows and watch them later. But when you have the time, even if it's just a couple hours a couple times a week, then grab your girl and go out. go out to a bar, go meet some friends for something or other. whatever it is, go do something, but don't sit around the house. houses are comfortable and safe and boring. especially with a tv. tv encourages you to enjoy yourself by watching other people live their lives when you could be living yours. You don't often see tv characters watching tv, and there's a reason for that.

now, i'm not saying that tv is evil or anything stupid like that. i have certain shows that i'm completely addicted to and watch religiously. but i'll download them, and watch maybe one episode of one some night when i'm not going out for some reason. then another night i'll watch another. and on a weekend maybe i'll watch a couple. i manage to keep up with the adult swim shows, lost, battlestar galactica, the office, heroes (and once upon a time deadwood and carnivale) this way without having to make time for tv marathons of any kind. the rest of my time I spend going out with friends for drinks or karaoke or to go see a movie or whatever. I see my girl, we have a good time and when we head home for the night we're excited and can't keep our hands off each other because we've been out enjoying ourselves.

the difficult is that at first you have to force yourself to do these things. at first absolutely nothing i'm telling you to do will seem like any fun and you'll resist doing it with every part of yourself. so you have to make yourself call up a friend and say "hey, you wanna go get a drink somewhere" or whatever. and then you have to make yourself keep that appointment. Or you have to force yourself to ask your gf to come out to a restaurant with you, and force yourself to try to convince her to come out anyway if she says she's tired. Eventually, you stop forcing yourself, though, and you start wanting to do it, and you start realizing you really really don't want to sit around at home doing nothing. And what this does for the passion in your life is it rekindles your love of activity, of doing things, anything, simply to be an active person. The passion doesn't seem so distant at that point.

Of course, sometimes these things require psychoanalysis. I have no idea if that's your case, and I'm staying out of it. But it can't hurt to just try going out more often at first and see what it gets you. good luck with everything.
posted by shmegegge at 9:22 AM on May 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


Two thoughts:
1. Society gives women the message that for them, sexuality is all about whether they are desired. (That is, it's not about what they desire - it's about whether other people desire them.) So if you are really undemonstrative, and always wait for her to initiate, it's not as much of a turn-on for her as it would be if you made it clear through actions that you can't resist her charms.

This doesn't have to be forceful he-man stuff. It can just be doing things that are more in your comfort zone (kissing her neck, putting your hands around her waist and pulling her toward you), but doing them first, actively trying to seduce her. "Honey, I know we were going to go out to dinner, but I'm so into you right now - how about a quickie before we go out?" The point of this is that it sends the message: I'm so attracted to you, it's making me change my behavior. If she says no, that's fine, and you'll try again some other time. No worries about forcing her to do anything.


2. Do you exercise at all? I've known several very reserved people who started exercising, and it brought out a totally new side of them. The men were a bit more aggressive (not assholes, just more able to step up and take action), more "in touch" with their physical sides. (I'm talking about men who were real bookworm, polite to the point of ridiculousness types.) Consider starting up a routine of exercising a few times a week, in whatever way feels most comfortable - eg maybe take a martial arts class, or jog, or play soccer/football, maybe go to the gym with a friend and lift weights or ride a stationary bike.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:46 AM on May 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


LobsterMitten's first point may very well be what is going on here. You gotta have the hots for her sometimes when she isn't asking for it. Try starting something then.
posted by caddis at 9:50 AM on May 1, 2007


What if she said no or felt like I was forcing myself on her?

Given that she's said yes in advance and has invited you, I think this is the most informative sentence in your post. Nothing about you is unusual or unhealthy on the face of it. But taken in context, this quote shows unfounded fear and guilt of unhealthy persistence. Take a good hard look at them, they might shrivel up and blow away under scrutiny. If not, that's why God gave us access to professional help.
posted by Eothele at 10:07 AM on May 1, 2007


Carey Tennis in salon nailed it.
posted by lalochezia at 10:25 AM on May 1, 2007


I don't know if you'll find this relieving or depressing, but I have been having a very similar conversation with my wife, on and off, since August, 1970. So I've considered a lot of viewpoints over the years. I see a lot of good advice in many of the above answers.
I don't think her level of desire is unreasonable, but neither is yours.
I think she wants to know you desire her. Just like she probably wants you to tell her you love her. It doesn't matter if she knows it, she still wants to hear it.
I doubt it's depression or exercise for me, although it may be for you.
I do think that maybe I could use more therapy, or even just bravery. There is a part about awkwardness or not feeling enough self-worth that has gotten better over time and still could get better. YMMV.

But I am sure that a major part in my case is that the behavior my wife is seeking is not a normal part of my makeup. I am not that kind of guy. If I had that kind of makeup, I would be a different person, and not necessarily someone she would like as much. I would probably have other behaviors that she would hate.

So be true to yourself, but also be open to growth. And the most important thing is to keep up an honest, open conversation about it.
posted by MtDewd at 10:31 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was on a medication once that had a side-effect of lowering testosterone. For that period of time, I had almost no desire for or reaction to anything. I wasn't bored, tired, or depressed... everything just felt very literal and without significance. "There's a sunset. Now I'm listening to my favorite song. Oh, now I'm kissing my girlfriend."

When I stopped taking the medication, a whole side of myself returned. It was like someone turned up the saturation knob on my life.

It's not "bad" to be this way, but if you're feeling like you're missing out, maybe you could get your testosterone levels checked out by a doctor.
posted by the jam at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm seconding teleskiving that it might be worthwhile to consider whether anxiety might be playing a role here. Speaking from personal experience, anxiety is the ultimate buzzkill. Could be that as soon as your passions are activated, they're automatically squelched by worries and fears that you're hardly even consciously aware of.
posted by treepour at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2007


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