Fell Out of Love
Q: I have been with my boyfriend for two years. I love him and thought he was the love of my life, but recently we had three months of long-distance relationship and I discovered that I am no longer sexually attracted to him. I do not want to kiss him or be affectionate in general. He's my best friend and I don't ever want to be without him, but I don't know if there is something wrong with me for losing the attraction or if this is the end. What should I do? --Julia, 21
Dr. Susan: Sexual attraction does wane with time, but in a solid relationship it usually doesn't disappear entirely if you aren't together day and night for three months. Your "symptoms" are pretty extreme, in that you say you don't even want to kiss or be affectionate. No matter what you decide to do, he's not going to be a happy camper when he realizes the change in you is permanent. What happens when he wants to kiss you? Are you actively repulsed by him? Are you wishing he were another man you met while he was away? Does it feel "wrong" somehow, as though you'd be kissing a relative? You have to look a little deeper to find out what's going on with your feelings, but I'd say this relationship may have run its course. There's nothing wrong with you, Julia. If you were married, or if you had a habit of falling quickly out of love with guy after guy, I'd say hang in there and see a therapist and get yourselves back on track. As it is, what you had with him may have to be chalked up to a learning experience. Be aware, though, that it's often impossible to remain friends, let alone best friends, if one of you is still attracted to the other. Be honest with him, but be kind. It's no one's fault.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.