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I’m not attracted to my girlfriend, but I want to spend the rest of my life with her

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I'm not attracted to my girlfriend, but I want to spend the rest of my life with her

I am I’m having trouble in my relationship and I think my girlfriend understands. I am an 18 year old man and she is 19 years old. I already know that she is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I know I’m lucky to have found her and I’m not I want to let her go. But, while she still has a strong libido for me, I don’t have the same for her. I have sex with her semi-regularly, but it’s never really passionate and I don’t get much satisfaction from it. I am aware that my feelings about it come through in everyday conversations. I sometimes mention, for example, that what she Is eating not the best, or she should go to the gym more often. I know it’s unhealthy And makes her unhappy. I don’t know how to fix this, let alone find out what it is.

At 18, you are only at the beginning of your sexual and relationship journey. It’s important to recognize that learning to manage sex and achieve true intimacy is a process that takes a lifetime. No matter how smart or accomplished a person is, they will always make mistakes and need to learn from them.

What you sense from your girlfriend is resistance to your attempts to control her. Where does this trend come from? Is it similar to the relationship style of, say, your father or mother? Discuss it with your girlfriend. You might say, “I notice you disagree when I make certain suggestions and I’m sorry if that bothers you. Please help me understand how I feel.

Regarding your insecurity about chemistry: If you have to wonder whether or not you’re attracted to her, then there’s probably something about her that’s turning you off. Maybe it’s not his looks; it could be a relational element. You have to talk about real feelings; help her feel safe and loved; and share what you both need, including what turns you on.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a United States-based psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please do not send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses a problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets not being able to enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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