A 31-year-old guy who has been in a long-term relationship with his 27-year-old girlfriend loves her very much, despite his struggle over their dwindled sex life.
But after she revealed something about herself that would change their relationship forever, he turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit for guidance.
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My girlfriend female just told me she’s asexual.”
“So, me and my girlfriend have been together for about 4 years now. Everything was going pretty amazing in our first year together.”
“We got along really well, we were crazy about each other and our sex life was pretty active too.”
“Then around the middle of our 2nd year together, she started putting off sex, saying she wasn’t feeling well or didn’t feel up to it. This kept on going into our 3rd year and now with our 4th year it’ll be almost 2 years that we haven’t had sex.”
“Today she told me she’s asexual. She has no interest in discussing anything remotely sexual but says that she loves me and wants this to not come between us.”
“She’s even told me that she’s fine with me having sex with other people as long as it’s not serious and that I should love only her.”
“At the same time, my GF gets super jealous when my best friend (who is a woman and married) texts me and sends affection my way for something like my birthday or a promotion. So I’m quite skeptical about this.”
“For me sex, love and attraction are synonymous. I can’t do the whole ‘open relationship’ thing but at the same time I know I have needs that my girlfriend is not going to be able to fulfill.”
“Do I just go celibate? That’s what I’ve been doing all this time, but I’m not sure if that’s a sacrifice I have to make.”
“Also for clarity, I still love my girlfriend and we still get along really well and before this I could totally see myself spending my whole life with her. Now I’m extremely confused.”
“Could use a little advice and guidance on this.”
Redditors weighed in with their thoughts on the OP’s relationship.
“Sounds like the situation changed and y’all are incompatible now. Staying together likely would be really messy and breed resentment.” – WavesnMountains
But the OP mentioned there were plenty of positives in the relationship to dissuade him from giving up on it completely.
“Initially it was. There were a lot of fights about this initially, bordering on us breaking up, but I still love the time we spend together. I did resent it and her in the beginning for it, but now I don’t.”
“Am I sad that we can’t have physical intimacy? Yes. A lot. But we also have a lot else that keeps us happy.”
“I’m just wondering at this point what I can do to fill that missing piece in the relationship.”
Those who were sympathetic to his situation encouraged him to reconsider staying with her.
“You can still enjoy spending time with her as a friend, since that’s what close people that don’t sleep together are.”
“You said intimacy and sex is synonymous to you, so it is. Don’t try to change your sexuality just because hers is incompatible.”
“The problem with stuff like this changing a few years in is that people are already attached and invested. That doesn’t make you compatible.”
“Think about what you want in a relationship, and if she isn’t compatible with that, break up and stay friends. You deserve to be happy in 20 years.” – plaurenisabadname
“The problem isn’t just that she’s asexual and you aren’t, it’s that she wants you not to have feelings for other people you might sleep with and needs the relationship to be emotionally closed/for you to ‘love only her.'”
“That’s not how you are built, you can no more change that than she can change being ace. It means you aren’t compatible with the existing relationship structure or the one she is proposing.” – redfishie
“The question you need to ask yourself is do you think the resentment will come back as the years pass? Your 31, do you think you can be okay never having a sexual relationship with your SO for possibly decades to come?”
“She says she’s okay with you having a sexual only relationship with other women as long as no feelings are involved, but that is likely unrealistic.”
“There is always the chance that you develop feelings for the other women, feelings that aren’t so easy to control. I don’t see how your SO would be okay if she gets jealous of your female friend.”
“If she feels that way she’s likely to get insanely jealous if you actually started sleeping with someone else, then what? I think your SO needs to realize what she’s asking of you is unrealistic.”
“I imagine it’s hard to let go as you stated that there’s a lot else that keeps y’all happy, the issue is this isn’t just one small difference between you two. I agree with a lot of others that y’all are unfortunately incompatible now.”
“It wouldn’t be right to ask her to engage in sex just to make you happy, & it’s not right for you to be celibate just to make her happy. I’d recommend looking at the dead bedroom sub to get a glimpse on how others have felt by giving up sex for their partner for years, some decades.”
“What about children? Is that something y’all had wanted, & if so how will they be conceived?”
“While you can’t know for sure how you’ll feel down the line, I’d recommend really taking the time to think about this. Are you willing to possibly live the rest of your life celibate?” – LLLJ2601
“Hi! Also asexual, as is my partner, so hopping in to say: no, not really. Sex is one part of intimacy. I’d never be as close with a friend as I am with my other half.”
“Still, OP should try talking to his girlfriend about being friends if they’re both willing to take that step back.” – troglodiety
“Don’t set yourself on fire to keep her warm.”
“You may love her all you want, but changing a fundamental part of who you are, while she gets to be exactly who she is and doesn’t have to compromise, is just a recipe for a toxic relationship.”
“Sometimes, you just have to say, ‘This is non-negotiable to me,’ and walk away. You deserve someone who loves everything about you, especially your sexuality.” – JaiRenae
The OP reiterated:
“Sex stopped about 2 years ago. There was never a hard-bound reason to it. It was always an excuse to put it off.”
“She told me she is asexual yesterday. We’re currently living apart at our homes with family.”
Overall, Redditors said this was a huge incompatibility issue and that it was a lot to ask of the OP to stay with his girlfriend only as a companion.