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    Rocky relationship
    An_247127 posted:
    My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little under a year and a half. We are having some issues right now. When we first started dating, we spent every night together. After a few months I started asking for more space and after almost a year I asked if we could only spend a few nights together because I felt I needed my space. Even though this has been going on for a long while, just recently I asked if I could have a night alone to be by myself and I swear he started tearing up. I can't handle hurting his feelings just because of something like that. I have told him I don't like when he gets so emotional over little things and that I feel he needs to "man up". Now, what makes everything all the more worse is in the past month we have been having problems in the bedroom. He has not been able to get hard. This has happened a few times before but not for this long. We were trying a lot but in the past month we have probably only been able to have sex five times, and of that, three times it was very quick and not intimate because he started getting soft and just finished really fast. It stresses me out because I tend to get my feelings hurt by this. He has gone to the doctor but was just told to eat healthier and work out. Part of me wants things to work out with us because we love each other, but part of me has also become so confused and frustrated I don't care anymore. What also complicates the matter is that we work together and will see eachother almost daily. So if we were to break up we would have to remain friends. Do you have any insight on our relationship? Can people really just be friends after they break up and have been dating this long? What do you think is going on with his inability to get hard?
    3point14 responded:
    A relationship needs love to be worthwhile, but it also needs to be pleasant to be successful. It sounds like the love is there, but honestly it doesn't sound like you're enjoying this relationship at all. Isn't the point of having a boyfriend to laugh with someone, have good sex with someone, feel connected to someone, express yourself freely with someone, not have to walk on eggshells and have to justify having some space to yourself?

    I'm a pretty black and white person, though, and I wouldn't be able to put up with someone who got teary-eyed over my wanting space. I just think that's outrageous.

    In terms of remaining friends after, that would be up to you two. It sounds honestly as though you've distanced yourself from this relationship, so you'd have an easier time of keeping it platonic if you wanted. This also means that you'd have to be very vigilant, not lead him on, not be too close to him immediately post break-up. That would just depend on both of your comfort levels, though of course with working together you would both at least have to be civil.

    As to your sexual problems, is he really out of shape? It could be that diet and exercise would make a significant improvement. You shouldn't get offended by this, though, unless he's said anything about not being attracted to you. Do you listen to his fantasies, try to make things "sexy" before sex? If you've both gotten into a rut sexually, it could be that you need to spice things up. Be willing to share and willing to listen to what you both want. That all being said, if you've been emotionally disconnected because of his clinginess, I'd just chalk this relationship up to experience and kindly end things.

    I wish you both the best of luck, regardless of what you decide to do.
    deadmanwalking57 replied to 3point14's response:
    I suspect your desire for space is being understood as the relationship being over, but to die a slow death.

    If this is not true, then tell him up front. Some relationships back down to once or twice a week sex. Some never do.

    As 3.14 says, a relationship needs more than just sex.

    Many guys have no clue how much a really bad diet can mess with blood flow. The fact that you want space is telling him you don't like him as much, and that may be what is killing his performance.

    My ex got controlling, argumentive and insulting. Despite her being very sexy, I moved to another bedroom and was never aroused by her again. I could not see pleasing a woman who mistreated me. This from sex every day. But I refuse to be mistreated.

    Your guy may think its over, so in the back of his head, why try to please you if you are leaving anyway.

    You need to talk about whether you just want space, but want him, too, or you really want to leave.

    I think he thinks you are leaving, and he's not sexually abusive to be able to just use you to please himself. But he also can't please you anymore, in bed or out.

    If you love him, just stay in bed and kiss and touch until he's ready. Go to bed early and have nothing else planned. Be upfront about all your plans.

    And if you don't love him, he probably already knows it.

    Just friends ? Probably can't handle it. He will have been dumped, and everyone at work will know it. How would you feel ?
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    You have wanted increasingly more space over time. I wonder what this means to him and how he feels about it. Have you asked him? Has he shared his thoughts and feelings? Also, how is your relationship going, otherwise? Have you talked about this together? If you haven't had these conversations, this is a good place to start getting more insights about your relationship. Frequently, relationship issues are at the heart of sexual problems -- so you might also find some answers here about his inability to get hard.

    People can sometimes just be friends after dating - though they often need a little distance as part of this transition. But, again, it depends on how each of you feel about each other. Again, you might gain a lot of insight about this by getting a sense of his thoughts and feelings.

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