THE BLOG
01/26/2016 12:58 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2017

'My Boyfriend Doesn't Always Want Sex And I'm Upset'

Frederic Cirou via Getty Images

Just the other day I went round to my boyfriend's house. I see him on average 5 times a week and we have sex on average 3 times a week.  We've been going out for a year and I absolutely adore him and this is the first relationship I've had where I'm not the distancer... I actually sometimes feel uncomfortable that I dote so much but can't help it.

Anyway sex is great and I know I have a ridiculous sex drive... I physically don't understand when people say they're not in the mood. If neither party is injured, ill, exhausted and has to wake up at stupid o'clock the next morning or in fact busy doing even menial things like watching a movie... then sex is obviously happening because, why not?! I know I'm overzealous which is why I very rarely initiate sex. But the other day when I went round I started kissing him and we were play-wrestling and I climbed on top but he didn't look that impressed. I thought, okay, he's not in the mood... this has happened 2 or 3 times and his indifferent attitude makes me a little sad.

He started playing with his phone and I sighed and he made a little joke like "what's wrong with this guy he has this hot girl and there he is playing with his phone" and I was like damn right. He apologized and said the only reason he's not in the mood is that before I came he actually masturbated. Then I got super upset.

Why would he say that? Did he actually do that knowing I was on my way? Why would he do that just before I come over? In my mind I basically heard that he did that so he wouldn't have to do me. I used to send him naughty pictures and we used to do it in the car and I felt so wanted! But all of a sudden I thought, do I not turn him on? Is it such a chore? Maybe we see each other too much. I'm pretty sure I overreacted but in my mind I didn't understand why he didn't want me. I cried about it the next morning, which is so pathetic.

I don't mind that he watches porn. It would be nice to watch it together but I know he likes porn and that's fine. I don't mind him looking at other girls (like on Instagram)... it would be nice if I knew he was still looking at my pic but he can do what he pleases. He goes out every week with his work mates and half of them are girls and I really don't mind but when I visit him I want attention I feel selfish but I know that I would do anything for him and just wish I was as special to him as he is to me.

Hopefully you can see where I'm coming or am I just acting crazy.. I don't want to be like this. I don't want him to think I'm sensitive, he doesn't have to tiptoe around my feelings or start lying to me (I know that he did this with his exes and I don't want to end up like them).

Our relationship is good I don't want to ruin it and I have been suffering from depression lately. I don't want to be a burden. I'm usually a confident flirty happy person but lately I feel the opposite. I don't want to hold on to this... I want to get a grip.

***

Dear S,

I am going to assume you don't have kids and you're in your 20's because hey, that's obvious because you and my 20's self are spirit animals.  Like you, I would have gotten really offended if a boyfriend didn't want to have sex with me, ever.  This is because you, I, and many women like us, particularly in younger years, classify as preoccupied attachment.  Then we go for avoidant partners who exacerbate our insecurity; read more here.

Here are some articles you can read about this dynamic where women become upset with too little sex or affection (and too little can be anything from really too little to "one time less than you want").  Anyway, you have obviously based a lot of your identity and self-esteem on your looks and your sex appeal, and when your boyfriend has the normal desire to do something else every so often than have sex, or else literally is in his refractory period after masturbating (and he's allowed to masturbate, that's normal), you become very upset.

I think some self-examination would be useful, about patterns from your childhood and why you feel insecure in this situation even though the guy obviously is attracted to you.  I think you probably had a parent who was emotionally unavailable and you had to be really cute or clever or something to get their limited attention, if you ever did.  Now you're always anxious about losing your boyfriend's attention, but, ironically, if you act self-absorbed and overly sensitive, you will push him away entirely.

This often happens in relationships; people subconsciously behave in ways that evoke an expected negative outcome.  On a deep level I don't know if you expect to be loved, so you are unconsciously creating a situation where you become less lovable and therefore increase the odds that he ends things, which is what you subconsciously expect.  Read more about Imago Theory, the subconscious pattern where people replicate a familiar childhood dynamic in adulthood.

Remember, your boyfriend is only human, and if you make him feel like he can't satisfy you even at three times a week, he's going to start feeling insecure about himself and his masculinity and sexual prowess.  He is likely avoidant attachment and subconsciously is attracted to pursuing, dramatic women who then he feels he "has to" lie to.  So you're playing into his subconscious patterns the same way he's playing into yours.  I imagine he had distant or intrusive parents and either way, he finds it difficult to be completely intimate (for example, he doesn't have to look at other girls on Instagram in front of you- that's rude and you are within your rights to say so).

But he's not my main concern.  You're the one who seems motivated to change, so let's focus on you. This is an ideal time in your life to start seeing a counselor to address your depression and any childhood issues.  Do this before you have kids and you'll be ahead of the game.  Insecure attachment can manifest in parenting issues and children triggering your own unresolved attachment issues with your parents.

Good luck and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, I Get You, and Your Stuff Is Resolvable If You Look Inward.  PS You Can Find Guys Who Never Reject You Sexually But They Might Reject You Emotionally So Really, Work On This For Yourself.

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This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.