Relationship based solely on sex is destined to fail

By Ruth Westheimer, King Features Syndicate2:29 p.m. CDT, May 14, 2013

Q: I’m dating my personal trainer, and we get along really well, but we don’t do anything but have sex. Sometimes we go out, but usually we see each other at night. He says he sees me as more than just a friend, but he is scared to get serious with me. Should I continue dating him, or end this now?

A: You say you’re “dating” this man, but it seems like all you’re really doing is having sex with him. What would happen if you continued to see him but stopped having sex? Would he want to see you, or would he walk away? If it’s the latter, then I think you have your answer.

So tell him you enjoy his company and would love to go to dinner or see a movie or whatever, but for the time being you’re not going to have sex with him, and see what develops.

Q: I am a 41-year-old male virgin. For someone like me, is it OK to get a girl to teach me sex, or a sex surrogate? Or should I wait to find someone? (It’s hard to meet girls where I live.)

A: My guess is that not only have you not had sex, but you also haven’t been involved in a real love affair. I talk about sex from morning till night, so you know that I believe sex is important — but what is most important is finding love. If you find the right woman, the fact that you are still a virgin won’t be important to her.

So my advice is to try a little harder at finding a woman to love you. Perhaps you need some help with that. Seeing a therapist might get you some advice as to what you need to do, as well as give you more confidence. So, my advice to you is to find someone who can give you some coaching. You needn’t go more than a couple of times, but see if getting someone with professional knowledge to guide your search would help you to get better at meeting women.

Q: How often should a 67-year-old male have sex?

A: First of all, what do you mean by “sex” — with a partner, or would you consider masturbation to be having sex?

And I couldn’t tell, but who is asking? Is it the male in question, or his partner? Might she feel he is asking for sex too often, or might he be feeling that she is not acquiescing often enough?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to such questions. Here’s what I can say: If a couple is fighting over how often they have sex, they would benefit from seeing some sort of a counselor. There can be many reasons why one partner might say no. It could be from discomfort (more likely to be encountered by an older woman). It could be because there’s a relationship problem that needs to be resolved. In a couple who have been married for, say, 40 years, it could be about something that happened 39 years ago.

So while your question might seem like a simple one, it’s not. To resolve complex questions, many couples often need some expert assistance. I know you asked me, but I don’t have enough information to give you the advice you are seeking.

Q: I’ve known this man for about three years now. I’ve always found him attractive. However, recently our conversations have turned a little naughty, and I love it. The thing is, he’s about 30 years older than I am. Could the age difference end up being a problem?

A: You know the answer to that: Of course it could. If you want to have children and he already has a family, for example, and doesn’t want to add to it, where does that leave you? Or as you get older he’s going to encounter some health problems that are going to reduce your ability to enjoy life. I’m not saying there aren’t some relationships of the May-December variety that are very satisfying, but I would immediately add that the odds are against you, and that’s what you have to take into consideration.

Q: How do I sweep my boyfriend off his feet and tell him I love him unconditionally? I want to let him know all there is to know about me, and more, but I’m not sure how.

A: I can’t give you advice on these questions because I don’t believe in them. First of all, so many men are afraid of making a commitment these days, if you lay too much at his feet, there’s a chance he’s just going to run away. But in general, I believe in holding back a bit. If the relationship continues to progress, you can then let him see more of what’s going on inside of you. People like to discover things and not necessarily be given everything at once. So reveal yourself bit by bit — so as not to scare him off and also because that way he’ll be able to appreciate each part you continue to reveal.,0,4196336.story

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