Dating at Midlife/He has no sexual desire

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Dear Lauren:
I am troubled and hope that perhaps looking at my situation from a distance can allow you to see something I am not able to see.
I am 52 and have been dating a 56 year old man for the past 9 months.  We are both divorced, me recently (I was married 23 years) and he has been divorced for 5 years but was married 3 times.  I've known him professionally for 25 years, but only during the last 3 years have been communicating on a personal level.  When we began communicating on a personal level I was separated from my husband and he was involved with another woman.  During that time we began getting to know one another and flirting and teasing very heavily and constantly.  We went on infrequent dates during that time, and our desire for one another was very apparent although neither of us would move in the direction of intimacy with one another under those circumstances.  He told me he was ending his relationship with the other woman, and that it was not working out.  When the time finally came that both I was divorced and his relationship with the other woman was over, we began officially dating.  Initially, our dating was filled with passionate intimacy.  But it became apparent to me, but maybe not to him, that the promise of intimacy, the teasing, was better than the actual reality as it turned out.  During this 9 month dating period we have grown very close and both of us are very appreciative of each other.  I feel very blessed to have found such a wonderful man, and it is very obvious that he loves me deeply.  But the lack of sexual interest from him has become increasingly troubling and painful.  We have gone as long as five weeks without any sexual connection, including heavy kissing.  I have communicated with him regarding my concern and have told him how badly his lack of interest in me that way has hurt me, and I feel certain that he has pushed himself to be intimate with me just to appease me.
 He tells me that he finds me very beautiful and sensual, I keep myself in excellent shape and have no trouble whatsoever getting attention from men and have confidence.  But his lack of desire for me is very troubling on several different levels.  It is obviously hurtful to be ignored that way, he has blatantly refused and rejected my advances.  Furthermore, due to our shaky start and poor foundation, I find myself insecure about what he maybe doing to appease his desires, perhaps chasing and lusting after another woman, like he was doing to me while he was involved with his last girlfriend.
My belief is that he finds sex a chore, and he often makes excuses to me prior to being alone with him that he is very tired so that I will not expect anything from him.  I've never known it possible for a man to have no desire.  I lay in his arms in bed almost naked and feel no reaction from him and it is very troubling.  He does not have a physical problem.  I fear that he has plenty of desire, just not for me, but I do not know this.  It is very troubling.  He is not showing me any reason elsewhere to think that he is not 100% into me, in fact it is very apparent that he lives for me.  Why would he not have desire for me?
Thank you in advance for helping me and for providing this wonderful service.
Kim

Answer
Hi Kim, There can be many reasons why a man would have low libido. Work, daily stresses,or any other external factors.  It sounds to me that in the beginning of your relationship he was actively engaged with you and sexual. Did something happen that is causing new stress for him? If he says he is tired, do you believe him? Do you think he is getting enough sleep?

Some people (men and women) are more interested in the flirting and teasing stage than in the reality of a relationship. The romance stage is the idealistic, exciting part of something new.  As the relationship continues the attraction falls into the stage of loving, rather than (perceived) love. The reality of seeing a person with imperfections and flaws can again create change in sexual desire. The act of loving is very different than being "in love". Loving is a conscience decision that one makes in spite of everything else that might occur. It takes hard work and honest communication to establish a trusting bond.

I would give the relationship time before making a decision regarding his desires. If after a year things aren't improving, I would have an honest conversation with him. What ever his reasons are for avoiding intimacy, they need to be addressed. Being tired may be a legitimate excuse once in awhile, but not forever. Your patience might be something that can help him and not taking his issues personally. I know relationships are hard work but in the end it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.  

Dating at Midlife

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Lauren Stevens

Expertise

I can answer all questions pertaining to dating, dating at 50+, online dating, health and sexual issues regarding relationships.

Experience

I have been a life coach and all expert coach for over 15 years.

Education/Credentials
I have founded and facilitated Life After Divorce a coaching program that promotes and enables life changing events. I also facilitated Transitions a support group for the traumatic experience of people going through divorce and the newly divorced.

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