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What to do When Your Partner Doesn't Want to be Intimate

Feeling rejected by Kayla McCullough


Photo by Alex Green from Pexels


From falling in love to living happily ever after (or at least for a little while), a relationship will typically cycle through four stages - and how well couples navigate these stages is often the key to their relationship satisfaction. And let’s be honest, falling in love is the easy part. Like anything else in life, relationships take work. And unlike anything Hollywood has ever tried to sell us, we can all agree that the work required to keep a relationship going is hard (and hopefully if you’re between the sheets with them, sweaty).

However, if rejection arises when you try to gravitate towards the bedroom, relationships (both between you and your partner) become one million times harder. Picture this: You finally have a romantic night out with your partner and when you get home, they claim they’re too exhausted to keep the date rolling. Small rejections when it comes to sex is indeed normal because chances are both of you are not going to be in the mood at the same time, but when your partner consistently avoids sex and intimacy, or on the rare occasion when they are willing, are doing so reluctantly -- the accumulations of repeated rejections are likely to have a big impact on your relationship – and worse, your self-esteem. But I’m here to tell you to not beat yourself up too much. I understand what you are feeling and I’m here to help you navigate through that feeling of rejection. Read on for my letter to you.

When a guy doesn't want to be intimate...

I understand you. Part of you believes it shouldn’t bother you so much, but it does. You thought things would be different if you two were together, under the same roof, or even had that pesky little social title that depicted you were an item. Now and then it’s really good. In those moments he makes you feel so cherished and special. Why can’t he do that all the time? But those good moments are few and far between. Am I always going to feel unimportant and lonely? Am I always going to feel unwanted and repulsive? Of course, it’s one thing to have people in public turn you down or downgrade your desires, but to have the one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally do that, it becomes so much worse - rejection becomes intolerable. “I’m tired of feeling worthless, unattractive, and inadequate when he says he doesn’t need sex,” and “I’m tired of being the only one who initiates the sex,” are all things I’ve either heard from other women or myself when rejection became the person they were dating instead of the person laying six inches from them.

There are lots of things that you can do to try and get their attention back to your sexual desires. You can cry, whine, complain, and be miserable. You could nag and manipulate your partner to do what you want. You could give up on your relationship and go looking elsewhere for satisfaction. But you already know those things won’t get you what you need (unless what you secretly desire is a divorce or a breakup). What you’re needing is to be seen, understood, known, and sincerely wanted. So, here’s another solution:

1. Become clearer with what you want. Communication is key in relationships, and that’s true for all of them (marriage, hookups, dating, and friends with benefits). Is it the physical release of sex that you’re needing? Or is it something else? Try spending some one-on-one time with yourself to really understand that answer and then communicate that with your partner. The clearer you can become about what you want, the more likely you are to find it. If you’re not sure about this, the 5 Love Languages may help you figure things out.

2. Help him help you. Indeed, you and your desires are not some kind of puzzle that needs solving, but men will be men and men like to “successfully” solve problems. So, try to help your partner help you and show him what he can do to be the hero that’s desperately missing from your erotic story. I would try something along the lines of… “I feel like something is missing between us right now. Sex isn’t what it used to be. Can we **** like we used to?”

3. Take matters into your own hands. You may not want to hear this, but if you’re feeling unwanted, unattractive, unloved, un-anything, it’s normally because you’ve felt that way about yourself for a while now and your subconscious is desperately trying to grab your attention for a major change to happen. Because everyone has free-will, take matters into your own hands and decide what you want to believe about yourself. Everyone’s journey towards self-acceptance looks different (mine was quite ugly). And the truth is, we all have to work on loving ourselves every day. So, if you’re feeling resistance from your partner and you’ve tried communication, then chances are there are probably bigger and better things out there for you. This is your wake-up call.

4. Feed yourself your own food. Some of your needs are going to be met by your partner when you are in a relationship, but that will not be the case all of the time – even if he is Mr. Perfect. You are the only one that can make yourself feel worthy, beautiful, and important, so nourish your own heart and soul and stop waiting on a guy to do it for you. Trust me once you do, you will start feeling more peace and satisfaction than ever before.

Life isn’t guaranteed to be easy, and we know relationships are never going to be smooth sailing, so put yourself out there and communicate your needs. Your voice deserves to be heard.

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