Q: Patti, I am 30 and I've been engaged for the past 10 months to a woman I dated on and off for about 10 years. I am extremely sexually frustrated. Ever since we got engaged, sex has virtually fallen off the map. I get turned down all the time, and she only initiates when she thinks I am mad at her. Even then it seems like it is a chore for her.
I even took her on a tropical vacation recently and I got turned down consistently except for one night. I bring her gifts. I take her on dates. I clean the house. I'm starting to feel like she is not attracted to me -- or worse. It's really making me frustrated and irritable with her. What do I do?
-- J.D., Buffalo
A: If you haven't had any conversations with her about this -- and it seems like you haven't -- you need to talk to her. The only way you'll ever find out what's going on in her head is if you bring your issues to her attention. Clear communication is key to successful relationships, especially marriages.
Stop buying her gifts and taking her on trips until you resolve this problem. She might feel like she doesn't have to work on your relationship anymore now that you're engaged.
A marriage without sex and intimacy is not likely to last. The fact that the sex ended when the engagement began is a red flag, and it is unsettling that she only initiates sex when she thinks you're angry with her. Again, this illustrates the possibility that she no longer feels that it's necessary to satisfy you since you're getting married.
Once again, I say you need to talk to her before you commit to spending the rest of your life with her. If you can't get her to be honest with you, I would highly suggest couples counseling and/or a sex therapist before tying the knot.
Class, or no class?
Q: I was physically involved with my personal trainer for about six months, and I have known him for about a year. I told him how I felt about him recently and he did not acknowledge my feelings, and instead kept apologizing for not returning my calls and so forth.
It came to a point when I had enough and informed him that I do not plan to attend class and to let me know how he really feels about me, which is when he told me we are "just friends." He is not interested in me, but he continues to ask me about attending his class. I am so sad. I want more from him. Please help.
-- Confused, Buffalo
A: Honestly, he is not interested in pursuing an intimate relationship with you. Unfortunately, you were just a booty call to him, and this is why booty calls are unhealthy. Someone almost always gets hurt because, when a relationship starts in the bedroom, that's usually where it ends. When women ask me how they can turn a booty call into a relationship, I tell them they can't, because it's too late. If you give someone the message that you're OK with casual sex, that's all you'll ever get. If you want the real thing, stop doing the fake thing, and if you want to feel good about yourself, stop wasting your time on men who only want sex. Show yourself some respect. Ignore his attempts to contact you from now on. If he keeps it up, call his boss or supervisor if he has one and report him. The bottom line is that he is not looking for anything from you other than your business, so cut your losses and move on.
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your initials and hometown.