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What Are Some Ways My Boyfriend and I Can Rekindle Our Monotogamy?

Here it is on PsychCentral!

Reader Monotogamous (do you see how I’m trying to coin that phrase?  Monotonous monogamy?  Come on, that’s pretty good) writes:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years and I feel I am getting emotionally detached from him because we never have sex…I saw that he was watching porn all the time a few days ago and it bothered me because I feel he’s lost interest in me sexually and physically. I feel as if we are just friends what are some ideas I could use to bring “love” back?


Well, M, I applaud you for trying to bring the spark back into your relationship.  As far as I see it, there are three main areas in a relationship: Sex, Trust, and Communication.

1. Sex

In order to improve your sex life, we need to examine three criteria: Frequency, Compatibility, and Passion.

Frequency: Do you have sex at least once a week?  I consider this a good goal for a young couple, with more being better.  If you don’t have sex at least once a week, you’re going to lose interest in each other.  Having sex keeps you connected and keeps both of your sex drives up.  Commit to having sex at least once a week.

Compatibility: What sexual activities do both of you like?  Does he always want oral sex but you can’t stand it?  Then don’t start with that. You can build up to more exciting activities, but for now focus on once a week, doing something you both like.  (Guy on top intercourse is usually a winner, in that neither partner usually hates it.)

Passion: In order to cultivate passion, you need to feel truly connected.  This means you must also touch and kiss every day, even if sex is just once a week.  You also must feel known, loved, and understood in order to let go of your inhibitions.

2. Trust

Do you and your partner trust each other?  Are you, for example, confident that your boyfriend loves you and that he is committed to the relationship? Does he feel the same about you?

If there has been a history of infidelity, or even of constant “minor” lying, this suspicious feeling can erode connection.  You may end up feeling distant and detached from one another, as you describe.  If trust is an issue, you may want to seek couples counseling.

3. Communication

You’re describing a situation where you and your boyfriend do not seem to talk or connect much.  I would recommend the following to enhance communication.  Each week you set aside 30 minutes for an emotional check in, during which you ask each other how you’re feeling about the relationship.  Set an egg timer so you stay there the whole time, and you’re not allowed to talk about anything but how you’re feeling emotionally about each other.

And during the week, every day, set aside ten minutes to talk about topics you never really discuss.  Here are some to start with, and you can get way more topic ideas in my 52 Emails book:

1. When did you first realize you loved me?

2. What did you learn about marriage from your parents?

3. What is your favorite thing I do for you?

4. What’s your favorite memory of us?

5. What’s your favorite memory from being a kid?

6. What’s your favorite sexual memory of us? (This can lead back to sex.)

Make up more questions from there.  Each day discuss a new open ended question (like from this list of 100 Date Night Questions).  The goal is to get to know your partner on a deeper level.  Between this, and working on your physical connection, you should see an increase in feelings of closeness.

If you don’t, though, it may be time to ask yourself some hard questions about the relationship.  You’re not even married and already you’re feeling more distant.  What will happen in the future?  I urge you to think clearly about this if my advice doesn’t help. Good luck, and I wish you the best at rekindling your love.  Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Wants Your Relationship To Get That Loving Feeling Back, Because It’s Gone, Gone, Gone, Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa.

Order Dr. Rodman Whiten’s books, 52 Emails to Transform Your Marriage and How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family, and listen to The Dr. Psych Mom Show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. If you need therapy, check out her online group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.

This blog is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis and should in no way replace consultation with a medical professional. If you try this advice and it does not work for you, you cannot sue me. This is only my opinion, based on my background, training, and experience as a therapist and person.

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  1. Veronica
    August 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm — Reply

    I am shocked the Dr. did not even address pornography. It kills love in relationships and trains the viewer’s mind lust after lies.

    • Dan
      April 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm — Reply

      If you consider the pornography as a symptom then the advice is really right on target. My own drifts into pornography are directly linked to these issues. In my current state I am married to a woman who struggles with passion and communication. She has a very low sex drive (only in the mood once or twice a month) and so all of our sex is based on my need alone and I often feel guilty for asking her. I don’t feel unattractive since I am propositioned for sex at my college about once every month or two. I don’t want to cheat on my wife, but at the same time I find myself frantically searching for healthy outlets for my sexual energy. Pornography at least provides visual stimulation but ultimately only remains as a symptom of the underlying issues in my marriage. I do find that in times when my wife is passionate and loving that I have no desire for pornography. This remains true until about a month after she goes back to living in her own secluded world.

  2. Allen
    November 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm — Reply

    There are plenty of women who *love* having sex like porn stars. There are many who even enjoy watching porn with or without a partner. It’s disconnects that kill relationships, and it’s true that porn (or work, or hobbies, or anything else) can be used to create distance, but those same things can be used to create connections as well.

  3. surebud...
    March 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm — Reply

    lol oh yea? you’re sooooo good looking that people regularly approach you for sex? must be nice…

  4. EnVY AboVE
    February 18, 2020 at 5:27 pm — Reply

    That actually happens to good looking guys. If this person wrote this and you’re reading it, I’d have to say your a Beta. Your response is the proof! I resonate with Dan. Anymore Betas want to back this un-sure bud?

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