Dear Wendy: “My BF Told Me He’s Only With Me For Sex”

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for almost six months now, but for three months over the summer, we were long distance and weren’t able to visit one another. We were both really excited to see each other when school started in August. But since then, we have been fighting a lot. I think it’s because we’re not in the carefree summer mode anymore and are both stressed about schoolwork. We usually don’t see each other until after 9:30 or 10 p.m. each day, which has turned into sex/sleep/cuddle time with minimal talking. We text the majority of most days so it hasn’t bothered me all that much that we don’t talk about things in person. Recently, we got into a really big fight where I threatened to be done with our relationship and he texted something really hurtful. He told me that no one would ever want to date me except to have consistent sex. He told me later that he never meant it and that I should forget that he said it. But I can’t, and I’ve refused to have sex with him. I don’t know what to do or how to handle this because apparently trying to talk it out (or the way I have tried) hasn’t worked. — Over-thinker

I have some bad news for you: your life will probably never be as uncomplicated and as stress-free as it is right now — at least, not for a long time. If your relationship can’t handle the challenges of college life, particularly when its still so new, it’s pretty unlikely it would fare well out in the “real world” when stressors are bigger, badder, and far more frequent. I say this not to depress you but to give you a little perspective. If you’re using college stress as an excuse for a relationship being dysfunctional, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. Life is only going to get more stressful, so you have to learn to manage your stress, manage your time, and perhaps most important: how to communicate in a healthy, mature way.

You can start by getting rid of your texting plan on your cell phone. OK, maybe you don’t have to get rid of the plan completely, but you should really limit how and when you use it. And that goes for all modern means of communicating: email, Facebook, etc. Couples really need face-to-face communication with each other or they become disconnected (this is why long-distance relationships pose such a challenge). Look at what happened to you and your boyfriend over the summer. You lost face time and your relationship suffered.

So, can you get it back on track? Well, you can try, but I’ll be honest: it doesn’t look promising. And frankly, if some guy told me that the only reason anyone would date me was for consistent sex and his actions pretty much backed that up (i.e. the only time we spent together was “sex/sleep/cuddle time”), I’d kick him to the curb so fast. But that’s me. If you still want to try to work things out with this guy, you both have to be willing to not only make time for each other where you aren’t just screwing, sleeping or cuddling. Intimacy is certainly important in a relationship, but when it’s strictly physical, it’s false intimacy. Real intimacy comes from sharing your feelings, sharing experiences, and showing your vulnerabilities.

So, tell your boyfriend that what he said to you really hurt you. Tell him it’s made you feel used by him and you want to take a step back, cool your physical relationship a bit and work on getting your emotional connection on track. Tell him it isn’t about “punishing” him, but about building trust between you so you can fully enjoy real intimacy together. If he’s not willing to work on things with you — to make time in his day to see you and talk to you in person — he isn’t worth your time either, and you really need to move on.

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