Monday, June 20, 2011

Desire and compromise 2

A more organized, less rambling, and more complete version of the main theme from my last post.

The woman I'm dating right now does not have a conventionally attractive appearance. It's far enough from the conventionally attractive that she has had a lot of experience with people showing interest in her online profile then losing interest when they see her picture, and she had pretty much given up on it and was planning to remove it.

I find that I do not really desire her, but it seems so far that I do not really desire anybody. The idea of sex with anyone except my ex is just not real to me, and it seems to short-circuit my libido. Especially with conventionally attractive women; I recognize how good they look, but it's sort of irrelevant. I can intellectually think that sex with them would/should be desirable, but there isn't any of the kind of desire that previously set my mind fantasizing or fighting off fantasies. Some kind of automatic mechanism slams the shutters on that kind of thought before it gets started. Considering that the only exception to this is when I see my ex, I figure this is largely a mechanism I built up in the days I was married.

I can't tell how much of my lack of desire is from the general case and how much is specific to this one woman.

My girlfriend right now apparently finds me more or less exactly what she wished for, except that I'm messy. But I do not find myself desiring her sexually. I like her. I think she's a wonderful person. She is probably even more eager to please than I am, which is not something I ever thought I'd find. And she is extraordinarily good at those things that we allow ourselves to do; for example I've never been kissed anything like that before. And she has a extremely active imagination, highly compatible with mine. She is extremely kind and I think she would do just about anything for me; so much so that I'm very careful what I say about what I might like.

I think she deserves a good man, and I think given the search she's told me about over past years that she isn't all that likely to find a better match, and I know she thinks she won't. I've told her as delicately as I could that her body isn't really my ideal, and she basically responded with the idea that she could make me attracted to her some day (as she continues to lose weight, and as she is no longer limited by my abstinence.) I told her because I don't want to be lying to her when I do and say things to make her feel good.

The easy thing to say is that she wouldn't want someone who doesn't desire her. But I don't think that's really true. Certainly lots of rich men date or marry beautiful young women; and certainly they're mostly not fools enough to think it's them that's desired, rather than their money. I am in the position of the gold-digger, except I want the love and devotion she offers rather than her money. (I make quite a bit more, BTW, and I pay for everything unless she argues.) She may think that being with someone who acts out of love, and gratitude for what she does for him, is much better than being alone. I certainly would have been overjoyed had my ex treated me the way I would treat her, which is an extension of the way I act now.

But the way I act now I see as a problem. I'm driving and exaggerating and to some extent even playacting my interest. And that is exactly what I should be doing if we were already married and I felt the same way, but it's not what I think I should be doing now. Now is the time to show the ugliest truths.

So what I'm thinking I should do, for my sake rather than hers, is explain the problem and try to take it back to a friend kind of level; and resume looking, but in a very low-key, friendship only kind of way. See who I meet. I think she's very unique, but I was only looking a couple of months. How would I know?


  1. I think your idea is an excellent idea. You don't have to get married immediately after you start dating, after all. Maybe you can find someone who's perfect for you in every way. :)

    And if not, either you can marry her, or she will find someone who's attracted to her and marry him. Win/win!

  2. Your plan sounds like a good one. I really think you need to do some serious soul searching here because as trite as it sounds, the it's not you it's me speech fits here. I doubt it has much to do with this woman at all. I think you are still harboring desire for your ex. Having the conversation is absolutely the right thing to do.

  3. Thanks, Ozymandias and Penny. You are correct that I'm still harboring desire for my ex, emotionally though not intellectually. Perhaps, as the woman I was dating suggested, I should see a therapist about that. Because I will cheerfully admit that it is crazy.