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Friend Is Not My Lover, Lover Is Not My Friend

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From a woman in Italy: Hello, I hope I will manage to describe my situation, even if english is not my native language.

I have been in a relationship for 7 years with my partner. We are both 40. Our relationship started out from friendship, we met through mutual friends. We were both searching for a serious relationship when we met, and we saw in each other what we were looking for, stability, plans for the future, mutual respect. We have a very similar style of life, and we like similar things, and love doing things together.

But there is some kind of sexual incompatibility between us, I don’t feel attracted by him. It is not about the looks, it has to do with a way he approaches me, or chemistry, or with how I perceive him, I really can’t tell what is the real problem. In first years I was ignoring the problem, thinking thay there is something wrong with me, with my hormons or my libido, and I was trying my best to “make him happy” even if I was not in the mood. I knew he has his needs and that he becomes nervous if he is not satisfied. I think that made me feel worse and worse, since I always had a feeling that the relationship happiness was depending on me.

We started speaking about this issue, but it was not really resolving anything, since he was always complaining about how little kinky I am, and I was complaining about the fact I didn’t liked the way he kisses me and that I feel obligated to have sex. But we stayed together for years, since there are so many other things that connect us.

Then, 2 years ago, I fell in love with another person. I couldn’t immagine myself being in a relationship with this person, but he attracted me a lot. Then I had a very hard period not knowing what to do. A year ago I left my boyfriend, and tryed with this other guy, and the sex was totally different, satisying and fullfilling. But I couldn’t let go compleetly my boyfreind, and I couldn’t really let myself try with this new person. I came back to him, but I continue on changing my mind, constantly, and wondering if I should be with him, if there is something we can do.

Friend Is Not My Lover, Lover Is Not My Friend

Answered by on -


This is complicated. Usually sexual attraction grows when there is a deep and satisfying relationship. People usually reject a sexual partner who is otherwise not the right fit for their daily life and activities. But you are going back and forth between these two gentlemen.

Often people who find themselves in this predicament are avoiding being totally connected with anybody due to past hurts. By finding something fundamentally wrong with both, you prevent yourself from committing totally to either. That may not be the case with you but it is something to consider. I urge you to see a therapist to sort this out. At 40, you still have a long life ahead of you. You deserve to have a loving partner who is a complete fit.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Friend Is Not My Lover, Lover Is Not My Friend

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Friend Is Not My Lover, Lover Is Not My Friend. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 23 Aug 2018 (Originally: 25 Aug 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 23 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.