February 11, 2018 at 11:33 am #191869
So I write this five months after splitting up from my ex Chloe. I’m now in a new relationship yet I feel I’m struggling to move on.
Chloe and I have been going out on and off for 8 years. We shared the same sense of humour, the same interests and generally got on like a house on fire. She was my best friend and we moved in together around 12 months after we started going out. The only snag with Chloe was that unlike previous girlfriends, Chloe was unadventurous in the bedroom, had a low sex drive, and sometimes sex just seemed like a great big chore to her.
We (well I) spent ages trying to talk about and fix this together but progress wasn’t great. Chloe was perfectly happy with how things were so in her mind, why the need to change? Despite a generally great relationship in other areas, the sex situation dragged on and as a result I spent many long night feeling rejected, hurt, undesired and wondering how it was possible to be going out with the funniest, prettiest girl in the world but being such a bad fit in the bedroom department. I was monogamous throughout the relationship but the lack of sex, and Chloe’s lack of desire to find any solution really started to affect me.
There were a few hiccups in the relationship over the next coupe of years. I sustained a serious injury meaning that for around nine months I couldn’t rock climb – something that we normally did together. I also had a new business I’d recently started which demanded a lot of time. So Chloe and I started drifting apart a little, she didn’t seem very sympathetic to my injury and she was spending increasing amount of time with her friends, joined a new climbing club and went on holiday to the Alps with them a couple of times without me (no point in me going if I couldn’t climb). Me I was concentrating on the business and on my physiotherapy in a desperate attempt to get better.
In the meantime, Chloe was receiving a lot of attention from some of the guys at her work and also the guys in the new climbing club she’d joined. Although nothing ever happened, I know that she had received plenty of offers and I felt jealous and vulnerable. Yet being injured I was limited in what I could say or do to address the situation without sounding like a jealous loser. My injury prevented me from being the strong, unafraid of anything climber I’d always been. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was no longer a better climber than Chloe and she’d progressed so much in the time I’d had off from the sport.
Chloe seemed to be getting increasingly distant. It wasn’t long before she told me she wanted to move to the Alps where she by now had friends and the opportunities to climb in her time off were much greater. I sensed that things were not working out and I was fed up with the crumbs of a sex life on offer. We tried to talk it through but it never got anywhere so eventually agreed to split up. It was a mostly mutual decision although Chloe was the one to make the final decision. Chloe moved out the next week and over to the Alps very shortly afterwards.
Chloe and I agreed to keep in touch as friends and soon afterwards I started dating other women here in the UK on a fairly casual basis – although deep down I think I was looking for someone with Chloe’s qualities but without the low sex drive. To say I had a good time was an understatement, but I never dated anyone with whom I gelled on a deeper level.
Throughout the time that Chloe was in the Alps we kept in regular contact. We saw each other occasionally as friends – either I would go out there or she would come here. After a while, Chloe had heard from a friend that I was dating again and knowing this, she asked if we wanted to give it another go. Chloe and I had remained close though and I still really fancied her so we chatted about it and agreed that if she moved back over here to the UK, then we’d give it a go. We chatted also about the sex issue and she agreed to work on this which I was happier about.
It would take Chloe a few months for her work contract to finish in the Alps and as time progressed I started to feel the pressure building with regards to her moving back here. Half of me was very excited to soon have her back, but the other half was reluctant to give up my new found freedoms. Chloe would be moving in with me again. I wondered if we could actually overcome the huge differences in sex drive that had been an issue for me in the past, and I wondered whether she was finally agreeing to work on this not because of her desire to do so, but because it was an issue for me? I felt a little guilty making her move back for me, but she insisted she wanted to move back anyway.
And then BOOM< a big issue. Before Chloe had confirmed a final date to move back I met someone else in the UK I really liked (Sarah). There wasn’t a plan to meet anyone, it happened on a climbing weekend away with mutual friends. Yet I knew within a few hours of meeting Sarah that we were good together, she shared the same interests and we just got on. Sarah was different to all the other girls I’d been seeing casually and I just couldn’t get her out of my mind.
One thing lead to another, I couldn’t help myself and I started seeing Sarah. Sarah is even better looking than Chloe, a little younger, a lot better in bed with a high sex drive, kinder, and we have more in common. I enjoy being around her, even if we were just sat quietly, saying nothing. So I now had two girls I cared deeply for, Chloe who was planning to return from the Alps and now Sarah. Help,I knew I was not behaving honourably and this was never the plan!
For two months I battled in my own mind which way to go. Friends must have been sick of me talking about it. I realised that I had to let one of them go as it wasn’t fair on anyone to keep this going. So whom do I choose, the new relationship with Sarah or to have Chloe move back to the UK?
I was under considerable pressure to make a decision. I still had doubts on whether I could live with Chloe’s lack of sex drive. I wasn’t sure whether it was fair for me to commit to having Chloe ditch her life in the Alps to return to the UK for me when I was now having doubts. I also wanted the opportunity to see where it went with Sarah as I really thought it had potential.
Decision reluctantly made meant that I had to let Chloe down. Chloe had sensed that something was wrong and she was devastated. I told her that I just didn’t want the responsibility of her coming back to the UK for me with some of our issues unresolved. I felt terribly guilty and I felt really sad that I’d hurt her, someone I still cared for so much. Regardless Chloe left the door open and said if I changed my mind, I knew where she was. Chloe didn’t know about Sarah.
So I ceased contact with Chloe and another couple of months on and I’m working hard to adjust to being in a committed monogamous relationship once more. So far it’s going really well. Sarah is really keen. Sarah has met my family and friends and they all like her.
The problem is though that despite things going really well with Sarah, I’m still having thoughts about Chloe. I miss Chloe terribly and even though we’ve broken up I miss the friendship part of the relationship deeply. There’s lots of places I go (some with Sarah now with me) that remind me of Chloe and I sometimes visiting those places I remember the good times and feel so sad that Chloe and I are not still in touch. Even though we’ve split up I still care for Chloe deeply and I think about her a lot.
I miss going to see Chloe in the Alps, I miss Chloe’s dog whom I’d grown attached to, and I miss the joint friends Chloe and I had built up in the Alps on my trips out there. I am frequently questioning whether I have made the right decision. I feel sad that I’ve hurt Chloe, that I’ve caused her pain and I have occasional thoughts about whether I should just jump on a plane, go over to the Alps to see Chloe and tell her that everything is going to be okay and that I want her back.
Thinking logically, on paper, Sarah has far more going for her. I’m worried that these constant thoughts about Chloe are affecting my new relationship with Sarah. I’ve not said anything to Sarah, and can’t if I expect things to work for us. I know that things were far from perfect with Chloe so I don’t understand why on earth am I still pining after her?
I can’t seem to let Chloe go. I try to put her to the back of my mind but I still miss her, still feel guilty for hurting her, and I feel that this is starting to compromise my new relationship with Sarah.
Help, I’ve no idea what to do so thought I’d ask on here to try and get an objective opinion on the situation.
EddFebruary 12, 2018 at 9:00 am #192033
You wrote: “I feel sad that I've hurt Chloe, that I've caused her pain and I have occasional thoughts about … jumping on a plane, go over to the Alps to see Chloe and tell her that everything is going to be okay”- from having read your account, I think you may be projecting your need for Chloe into her, that is, it is you who needs her more than she needs you. Reads to me that she was able to take care of herself well, continuing her climbing while you were not able to join her, find new people, a new job, live her life away from you.
Her very lack of sex drive while living with you adds to my impression that she needs you less than you need her.
I think that a lack of sex drive overall can not be fixed any more than one can force oneself to like eating broccoli as much as someone else.
I wonder if you perceive something in Chloe that you need that you don't see in Sarah?
<span style=”font-family: Arial;”> </span>February 15, 2018 at 11:58 am #192725
Hi Anita, thanks for the insight. I’d agree and at the time I was injured it was me who needed Chloe more than she needed me. I was feeling quite sorry for myself at the time and threw myself into work.
That’s not been the full picture though as since she’s been in the Alps (3 years now) it’s been Chloe who’s been suggesting that we get back together and I’m the one who has been avoiding commitment. I guess I’ve been guilty of enjoying an almost single ‘ish’ lifestyle here in the UK whilst still having the support of Chloe in the background. We’ve never really discussed this, yes we should have but I think there has been some miss communication down the line. Chloe was the one who suggested her moving back to the UK to be with me and to move in with me and it’s been me who’s been the one being hesitant recently. Firstly because of the issues we’d had in the past and secondly because of her lack of sex drive and whether this could be worked on. Then of course further hesitation once I’d met Sarah.
I guess I was secretly jealous of other couples when I was going out with Chloe because of Chloe's lack of sex drive. I’d imagined (and knew) that others were having a far better time in this respect. I was guilty of giving Chloe a hard time about this and probably wasn’t always the most sensitive. I realise looking back that maybe that was wrong. Facebook can paint a perfect picture of others and I realise now that no couple is perfect – perhaps a bit too late though?
It was a difficult decision to choose which way I should go and I guess half of me would have liked to see whether it had a future with Chloe, whether she would really work on things as she’d claimed and whether things would have improved. This feels a bit unresolved to me, like I’ve just given up on many years history together when maybe I should have persisted?
So now to the present. Sarah is great, kind, loyal, loving, high sex drive, complimentary and yet I can’t seem to get Chloe out of my mind. Sarah is very different from Chloe and I’m finding that hard to get used to. Sarah seemed perfect at first but as things progress then there are of course niggles that pop up as in any relationship and things are not quite as perfect as they were on day one. I’m a quiet person and Sarah is very loud. Sometimes I find myself cringing when Sarah is being loud and opinionated when we’re out with friends. Half of me wonders whether I’m just being intolerant, and part of me wonders if I’m comparing her with Chloe – not healthy I’m sure!
Chloe got in touch briefly a couple of weeks ago to let me know she was moving back to the UK anyway and this has thrown me. Chloe now knows about Sarah (powers of Facebook). She was very upset once she found out so I’m guessing I’ve probably burned my bridges there anyway. Regardless I feel incredibly guilty for hurting Chloe as I still care about her a lot. Damage is done I guess.
I’m now sometimes doubting whether Sarah is right and whether I’ve made a good decision. Despite the issues we had, Chloe and I had something pretty unique and we just got each other most of the time. Other people seem to move on from these things much more easily and I thing I over analyse situations sometimes. Wish I knew why I was feeling like the as I feel that things are starting to compromise my new relationship with Sarah.February 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm #192731
It seems like what you like about Chloe is something you like as a friend. If you take sex out the equation then why can't you be platonic friends?
Nobody will be perfect for each other. Part of the great thing about relationships is that they help us grow and mature. What seems like to be very important is not so much as we get use to each other and learn to love each other even more deeply or maturely.
MarkFebruary 16, 2018 at 3:59 am #192781
When you got injured, Chloe attended to her self interests by “spending increasing amount of time with her friends, joined a new climbing club and went on a holiday to the Alps with them a couple of times without (you)”.
After that the two of you broke up and she moved to the Alps.
Later, sometime during her three year stay in the Alps, she suggested to move back to the UK and resume the relationship with you: “Chloe was the one who suggested her moving back to the UK to be with me and to move in with me”.
Read at this point like she wanted to move back to the UK for the purpose of being with you and moving in with you. But even though the relationship with you did not resume (was it after she found out about Sarah?) she moved back to the UK anyway: “Chloe got in touch briefly a couple of weeks ago to let me know she was moving back to the UK anyway”
Am I correct in my understanding then that Chloe took care of herself, placing her self interest (as she should have) first in her mind and life, seeing what she needs and wants as her guide in life?
Are you willing to be okay with placing your needs and wants as your guide in life, a guide to the choices you make?
If so, focus on what you need and what you want as your guide first. Figure that out and then figure how to make your relationships with anyone and everyone a Win-Win proposition where both parties are reasonably satisfied.
* Regarding Sarah being loud, can you ask her to lower her voice in certain circumstances, let's say, when she is on the phone with others, if these are the times she is being loud?
That would be reasonable to ask Sarah. On the other hand it is unreasonable to ask anyone to display a higher sex drive than they experience.
anitaFebruary 17, 2018 at 4:42 am #192923
I re-read your posts attentively this morning in my efforts to understand you and your situation better. You mentioned that you felt at different times the following: rejected, hurt, undesired, jealous, vulnerable, sad, guilty, and one time you mentioned “fed up”. I think that your anger has played a big part in your relationship with Chloe and that the sex issue was something you focus on but it is not the only nor is it the primary issue.
Clues to the relationship being in trouble for a long time is your statement that it has been “on and off for 8 years” and evidence that sex was not the only issue is in your statement: “it's been me who's been the one being hesitant recently. Firstly because of the issues we'd had in the past and secondly because of her lac of sex drive
When you “spent many long nights feeling rejected, hurt, undesired…Chloe's lack of desire to find any solution really started to affect me..”, you felt angry at Chloe. When you got injured and “She didn't seem very sympathetic to my injury…(she) went on holiday to the Alps with (friends) a couple of times without me…I was no longer a better climber than Chloe”, you were angry.
You compared her climbing to your climbing ability and were angry that following your injury she was a better climber. You also compared your sex life with Chloe to other people's sex life and found yours inferior, in comparison: “I was secretly jealous of other couples … I'd imagined (and knew) that others were having a far better time in this respect.”
You expressed your anger at Chloe within the relationship with her: “I was guilty of giving Chloe a hard time about this and probably wasn't always the most sensitive”.
I think that now you are angry at Sarah for being loud and opinionated. You wrote: “Sometimes I find myself cringing when Sarah is being loud and opinionated… I'm now sometimes doubting whether Sarah is right…”.
Anger is powerful. I believe your anger preceded Sarah and Chloe, has nothing to do with anyone's sex drive, and needs to be addressed and resolved. If you would like, let me know of your thoughts.
February 17, 2018 at 4:43 am #192925
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by anita.
* didn't reflect under TopicsFebruary 17, 2018 at 8:46 am #192963
Hi Anita, yes you could be right but I wouldn't say angry, just easily frustrated and sometimes not very tolerant. Sometimes I feel like I need a lot of space in relationships and Chloe certainly did give me that on occasion. I have a lot of friends, a lot of hobbies and a busy company I'm the owner of so time is fairly precious and often (I'm sure like a lot of people) I feel that I've never got time to relax and just re-consolidate.
I find that I've been through lots of girlfriends in the past and they all start out great, but after a while I always end up with doubts. I always end up thinking that there's something better and end up frustrated and often give them a hard time (by being grumpy) when they do something minor that I don't like. I know that this is wrong and I often tell myself to chill out but sometimes I can't help it.
I tend to think about things a lot and I worry that I often over analyse things, relationships especially. I make plans in my head but those plans often revolve around myself or friends, rather than my girlfriend. The common theme with me is that I meet a girl, date her, everyone (friend and family) thinks she's lovely and then a few months down the line (or as much as a couple of years), I think I could do better, so I end things and then move on. It's happened at least 10 times and Chloe was the longest. I don't know why I'm doing this, and I wish that I wasn't and that I could settle. All my friends have settled with women whom I wouldn't want to be settled with and they're happy, so I'm wondering why I can't take that step they have.February 17, 2018 at 9:20 am #192973
The title of your thread is “Low sex drive ex v's new girlfriend”- reading about your history with women, “I meet a girl, date her… and then a few months down the line (or as much as a couple of years), I think I could do better… it's happened at least 10 times”-
and so, it is not about sex drive. And it is not about Chloe vs Sarah.
What is it about then. The answer may be here: “I think I could do better”-
Here is a possible scenario. You have shared nothing about your childhood, therefore this is nothing more than a possibility to explain this could-do-better mindset: as a child your parent/s sent you the message, repeatedly, that you can do better, be a better student, get better grades, do better in sports… better, faster, more improved… better than others, number one.
Anything like it?
anitaFebruary 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm #193643
To be blunt.
Maybe you weren't giving her what she needed in the bedroom. We all are endowed from birth, but that is not your best tool.
The good news is that those skills can be learned.February 20, 2018 at 11:48 pm #193661
Thanks Anita, but can I clarify, this is nothing to do with anger, I think you're reading this wrong and trying to put your own spin on things. Sorry if that sounds harsh. I'm confused and came on here looking for a solution as to why despite being in a new relationship, why I'm still missing my ex so much. Yes I've had history, hasn't everyone and a common trait of mine is that I seem to get bored easily in relationships and look where the grass is greener. That's something I'd like to change but is not because of anything negative that has happened in my past that I can think of.
Darrel, thanks for your insightful comment but I don't need any help in that department thank you.February 21, 2018 at 4:22 am #193677
Well, if I am reading this wrong, I am more than willing to re-read or re-start my thinking. You wrote in your last post: “I seem to get bored easily in relationships and look where the grass is greener. That's something I'd like to change”-
you defined your problem right there, expressing a desire to solve it.
You are welcome to go about solving it elsewhere.
If you would like to communicate with me further, in efforts to solve this problem, then consider answering my question:
Looking back as far as you can see in your life, when did you notice first that the grass was greener elsewhere?