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Will he love me again if we have sex?

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Anonymous asks:

Hello. my boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years and are on the verge of separating. The reason mainly being is that we have not had sex and therefore his feelings did not evolve and he fell out of love with me. But now I am ready to have sex and I am really in love with him. The only problem is that he wants to date other people. My question is that if we have intercourse (we both love each other...his love for me now is not romantic) is there a chance of saving our relationship? I know sex is different for men and women. Is there a chance that he might feel the spark again and might even start falling in love with me?

Lauren replies:

This is critical to everything I'm about to say, so listen up: Vaginal intercourse is not necessarily more fulfilling, physical or emotionally, than any other type of sex. Is it an awesome expression of intimacy and sexuality to two people who are in a respectful, straightforward relationship? Sure, it can be, to some people. But moreover, it doesn't seem as if you're in a straightforward relationship.

People run into huge issues when not only do they assume intercourse is any more physically or emotionally fulfilling than other sexual and non-sexual activities, but use these false assumptions to try to cement a relationship, prove maturity, or try to win love. Unlike what the abstinence-only camp tries to drill in, sex isn't only for people in love, because for many, sex and love are two very separate needs, wants, and ideas. The vast, vast majority of the population of the world masturbates; they're satisfying a physical urge, not a connection. These same physical needs cross over into paired sexual activity, which may or may not include wants or needs like love and affection, much less be in the context of a relationship. Sexual activities are pretty much all created equal -- all of them involve vulnerabilities and intimacy that are on the partners' terms, and all are equally capable OF, not necessarily required FOR, the deepening a relationship, should the partners choose it as an expression.

You say your boyfriend fell out of love with you because you did not have sex and his feelings did not "evolve". What does that mean, exactly? Did he tell you this himself? If so, he isn't a very mature partner -- mature partners wait for us until we're ready, learn to talk about the ways they're feeling per their needs and the pace of our relationship, be realistic about how those needs mesh with our relationship, and reach compromises. "No sex, don't love ya, see ya later" isn't the way a mature person ready for a romantic relationship based on communication and respect handles themselves.

So, in short, your energy is best spent sending him along his merry little way, educating yourself about the reality of sexual activity, and getting accustomed to the other ways to express love and affection which are often far more fulfilling than inserting Tab A into Slot B for a whole lot of people.

Further reading:

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

Safer Sex...for Your Heart

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