This week, one reader says her boyfriend refuses to get intimate in any way, while another complains that her boyfriend isn't romantic. Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her love advice in TODAY.com's "30-second therapist" series.
Q: I've been dating a man for 10 months. There is absolutely no sex or touching. None! Not even make-out sessions, touching any part of my body, oral sex, regular sex. Zilch! There is no reason he can give when I ask why not. He has made different excuses: he’s depressed, he lacks testosterone, he’s not in the mood, he doesn't do oral, and more. We had his testosterone levels checked, and they’re fine. I'm not a sex maniac, but I need a little something, even if it’s just touching and kissing. What should I do? —Gotta Get Some
Dear Gotta Get Some,
Girlfriend, for amorous desires, you don’t need a defense that you’re not a “sex maniac.” Sex is a beautiful component of any relationship, and why, after 10 months, you’d even settle for “just touching and kissing” raises a question about your own sex drive. Physical intimacy is vital to our health: a mere 20-second hug releases the bonding hormone, oxytocin, a natural antidepressant.
Now that the issue of testosterone has been ruled out, other medical concerns should be explored. Your guy may also have emotional issues. The ultimate question is what he’s doing to solve the problem. If he’s taking some action, he’s trying. If he’s not, you have some decisions to make! —Dr. Gilda
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. We love each other and have a great relationship. The only concern I have is with romance; he's not spontaneous ahd he’s unwilling to plan any surprises. He does the little things, like buying me chocolate when it's that time of the month, and opens my car door. I tell him that sometimes I would like more romance (even in the bedroom), and he tells me he doesn't know how. I don’t want to seem to be nagging or annoying. What can I do? —Want More
Dear Want More,
A lot of women would be thrilled their guy cares enough to buy them chocolate during their low periods, and that he’s gallant enough to open the car door. What exactly do you want? Telling him you “would like more romance (even in the bedroom)” does not spell it out. So, lady, take the reins and model the behavior you want him to enact. If you desire lights, camera, action in the bedroom, you provide the special effects. If you crave more touching, you provide fragrant oils for massage. But remember, my Gilda-Gram™ warns, “The closeness women want is what men sometimes fear. So make love feel safe.” Start the music softly, and gently welcome him to join your band! —Dr. Gilda
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Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emerita, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.