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HELP! I Don't Enjoy Sex With My Boyfriend Anymore!
Dear Armchair Psychologist
I love my boyfriend dearly. We moved in as roommates and got together about a month after that. Now we've been together for a year and a half. Since we've lived together all that time, we're really close and are so accustomed to each other.
The longest I have been in a relationship before this is 4 months, and he didn't really have a serious exclusive relationship before me. I know he loves me a lot. He's prone to bad dreams and usually when he has them, he tosses and turns and I wake up and ask what's wrong. They're about different things but several times he told me he was upset because he dreamt we broke up. The idea of hurting him like that honestly breaks my heart. I love him so much but the problem is… I'm not in love with him… I don't think I ever was properly.
It was fun at first because he's cute and we got on well but as time went on we became so used to being together that I think it just feels safe being with him. I love waking up next to him and cuddling but I don't enjoy sex, I don't get that spark of excitement I had in previous relationships. I don't miss him when I'm away any more than I miss a close friend. What do I do?
I am sorry you feel torn about your boyfriend, and I can't begin to imagine the sadness or anxiety that might accompany this predicament. You say that you don't enjoy sex with your boyfriend, nor do you miss him as a romantic partner when he is away. You also say that you're not in love with him and that you worry about hurting him. Most healthy relationships are built on mutual feelings and understanding, which includes sexual intimacy and compatibility. I suspect you already know the answer to your question about what to do in this situation. The real question is what is preventing you from breaking up with your boyfriend? His worst nightmare might be an impending breakup, but it is not a good reason for you to stay in the relationship.
A wise person once told me "if you love someone, don't block their blessings." I'm not religious, however, it stuck with me this idea that I could be stopping someone from experiencing the love that they deserve, (and my own true love for that matter,) because I was holding unto them for my own comfort, fear of a tumultuous breakup and other selfish reasons. Your boyfriend sounds like a lovely and sensitive man. No one deserves to get their heartbroken but it is a part of life that each of us have to contend with to get closer to our true desires and happiness. It is time you develop the courage to break off this relationship and get the support you need to make this happen. Talk to a qualified therapist that can guide you through this difficult process. Also, seek the support of your loved ones, if available. Chances are that years from now, you will look back and feel that you made a good decision by avoiding creating your own nightmare!
- The Armchair Psychologist
Help! I'm Turned on by Head Shavings!
Dear Armchair Psychologist
I really need help with this matter. I have a girlfriend, and I love her hair a lot. But I get turned on seeing head shaving videos, and I masturbate to them. And now I feel like shaving my girlfriend's head sometimes but I really love her and can't do that. I really wanna change this stupid feeling. Hair-fetish is fun but the head-shaving part is killing me. My girlfriend doesn't wanna go bald, and I don't even want her to be bald either. But this fetish is killing me and making me watch a lot of videos of head shaving. Please help me. I need some tips to stop this feeling. Thank you.
- Baldy Love
Dear Baldy Love,
I'm sorry that you are experiencing such distress over your fetish. Kinks and fetishes are extremely common although they often carry a stigma. In a previous armchair psychologist post, I mentioned a UK study that found that 75% of all people have at least one sexual fetish. It concerns me that you are ashamed and troubled by having a fetish. I recommend you seek the support of a qualified therapist to explore your feelings of shame or fear around the topic. There is nothing wrong with you for enjoying head shaving videos and it's in fact healthy to have kinks and fetishes so long as they aren't harming anyone. I have a few fetishes myself and I am always able to go to my favorite porn sites to satisfy these.
You say you don't want your girlfriend to shave her head and go bald, but you seem unsatisfied because head-shaving is your inner desire? Have you tried including your girlfriend into your fetish? Most sex experts believe that sharing one's fetishes and kinks can lead to a more stimulating relationship and increase the trust and vulnerability between a couple. This great step by step by Dr. Jeremy Nicholoson, a social/personality psychologist, is a great guide on how to gently introduce your fetish to your partner. Grab this opportunity by the hair and begin working on your girlfriend.
- The Armchair Psychologist
Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get some advice of your own!
- Just the Tip: Navigating Fetishes in a Relationship - Rebellious ... ›
- Lovehacker: My Boyfriend's Hair Fetish Is Tearing Me Apart ›
- 5 Steps to Beat Boredom in Your Relationship | Psychology Today ›
- Being Bored Vs. Being Comfortable In A Relationship: Here's How ... ›
- Boring Relationship: Is It Worth Saving or Should We Break up? ›
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.