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After deciding to move to another country for a man, my libido suddenly dropped. What's wrong here?
By Sarah Jaffe
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Dear Miss Information,
I'm 18-years-old, and I moved countries 6 and a half months ago, hoping to travel and get to know the other half of my family, but just over a month ago, things got really hectic. I moved in with my father here, and it has been nothing but hurt and disappointment. His sisters inserted themselves into the family drama, and long story short, I have pretty much now been dubbed the black sheep of the family. My 23-year-old boyfriend, who I met here and have been dating for nearly three months, has stuck by me and helped me through this as much as possible.
I’ve now been told to move out of my father’s house. I have nowhere to go and very little money, so when my boyfriend offered to take me with him to another country where he plans to study for six months, I agreed. But the closer we get to moving day, the more stressed out I’m getting. My libido has lowered drastically -- we get in the mood but lately I just stop halfway through and don't feel like talking. I’m always tired and have been experiencing nausea, hot flashes, and bouts of dizziness. I do really try to keep going when we get aroused, but I just lose my mojo. I have never said no when he asks to have sex and I don't know what these silent moods are about, but its not like I'm ignoring him or being rude. He says I shouldn't take my stress out on him – is he right? How do I make things better?
—Stressed Depressed Mess
Dear Stressed Depressed Mess,
AHHHH! I hate this. I hate all of this. If I hate it this much, I can only imagine how you feel. Let’s break this all down together, shall we?
You’re going through a majorly stressed time – dealing with serious family drama, money trouble, feeling adrift, and being on the brink of essentially moving in with someone you’ve only known for three months – let alone moving in with him in another country. You don’t know what your silent moods are about? Really? It sounds like it’s you processing all the serious fucking shit that’s going on for you. Give yourself a break – this is all hard. It’s okay to freak out a little.
Stress is a well-known libido-killer. And your boyfriend is telling you not to take your stress out on him. Fine, if he’s asking you not to yell at him or storm out of rooms when he’s just trying to be nice. But what it sounds like he’s asking is that you pretend nothing’s wrong when he wants to get laid, and that you be a sex bomb you don’t feel like being. That’s not very supportive of him. If you’re in a solid relationship, you shouldn’t have to pat yourself on the back for not ignoring the other person or being rude to them during sex you’re begrudgingly having. The only way you’re being unfair is by not being honest with yourself or with him. It’s not worth it to go through the motions and fake being in a better emotional state than you are.
Not to condescend, but you’re 18. It sounds like you’re a pretty worldly 18, but still, teenagers are not known for their keen decision-making skills and rational thought. Your boyfriend’s being manipulative by wheedling you into sex when your body and brain are more interested in focusing on your heart than your crotch, and if you move with him for six months (if that amount of time sounds relatively brief, remember it’s still twice the amount of time you’ve been dating), it sounds like you’re going to regret it. I know being whisked across the globe by a dashing young man in the wake of rejection by half your family sounds really romantic, but in your case it might be less thrilling travel than being a fugitive on the lam, no?
My suggestion? Go home. Home, home. To the country you grew up in, where presumably your mom, your friends, and the other half of your family live. The kind of travel you set out to do won’t be fun if you’re experiencing panic attacks (which are defined by the kind of stress, nausea, chills, and dizziness you describe). Going home and getting some perspective and some help dealing with things is always an option if life abroad has gotten too intense. This might help heal the wounds your foreign family opened up and that you’re understandably still licking. As for making things better with the boyfriend? If he can’t understand why his young girlfriend who’s just been kicked out of her house has other things on her mind besides his dick, he doesn’t sound like a keeper to me. In the words of advice deity Dan Savage, DTMFA.
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