relationships

We Moved in Together and Now He Tells Me He’s Celibate

Hey T,

I have an interesting situation and I’d love to get your opinion.  My boyfriend and I made a decision early on to move in together.  We were spending all of our time together and both needed to move and it didn’t make sense to pay two separate rents.  This actually isn’t the issue, things are going amazingly and it’s probably one of the best risks I’ve ever taken.  The issue came in because he refuses to be intimate with me.

I noticed right away, and started to worry. After the first week, it happened when he came home from being out late and hasn’t happened since. I was starting to feel insecure like the problem is me, like maybe he wasn’t attracted to me but that’s not the problem. He’s very sweet very affectionate VERY Hands-on and I can clearly see him reacting and that he wants to go further but he always stops.

When I finally asked him about it he said he wants to wait until we have a deeper connection or possibly marriage. Obviously this is something you discuss with someone before getting in a relationship, let alone moving in with them which he didn’t and I’m starting to wonder if it is the fact that he is just more traditional, or am I his beard, or am I overreacting?

He hasn’t given me any reason to doubt him he’s always home after work, surprises me and cooks me dinner everything in our relationship is great communication wise, we actively are engaged in our decision to move in and I am SO very happy except for the lack of sex. He’s aware that I’m bothered that he didn’t discuss the “waiting” and I told him that he took that choice away from me, even if I decided to continue getting to know him I would’ve liked to make that choice on my own. I just pictured this differently and I’m really trying to respect his wishes and give the waiting a chance, but I want to make sure I’m not being blind and stupid. Please help, and please be easy on me lol, thanks.

-TD

Dear TD,

Thanks for writing to me. I have to say, there is quite a bit to unpack here. However, the root of your problems can be found in the fact you and your boyfriend sped up your relationship, and skipped steps along the way. I know you requested that I go easy on you, and I will do my best not to be harsh with my words of advice.  Although, trust and believe I’m going to keep it real.

While I have no idea how old you are, I’m going to assume you’re a millennial. My generation typically enjoys moving along in relationships at warp speed. I’ve seen people meet, get engaged, move in together, adopt a dog, and break up all in a year. And I don’t necessarily mean this to be a criticism. I’m just pointing out that we don’t have to treat love and romance as a sprint, when it was always meant to be a marathon.

However, since you admittedly moved in with your boyfriend early, it’s clear to me that you also know you two didn’t know each other that well beforehand. I get you said you all spent a lot of time together before you two opted to share a home, but how do you two never have a conversation about his celibacy? In my mind, that sounds like a huge red flag. Usually within a month (and more often than not a week) of dating, people have conversations about sex.  They discuss when it’s acceptable for them to have sex, sexual roles, and other important sexual topics. So I’m left to wonder, why you two never discussed it until now.

And look, I’m not here to say if you’re wrong for wanting sex or if he is wrong for wanting to abstain from it. Every person has the right to do with his or her body sexually as he or she sees fit. However, I do want to point out that if sex was a make or break point for you, and celibacy for him, you two owed it to one another to be vocal about that long before now.  I get you felt he kept this information from you, but given the time you put into the relationship, you could have easily asked the sexual questions. In this day and age, I don’t think it’s really that taboo.

Oh and your comment about you possibly being your boyfriend’s beard really threw me for a loop. That’s one heck of an accusation. Now if you think he may be gay because of his celibacy, I’d caution you against that line of thinking. If he’s truly celibate, it’s not about not desiring you sexually, it’s about him exercising restraint for some higher purpose. With that said, if he has given you other reasons to think he likes men, then that’s a whole other problem here.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. You two need to sit down and have a real discussion about the direction of your relationship, because at this point it sounds like you two moved in together out of convenience not because you two were ready. That would make you roommates with benefits (not of the sexual kind). If sex is a make or break issue for you two, it’s time to think about whether you want to move out, or remain roommates (the latter will be hard to do but less expensive).

 

  1. During your much needed heart-to-heart, if you question him about his sexuality, be very careful. In fact, I would encourage you to ask something along the lines of “Babe, do you desire or me?” or “Do you desire other people that have something I can’t give you?” Pay attention to his answers and don’t press the issue. Just don’t turn this into labeling him something he’s not.

 

  1. Also, during your conversation, you need a full explanation of why he has chosen to remain celibate. Is he not having sex for spiritual reasons, because something tragic happened, or is he a recovering sex addict? I know I’m encouraging you to play detective, but my gut tells me that his real reason for his celibacy, especially if not spiritual, will play a large part in your understanding, and will help you determine if you want to stay in this situation.

 

  1. Should you two decide to stay together after talking, start communicating and asking more relevant questions about one another. Who cares what his favorite color is if you don’t know about his allergies or life goals?

As always nothing but love,

Tavion Scott

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