A reader writes in:

Hi Pat

Due to a health issue I’ve been dealing with I’ve not been able to have sex with my girlfriend for the last 4 months. Other sorts of sexual play are not her thing and haven’t gone well. This has been amplified by having moved in together over the COVID period. 

She has been incredibly supportive throughout and encouraged me to prioritise my health, and has been a rock of support the entire time. I’m currently good enough to have sex again but this morning she told me she has temporarily fallen out of love with me, but wants to try and make it work. She loves me but may no longer be “in love” with me. 

She is the most incredible person I have ever met and am devastated. Once I stop feeling sorry for myself I plan to set up dates again now that lockdown is easing and try to rebuild our romantic chemistry. Would be very grateful for any thoughts as well.

Thanks so much

“Temporarily fallen out of love with me but wants to try to make it work” — oh boy.

My friend, the advice I’m about to give may be difficult to receive, and even harder to implement. But it’s crucial if you want to save your relationship or at the very least a whole lot of trouble.

I’m not sure how long you and this girl have been together, and I’m not sure what the relationship was like before this situation occurred.

But if you are planning to commit longterm to this girl, I would reconsider. And I would take a good hard look at your own mindset.

First, let’s talk about her.

This girl as you’ve said has been supportive and kind to you the entire time of your convalescence. Good. It would be a big red flag if the second something bad happened to you, she was out of the picture.

However, it sounds like the girl was doing this in the end out of sympathy or pity — aka guilt — rather than genuine desired dedication to you.

Make no mistake, it’s not attractive for women to take care of sick or injured men. There are contextual exceptions to this, but to stay on topic, women lose desire for men they have to mother — and that “mothering” is very often exactly what sick men need from their woman.

So, on a structural levels I “get it” from the girl. I even sympathize. This goes against her biology, and she can’t help how she feels.

However, 4 months isn’t 4 years… and if not being to have your dick in her is the biggest thing she’s had to sacrifice, let’s just say I’m not convinced she’s a saint.

In a marriage — which if you are in a relationship, is what you should be screening for — health inevitably becomes an issue at one point or another. The fact that she is thinking more about herself shows her solipsism is in full gear, and means she’s at the very least immature.

Which brings us to that line I quoted above. This sort of statement is designed to get you to “work for her” — and from the sounds of your email, you’re considering doing it.

Whatever you do, DON’T DO IT.

The truth is this:

She feels like she already did more for you than you deserved, and that you need to effectively return the favor to her with validation.
She is asking you, after you have already been down, to prostrate yourself further for her own ego.

I can predict with 100% accuracy if you do this, she’ll say “the love isn’t coming back, I’m sorry” and go.

So what to do instead?

Well, let’s address point #2.

Regardless of her own faults… the only reason all of the above is happening is because you have lost frame in the relationship, and feel that you owe her for sticking with you when you weren’t well.

I don’t know how deep this mindset was implanted in you — that she was “out of your league” — before the illness. I know that while there’s often a seed already planted, sometimes a traumatic event (especially one that makes you lose your virulence, literally) can shatter your frame.

But it doesn’t matter.

This mindset is TOXIC for your relationship and is the primary reason she wants to get away.

She feels your guilt, this sense of obligation, even this sense of emotional dependence on her.

And she hates it.

If you want to change her mind, you need to let those feelings go and stop chasing her.

“I appreciate your support these last couple of months, and I was looking forward to our future adventures together. But I’m not going to try to convince you to feel a certain way. If you’re not in love with me anymore, let’s go our separate ways.”

Understand: what really broke her emotions for you wasn’t that you were sick, and it wasn’t even that you weren’t fucking. Those are minor issues.

It’s that you lost your confidence and started to need her.

And you won’t get her back — or another girl like her — until you let that go.

Anyway, tough talk.

Of course, the execution is easier said than done.

Which is why so many guys prefer to have me in their corner.

This stuff is like conducting surgery on a relationship. Best to have a surgeon on hand.

Apply here if you’re looking for one of the best: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat