How to turn a failing relationship around after the romantic spark is gone and you’ve become platonic roommates.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has been following my work for about 8 years and read 3% Man close to 20 times. He says his relationship of 3 years lost its spark. They moved in together during the lockdowns. He says his girlfriend became depressed about her job. She lost interest in sex, and he says she shuts down when he tries to talk about her lack of effort in the relationship for the past year and a half. Now they only have sex once every month or two.
He seems to have given up and resorted to complaining about the relationship and lack of intimacy, instead of being the leader and fixing things. It’s obvious they stopped having fun together, and he seems to have checked out and abdicated the leadership role in the relationship to her. They are roommates instead of lovers. I discuss what he needs to do to turn things around. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
It looks like he’s just completely abdicating any leadership role and responsibility for the relationship. Because a man’s job in the courtship is simply to create an opportunity for sex to happen – to hang out, to have fun while you’re hanging out, and to hook up when the signs are there that she’s ready to be touched and seduced. When a woman feels heard and understood, the legs open, and when she doesn’t, the legs close.
If a year and a half ago, he just gave up on trying to open her up, he shouldn’t be surprised that she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Because, as he said in the beginning, she was initiating it constantly. So, it sounds like he got into a relationship with a girl who had really high interest, and then he got lazy and complacent and didn’t do what the book instructs to maintain it. You can’t a year and a half later just say, “Oh well, she shuts down when I ask her what’s wrong.” You can’t maintain a relationship if the other person refuses to talk to you or communicates, or you don’t have the balls to sit there and get her to open up.
And so, recently he ran into a girl that he knew from college that he always liked, and they seemed to like each other, but they were never single at the same time, he ends up making out with her, he got blackout drunk. So, there was a bunch of things that are going on here, but it’s pretty clear that if he was actually following what was in the book, he wouldn’t be in this situation.
She also supposedly got depressed about her job, but it just seems like the typical guy, the average guy in our society, that complains that his wife or his girlfriend never wants to have sex and they’re always initiating it. But, obviously, they didn’t do anything wrong. This is a pretty common theme for most guys in long term relationships.
When I do phone sessions with guys in this situation, it’s always the same two reasons – one or the other, or both of them combined. The guy doesn’t make her feel heard and understood, doesn’t communicate with her effectively, or he stopped dating and courting her properly. As you go through the email, you can tell it doesn’t sound like they’re having a lot of fun together. Love is playful and fun, and it doesn’t sound like they’re having any fun. They’ve just basically become platonic roommates, and he’s complaining about what she’s not doing.
I hope you are doing awesome. I’ve been following your work for about 8 years, have read 3% Man probably close to 20 times, and I watch your videos on a weekly basis.
Well, you can read my book a thousand times, but if you don’t apply what’s in it, it’s not going to help you, especially if you don’t apply what’s in it properly. There are some basic fundamentals, because if your girl doesn’t want to have sex with you, and this is assuming she’s normal and healthy and doesn’t have some crazy mental issues going on, if she’s a normal, healthy woman and she doesn’t want to have sex with you, that means she’s lost attraction to you. And typically women lose attraction to a guy because the guy stopped doing what made him attractive in the first place.
And you’ll see, she was really super into him at first. But he says that totally faded away. So, more than likely he got into a relationship with a girl that had really super high interest, and he was able to skate by and not do all the things in the book. But when push came to shove, he probably hadn’t really taken time to learn the material.
Because when I hear in an email that she just shuts down, he’s not communicating with her. And the book talks about that. If a woman says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” which most women typically do, it is because they want to see if you really care enough to find out what the root cause of the issue is. Because if you can’t get your girl to talk, her pussy is going to become drier than the Sahara Desert, you’re not going to be getting any, and you’re going to be whining about the fact she doesn’t want to have sex with you. She doesn’t want to have sex with you, because she’s not attracted to you.
Your work has changed my life and I can’t thank you enough for it.
On to my situation. I’ve been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about 3 years. We moved in together during my town’s lockdown stage of the pandemic.
Well, if you’ve been in a relationship with three years, that tells me you started dating and you moved in right away. And that’s a mistake number one, right there. You shouldn’t have done that. Should have dated her for at least a year or two before you moved in together.
She was head over heels for me, the relationship was effortless, and our sex life was fantastic for about the first year. Working from home seemed to really get her down. Her mood and effort in our relationship began to decline as she became more and more depressed about her job and the situation she was in at work.
Well, it takes two people to make a relationship work. And if she’s got mental health issues, then these are things that you need to encourage her, or you should have encouraged her, to resolve.
We went from having sex multiple times a week to now it’s happening maybe every month or two for the last year and a half, and always when I initiate it, unlike before when she was all over me and would initiate it herself.
That sounds like a guy that got into a relationship with a girl that had really super high interest. And you can make lots of mistakes when a woman’s got super high interest in you and still get away with it, but because you didn’t really take the time to date and court her and get her to fall in love properly, you just moved in right away, you’re not following what’s in the book, dude.
And the fact that you’re this far down the road and you’re initiating all the sex, that tells me your girl is not attracted to you, and you’re not recognizing that she’s not displaying signs of being attracted to you. And going two months without having sex? Long term relationships only work, typically, when you’re having sex 2 to 3 times a week. Those are the studies that are done, and that’s what the data shows.
So, when you’re only having sex once every two months or once a month, that tells me, on some level, you checked out as the leader and you tolerated it. You created this situation. You’re the leader. As Don Shula said, “Strong men blame themselves, weak men blame others.” And in this case, he’s blaming his girlfriend for everything.
When things started opening back up, I tried to get back to making weekly dates to get out of our house and tried to surprise her and treat her like when we first started dating. Unfortunately, the effort hasn’t been reciprocated and when I have tried to have conversations with her about our relationship and making sure both of our needs are met, she shuts down and doesn’t want to talk about it.
That doesn’t work, dude. You can’t just get stonewalled by your girl and then go, “Oh, shucks, can’t do anything about that.” That is not going to work. That’s a recipe for disaster. That’s addressed in the book. And you’ve got to say, “Look, you’ve got to talk to me. You’ve got to open up. You can’t just sit there and shut down and say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ That doesn’t work. I’m not happy in our relationship, and I’m trying to communicate my needs and my wants and desires here, and you don’t want to hear it. That’s just simply not going to work.”
“If we’re going to stay together, you’re going to have to open up and talk about what is going on with you and why you’re so cold, why you’re so distant, why you’re not interested in intimacy, why you don’t want to go out on dates, or whatever.” You can’t just check out and let this shit fester for a year and a half. And that’s on you, because you’re the leader. You’re the head of the household. You’re the one with the penis, after all. You don’t just sit back and wait for mommy to tell you when sexy time is going to happen. That’s not how it works, dude.
I love her and she and I get along so well in all other aspects of our relationship…
Again, assuming she’s normal and mentally healthy, a lack of sexual desire is because she’s not attracted to you. And why is she not attracted to you? Because you’re not displaying masculine strength characteristics, i.e. being the leader, being direct, being decisive. Getting her to open up, saying, “We’re going to sit here and we’ll stay up all night if we have to, to get to the bottom of what’s bothering you and why you’re so distant, or why you’re so opposed to any kind of intimacy.” I mean, to let this go on for this long, a year and a half, that just tells me you gave up at some point. And that’s what a lot of guys do. They give up and they check out. They feel like, “Oh, I can’t make her happy. She’s always upset, so I’m not even going to try now.” And then you point the finger and say it’s all her fault.
…but this lack of sexual desire is starting to feel like I am never going to get back to a place where my needs are fully met in this relationship.
Well, when you’re experiencing pain in a relationship, it means you’re focusing on yourself. That’s right out of “The Ten Disciplines of Love,” which is in the back of the book. Guys that complain about women not wanting to have sex with them don’t understand how attraction works, and they don’t understand women. And if you’re allowing your girl just to say, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and you’re like, “Well, okay. I guess she doesn’t want to talk about it,” you’re not going to be able to maintain a relationship.
And if you get into a relationship with a girl in the future, the same thing is going to happen. Because women, in general, typically say that a lot, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Why they say it is, deep down, they don’t feel like you care enough to get to the root of the issue. And if you just give up like a beat down dog, and then walk away, and then don’t really press any further, well, that’s on you, dude. It’s right out of the book.
Now here’s the part that I’m not proud of but that has made me contemplate everything more. A few days ago, I was at a meetup networking event with some of my coworkers. I ended up running into a woman that was really into me back in college, but nothing ever happened with because we were always single when the other was in a relationship. It was nice catching up, but I had too many drinks and I blacked out.
Again, dude, you do not sound like a guy that has your shit together. You’re going out and getting blackout drunk? It’s like, come on, dude. You’ve got to grow up.
Embarrassing, as I always can handle my beer.
Well, obviously, you didn’t handle it that time.
When I snapped back into reality, I was entering the bathroom at the bar, and she pushed in behind me, was all over me, and started trying to take off my belt. I stopped her and told her that I had a girlfriend, and that I couldn’t do that to her, and we shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. I got out of there immediately and haven’t spoken to her since.
While I don’t want anything to happen with this other woman, (I’m pretty sure she knew I have a girlfriend, so it seems like loyalty may not be high on her list of qualities)…
Well, it doesn’t sound like it’s too high on yours either.
…aside from the extreme guilt I am feeling to have even ended up in that situation, this has made me think even more about what is lacking my current relationship.
Are you guys having fun together? It just sounds like they’re in a loveless, sexless relationship. In other words, they’re roommates and they occasionally hook up. It’s almost like he’s kind of living with a friends with benefits that’s not really into him, and he’s not really into her. Love is playful and fun, and it doesn’t sound like anything fun is going on in their relationship.
Does the desire and sex drive always go away?
Well, it goes away if you stop applying the fundamentals that are in the book. And if you checked out a year and a half ago and have basically been non-communicative with this girl, what do you expect is going to happen? I mean, you’re a year and a half down the road, and you’re just now writing me an email? When this issue first started happening is when you should have written the email. This just tells me that you’re lazy, you don’t really have very high standards, and you let it get to this level.
Am I dumb for staying for so long when my needs aren’t getting met, when it could be different with other women? Your words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.
Well, what is the formula? Hang out. Have fun while you’re hanging out. This includes communication, so she feels open. She starts playing with her hair, she touches your arm, she gets extra close. That’s when you move in and start the seduction process. And until you see that, you hang out, and you have fun, and you keep her talking. When a woman feels heard and understood, the legs open and when she doesn’t, the legs close.
Now, I’m assuming that she’s normal and healthy and doesn’t have some major mental health issues going on. However, there is evidence that she was depressed at some point because of her job situation. Maybe she was used to going into the office, and then she was forced to work remotely because of the tyrannical lockdowns. But if everything’s opened back up and she’s back at work… he hasn’t mentioned that she still seems depressed. It just seemed like when the lockdowns were happening, she was depressed.
So, if your girl is going, “I don’t want to talk about it, ” what does that mean? She’s setting the tone of no communication. And if you just acquiesce to that, well, now you’ve made her the man in the relationship. And so, now the man in the relationship says, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Well, if you’re not willing to talk about it, how are you going to fix anything? It takes two to tango, and you’re supposed to be the one that leads her to the promised land. You’re going to have to sit down with her and have have a heart to heart.
You’ve got to say, “Look, I’m not happy. This has been going on for a year and a half. You’re cold, you’re distant. Every time I bring it up, you just say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ and that’s just not going to work anymore. Because you saying ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ tells me you don’t want to make the effort to make our relationship great like it used to be. And if you don’t want to make it great, there’s no point in us staying in it anymore. Then we should just split up and go our separate ways. Is that what you want? I don’t want that, but I can’t do this alone. I can’t make 100% of the effort in the relationship and you just continually stonewall me and say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it.'”
“Stonewalling doesn’t work in my world. We’re going to have an open, honest communication, or we’re not going to be in a relationship together anymore. It’s plain and simple. So, you need to tell me what’s going on and why you’re so cold, why you’re so distant.” And if she says, “Well, I’ve been depressed,” it’s like, “Well, you should go see a doctor about that and get get that resolved. You can’t just sit there and throw your hands up and go, ‘aw, shucks.’ It’s like, I want a teammate, I want an equal. When we started in this together, you were a teammate and an equal, and you were pulling your weight. And you’ve consistently, for the last year and a half, not been pulling your weight and not making an effort.”
“And I’m over the excuses now. I’m over the stonewalling. I’m over ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ If you’re not going to make the effort, then I’m not sticking around. I’m going to dip. So, you need to decide right now whether you want to make the effort, or you want to go our separate ways. What do you want to do? You got to tell me what’s going on. I love you to death. I want to stay together. I want to work it out. But if you’re just going to stonewall me and say, “No, I don’t want to talk about it,” then I’m out. Simple as that.”
You’re going to have to have this conversation with her. Maybe you’ve been avoiding it, it’s unpleasant. But the fact that you’re going out, getting blackout drunk, and then ending up screwing around with a chick in the bathroom, it’s like, come on, dude. Seriously, you need to grow the fuck up. It’s time to man up. Be a man and be the leader in your relationship. Because if you don’t get this handled with her – and again, I’m assuming that this girl doesn’t have severe mental health issues or whatever – if you continually abdicate the leadership role in your relationship, this is going to happen.
This is the average guy. This is their experience of being together for many years. It’s like, they stop dating and courting each other, and the guy doesn’t make the woman feel heard and understood. And when a woman says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and a year and a half later, you still haven’t talked about it, and then you’re wondering why she doesn’t want to touch you or have sex with you, you’re not being an attractive man. So, of course, any woman that’s normal that you do this to is going to have the same response. She’s going to have the same lack of desire. You’re going to make her pussy drier than the Sahara Desert. That’s just a fact of life.
The fundamentals are in the book. You said read the book 20 times. It’s not going to help you if you’re just ignoring what’s in the book and checking out, which is what it sounds like. Like I said, you’re going to have to have a heart to heart with her, and she’s going to have to talk and open up, or you guys are going to have to go your separate ways. It’s that simple. I know it’s an unpleasant conversation, but you’re going to have to sit her down and not allow her to stonewall you. This has gone on for a year and a half, and you’ve trained her to be this way. You’re the leader. You’ve got to follow the fundamentals.
And if you don’t follow the fundamentals, you shouldn’t be surprised that your girl doesn’t want to have sex with you anymore. With any normal woman, if you behave this way with when she just says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and you go, “Okay, well, I guess she doesn’t want to talk about it,” that tells her that you don’t give a damn about her enough, and you ain’t man enough to get to the bottom of what’s going on, and you can’t resolve it.
You can’t solve problems unless you can talk openly and honestly about them. And if you’re a man in a relationship with a woman, she says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and then you just go, “Okay, well, that’s the end of that,” then you just go about your daily lives and you’re surprised she doesn’t have sex with you, it’s like, this is common sense for us guys that understand the principles and the book. You have to have good, open, honest communication in your relationships.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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