Advice from Debby and Jerry on Dating in a New World
May 3, 2013
Dear Debbie and Jerry:
I met my fiancè on Match 6 months ago and we have had an amazing relationship. We love each other, our kids like each other and our families get along very well. Our sex life has always been good, though with each of us working and raising five kids between us, we have had to be creative about finding time together. Recently I made a discovery and I now have a huge problem and I need your help. My boyfriend is addicted to Internet porn. I have done some research and I know this is much more common than one would think. However, I cannot live with this. I can never compete with these women with perfect bodies that are always willing and able to ‘satisfy’ my guy. He says he can quit, but I’ve caught him in the middle of the night at the computer. I am not chopped liver, I am very attractive and in great shape and I love this man. I am willing to do whatever it takes, but if he is not serious about quitting, then there is no hope. We have a wedding date set, plans made, and children invested. Help!
Marsha, Columbia, SC
Without a doubt most men have viewed and do view Internet porn. In fact, you are taking the matter too personally. As you may know, men are very visual and porn certainly is that! You might try breaking his addiction to porn by being more visual yourself…..get what I mean? As you said, you are not chopped liver!
Another thought is if you are being satisfied and your intimacy is working for you, why bother with his porn habits? We make the caveat that excess in anything is not necessarily a good thing. If your fiancè is at that point, loving confrontation directing him to specialized counseling in this area would not be a bad thing to consider.
As another matter, we know it is difficult to put aside some of the current themes of Internet porn objectifying women in an abasing way. However, real life is that many men enjoy this easily available source of unreal sex in their lives.
I do understand your concern, but I think you need to take a long look at the situation before you do anything drastic. Are you truly upset that he is looking at porn or is there a deeper problem here? Are you really afraid that a make-believe person is more attractive to him than you? I don’t think that you are actually competing with these women. Jerry’s idea about being more visual yourself is a good one and I think you should try that first. It is quite true that many men do enjoy this easily available source of unreal sex, but that is exactly what it is, not real. You are real, you are the woman he loves, and you owe it to both of you and your children to try to make it work. If, after you try to remedy the situation, your fiancè is not willing to make any concessions, Jerry’s suggestion of loving confrontation directing him to specialized counseling is an excellent idea.
Dear Debby and Jerry:
I started dating an older gentleman I met online about two months ago. We’ve been on about eight dates and have enjoyed each other’s company very much. He is kind, generous, and fun to be with. The problem is that after all this time there have been a few pecks on the cheek, an occasional hug, and an arm around my shoulder, but pretty much no physical contact. I may not be ready for full-blown sex yet, but I would really enjoy some making out, hugging and kissing. I have tried, without being too forward, to initiate more physical contact, but to no avail. When I suggested that we did not seem to be drawing closer, he said he just wanted to go slow. But I am wondering if he just has a slow sexual libido. I like him very much and would like to take this to the next level, but am clueless about the next step. Please advise me.
Darlene, Columbia, SC
Ummm, I think you might have some legitimate concerns. Most men are usually quicker to move forward in a physical relationship or at least take the initiative to see if the woman is receptive. I think in your case that you have to talk to him about the level of physical contact with which you are comfortable. His response will be very telling.
There are more sedate approaches as well. You might ask him about his past physical relationships to gauge his response. It is very possible that he might have a physical or health-related problem. If this is true and the sexual part of the relationship is important to you, you should try to move forward to more on-line dating. On-line dating is for the purpose of engaging with someone that looks promising for the type of relationship you are looking for. But, there is a window of discovery that can only come from face-to-face contact and communication and one should not compromise when there are deal-killers. It is only fair to both parties.
If an affectionate and physical relationship is important to you, you need to move on. Forget the libido, this gentleman is obviously not for you. I agree with Jerry that you should not compromise when there are deal-killers.
Columnists Debby and Jerry draw on their online dating experiences to offer advice to others, choosing Internet dating to develop new relationships. Share your questions or stories by sending an email to:
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