Last night, as I often do, I listened to Loveline for a bit. The first call I heard was from a 20 year-old girl who was concerned that she was fantasizing about other men while having sex with her boyfriend and that she was no longer sexually attracted to him. She had been with him for four years and said she couldn’t imagine being without him. He was her first and only boyfriend. Dr. Drew’s thinking is that relationships that start at 16 are supposed to end and that young people stay in relationships too long because they’re unable to recognize when they are over. His advice to the caller was that it was probably time for her relationship to be over. Guests Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clarke Duke (all promoting Hot Tub Time Machine) were agreeable to this.
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Drew and have learned a great deal from him, but I’m not so sure I agree I share his view. I have said before that I think too many people stay in bad relationships for too long, but that isn’t necessarily what’s going on here. From what I’ve been reading (PDF) , it is common for a woman to lose sexual interest in her mate after about four years. The girl who called in sounded like she cared deeply about the guy she was with and seemed seriously disturbed by her feelings. She did not sound driven or willing to cheat or leave him. I would not advise her to stay, necessarily, but I would tell her that what she’s going through is common and that her relationship might not need to end. I wouldn’t have any suggestions on how she might regain the attraction she once had for her mate, but she might not need that. Simply knowing that her experience is typical could possibly be enough.
Of course, the guy probably needs to step up his relationship game.