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Real Live College Guy: 4 Years & We Still Haven’t Had Sex

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We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over four years now, and he won't go any further with me. He always talks about how he wants to stay with me for a long time and settle down, but if he does, why won't he step it up? We've hit third base (I only ever gave, never received), and it’s just come to a standstill. He's afraid of our relationship changing, but I don't think it will. Can you try explaining his reasoning, or is there any way I can change his mind? –Sick of Being Patient in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania,

Take a seat and get comfortable, because I currently find myself in the awkward position of having to deliver some not-so-awesome news.

If you find yourself at a standstill after four years of being together, I think maybe you need to take a break… or just break up completely.

Talk is cheap. It’s nice to hear someone say they want to be with you forever, but that only goes so far when you’ve been together for so long. And four years? That’s a good chunk of time. When it comes to stepping it up and settling down with someone, you’re usually looking for actual, tangible progress. You’re looking for proof that this person wants to be with you, and words don’t really constitute as proof these days.

Your sex life — or apparent lack thereof — isn’t and shouldn’t be your main concern. A fair amount of couples wait until marriage to round the bases. That said, while it isn’t a main concern, the fact that he hasn’t done much of anything to, err, “return the favor” tells me that he doesn’t care about your satisfaction as much as he does his own, and that’s selfish. If he’s so reluctant to do things like that for you in bed, I think it’s safe to assume that he’ll be just as reluctant when you go all the way.

I’m not sure I understand his viewpoint on your relationship changing. Relationships change all the time. People mature and develop new interests constantly, and if a relationship stays the same over a long period of time, it becomes stagnant. Stagnancy isn’t healthy. In order for a couple to grow together, there needs to be development.

But, for whatever reason, things are at a standstill. Maybe it’s a lack of passion, maybe it’s a lack of communication, maybe you two are growing apart or maybe it’s a mixture of all these things. That’s totally normal, especially in college. People and their interests change over time, so I can’t guarantee that he feels the same way about you now as he did when you two first started dating.

I can explain different possibilities behind his thought process until sunrise, but as far as telling you how to actually change his mind? You need to communicate your concerns with him. Otherwise the two of you are going to continue living in a relatively passionless relationship until the pressure reaches a boiling point. By then, someone’s heart is going to get broken. Right now, it sounds like both of you are bored with the relationship, and it sounds like only one of you is willing to make the effort to fix it. You have to talk it out with him.

That’s the only way to find out what he’s thinking and why he’s thinking that way. Tell him you need to see more action on his part. Tell him that you feel unappreciated or unsatisfied. Tell him that there’s a clear lack of passion in your relationship, and see if you two can come up with a way to fire things up again.

Here’s the thing, though: If he feeds you the same lines as he’s done in the past, you need to decide if that’s something you can settle with. Since you’re asking me? I wouldn’t. If you hear the same story, drop him. People can talk the talk all day long, but this guy needs to walk the walk. He needs to prove his worth. You need to decide how much BS you can put up with, and after four years, I really wouldn’t blame you if you decided to move on from a passionless relationship.

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