My boyfriend is starting to feel more like a friend than a lover. Are we doomed?

My boyfriend is starting to feel more like a friend than a lover. Are we doomed?

more friend than lover post

I have been with my lovely man for a few years. In the past three months or so I’ve started to get a bit bored – sex is waning, and I don’t feel the strong connection or ‘spark’ with him that I used to. We go away for nice weekends and things but I have kind of lost interest in having sex with him. He is a great guy but I feel like he is becoming more of a friend than a lover. Is this fatal? I really want to make it work if I can but don’t know what to do! Anna

This is definitely the week for questions about spark – losing it, wanting it or not having it to begin with. In your case, you could just be exiting the hot-to-trot limerance stage of a relationship which peaks at the start, lasts around 18 months to 2 years and then starts its steady hormonal come-down (sounds depressing, but stick with me here). At this point, if the relationship has staying power, experts say you move to a more comfortable phase and the lust may require a little legwork. No biggie – that’s life in a long-term relationship – but you have to be willing to put the effort in.

Weekends away are great, but maybe you guys need to get out of your comfort zones more (rock-climbing, shark dives, etc?). Also, while cosying up on the couch and watching Dexter together may be awesome, you can have too much of a good thing according to this study (apparently, overdosing on romantic TV storylines can make you dissatisfied in your real life. Figures.). Then there’s this story I tweeted this week about how if couples have strong ‘approach goals’ – which from what I can glean boils down to positive thinking about your relationship and about your partner – they don’t experience the same decline in desire.

Lastly, maybe you’ve fallen out of love with your guy. It happens. You say he’s lovely and great but there’s no mention of actual love, so that’s maybe something to consider. I also put your dilemma out to the the Twittersphere, so see below for their responses. Good luck figuring this out, Anna.

Love, reality chick

Tweeps: Is Anna’s situation doomed or fixable?

@liza_belle Fixable IMO, but is this is more about him or her? Ie, Is she feeling lonely/more vulnerable than usual? Is a change in her own circumstances responsible for her changing feelings for him?

@vhannaford Try to fix it first, and then reassess? Maybe look into counselling?

@cricketfox Could be fixable. Is there someone else she fancies? I think you can get the spark back, just depends if its really wanted. If not, you should go your separate ways.

@Dr_NikkiG Fixable!

@realityraver My answer would depend on age of the letter-writer. If she’s in her 20’s dump him. Over 35 maybe reassess.

@sitting_bison Friends plus spark is OK. Spark alone OK. But once spark is gone? Over red rover. I’m pessimistic though! Try some new things (you may be in a rut after 3 years?) and see how it goes.

@whoozqueen Take a break from his social media and physical presence for at least three months. Tell him why. Go and do things for yourself.


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

1 Comment

  1. Lola 5 years ago

    I think it’s a fixable situation, Anna. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned Esther Perel and his book “Mating in Captivity”. Here’s a link to her website: http://www.estherperel.com/books/.
    With two marriages and three de facto relationships under my belt (hahaha!) I can safely say that it isn’t hard to get stuck in a rut. Esther Perel talks about “erotic intelligence” – maybe that’s the 21st century challenge for established relationships. Anna, if you hear some alarm bells, it’s better to pay attention to where they come from. Best of luck!

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