• Karen McConnell

Dear Karen - “New Relationship and He’s Doing My Nut In”

Dear Karen,

I’m not sure if you’re still doing these or not but I could really use your help!!!!!

I started seeing a guy a few months ago and things were great from the start and we seem really compatible in every respect which doesn’t seem to happen for me very often. We connected on an emotional level in a way I’ve never been able to with a man before and I was taken aback by how much he would share with me and how vulnerable he would make himself with me which to start with was really flattering and new. B.U.T. We’re a few months in now and the looooooooong deeeeeeeeep conversations are starting to do my nut in and actually turn me off both mentally and physically which he’s started to notice and moan about.

I can’t work out if I’m not so interested in being intimate with him now because of who he is and that ultimately it’s a mismatch or whether the intense convos are just a bit too much and if he were to stop and chill out a bit then my urges and interests in him would come back - I don’t want to throw away what was in the beginning something that felt quite different if I can fix it. What do you think?



Thank you so much for your message and always happy to help!

OK, so there’s a few things coming to mind and going on here I think....

First, you talk about things being really good “from the start” and “in the beginning” but you’re still only a few months into this very new relationship so for your feelings to have changed this quickly, I’d be open to the idea that the early intensity of the connection perhaps wasn’t real. Which leads me onto my next observation.

NRE or New Relationship Energy is a thing ... that period when all we see are the things that we have in common, the things we don’t align on seem insignificant, when we can’t get enough of the other person and we bore our friends and families with endless stories about them. It’s exciting and intoxicating - literally pumping our bodies full of dopamine and it’s really hard not to indulge it. However, when we dive into things really hard and fast, we really are completely blind, drunk on this new ‘drug’ we’re overdosing on but like most drugs, the more you use it, the less of an affect it can have... you run out of NRE. As someone who loves all things new and blindly jumping in with both feet is definitely my style, I get it. But I’m also familiar with the point you inevitably get to in a new project or relationship where you’re no longer intoxicated and you’re soberly standing looking at something that was once really effortless and exciting and now seems flawed.

Note - It is completely normal for the sexual intensity of a relationship to lessen over time ... biology is at play in that initial attraction - encouraging you to mate and propagate the species. Once you’ve done that bit, the attraction calms down, the urgency isn’t there any longer but what, if you’re lucky, has built up during that time is a partnership and deeper love and connection that is an extremely worthy replacement. The trick is to extend that NRE period as long as possible and stoke those fires beyond it so it’s not lost completely but I’d suggest you’d be years and years down the line before that would be an issue - you’re still in the very very early stages of a relationship so, if this is a big love, it would be unusual to have lost that already.

Him moaning at you about the change in your physical interest in him, I would suggest, is poor show and a red flag about his maturity and judgement. If someone isn’t giving you what you want or need, any respectful human being wouldn’t immediately jump to moaning to you about it but rather enquiring about what’s changed, if you’re ok. Beyond that, having someone moan at you about anything, doesn’t inspire you to want to meet that need and in fact, makes you, or makes me certainly, delay or decide never to comply. I’d be wary of that trait that he’s shown you.

Then there’s the ‘ick’ factor. I can’t remember if that term was used in a film or something but I remember when my friends and I were dating it was something we talked about a lot! You’d be seeing someone and it was going well until something (often completely benign) happened and you got ‘the ick’. I remember some poor guy I was seeing got up and helped himself to something out my kitchen which I felt at the time was overly familiar and too comfortable in my space and that was it, I suddenly wasn’t interested any longer. Another time, on a daytime lunch-date with some other perfectly nice chap who I’d met on a few nights out (when he was drunk) and liked, I was instantly ‘icked’ when he appeared nervous around me. Not at all fair on my part, but completely out with my control and once the ick creeps in, for me anyway, there’s no way back. That might be what’s happened here.

I understand your hesitation to simply call things off and feeling like this was something different and special is hard to shake. It isn’t that common to feel as though all the boxes have been ticked and to really connect with someone so when that happens it is special. It doesn’t mean however, that it gets it’s happy ending or that it’s forever. It can be something really and wonderful, even if it only lasts a few months and it’s up to you to decide what this is.

So you now know that the deep emotional connection you had with this man when you first connected that seemed novel and interesting to you, is now an irritant and libido-killer. What you need to determine is whether this is just who he is, how he likes to communicate, or if he’s fallen into a bit of a pattern with you since it was working for him to start with, which does happen. The only way you can know that is to talk to him however. I can’t tell you that, nor can anyone else ... only him.

I wouldn’t be scared to have an honest conversation with him, explain how you’re feeling and there’s the possibility that he’s feeling the same way. You’ll not know until you ask and really, you have nothing to lose. Take the chance, have the conversation, but be prepared to call it if it’s just that, like you say, you’re just a mismatch. Thank him for the good times, tell him you’ll remember the time you spent together fondly and potentially try to maintain a friendship if that’s something you’re interested in pursuing. And remember, not all good relationships are forever, some are short-term but that doesn’t mean they aren’t special.

I hope that helps and let me know how you get on.

K xx


Karen & Clan 2019

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