My relationship has been rocky for the last several months. My girlfriend is making poor life choices—like getting stoned every night when she gets off the throwaway retail job she hates rather than searching for a better job—and we’re fighting about everything…money, whether we can afford to move to a nicer apartment, her stoner friends who come over and mooch off our groceries. It feels like I’ve grown into another life stage and I’m starting to question whether she can come with me or if our relationship has run its course. However our sex life is great! It’s like we’re passive aggressive on the streets and outwardly aggressive in the sheets where things are rough, exciting, and super f-ing hot. It’s the best sex of our relationship—and my life—and it’s why I stay. Is it wrong to stay for hot sex? Or to think the sex can save our relationship?
Let’s start by celebrating the fact that you’re having super hot sex. That alone is worthy of celebration!
We’ll get back to that but first—your girlfriend and you are drifting apart and you feel like you’re at different stages of life. This is painful, but it’s not all that uncommon especially if you are young (and I have no idea how old you are, and older ladies can change too, for what that’s worth.)
My guess is, pressure from you to find a better-paying, better-fitting job could be causing your girlfriend to opt for nightly pot rather than self-improvement, even if part of her does want to move up from that throwaway job.
Can you lay off the active pressure for a bit and find other ways to connect with your girlfriend that strengthens your bond and won’t break the bank? You don’t have to join her and her stoner pals in getting high, but maybe you can ride bikes together, see a movie (Redbox is cheap if you’re stressed financially) or spend time together volunteering in your community. Have a bonding experience that’s not in the bedroom and that’s not going to stress either of you out.
Once it feels like you’re connecting again, talk with her about your concerns. Let her know your relationship is having growing pains, and tell her you want to grow back together—not apart.
Remind her you know how much she hates that retail job and ask how you can support her while she tries to find a new one. That could mean financial support—say you invest in professional development classes, or you stay in your current apartment and she takes a loan to go back to school.
Hopefully she will open up and share some of what’s making her feel trapped (and I have no problems with recreational pot, but it sounds like she is stuck and self-medicating) and you can work to co-create a future you both want.
If you get the sense that she’s not ready to grow and would rather keep the crap job, keep complaining, and get stoned every night, that may not be the future you want. It’s okay to grow and stop wanting things you used to enjoy, and you don’t need to feel bad that you are no longer the type of woman who wants to get stoned and watch tv every night. Your hunch that the relationship is on its way out may be true, in which case it is time to end things and go meet your future.
While you figure out whether you two can fix the relationship, keep having the awesome sex! My guess is, you both want to fight for the relationship and you’re fighting for it in the bedroom rather than talking it out. Sex releases all those love hormones, so it might make you feel positive about your girlfriend while helping her cope with her less-than-ideal situation. It’s meeting your physical needs and some emotional needs, too.
Stop feeling guilty about the great sex you are having—or the fact that it’s the only aspect of your relationship that seems to be working for now. Enjoy this moment in your relationship, try to relax about feeling out of step with your partner, and trust that things will work themselves out. Either you two will find your way back together (with sex playing a starring role in that process‚ or you’ll decide to move on feeling at peace with the decision.
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