My Boyfriend Said His Ex's Name In His Sleep

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My boyfriend was half asleep and when I woke him up, he said “I love you Brittany,” which is his ex girlfriend’s name. Normally this would just be a slip up, but there is a little back story involved. My boyfriend was calling his ex girlfriend probably once a month to check in on her because she had substance abuse issues, which is why they ended up breaking up. This caused a lot of fights between us because he refused to tell her he had a serious girlfriend even though he would talk to her frequently. Eventually he stopped after a few months of us arguing because it was clear that I was upset about it. My question is, should I be worried? It seems to me like he wishes he was still with her and I can’t seem to shake this feeling.

I understand why this would bother you: It must have freaked you out to hear him say “I love you” to his ex. But it was just a dream. And you can’t sweat a person’s dreams.

I have recurring flying dreams but that doesn’t mean I’m going to sprout wings. A good friend of a friend used to dream-talk to a talking cactus. I don’t think you should worry much about this awkward night-talking. I seriously doubt it’s a sign that he’s hung up on her. It probably just indicates that his messy break-up is rattling around in his subconscious.

That said, it matters that you do feel worried and, in some sense, that doesn’t have anything to do with his dreams. So talk to him. Don’t blame or accuse or rage against what he blurted out. Just explain what happened. Tell him you heard him say he loves his ex. Ask him if he remembers the dream. Tell him it confused you. Ask him what he makes of it–and tell him the most important thing, that you can’t shake the feeling that he’s still got feelings for her. Remind him that he’s got to be all-in if he wants to be with you and that you deserve a partner who wants only to be with you, and that, at the very least, you deserve honesty.

My boyfriend and I started having sex a couple months ago, and discovered he can't ejaculate when we do anything sexual; he can only orgasm if he masturbates. We both did some research and came to the conclusion that it's probably the way he masturbates that gets him off, and that I can't physically mimic it. Everything we read online suggested that he should stop jerking off so that he can adjust to getting off when we have sex, but he doesn't want to stop. He says he doesn't care if he can't finish when we have sex and that it's not a big deal to him, but it's a big deal to me. Especially that he won’t even try. It makes me feel like I'm really bad at it and that there's a loss of intimacy when we have sex because I can't get him off. How do we fix this?

First, it sounds like you’ve handled this really well so far. A lot of people are afraid to talk about their sex lives, but you’re not. You’ve been talking this issue out. You’ve been researching it. You’ve been getting specific. That’s all great.

Now you want to fix this. In the long run, there are only two ways to do that. 1. The two of you somehow figure out a way to have sex in which he gets off, and not just because he feels guilty, but because it feels good. 2. You accept his preference and learn to enjoy a sex life in which you continue to learn to make each other feel good in all kinds of ways, without fixating on exactly how he ejaculates. I’d say the second option is a whole lot easier.

In the first scenario, if you focus on getting him off, you’ll be concentrating on something he doesn’t even think is a big deal (or, perhaps, a problem at all). He’s telling you that he both enjoys masturbation (hey, who doesn’t?) and doesn’t want to stop (who does?) and he’s also telling you that he doesn’t even want to try other options because he’s content with your sex life as-is. In order to get him on board, you’d basically be telling him that you need him to enjoy himself in a way that pleases you–and that’s a hard ask. Not to mention: It’s hard to come a certain way, just because your partner wants you to. (Also: I don’t think this problem is just because he masturbates in a particular way or too much; that blames him for somehow screwing himself up, when there’s really nothing wrong with him; it’s just unusual.)

In the second scenario, you’d set aside the question of exactly how he’s going to orgasm. And you’d simply focus on finding ways to make each other feel good in the moment, regardless of how that ends. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that there are plenty of ways for guys to really really enjoy sex before they climax. And, ironically, this scenario is the one I’d recommend even if orgasm was a goal.

Finally, as a thought experiment, flip the genders. Imagine it’s you who’d prefer to get off with your fingers: Not so unusual then, right? It’s far more common for women to need a little clitoral self-stimulation to reach orgasm. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either. To sum up: enjoy yourself, relax, and don’t measure closeness by how many times you get him off. Intimacy does not equal orgasm.

In today’s world, women not getting married or having kids is becoming more and more normal and acceptable. I’m in a long term relationship right now, and my partner and I have talked about marriage and kids. As I change and learn about myself, however, I think I don’t want either; even though I am young my stance is pretty strong now. I’m afraid that this will make it harder to find long term relationships now or in the future. It’s not that I’m afraid of the “forever” commitment but rather it’s an “I’m a busy woman and have a lot to do before surrendering my life and body to a man and parenthood” mentality. Am I selfish for this?

No offense, but it frustrates me so much when people worry about being selfish when it comes to thinking about the kind of life they’d like to live. I suppose you could call it selfish to make personal decisions based on what will bring you the greatest sense of fulfillment and happiness–but why in the world would that be a bad thing? These kinds of decisions are, by nature, about yourself and the kind of life you want to lead. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be a great and generous humanitarian or make the world a better place. It just means that you have the good sense to understand that following someone else’s idea of happiness is not going to work.

If the question is should you surrend your life and goals to someone else’s plan, then why would the answer ever be anything other than no fucking way?

Also, please god, don’t make major life decisions about parenthood and work just because, statistically speaking, there might be more guys on planet Earth who want marriage and kids than those who don't! If you want a satisfying long-term relationship, you don’t need to play the odds and throw your lot in with a million guys. You just need to find one person who’s a good match. And I promise there’s more than one guy out there who doesn’t want kids or a stay-at-home housewife.

Tell your partner now–and don’t apologize. Please don’t feel guilty for knowing what you want. And don’t feel guilty for knowing what you don’t want, either.

Do you have a question for Logan about sex or relationships? Ask him here.

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