Being good at amicable breakups is an incredibly valuable skill, especially when you’re just sexually incompatible.
Only secondary to being a great partner. It has allowed me to maintain deep and enriching friendships with my past partners. The key to leaving a relationship and maintaining the love, friendship and compassion that is so important is: (drum roll) not needing a laundry list of reasons to leave. Sometimes it’s only a few things. Often times it’s only one.
The most common reason I wish people would embrace, is unfortunately, hard to explain. Which is why people often ignore it and bull through mediocre relationships. It usually sounds something like this:
“I love to dance to pop music in my kitchen while I make dinner, but my SO thinks I’m nuts.”
“I wanted to try a threesome, but my girlfriend isn’t down and says it’s too logistically complicated.”
“I wish I could explore BDSM-ey stuff, but when I bring it up, my partner jokes that I must have daddy issues.”
“I’ve always loved decorating for xmas and listening to cheesy holiday music, but I can tell it annoys my girlfriend.” “The only way I can orgasm is through oral sex, but my boyfriend get bored.”
And I tell them all the same thing. This is the one inexcusable act in a partnership and when it happens on a regular basis, you need to politely and lovingly get the fuck out of a relationship.
He icks your wow.
Obviously this needs an explanation: If the thing that make you excited and giddy-like-a-schoolgirl makes your partner do that obnoxious eye-rolling scoffy “ughhh”. That’s a bad sign. Your partner is icking your wow.
Your partner doesn’t have to like all the same things that you like, or be sexually interested in the same things that you want to explore; but if they make you feel judged or deflated for being curious or enthusiastic about something – that is a sign that you are sexually incompatible, or just not a great lifestyle fit as a couple.
Icking your wow doesn’t make them a bad person, it just means that they aren’t right for you.And isn’t that enough of a reason to end a relationship? For every ick, we compromise our personalities or our sexual identities. And with every compromise we build a small wall of resentment.
Why do we wait for months or years to let these resentments build up? Our passive aggressive actions slowly break apart these relationships until a friendship or companionship is no longer possible, and that’s such a shame. Not to mention, it can take years to rebuild your self-esteem and sexually identity after being shamed out of the things that turn you on.
So what can you do when you find yourself in a sexually incompatible relationship?
Don’t make unnecessary assumptions
Have an open conversation about your desires with your partner. They may not realize that they are being judgmental. It’s likely they don’t realize holiday decor or anal sex is important to you. Once they realize it’s a part of your sexual identity, or weird quirkiness that makes you awesome, they might be willing to go for it because they know now that it matters. We often misinterpret flippancy for judgement when we expose our vulnerabilities, especially when we are talking about our sexual desires.
Give your partner space
It’s possible that you came on too strong. Catching someone off guard with intense sexual requests can send anyone into defense mode. Try slowly introducing what you want piece-by-piece in a way that is non-intimidating and non-judgmental. It’s possible your partner just needs a few days or months to wrap their head around something that’s new for them.
On the other hand, there is also a good chance they don’t want to compromise and that’s not a bad thing. Getting this conversation into the open helps you intelligently discuss your intimate relationship and it’s better to end things now than waste years silently battling over something as important as sex.
You’re not doomed
Once you’ve talked openly about your needs and you’ve listened to your partner’s needs, you can find common ground. Common ground isn’t always giving in or breaking up. Our world is not as black and white as that. Your relationship might be mind-blowing in every other way, except for this one teensy (but super important) thing.
That common ground might be an open-relationship, which is a lovely and fulfilling gray area. Negotiating an open relationship has saved so many partnerships and there are no two that are the same. And “open” doesn’t mean full on swinger-style non-monogamy. So grab a bottle of wine and start talking about what a great open relationship looks and feels like for you.
It’s sad, but it’s not personal
The end of any relationship should be super sad. Especially if you chose a really awesome partner. You should let yourself feel sadness and even loneliness, but you shouldn’t feel hurt. Incompatible relationships aren’t any one person’s fault. Don’t blame yourself and don’t blame your partner. It’s just the situation. Cry and sing Adele songs in your car and take long contemplative walks by the ocean because it’s fucking sad to lose a partner, but don’t get angry.
We have fallen into a terrible habit of only breaking up with someone when we have a reason to blame them for our unhappiness. You don’t have to let it get that far.
Your “wow” is definitely someone else’s “wow”
There are billions of people on this planet and everyone wants to have sex. Find someone who wants the same kind you want. I know it sounds easy, and a little scary; but putting yourself out there is the best way to find that person who makes you feel incredible, even at your weirdest. That’s true friggin love.
Now that you’ve read this far – I hope that you think twice before icking someone else’s wow. When you see your partner unexpectedly bummer, don’t be scared to ask them questions. Be more aware of how your subtle actions or dismissive comments are received by your lover. And be open to exploring their sexual desires before judging them. You might find that their wows are your wows too!