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Boyfriend has become insecure overnight, male perspectives please? Watch

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    Around two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were about to have sex when he went soft. He admitted he'd masturbated earlier in the day, because he didn't want to disappoint me later. I told him he didn't disappoint me etc, but then he started talking about how he was worried I'd leave him for a younger guy (he's almost mid 20s, I'm early 20s, but hardly a huge leap), and that he was becoming too 'boring' for me!

    I was really taken aback, because he's never talked like this, but I just reassured him. I went on a trip to visit friends abroad, then came back a week or so later. This time, he was giving me oral, and when he came back up had went completely soft! This doesn't usually happen either, but in the early stages of our relationship I wasn't convinced he liked giving oral, so it didn't help matters. He did get hard again, but went soft when we switched up position.

    He ended up saying that he'd lost his confidence and mentioned that he was worried I found him 'boring' again. Then he said he felt like his life is stuck in a rut (he has a degree but been working bars since graduating), though he has a hobby which seems to be becoming quite successful (though he doesn't seem to think so). I comforted him and said I'd sit down and help him think about options etc. I feel like the relationship has taken a dunt as well, as each time I see him he tells me he worries he's too 'boring' for me when I'm crazy about him, and him saying that is offputting. What can I do to help him? And do you think we should take sex off the menu for a bit?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Around two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were about to have sex when he went soft. He admitted he'd masturbated earlier in the day, because he didn't want to disappoint me later. I told him he didn't disappoint me etc, but then he started talking about how he was worried I'd leave him for a younger guy (he's almost mid 20s, I'm early 20s, but hardly a huge leap), and that he was becoming too 'boring' for me!

    I was really taken aback, because he's never talked like this, but I just reassured him. I went on a trip to visit friends abroad, then came back a week or so later. This time, he was giving me oral, and when he came back up had went completely soft! This doesn't usually happen either, but in the early stages of our relationship I wasn't convinced he liked giving oral, so it didn't help matters. He did get hard again, but went soft when we switched up position.

    He ended up saying that he'd lost his confidence and mentioned that he was worried I found him 'boring' again. Then he said he felt like his life is stuck in a rut (he has a degree but been working bars since graduating), though he has a hobby which seems to be becoming quite successful (though he doesn't seem to think so). I comforted him and said I'd sit down and help him think about options etc. I feel like the relationship has taken a dunt as well, as each time I see him he tells me he worries he's too 'boring' for me when I'm crazy about him, and him saying that is offputting. What can I do to help him? And do you think we should take sex off the menu for a bit?
    Sounds like a couple of things are getting to him. Going soft is never a nice thing to happen (but kudos for reacting the way you did, what worries me most about going soft is how my girlfriend will deal with it, but in 4 years it's happened once, and she was lovely)

    And he may well be realising that he's older than you, and worrying his ideals are different. Most people I know in their mid twenties start to think about careers, and houses, bills etc. whereas most early twenties I know want to drink and smoke, while being generally reckless, because this is the age to make mistakes.

    It's great you seem to really care, but I think he needs to be convinced as well. I personally wouldn't want sex of the menu, as I would worry my girlfriend was upset it had happened, or worried it would happen again, although that wouldn't be the case, it would make me feel anxious, and then it would happen again.
    Having said that, I wouldn't advocate jumping straight back into bed with him and telling him you 'have to do this, get back on the horse etc.' because there may be some issues that are causing this which you need to talk through with him.

    You're handling this (no pun intended) very well, and I'm sure things will get better soon
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    There is nothing you can do except what you're already doing, which is to support and reassure him. He feels like he's not a success and therefore worries about his appeal.
    Girls usually date older guys, and you barely have an age gap at all, I mean you're early twenties and he's "almost" mid twenties? You're practically the same age. So this is not about him feeling threatened by younger guys, it's him feeling threatened by all other guys, because he feels he is not where he wants to be in life. Could be some factors have triggered it among his friends or at work which are unrelated to you, but you still 'suffer' from it, because he's feelings less masculine.

    One tip can give is to really focus on emphasizing that you find him attractive and important to you. Don't call him sweet/cute/nice, pet his head or try to fix things for him. I'm not saying you do those things, I'm just saying that it's better to emphasize that you find him attractive, that he's the most important man of your life. Emphasize his masculinity, because that's what he needs.
    Other than that, only he can fix his own life. If you were fixing things for him, he'd feel even worse and he wouldn't gain confidence and self-respect.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Around two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were about to have sex when he went soft. He admitted he'd masturbated earlier in the day, because he didn't want to disappoint me later. I told him he didn't disappoint me etc, but then he started talking about how he was worried I'd leave him for a younger guy (he's almost mid 20s, I'm early 20s, but hardly a huge leap), and that he was becoming too 'boring' for me!

    I was really taken aback, because he's never talked like this, but I just reassured him. I went on a trip to visit friends abroad, then came back a week or so later. This time, he was giving me oral, and when he came back up had went completely soft! This doesn't usually happen either, but in the early stages of our relationship I wasn't convinced he liked giving oral, so it didn't help matters. He did get hard again, but went soft when we switched up position.

    He ended up saying that he'd lost his confidence and mentioned that he was worried I found him 'boring' again. Then he said he felt like his life is stuck in a rut (he has a degree but been working bars since graduating), though he has a hobby which seems to be becoming quite successful (though he doesn't seem to think so). I comforted him and said I'd sit down and help him think about options etc. I feel like the relationship has taken a dunt as well, as each time I see him he tells me he worries he's too 'boring' for me when I'm crazy about him, and him saying that is offputting. What can I do to help him? And do you think we should take sex off the menu for a bit?
    He just seems a bit stressed/depressed, like you said he feels his life is in a rut. All you can really do is be there for him, which it sounds like you are. If you say you want to take sex off the menu, you'll probably just lower his self esteem more. Just stick with it and things should get better.
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    (Original post by ekudamram)
    Sounds like a couple of things are getting to him. Going soft is never a nice thing to happen (but kudos for reacting the way you did, what worries me most about going soft is how my girlfriend will deal with it, but in 4 years it's happened once, and she was lovely)

    And he may well be realising that he's older than you, and worrying his ideals are different. Most people I know in their mid twenties start to think about careers, and houses, bills etc. whereas most early twenties I know want to drink and smoke, while being generally reckless, because this is the age to make mistakes.

    It's great you seem to really care, but I think he needs to be convinced as well. I personally wouldn't want sex of the menu, as I would worry my girlfriend was upset it had happened, or worried it would happen again, although that wouldn't be the case, it would make me feel anxious, and then it would happen again.
    Having said that, I wouldn't advocate jumping straight back into bed with him and telling him you 'have to do this, get back on the horse etc.' because there may be some issues that are causing this which you need to talk through with him.

    You're handling this (no pun intended) very well, and I'm sure things will get better soon
    Thanks for this advice, it really helps. As the earlier poster said, if his confidence has been knocked it might not be a good idea to take sex off the menu altogether - but whenever he gets riled up at the moment, it doesn't quite work out then we are both disappointed (though I try to assure him otherwise).

    He seems to have got himself into a vicious cycle with worries about going flaccid, and I don't know how to reverse it. I suppose I'm thinking helping him think about possible options for his future and getting his confidence up again might help in a general sense...but I know I can't do anything for him.
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    Kiss him mid sentence when he tries to put himself down
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    (Original post by Millie228)
    There is nothing you can do except what you're already doing, which is to support and reassure him. He feels like he's not a success and therefore worries about his appeal.
    Girls usually date older guys, and you barely have an age gap at all, I mean you're early twenties and he's "almost" mid twenties? You're practically the same age. So this is not about him feeling threatened by younger guys, it's him feeling threatened by all other guys, because he feels he is not where he wants to be in life. Could be some factors have triggered it among his friends or at work which are unrelated to you, but you still 'suffer' from it, because he's feelings less masculine.

    One tip can give is to really focus on emphasizing that you find him attractive and important to you. Don't call him sweet/cute/nice, pet his head or try to fix things for him. I'm not saying you do those things, I'm just saying that it's better to emphasize that you find him attractive, that he's the most important man of your life. Emphasize his masculinity, because that's what he needs.
    Other than that, only he can fix his own life. If you were fixing things for him, he'd feel even worse and he wouldn't gain confidence and self-respect.
    The only possible thing I could think that may have triggered it - is that part of my uni course at the moment consists of putting a business together and he recently met a couple of my male friends on the course. I introduced him to them, and remember him being quite off at the time, and I remember asking him what was wrong. I often tell him I love him, compliment him etc - I don't know what else I can do. I also asked if anything specifically had triggered how he's feeling, he said no.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    The only possible thing I could think that may have triggered it - is that part of my uni course at the moment consists of putting a business together and he recently met a couple of my male friends on the course. I introduced him to them, and remember him being quite off at the time, and I remember asking him what was wrong. I often tell him I love him, compliment him etc - I don't know what else I can do. I also asked if anything specifically had triggered how he's feeling, he said no.
    Well there can be minor triggers or bigger ones, but he's not likely to tell you about it either way.
    We all have things that put our lives into perspective - like this girl who's dating the brother of a guy I'm dating. She's doing great with her education, has an amazing style and recently got an interview with a big magazine. She's two years younger than me and when I saw it, I thought shoot, she's so much better than me and I wish I had done more with my life. No guy can snap me out of that, he doesn't see it from the same perspective anyway. The only way you can comprehend his situation is to think that him feeling robbed of all masculinity is the equivalent of you not feeling feminine. Imagine if you had gained a ton of weight, was aware that your boyfriend was around far more attractive and feminine girls all day or if you were told you wouldn't make a good mother.
    IF it is the case that he felt jealousy over the guys in your group, there is no way he'd tell you. It'll make him twice as vulnerable and remind you that other guys are or are becoming more successful than him.
    Secondly, only he can fix it.

    Do NOT take sex off the menu. That is possibly the worst thing you can do. Firstly because sex is a healthy part of any relationship and he does have a sex drive which should be satisfied. Secondly because it will send all the wrong signals and make him feel worse. It basically says "you don't turn me on anymore and you can't get it up anyway so why don't we just drop it".
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    I agree that stopping completely having sex might not communicate quite the right message, but could you maybe instead try and agree to do erotic things together with no endgame or expectation that it will become penetrative sex for a while? It's corny but things like giving your partner a massage can keep you feeling like you have a physical relationship and give some of the intimacy without the pressure - or maybe baths togther, mutual masturbation etc. Then if he becomes aroused in the non-pressured environment and you want to go further you can, but they're solid enough activities in themselves not to make it an expectation or dissappointment?
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    Well that's it then. You made him give you oral and since he hasn't been the same? sounds like you've been sexually destroying him
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    (Original post by Millie228)
    Well there can be minor triggers or bigger ones, but he's not likely to tell you about it either way.
    We all have things that put our lives into perspective - like this girl who's dating the brother of a guy I'm dating. She's doing great with her education, has an amazing style and recently got an interview with a big magazine. She's two years younger than me and when I saw it, I thought shoot, she's so much better than me and I wish I had done more with my life. No guy can snap me out of that, he doesn't see it from the same perspective anyway. The only way you can comprehend his situation is to think that him feeling robbed of all masculinity is the equivalent of you not feeling feminine. Imagine if you had gained a ton of weight, was aware that your boyfriend was around far more attractive and feminine girls all day or if you were told you wouldn't make a good mother.
    IF it is the case that he felt jealousy over the guys in your group, there is no way he'd tell you. It'll make him twice as vulnerable and remind you that other guys are or are becoming more successful than him.
    Secondly, only he can fix it.

    Do NOT take sex off the menu. That is possibly the worst thing you can do. Firstly because sex is a healthy part of any relationship and he does have a sex drive which should be satisfied. Secondly because it will send all the wrong signals and make him feel worse. It basically says "you don't turn me on anymore and you can't get it up anyway so why don't we just drop it".
    Yeah. Well actually, I met some of the girls my boyfriend works with recently and they are very attractive. It didn't make me feel brilliant, but I think... I wouldn't say I'm annoyed with my boyfriend. I'm not.

    But I suppose I'm a bit disappointed that he doesn't have more faith in the relationship than to think that I might so easily go off with a 'younger guy'? I feel like I've proven how much I love him, and shouldn't have to convince him he's not enough considering what we've been through together.

    Anyway, I'll just try to be there for him and hope this gets better soon. Thanks! x
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    It's very difficult. If you try to reassure him or be touchy-feely, he'll think "she's mothering me, I have regressed to a pathetic sexless baby."

    Maybe you could try being forceful in the bedroom if you currently take a passive role. Show him you're hot for him.

    When talking about your relationship, try to recast yourselves as a "power couple" set as a team against an unforgiving world. I love this feeling.
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    This is one of those rate relationships were the boyfriend becomes the girlfriend and vice versa.




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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    It's very difficult. If you try to reassure him or be touchy-feely, he'll think "she's mothering me, I have regressed to a pathetic sexless baby."

    Maybe you could try being forceful in the bedroom if you currently take a passive role. Show him you're hot for him.

    When talking about your relationship, try to recast yourselves as a "power couple" set as a team against an unforgiving world. I love this feeling.
    Hi, yeah I'm definitely not 'passive' the majority of the time. I like to dominate him, but also like to be dominated, so we take turns in this respect.

    I know what you mean about him feeling like he's 'regressed' - I feel like I might've been treading the line thinly, but it's a difficult situation!
 
 
 
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