I love my boyfriend so much, but our sex is unfulfilling and feels like a chore. I’ve only climaxed with him once in 18 months and our libidos never seem to match. My biggest problem, though, is that I want to be with a woman. I’ve been bi for years, but this straight relationship is the only thing I have, and we are pretty serious. I don’t want to ruin that. At the same time, I long to be with a woman much more than a man and I fantasise about spending the rest of my life with a woman. I can see me doing that with him as well, but I’m not nearly as excited about it. We have talked about our problems, but nothing is changing, even after months of trying. We want to get better, but it is almost as if we physically can’t.

Some people in your position are able to negotiate room for another person within their primary relationship, although that can be very challenging for all involved. But if that is not an option for you and your boyfriend, you need to decide what you really want in the long term. You are clearly restless and long to feel more fulfilled with someone, so I wonder what is stopping you from exploring other possibilities? Perhaps you value the stable relationship you have above your need to be who you truly are sexually – but I’m sure it has already dawned on you that not following your true desires could lead to a life of regret and resentment. Try to find a way to learn more about what your real needs are and how they can best be met.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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