Ask Erin: My Fiancé Feels Just Like A Roommate

I have some significant problems in our relationship, which I have discussed with him on many occasions and told him I wouldn’t marry him if things remained as they are.


Hello Erin,

My boyfriend and I have been engaged for two decades. 

I have some significant problems in our relationship, which I have discussed with him on many occasions and told him I wouldn’t marry him if things remained as they are.

He does not spend time with my loved ones or friends, we do not spend time together one on one out of watching tv or films at home, and we do not have sex. 

Our last conversation was me asking him what the underlying motive was for us not having sex was. He said that he reveals physical love in different ways like massaging my back (which is infrequent too ). 

I think he is a terrific man and I love him, but I do not think I could marry him.  I do not need to stop having sex, and I need someone to experience life with. I feel like I want to break up with him, but I’m afraid I am making a mistake. Life is good, we are both very independent, and I have plenty of freedom.

I feel as though he’s a roommate. 

It is not that we do not kiss or have sweet moments, but it is not enough. 

Is there something else I could do?


Often when folks write to me about connection issues — and if they ought to stay or go — they already know the solution. But they want someone else to confirm it, to allow them to do what they know they need to do.

From the introduction of your email, rather than stating fiancé, you said you had been engaged for two years to your boyfriend. The moment I read that, I knew your heart isn’t all in here. And it’s okay that your heart isn’t all in.

That you’re questioning things is healthy as you don’t seem thrilled about the possibility of marrying this man.

In my life, I’ve spent plenty of time in virtually right relationships (and a few that were far wrong) because I kept playing with the”but” game. But he’s a fantastic guy. However, I love him even though I am miserable. But sex is not that important. But no one is ideal.

And sure, there is some truth in all those buts.

When I met my husband, I’d just come from a lengthy on-again/off-again relationship that was not functioning because neither of us was getting what we had in a relationship. Not because we were terrible people, but since our needs did not align so well.

My relationship with my husband felt different from the start; it felt effortless. But, generally speaking, on a daily basis, I’m happy; I’m satisfied in my connection. And much more importantly, my union is the least stressful part of my life. And I think that is the way it needs to be.

I understand there is the frequent refrain that relationships require hard work, but I have never liked that line of thinking.

Yes, in a longterm relationship, we consider another person’s needs, we might compromise, we may need reminders to be current and giving and loving. But that’s life with any deep relationship.

You asked if you’re too hard on him, if there is something else you can do…

In the center of this email, you answered your question once you said:”I think he is a terrific man and I love himbut I do not think I could marry him.”

I don’t believe you should marry him. I think you should enable both of you the chance to discover a partner who’s better suited to your needs.

It may feel scary to give up relationships, especially if we’ve come a long way with somebody, but I think you may be happier moving from one another.

This narrative  by Erin Khar initially appeared on Ravishly, a feminist news+culture site.

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