Q: I haven’t had a girlfriend since I’ve been in college. I have talked to many girls while in college which seemed like it was going in the right direction towards a relationship. However, I always seem to lose interest in them or see them as unattractive when things are about to get “serious”. Which results in me ignoring them or cutting off the relationship all together. This happens when they start to get too clingy or when they start wanting to get sexually intimate. I don’t mean to lose interest in them or see them unattractive it just seems to happen of a sudden. Is this normal and can I do anything to change?
A: There definitely seems to be a problem here. Thankfully, you've clearly recognized that this is an ongoing pattern in your relationships, and that's the first step toward addressing it. There could be many reasons why you suddenly get "turned off" when women show romantic or sexual interest in you. It could be that you don't really want a relationship at this time, but are seeking relationships simply because you feel pressured to by friends or family, or because it's the "normal" thing to do. It could be that you're afraid of becoming intimate with another person, perhaps because you've had some negative experiences with this in the past. Or, it could be that you're not sexually interested in women, perhaps because you're more attracted to men or not sexually attracted to anyone (i.e., asexual). This pattern could be caused by a myriad of different reasons, so it's something you'll have to figure out for yourself.
It would probably be helpful to talk about this with a trained counselor. Thankfully, you can attain free counseling as a UC Merced student. Just visit the counseling website here. Since this is keeping you from attaining satisfying relationships, this is a good reason to seek professional help. I'm confident that you can figure out exactly why you're doing this and change this pattern in the future.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.