Dear Dr. Darcy:
I've been dating an awesome woman for about 9 months. She's adult and fun and has seen me at my worst and still thinks I'm awesome. About two months ago, I started to find myself bored by our formerly good sex life.
Under normal circumstances, I would take this as a sign that we aren't really a match. One of my friends called me on this, noting that I've said similar things about similarly awesome women in the past. And been utterly and consistently smitten and lustful about more tempestuous and less available women.
How can I tell if this is growing pains for me and the relationship or not the right match?
You like beginnings, that’s for sure. And beginnings are pretty easy to like given all the chemicals and endorphins that your brain’s saturated with. It’s easy to live and breathe sex in the first 6 months of a relationship because your brain is producing increased norepinephrine and increased serotonin, so much so that you’re literally not experiencing sober sex. Three months later, you hop in bed with your partner and it feels like you’re experiencing sex with a new person ~ and you are. You.
You are what’s different, or at lest your brain is. It’s devoid of all those feel-good chemicals and as a result, you’re getting a glimpse of sex that feels a little routine. And we’ve all had routine sex so the minute you glimpse it, your mind jumps to the worst example it has stored: Mundane, obligatory sex. And no one wants to sign up for that.
That’s not to say that you don’t also have some relationship issues. Your historic attraction to tempestuous, less available women certainly speaks to that. So let me ask you: Growing up, what were your examples of committed relationships? How did your parents model this for you? If your example was like mine (the hottest of messes), chances are that at some level (possibly unconscious) relationships don’t look too attractive to you. If the relationship was great, well, that’s a lot to live up to. Fear of falling short of that pristine example could cause you to run for the hills whenever a relationship begins to feel like work. Now what if your example is somewhere in the middle? Maybe you came from parents who managed to stay together but without any passion (good or bad), living quiet, separate lives, tolerating one-another. Who the hell would want that?
I say breathe. Breathe through this moment, see where the next few weeks and months bring you. And while you’re at it, get a book called Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix (linked to here) and begin reading this book as though you were enrolled in a graduate class learning the theory of relationships. Approach it with a curious, academic mind and see if you don’t learn something about who you are in relationships.
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