Did Shacking Up Kill Romance?
Q: I've been with my boyfriend for two years. Since moving in together last year, I've started to feel like we're more like companionable roommates than lovers. He's a great guy and we have a lot of fun together, but we're physical less often and he no longer makes the romantic gestures he did when we were just dating. Is this just how all relationships go, or am I settling for less than I deserve? -- Terese, 38
Dr. Susan: It's not so much a matter of deserving, but of the natural cycle of relationships. He needn't court you with the same fervor as when you were dating, because he has you there all the time. Besides, two years is approximately when most lovers begin facing the reality of who our partners truly are. That is, the stars in our eyes start fading, allowing a clearer perception. In good relationships, that's okay, but you have to make a bit more effort to keep the spark alive. I'd suggest you talk this over with your boyfriend and see how he feels and if he's even noticed the change in his actions toward you. Living together is like a very long date. If your reasonable needs aren't being met, you can still bail.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.