|This is a picture of Michael and me from 3 years ago. ;)|
But all that romance took time away from other things - important things - including time for work, time with friends and family, and time getting exercise. Since moving in together, we've both been able to re-invest in all of these other things, which feels great. Our lives have more balance, and it's phenomenal to finally share a home (not to mention 2 cats + 1 puppy). But for some reason - or perhaps for many reasons - this reshuffling of our lives has dampened the romance. We just aren't lusting after each other the way we used to, and it's a bummer.
I fear that some of this might be related to my no-mirrors project. I've been so much less focused on my looks (which has been wonderful for my body image and confidence!), but in doing so I've spent the majority of my days comfortably hanging out in a tee-shirt + slouchy jeans, wearing minimal makeup, and with my hair always in a pony-tail. At bedtime I change into elastic-waistband PJ pants that come practically up to my ta-tas, worn with (what else?) a huge old tee-shirt. Does Michael still find me attractive? Amazingly, yes (not that he wouldn't prefer a slightly less schlumpy wife!). But I don't feel very sexy. This came as a surprise to me. I really thought that focusing on how I feel instead of how I look would make me feel sexy all the time. But I may have underestimated the extent to which primping and grooming have helped me feel attractive and sexy. Anyway, despite feeling increasingly comfortable with my body, I haven't felt particularly amorous; I've rarely been "in the mood" lately, and it doesn't help that Michael has been too exhausted after work to put much effort into "setting the mood."
Last Thursday night Michael and I went to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant. I even dressed up (i.e., changed out of my PJ pants) for the occasion! After complaining for a 30 minutes about the exhaustions of house-training a puppy, I felt a glimmer of that wanting-to-snuggle-and-kiss kind of feeling. So I leaned over the table, looked longingly into Michael's eyes, and said "Any interest in giving me a full-body massage when we get back home??" (I even suggestively wiggled my eyebrows.) He perked up (this must have sounded better than hearing more about the house-training). He said "Ooooh, that sounds fun!" But once we were home, Michael's energy dropped like a sake-bomb. He haphazardly scratched my back for about 5 minutes, and then started bargaining for "payment upfront." I know that sounds awful, but don't worry: at this point we both exploded into giggles and exchanged some tickles (I also gave Michael a "full-body massage" by rubbing his left bicep). But that was the extent of it. Bonding: check. Sexy-time: uncheck.
So, do we still adore each other? Absolutely! Do we still find each other attractive? Yep. (I still think Michael is crazy-handsome, and he seems to think I'm somewhere between cute and gorgeous, depending on the day.) Do we have a healthy relationship? The best! Are we having fun and enjoying time together? Absolutely! (Just not so much in bed.)
We've talked about this "issue" a few times. We're not panicking, but we miss feeling excited about this special part of our lives. So this week I'm sharing a mantra with Michael. We've decided to spend at least 15 minutes being romantic with each other, EVERY DAY this week. When I suggested this, it (sadly) sounded really ambitious. That made us feel ridiculous, and then determined. So.... this week's mantra is:
Return to Romance... in 15 Minutes a Day!
I'm also going to make an effort to dress with a bit more pizazz, and to at least ditch the pony-tail most days. Hopefully this will help push me in the right direction, though it will of course be a delicate balance between caring about my looks just enough, but not too much!
How much is "feeling sexy" related to "looking sexy" for you? Have any of you dealt with a "slump"? If so, I'd love advice, ideas, and suggestions - but please keep your comments PG-13.
P.S. Mom, Granda Rita & Grandma Ruth - if any of you have suggestions or tales of similar experience.... please, please, please comment anonymously!
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