Bringing sexy back after lull in passion
Q: I've been married 10 years and our sex life has gone down the tubes. There has been absolutely no spontaneity in it for a while. I used to do what I could to spice up things, but although he didn't reject me, he wasn't initiating anything either. Talking about it didn't help. I mean . . . how are you supposed to tell someone to be more spontaneous and passionate? Doesn't the fact that you had to say something already kill the spontaneity and passion?
Now he's in a no-win situation because if he did it now, I'd feel like he's doing it only because I told him to. He's starting to feel like just a friend or even a brother. Is there any way to rekindle the flame?
A: Better question: Which is more likely to produce flame, lighter fluid or wishful thinking?
Everyone (presumably) wants passion, spontaneity and perfect gifts they didn't have to ask for by name, size, color and price. But when you're dealing with the reality of people who can't read minds, who have their own daily baggage, who are biologically inclined to get lulled into familiarity and who possibly need a venti each day just to wake themselves up, you need to tweak your expectations.
In other words, if you want rekindled flames, then accept that conscious gestures are the only matches and kindling you've got. Okay, so if he puts the moves on you now, you're going to know it's only because you asked. But isn't that its own kind of romantic? The "you matter to me, so I'm going to risk looking like a goofball and make the effort" kind of romantic? Since he wasn't rejecting you, you can always resolve to be spontaneous for your own sake.
Mystery is sexy, sure. But it has an expiration date. So, you can resign yourself to roommate life, you can chuck your 10-year marriage and chase serial newness — or you can open your mind to a new definition of sexy, as something transparent, conscious and frank.
Missing your dad? Include his girlfriend in your plans
Q: My father has been dating his girlfriend for about nine months, and they seem to get along swimmingly. However, the more I get to know her, the less I like her — she's prim, pretentious and humorless. It is getting to the point where I avoid situations with my father so I don't have to spend time around her. The thing is, not only am I losing time with my dad, but my 2-year-old son is missing out on time with his grandpa.
I try to schedule events, dinners, etc., with him alone, but his feelings get hurt if his girlfriend is not included. She's always there. I'm starting to resent her. But I don't want to alienate my dad, or my son's grandpa. Help?
A: The more you distance yourself from the girlfriend, the more your dad is going to push for you to embrace her. That is the way of all desperation. Parents want acceptance, too.
So, inoculate yourself by regularly and specifically including her in plans. Then, you can get away with asking occasionally if your son "can have grandpa all to himself" — phrasing that's pro-dad, not anti-prim. She probably isn't going away. If Dad's happy, you might not want her to.