In new romances, we often speak of chemistry, fireworks and whether there's a "spark." In short order, that spark can flare into white-hot passion, and nothing beats those early days when you simply can't get enough of each other. But what happens when the fire dies down? Two recent letter-writers are facing that very issue and sought our counsel. Read on:
Dear Wayne and Wanda,
I've been with my boyfriend "Chris" for three years. Our connection was instantaneous. We moved in together after a few months of dating. We share mutual interests, hardly ever fight and we always had awesome physical chemistry. When friends complained about their partners' losing interest in sex, I thought, thank God that will never happen to me and Chris. But now it has.
When we first started dating, sex was an everyday thing. That tapered off in time but we were still intimate a few times a week. Well, as I write this today, we haven't had sex in weeks. In fact, it's been about three months. I don't know what's going on. Neither of us has gained weight or "let ourselves go." He is still flirtatious with me. But we go to bed, we fall asleep on our separate sides, and we hardly touch. How can I turn this around? Or is it too late?
Sexless and sad
Wanda says: The only real difference between a super-awesome boy friend and a super-awesome boyfriend is sex and intimacy. It creates and fosters a special and unique bond that, in most traditional relationships, you share only with that one person. Is it going to be a daily thing for all eternity? Probably not. But intimacy should thread through your relationship in multiple ways -- not just by having sex but through hugging, kissing, holding hands and all the other small, sweet gestures that say to that other person, "I love you and I have chosen you and I am committed to you."
When these physical testaments start to slide away, it's scary. But three months isn't the driest dry spell on record. It sounds like you just need to take the lead. So buy some new lingerie, dim the lights, cue the mood music, pop the cork on some champagne and let your man known you're all in.
Wayne says: Sounds like the sparks are still flying -- they're just extinguished when you hit the bed. So, I'm going to add to Wanda's wisdom and recommend throwing some curve balls into your sex mix. Why wait until you're in bed for the night, and no doubt exhausted from being busy adults, before expecting the intimacy to jump to the next level?
Time to think outside the bedroom: Hop in the shower with him. Jump him in the kitchen or the laundry room -- just be careful around the knives and detergents. Meet him at home for a special lunch some weekday. You've got a solid foundation and a man who is still into you. Just remind him what he's been missing during the 90-day dry spell and the drought will be over.
Dear Wayne and Wanda,
First, I love my girlfriend. She's beautiful, sexy, smart and funny. We have a great time together and recently moved in together. The transition has been pretty easy and I think of her as my best friend. But I'm worried maybe she's too much of a friend. Our sex life has really taken a dive. I thought living together would mean we'd have sex even more but the opposite has happened. Since we aren't sleeping together as much, I find myself checking out other women more and more. Last week on a business trip, I spent several hours sitting at my hotel bar talking to a woman. I almost invited her back to my room. Only my guilty conscience kept me from taking that further. This flirtation wasn't usual for me. I'm generally a loyal guy and I love my girlfriend. But I love sex too and the sudden lack of it in our relationship is really making me crazy. How can I get her to reengage?
Bringing Sexy Back
Wanda says: Researchers generally agree that women are unfaithful because they aren't emotionally satisfied, while men cheat because they want sex. You almost cheated. Some would say even your secret flirt session was a form of cheating. But good job on not crossing the line. Now, step away from the line, turn around, return home and focus your pent-up energy on reigniting the flame with your girlfriend you claim to love.
Wayne says: Hey, a Justin Timberlake reference! You're pretty cool in my book, buddy. Especially since you didn't go "Cry Me a River" and cheat on your girlfriend -- that's pretty uncool, bro.
Typically, you put someone in the friend zone before you get into a long-term relationship and move in with them. If you aren't sexually attracted to her anymore, then you need to do some serious soul searching and figure out if you can get the mojo back with someone who is an excellent fit for you otherwise. If not, it's time to move on -- sad but true. That's easier and more ethical than cleaning up a messy cheating scandal. If you are still attracted to her, what the heck is your problem? Stop prowling and dial the heat back up with your woman. If you need some inspiration, put "FutureSex/LoveSounds" on the Beats Pill in the bedroom -- works every time.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.