For the past month or so we’ve been discussing what are the boundaries that partners have when it comes to discussing appearances and habits: do we have the right to say if something about the other isn’t working. And people were sort of all over the place as to what is “good” or “bad” feedback. But in my last post about physical appearance, one or two people simply said that they would tell their partner to change something physical because they simply weren’t physically attracted to them anymore.
What happens if you partner changes and you are no longer attracted to them?
But first, let’s look in the rearview mirror to when your relationship began: were you physically attracted to your partner? Was the reason you met because you thought they were attractive? Or did they approach you because they thought you were attractive? Be honest with yourself…did looks matter at the onset?
Fast forward how ever many years you are together. Do their looks still make you sigh just a little? Do you still look at them and think that you can’t wait to be alone? I don’t necessarily mean sex, more like, are you looking forward to just being alone with them and whatever intimacy you have?
Ok- now I am going to sex. Is it critical for partners to be sexually intimate with one another? Does sex matter in a long term relationship? Is a relationship without sex just a roommate situation? Is a healthy relationship one that embodies both physical, emotional and practical intimacy? Or can you have a relationship without one of the parts?
For this next part, I am going on the assumption that sex is integral to a healthy relationship. What if something about your partner turns you off so much you no longer want to have sex with them? Do you have the right to tell them to change whatever offends you?
Now I bring up a sort of anecdote: I hate back hair. I mean, detest it. I have stopped dating men when I realized they had back hair because that is a physical turn off for me, yet I would never ask someone to get rid of it. But, what if my back hairless husband developed back hair as he got older? Do I stop having sex because I can’t stand it? Do I ask him to shave it? Do I say nothing and carry on, even though I am repulsed? (seriously- I hate back hair) For the record, my Husband has not turned into Sasquatch…
Where is the line to what is acceptable and reasonable?
With age and relationship tenure, I hope that my partner is still attractive to me, and vice versa, due to the other things that we share. But is that a fairy tale? I’ve read some alarming statistics as to how often couples in long term relationships have sex, and I started to wonder: is it really just a lack of time/tiredness issue? Or is it something deeper?
And now I open it up to the floor. What do you think? And feel free to chime in on one or many things that I threw out there. As always, your comments and participation made me think and question. And we know I love to ask the questions with no clear answers…