If The Lust Has Faded, Should I Dump My Great Boyfriend?

Hi Evan, I stumbled across your blog while looking for advice. It’s been really helpful for me so far! I have read what you’ve written on passion and chemistry, and I know you get a lot of questions on this topic. I am 27 and have been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He is the kindest, most compassionate guy I have ever known. He treats me like gold and is just the coolest, most gentle person who understands me completely and is always there for me. I feel safe and calm when I am with him. He makes me so happy and when we are together we have so much fun and I am always so happy I feel like I’m on cloud nine! He really does feel like my soulmate and I feel so lucky to have met someone like him. I love him very much and have a strong feeling that I always want to be there for him and make him happy. There is just one little problem…

I don’t feel that same passion and lust for him as I did when we first met. I am not super excited and giddy around him anymore. I used to want to jump his bones anywhere and everywhere, even in the supermarket. But that feeling has faded and now when we are doing everyday things together like shopping or cuddling on the couch I feel more of a peaceful comfort and warmth with him. Don’t get me wrong, I still find him attractive. I still love to be physical with him and we are constantly touching and kissing and cuddling. It’s just not that exciting anymore; it feels more comforting and warm and loving rather than lustful. I don’t think about him every second of the day anymore, don’t get butterflies in my stomach when I see him and don’t feel nervous, giddy or weak in the knees anymore. When we are together doing ordinary everyday things I don’t feel that intense lust anymore, but rather a warm comfort and joy. This makes me so confused. I love him so much and want to stay with him. I cant imagine being with anyone else. Isn’t a relationship or a marriage supposed to have that intense lust? Would I be wrong to stay in a relationship where the lust has faded? Marisa

 

Marry him.

Like, right now. Lock it in.

You’re in a dream relationship and you’re trying to find cracks in it.

That’s like inspecting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to see where Michelangelo colored outside the lines.

Just reread what you wrote above:

“He makes me so happy and when we are together we have so much fun and I am always so happy I feel like I’m on cloud nine! He really does feel like my soulmate and I feel so lucky to have met someone like him. I love him very much and have a strong feeling that I always want to be there for him and make him happy.”

 

This is what it’s all about, Marisa. And it’s not like you’re turned off by him:

You SHOULDN’T feel butterflies with the person who will be there until you die.

Don’t get me wrong, I still find him attractive. I still love to be physical with him and we are constantly touching and kissing and cuddling. It’s just not that exciting anymore; it feels more comforting and warm and loving rather than lustful. I don’t think about him every second of the day anymore, don’t get butterflies in my stomach when I see him and don’t feel nervous, giddy or weak in the knees anymore.

This is exactly what healthy relationships should be like. You SHOULDN’T be nervous around your best friend. You SHOULDN’T obsess about the man you’ve loved for 3 years. You SHOULDN’T feel butterflies with the person who will be there until you die.

That’s what happens at the beginning – and, to make sure you feel normal – this feeling wears off within 18-24 months in most relationships, according to Dr. Helen Fisher, author of “Why We Love”.

Which is why, as a dating coach, I spend most of my time telling women to find the relationship that feels EXACTLY like yours does, Marisa!

You’ve hit the lottery and you’re worried about paying taxes on it? Really?

Just know that the “exciting, shiny new car” that you bought last week will, in two or three years, just be known as “your car”.

That’s how things work. They’re exciting when they’re new and comfortable when they’re old. People who chase that exciting new feeling are the ones who are either perpetually single, perpetually trying to “trade up” in relationships, or prone to cheating because they feel that the grass is always greener.

Perhaps Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice”, said it best in Lori Gottlieb’s “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.” To paraphrase:

…what you should do when you’re dating is attempting to find the “6” with whom you can spend the rest of your life.

At some point, you realize you shouldn’t marry a “10”, so you go for the “8”. But once you fall in love with the “8”, over time, once you get accustomed to him, he turns into a “6”. Once the bloom is off the rose, you start to think you can do better than your “6”, and you break up with him, only to find another “8”, forgetting of course, that in a few years, he, too, will become a “6”. So really, Schwartz advises, what you should do when you’re dating is attempting to find the “6” with whom you can spend the rest of your life.

My wife did that.

You’ve done that, Marisa.

And I can assure you, when you sit back and watch all the lustful couples break up while you’re growing old with your soulmate, you’re not going to have the second thoughts you’re having now.

Instead, you’re going to wonder how you could have ever thought your life would be better without this man by your side.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Selena

    Thanks Karl. 30+ % of males over 35 being single seems more reflective of our society than 18%.

    So about 1/3 of all men in your age ranges are available ladies – that translates to millions – not all the good ones have been taken. ;)

  2. 62
    Jadafisk

    How likely are men to get married again if they’ve already done so in the past, however? One of the major incentives they have for doing so – children – is already fulfilled in many cases, they may have become “gun shy” at best, totally disinterested at “worst” because of their last experience, and even if they are willing to take the plunge again, there’s some merit to the gun shyness - second marriages are less successful than first marriages.

  3. 63
    A-L

    Hey Selena,
     
    The only figures I have is from the other post, which is from the 2000 census, combining divorced and never marrieds (the number of widowed was negligible).  I’m just pasting those in:
     
    53.8% of men 25-29
    37.6% of men 30-34
    29.9% of men 35-44
    24.4% of men 45-54
     
    44.7% of women 25-29
    39.9% of women 30-34
    27.9% of women 35-44
    26% of women 45-54
     
    It’s interesting how the info has altered from 2000, to 2010 (I’m assuming yours are the 2010 census, Karl?).  In 2000, 30% of men 35-44 were available whereas now it’s 35%.  For men 45-54 there used to be 24% available but now it’s about 33%.  Looks like men are choosing to stay single longer (or just stay single).  Which also means that there’s a larger dating pool for women.  But Jadafisk does bring up a good point…how many men want to get remarried?  Where would we even locate a source for this data?

  4. 64
    Selena

    Ha ha A_L :) I don’t know where one would find such data. I’m guessin’ they don’t know they want to get remarried until they meet the woman who makes it seem not such a bad idea?

  5. 65
    Karl R

    A-L asked: (#66)
    “I’m assuming yours are the 2010 census, Karl?”

    The U.S. 2010 Current Population Survey, which is derived from the census.

    A-L asked: (#66)
    “how many men want to get remarried?”

    About 75% of men and women remarry.

    A-L asked: (#66)
    “Where would we even locate a source for this data?”

    Here and here and here and here and here.

  6. 66
    A-L

    Thanks, Karl!  Don’t have time to look at the links right now, but I’ll check them out later.  Hope y’all have a great day!

  7. 67
    d_han

    I think this post gave me closure to my break up…thanks Evan…

  8. 68
    Kieve

    WOW! I can’t believe this. If you find someone worth holding onto that’s because they’re worth holding onto. People always get caught up thinking they can do better or that someone better will come along rather than be happy with happy. Gee the women of today are so freaking shallow. There are a million women who would killed to have a guy like yours and you write a post like this lol. 

  9. 69
    Hannah

    Wow I envy your situation. Men are always looking for their ‘ideal’, and ‘the love of their lives’ and to get those butterflies and pure attraction & lustful chemistry Thinking that is ‘true love’. But I’ve found that I want someone I can live with, be comfortable with & grow more and more in love with, as time goes by. someone I trust & feel safe with. But men don’t have that patience. They want all the nervousness, excitement and butterflise as proof of your attraction. Your man sounds very mature. 

  10. 70
    Krystal

    Bill has Mommy issues.

    Some people are not meant to be monogamous. Some are not meant to be sexually monoganous. Some relationships should only last a few years, others a few months, others 30+ years. Why is everyone so sold in marriage being the “grand prize”?  

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