Going Nuts in the Rut

You know that rut you get into when you've been in a long-term relationship for some time? Well, I've hit it, and it's driving me crazy (and not in a good way). When we first started dating, he was great—we went out, he was romantic, he complimented me, the sex was amazing and often.

Lately, it's a different story. It has gotten to a point where my boyfriend never wants to go anywhere anymore but instead only wants to hang out at his or my place. Romance isn't even in his vocabulary, and sex? Well, that's now once a week if I'm lucky, and the kicker is that the sessions are now quick and he gets dressed right afterward to go watch TV. What the hell happened?

You are probably thinking that I've got some fault in this, and maybe I do, but I just don't see it. I always make sure to dress well, even when hanging around the house. Sex also shouldn't be an issue; I'm good at it and am open to trying new things, etc. So what is it?

Frustrated in Seattle

People in long-term relationships get lazy after a while. This is to be expected. Usually both partners share the blame—she gets lax about hair removal, he starts thinking of farts as punch lines. But in this case, it sounds like you're fairly conscientious, while he's taking slothfulness to new heights.

You need to figure out whether or not you want to be in this relationship, because I don't really see that you're getting a whole lot out of it. If you decide that, yes, he's the slug for you, you're going to need to put your foot down. You have to take boyfriend by the hand (grab the remote out of the other one and pitch it out the window), sit his sweet ass down, and tell him what's up. Don't frame it as "a talk," because as we know, nothing scares a straight guy more than the thought of "a talk." Besides, a talk implies that he gets to speak.

Without being accusatory (which will make him defensive), assure him that while you love him, the relationship is starting to get on your nerves.

Ask him if there's anything about the two of you that he would change. My guess is he'll probably say no, because (a) men hate talking about their feelings; and (b) he's having his two primary needs—basic cable and a warm place to put his dick once a week—met. Plus, a lot of guys just don't think along these lines. Which is why instead of making their present relationships more exciting, they eventually find themselves filled with a vague sense of emptiness and yearning and wind up banging Winnie from accounting.

So you see, it's up to you. And yes, it's frustrating and not even close to fair, but in heterosexual relationships, women do the overwhelming amount of relationship maintenance.

The sex thing is the most troubling. It's normal that frequency drops off after a while, but getting dressed and going into the other room to watch TV immediately afterward is just wrong. Way to make you feel like a whore! (To use your own words—and not in a good way!) As whiney-girl as you're going to sound, you have to tell him the pump 'n' dump makes you feel bad. I know, I know . . . you're worried you'll then be stuck with a clockwatcher (i.e, "How many more minutes of afterglow do I need to put up with until I can check the score?"), but he needs to suck it up and compromise. He can TiVo The King of Queens. Everybody knows that half the fun of doing it is doing it again! Duh.

You should also inform him you're having a date night at least once a week. Renting a movie instead of watching network TV does not count as a date. A date entails getting cleaned up, changing into cute outfits, and—most important—actually leaving the house. It needn't be expensive, but it has to be fun. Make sure he knows that if he's not going to go on the date with you, you'll find someone who will.

Relationship doldrums? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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