Jack Morin, author of The Erotic Mind, asserts that when couples try to spend too much time together, and become more like best friends rather than lovers, it can totally ruin their sex lives (and who wants to get frisky with their best friend?).
We’re all about fanning the fire in a relationship…but isn’t the point of having a significant other so you can stop doing your hair and pop each other’s back pimples? Aren’t we supposed to get “comfortable” so we can get closer? How are you supposed to do that if you’ve never passed wind in front of one another?
We had to ask Christine Hart, dating and relationship expert, to help us learn where to draw the line.
While she agrees that being too much of a good friend with your partner can cool down your relationship, what exactly causes it to happen depends on the situation. “What’s too close for one is couple is fine for the next couple,” says Hart. “It’s a matter of personal taste.” So while peeing with the door open and perpetually wearing sweatpants may seem only normal to you, it could be a turn off your partner.
The one move she definitely recommends avoiding is joking about sensitive topics with others, particularly in the intimacy department. You may think that because you’ve been together for a long time it’s okay to poke fun at your partner (“I’m lucky if she’s ever in the mood!” is never a good punchline). “It’s a huge blow to the ego to go there,” warns Hart.
And while being comfortable is fine, completely letting yourself go is definitely a turn off. If you used to dress up, but now it’s only jeggings and sweatshirts, you could be sending your partner a subliminal message that you just don’t care anymore. “Both sexes are guilty of that,” says Hart.
She also recommends having other interests and friends that keep you both busy, so that when you are together your time is spent bonding, not venting about work or going to a gym class.
The best way to know if you’re getting to close is to ask your partner, and ask that they be vocal when something goes too far in their eyes, whether its when you clip your toenails in bed or eat a sandwich on the treadmill. “We have unrealistic expectations of each other, forgetting that it’s so much about open communication,” says Hart.
Hart recommends taking a light-hearted approach when broaching the subject. “The only way is to have a fun conversation over drinks and make it a game.” Take turns asking whether something is a turn off or not. Then they’ll know to shut the bathroom door and clean out the sink the next time they decide to manscape.
And while you shouldn’t expert radical changes the next day, Hart warns that ‘putting up with’ behaviour that turns you off can have worse consequences down the road. “Having resentment around sex is a whole other problem. You need a safe space to bring it up,” she says.
If you and your partner are feeling a bit too comfortable, broach the subject of spicing things up in the bedroom by telling your significant other how happy you are with your sex life, but then offer some suggestions you think will make it even better.Advises Hart: “If you’re the one bringing it up, have ideas of what you’d like to try. Mention something you read about or saw in a sex shop. When you come with options, you give your partner the chance to choose.”
While the benefits of getting closer outweigh the effort it takes to keep up the appearance that you’re a flawless human being (“I always wake up with perfect makeup!”), Hart suggests checking on the pulse of your relationship every now and then to make sure there’s more fire than friendship.