Did Shacking Up Kill Romance?

Q: I've been with my boyfriend for two years. Since moving in together last year, I've started to feel like we're more like companionable roommates than lovers. He's a great guy and we have a lot of fun together, but we're physical less often and he no longer makes the romantic gestures he did when we were just dating. Is this just how all relationships go, or am I settling for less than I deserve? -- Terese, 38

Dr. Susan: It's not so much a matter of deserving, but of the natural cycle of relationships. He needn't court you with the same fervor as when you were dating, because he has you there all the time. Besides, two years is approximately when most lovers begin facing the reality of who our partners truly are. That is, the stars in our eyes start fading, allowing a clearer perception. In good relationships, that's okay, but you have to make a bit more effort to keep the spark alive. I'd suggest you talk this over with your boyfriend and see how he feels and if he's even noticed the change in his actions toward you. Living together is like a very long date. If your reasonable needs aren't being met, you can still bail.

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