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Lee County Observer 4 1 20
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Lovers or roommates? Take this quiz to find out why the difference matters.
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Take this two-minute quiz to see where your relationship lands on the scale between roommates and lovers and how to have that romantic relationship you've been desiring. - photo by Alisha Worthington
Your whole life you wondered whom youd marry, if youd even get married or when that dream might come true. Then, in a moment of wonderfulness, you met and fell in love with the person of your dreams. You envisioned a life of excitement, were ecstatic for the future and couldnt imagine your life without him.

And, simultaneously, all that worry and not-knowing quieted down. There was a security in knowing the search was over, the dating game was done and you would never have to go on a blind date again.

This new feeling allowed you to truly be yourselves around each otherno makeup, bed-head, after-gym sweatiness, showing irritation and so on. Youve now gotten to see each other, day-to-day, in a variety of situations and have essentially become roommates with benefits. And while this is an absolutely normal and wonderful part of a long-term relationship, if this becomes the norm, it will pretty much kill the reasons you got together in the first placepassion, attraction, excitement.

Take this quiz to see where your relationship lands on the scale between lovers and roommates to discover if a little tweaking might be in order.

1. You cant wait to just go home, change into sweats and watch TV together

After a long day at work or with the kids, theres almost nothing better than getting into comfy clothes and settling in for an hour or two of Netflix. And its even better if someones watching with you. However, if this has become your daily norm, you skip sitting by each other and no touching or affection is happening between you two, its time to re-evaluate your routine.

2. You cant remember the last time you went on an actual date

And Im talking a real date: a semi-nice restaurant, no kids, not as you're running errands, at least for an hour and something you actually spend time getting ready for. Thats a date. Just like the ones you used to go on before you were married. Its absolutely critical to make time for this type of interaction weekly to remind yourselves why you got together in the first place.

3. Sex is basically non-existent and/or you find yourself wondering why it was ever so important

You got together to be lovers not roommates. You couldve lived with just about anyone, but you chose your spouse because there was this extra attraction and excitement you didnt feel with anyone else. If youre not having sex and/or feel little to no desire, its critical to pay attention and make changes. Read books, take classes, get professional help ... Do something because if the reason you got together in the first place goes away, whats left? Thats a dangerous place for a relationship to be.

4. You make your own food and eat at separate times

When the craziness of life and schedules creeps in, its easy to live parallel lives: coming and going, arranging schedules but with little else between you. Lovers will take time, every day, to connect either emotionally or physically or both, even if its just for 20 minutes. Eating a meal together is a great way to reconnect. And, dont just talk about logistics, talk about each other.

5. You dress up to go out with your girl/guy friends but not for him/her

A girls/guys night out is a fun and relaxing way to spend some time occasionally. If, however, you anticipate these nights more than a night with your spouse, you may need to re-evaluate and think about what youre getting out of these outings versus time spent with your spouse. Whats missing? Is it the excitement? The energy? And what do you need to do to make a date with your spouse just as great?

6. Your conversations are mostly about scheduling and logistics

As a sex coach and educator, I work with a lot of couples who are good together at parenting, finances, home repair, getting kids where they need to go and so on, but they have lost the skill of intimacy. Theyve become more like business partners running their family than anything else. Passion and excitement cant exist if these are the types of conversations youre mostly having.

7. You hardly ever go to bed at the same time and/or just fall asleep watching TV

Sex and physical intimacy have a better chance of happening if youre in the same bed, at the time and at a decent hour of the night. If you find yourself avoiding just such a circumstance, I reiterate what I said above: its time for some soul-searching to figure out why. If it has just become a habit, make efforts to change that habit. The quiet of the evening is a great time to reconnect and cuddle. And, I tell all my clients that a TV in a bedroom in a no-no. Its too distracting.

8. You call him/her your best friend

This may surprise many readers, but thinking of your spouse as only your best friend is not conducive to passion. Try describing your spouse as your lover. Can you do it? Does it feel strange? Have you gotten out of the habit of even thinking of your spouse that way? You can have a million best friends but only one lover.

9. You dont feel the need to impress him/her anymore

Its Saturday night and youve discussed going out for something to eat. Although youve been working in the yard all day or have been to the gym, you decide taking a shower and getting ready would be too much work. And besides, its just your wife/husband. She/He will understand. Would you have had this attitude when you were dating? Putting some effort and energy into continuing to better yourself physically, intellectually and emotionally creates momentum not only in your own life but also in your relationship.

10. You find yourself jealous of others' relationships or fantasizing about other people

If youre reading an excessive amount of romance novels, going to romantic movies alone or watching other relationships with envy, it could be indicative of a lack of energy within your own relationship. Your relationship can be like the romance novels or the relationships in movieswith some real life thrown inif you continue to put forth effort and constantly cultivate the lover-aspect of your relationship. It takes work, but the work pays off in wonderfully fantastic ways.

Scoring

Said yes to all 10? You have become roommates. Unless youre both okay with this status, it will be important to take immediate action to make changes.

Said yes to three or four? Youre moving into dangerous territory. By recognizing the direction youre headed, you can take steps to re-energize your relationship and bring it back into focus.

Didnt say yes to any? The romantic energy between the two of you is still sizzling. You have found a way to balance the logistics of life and still see each other for the reasons you first got together. Keep it up!