Monday, January 27, 2014

What if some people don't "just know"?

Hi, ESB. 

I'm writing with a quandary that's been rolling around in my head for a while. I'm in a great relationship. He is supportive, funny, kind, handsome and all of that. We have a relationship well founded in trust and support- no questions there. We've been together for five years and have shared a home for most of that time.

Of course conversations eventually turn into questions about marriage. It isn't a huge "must do" for either of us. I would at some point like to have a celebration of love and families coming together but nothing even close to the whole cupcake-bride-with-a-big-expensive-string-of-events.

A week ago we had a really good but hard and honest conversation. We both admitted that we see so much compatibility but lament a sometimes meh sex life and aren't entirely sure if we are each other’s "the one.” We both expressed our frustration about not knowing and anxiety about whether we are the kind of people that ever might "just know.” A lot of people say they had that feeling before getting married. And I'm sure for some people it is true, but isn't there also a leap of faith a bit? If we were to break up would we just be throwing the baby out with the bath water? I've never been one to believe that marriage is the final destination or an easy time. Inevitably there are things you compromise on. I have a partnership that is mutually dependent and supportive. I love him, I'm attracted to him and I love sharing my life with him.... but what gives about knowing about "the one"? 

I'd love it if people shared how they know/don't know/knew/thought they knew/never knew they found a partner for life.

Thank you!


Fuck "the one."

Is sex important to you? Is a meh sex life a dealbreaker? For either of you??

Because if it ain't working now, marriage won't fix it.

p.s. I posted a similar dilemma here. And Dan Savage has a lot to say on this subject -- listen to his podcast, I beg of you!!!

Image: Ernesto Artillo


  1. Fuck the "you just know". I don't think there is some magical essence in the universe or your body chemistry that suddenly alerts you when you find a perfect match. (People also said "you'll just know" when shopping for a wedding dress--like, huh? You try on a bunch of dresses and when you find one you love you stop looking.)

  2. If you're not sure you want to get married, then don't get married. There is some leap of faith, but it's pretty small. I'm about 95% sure my husband is the one. If you're happy in your relationship, then why change what ain't broke?

  3. I think knowing someone is "the one" (or at least "a one") takes time. I had similar doubts about my partner--we started dating at 19 and I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was missing out on someone even more compatible (we also have a meh sex life). So we spent some time apart and dated other people and that cleared things up right quick because we were both miserable. It has been six years since then and I think I'm pretty damn close to positive that he's the one at this point. He often annoys the crap out of me, but even on our worst days I don't question whether I'd be better off with someone else anymore.

  4. I wholeheartedly believe there is no such thing as "the one" and this concept ruins otherwise perfectly functional, satisfying relationships. It sounds like you both love everything about being together, except for some dissatisfactions with your sex life. To me, that sounds like something you can work on to improve. Like couples do when they have specific issues. From the way you talk about your relationship, it doesn't sound like there is very little to nothing that clicks and works, so yes, don't throw the whole thing out. If you're not sure about getting married, that's ok. It doesn't sound like something either of you need or necessarily want, at least right now. I think one knows when one wants to spend one's life with their SO, but forget about this business about not knowing if he's "the one." Your ambivalence about getting married seems like more of an ambivalence about marriage itself than about your partner.

  5. Wow, I could have written this letter three years ago! I married my husband after 6 years together, and felt much the same as you while we were dating, after the initial sparks settled. We even broke up for a few months in the middle of our dating years (I moved out of the house we had bought together) because I had the feeling he was going to propose soon and I got cold feet about whether or not he was "the one".

    Much like you and your partner, we had a pretty "meh" sex life for a while, compared to hot-and-sweaty hook-ups I had enjoyed during college. But the up-side was, and is, that this man is my best friend. I realized that he is the person I want to do "all the things" in life with. But that realization didn't come until I stepped away from him to gain some perspective.

    While we were separated, I missed his company every moment. We know each other inside out and upside down, which is no small thing. I've never had that kind of connection with anyone before, and I think it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. We both invested a lot of time and energy into each other to reach that kind of intimacy, and I realized that having someone who knows me better than I know myself, and having someone I care for more than myself, was not something I wanted to live without.

    So I moved back in, and six months later we were engaged, and I was able to say YES with a clear head and confident heart because of that soul-searching alone-time I had taken. I am very grateful and lucky that he allowed me that time and was patient and trusting.

    So far, marriage is great. Like, really great. And sex? Sex gets better if you are willing to work at it a little. I highly recommend the website Smitten Kitten. Treat yourselves to a couple toys that will get you going and some good lube if you don't already have those things in your bedside table. Ask each other what your fantasies are, and be honest even if they sound weird to say out-loud. And if birth control is killing your libido, lady, get off of it!! When I figured that out, it was a game-changer for me. I started doing the natural method and taking Maca every day (it really works) and I feel like I am 18 again.

    Don't give up on something wonderful just because the honeymoon faze is over! Long-term relationships require effort and attention, and the reward is deep and precious.

    1. I tried Maca Powder, but had a hard time making smoothies every day. Do you do the powder or do you find the pills work?

    2. I use the pill form. This one, to be exact. I'm not big on taking supplements in general but I do notice a difference in overall energy level and sexual drive so I'm really glad I found this stuff, especially because we live in the frigid north where it is dark for 8 months of the year and we all tend to be lower energy and slightly depressed in the winter.

    3. This is similar to my experience, "meh" sex life and all.

      But, for us, sex being "meh" is... meh. Neither of us are bothered by it. If it was something one or both of us cared about we probably wouldn't have married.

      But time (together and apart) and perspective helped with our decision to marry. Time and perspective do wonders.

    4. “No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater…The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.”
      —Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby

  6. I've been married for 3 years now. When my guy proposed I didn't if the answer was "yes", but I did know that it wasn't "no". I was sure I didn't want to be without him as a part of my life, and that led me to yes. It was scary, as someone who is not good with change or large commitments it was scary but I'm so glad I said yes. He is my favorite person to do anything with. Two day long "walking dead" marathons - indeed!

  7. i don't believe in "the one," but sure, some people just know; i knew about a month in with joe (we met as exchange students in england when we were 20) that we would be spending the rest of our lives together.

    it would in no way have been a good idea for us to get married right away, mind you (even though we got engaged after 9 months): we had to finish school, get jobs, get different jobs, move across country, bury and mourn loved ones, get through my parents' horrible divorce, and have weird twentysomething middle-of-the-night fights where we drank whisky and smoked indoors. it took seven years for it to be right to be married, all told, and i have never once wished we did it sooner, even though i knew in my bones all that time that he was it for me.

    have a celebration of love and families coming together; that sounds wonderful. no other couple's skin is going to fit you, which is why it's so interesting to talk about relationships; each is its own creature. let yours be what it is.

    1. to clarify that a bit: have a party, don't have a wedding.

  8. one for the opposition here.

    I dated a man for 5 years and kept wondering if he was "the one". As much as I loved him, there were things that I couldn't ignore in our relationship (many of which were big deal things- what he wanted in life vs. what I did; how our families felt about it etc) but the biggest thing was that, when he talked marriage to me, a small part of me kept freezing in a panic. When he did propose my immediate thought was "no" even though I said "yes". Anyway...we broke up.
    I dated another guy for about a year and kept thinking "is this it? IS there an IT?". Then we broke up.
    Then I met my now-husband. Within about a week I knew we were meant to be. I never had a doubt, even when I was angry or didn't like things about him.
    HOWEVER: the 1st guy was when I was 24-29, the second 30 and my husband and I met when I was 31. So I'd had time...which helps.
    Anyway- that's my 2 cents of THE ONE.
    Do what your gut tells you. Write it down & get it out. Trust yourself.

  9. I totally get this. I never had a "he's the one" moment with my fiance, though we fell in love during a whirlwind romance nearly 7 years ago. I've loved him and lived with him and fantasized about marrying him and having his babies, but there was never a THIS IS IT moment.
    And even as our conversations turned more serious, even as I knew the proposal was just around the corner, even now that I'm sitting here with a ring on my finger and exhausted after the giddy/terrible work of searching for a wedding venue late last night, there are still doubts.
    Admittedly, they're coming from a different place....

    He's the man for me, despite his idiosyncrasies and our sometimes-meh sex life, and has been since we were 19. The thing is, I'm pretty sure I'm not "straight." Yes, I have only had sex with men. Yes, the only romantic relationships I've had have been with men. No, I have never hooked up with a woman (2nd base while drunk in high school doesn't count). No, I've never met a woman I wanted to date.

    BUT. Whenever I'm getting myself off, I'm almost always thinking about women. When I watch porn, I rarely tolerate any male involvement. I can't decide if this is because the men are generally hairy/brawny/grunting, etc. (and that is SO not my style, just ask my lean blonde fiance), or if it's because I actually want to get with a woman. Is it because it's a safe kink? Is it because I first watched porn too young, when I had never seen a man naked, when they all seemed scary? Or is it because (this right here is my fear, my fear that I'll ruin the life of the one I love, someday giving in to this long-standing temptation) I ought to have experimented more, and if I had, I would now be dating women?

    Anyone else out there have doubts, questions, fears like this? I love my life with my man, past/present/future, but since puberty I've been curious about women, and sometimes I worry it'll stick with me, and tear things apart down the line.

    (And no, I could never have a threesome, even if he did come around to it. I couldn't handle seeing him with someone else, I love that our bodies belong to each other.)

    1. Lady, please talk to your FH about this.

      Please go fuck a woman before you get married. PLEASE

    2. YES EXACTLY. This was me several years ago. We broke up for two years while I slept my way through every lesbian bar in town, but I never met a woman I loved as much as him so we ended up back together and MUCH stronger than before. You owe it to yourself to explore your sexuality. It will be terrifying, but you're better off facing the fear now than the regret later on.

    3. This was me. I didn't know what to do, I didn't deal with it and I went through with the wedding because I didn't feel like I had any other options. We were together for so long, there were never any problems that seemed big enough to break up over, we were already living together, and marriage seemed like it was what you did next, even though I was pretty sure I liked women. Even though I never had that "he's the one feeling." So I did it.

      And man, it was such a mistake. I ended up leaving him less than a year after getting married. I broke the heart of someone I loved (and still love) deeply, and had to deal with coming out and explaining the abrupt end to our marriage to many confused family and friends. I wish I'd had the guts to call it off before the wedding.

      I was never sure I believed in "just knowing" and I worried about it -- but for me, worrying about not knowing was a sign of deeper doubts I wasn't ready to face. And my current partner? When it came to her, I just knew. I knew within a week of meeting her that she was it.

    4. Exact same deal as Anon 2.06pm, right here. Left my husband (because the relationship fell horribly apart), and now I'm with a woman I'm madly, MADLY in love with. The sex with him was never good but I didn't know... until I left, and then had sex with a woman and realised I was actually a lesbian. And I never knew. If you're not sure, TAKE A BREAK and figure out your sexuality first, in all its glorious complexity.

    5. I truly believe in the words of Dan Savage and like most of his labels, so I would say I'm "straight-ish"-he mostly saves that for dudes who freak out because they accidentally saw a second of gay porn and got a boner but he applies it frequently to women as well. I have always been turned on by the idea of being with a woman when I get off (about 60% of the time, the rest of the time its my guy or the hot bartender down the street) but as soon as I'm done, I don't fantasize about having breakfast with the lovely lady in my head or sharing our feelings the way I do when I think about my husband or any guys before him-I really hope that does not make me sound like a naive closeted asshole-but it's just always felt like a safe and comfortable fantasy for me and I've never felt guilty about it. I was crippling shy growing up and didn't have a boyfriend until late in college and was always worried that it was because maybe I was gay and just couldn't admit it (super liberal family and lots of gay friends made me feel that fear was not the case, though) I did have those fantasies at an early age but I just never pined for a girlfriend the way I did for a boyfriend, never had a crush on a girl, and though I do notice that many women around me are attractive and sexy, I don't think about them the same way I do about the super hot guys around me. With sexy women, I think "wow, she has great boobs and I bet her underwear is awesome" and that's it. Tall guys with tats who wear flannel, I think "wow, I want to slam him against the brick wall in the alley and..." and save that memory for a rainy day when I'm home alone. My lady-dreams are much more nebulous though and don't involve specific women, and that is confusing, but as I've gotten into my 30s I do like being more in touch with my sexuality but also not feeling the need to question and understand it all the time but just enjoy it as long as it works for me and my husband.
      I never discuss these things about myself but it feels good to write about it and read about other women's feelings-we are all so, so different and I really don't think that how I feel applies completely to how you feel but just wanted to give you another perspective from a curious and at times questioning lady. Annnd, after 5 years of being together, last week during very fun and very, very drunk sex with my husband I told him I think I would like to have sex with a lady and he went from surprised/shocked to understanding to telling me if it's something I felt I needed to do he could happily accept it. I don't know if it's something I will actually ever do, honestly I think it may not be as great IRL as it is in my head and I don't want to ruin that fantasy for me, and as I know he would never be ok with a 3-way-my ultimate fantasy but he had a terrible experience before and I would never pressure him to do it for me. It may never happen. And for me, that's ok. I have a higher sex drive and I occasionally explore lesbian porn and erotica for something different, but being honest with myself and more recently with my partner has me feeling really secure in my sex life and marriage, and knowing that I am free to explore my desires if it ever feels right is a great feeling.

      Good god, who needs a drink right now.

    6. So this was me. Been with my husband since high school. Realized in college that I wasn't exactly straight. While I think everyone else here is totally on the money, I want to offer an alternative perspective. While I differ in that I definitely knew he was THE ONE, I also worried that I should have experimented more, etc. In college I made a big deal of coming out to him, and we've been able to work my bisexuality into our relationship in a way that feels pretty healthy. For the most part it just involves a lot of fantasizing, but in a few instances has involved me hooking up with ladies and/or both of us hooking up with a lady. This is not for everyone, and I think it mostly works for us because we have a pretty strong foundation and an otherwise healthy sex life (so I'm not trying to fill a gap with women; just kind of...adding to it?) Anyway, it's possible that you need to experiment before getting married, or it's possible that marriage can involve some experimenting. As with all things, your mileage will vary.

    7. For another perspective, I'm married to a guy, and I've never found myself physically attracted TO another woman, but I often fantasize about women to "get in the mood." I don't fantasize that I am having sex WITH a woman, I fantasize that I AM the sexy woman I am thinking about. Does that make sense?

      I have a hard time thinking of myself in a sexual sense, so pretending that I am the woman in a sexy photo/video helps me. For about five seconds once I thought I might be gay because of that little quirk, but then I remembered what a friend said in high school "The female figure is inherently more attractive than the male figure. It's just more pleasing to look at." So for the OP in this comment thread, take that into consideration along with the wonderful other advice here.

    8. @Anon12:53 BALONEY

      I'll take the male figure any day.

    9. Original commenter here...

      @ESB I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am that your first comment didn't feel like "a hit of obvious" or like a secret revealed. It's like when you can't decide what to order and your friend tells you to go with the salad and then you realize you *really* want the sandwich. Except, you know, it's lesbian experimentation vs. self-acceptance and hetero matrimony.

      @Anon 1/27 3:43
      Thank you so so so much for writing. I really identify with everything you said. I grew up around tons of liberals and gay people (my college roommate and her lady are getting hitched this fall!) and I never felt like I had to hide these feelings. But, I never really wanted to pursue them either: my crushes were always on guys and I still have never wanted a relationship or even a fling with any woman I've met in real life. Whenever I try to fantasize about a real person, or a TV character, or some actual lady with a personality, it doesn't work for me because I get hung up on my feelings of respect for the nuances of her feminine character. Does that make sense? Real dudes I can totally objectify, but I'm only able to objectify/fantasize about made-up ladies.
      I told my FH very early in our relationship that I have these thoughts, but fidelity is really important to both of us. I think that might be why I've lately been stressing about it more, because I didn't know if there were others out there who enjoy the fantasy but are also satisfied with hetero monogamy -- and it would break my heart a million times over if things ever got so bad that I strayed.

      @Anon 1/29 12:53
      Yes. That totally makes sense. Sometimes I'll start out fantasizing about local barista/fashion model mash-up girl and then it'll turn out that I'm more fantasizing about being a target of her gaze (and therefore of equal/greater sexiness).

      Thank you guys. All your comments have really brought me clarity. That said, I'm also on the hunt for a therapist, to talk through some of this stuff and maybe even some pull in FH for some pre-marital counseling.

      And thanks again ESB for providing a space where I knew I could find some real talk from smart ladies.

  10. Regular commenter but ima keep this one Anon

    I don't think my husband is The One but I do think he's a great one. Whenever I read an article about discussing finances/children/care for aging parents/etc. before marriage, I worry that I made a wrong decision, because objectively maybe we aren't the best fit and it wasn't a great decision. I worry that we don't have sex enough. I would absolutely prefer if we had sex more. I've definitely never felt that he was wrong for me, but maybe thought that there's a better suited "right"?....

    But here's the thing.... I've chosen him as my mate and every day I choose to continue together. Not being with him would devastate me and I literally cannot imagine living a day without him as my partner. We sort of fell into marriage as a natural progression of our relationship, but as that was happening, I wasn't scared. Being with him is a choice and we make it work because its worth it.

    Also, our sex is getting better. It's always been good, just not very frequent. After a year of once a week on average, I think we did it 4x last week. NEVER saw that one coming and it made me realize that we can still surprise each other.

    1. Yup, same here. Regular commenter, also Anon for this. I don't believe in "The One" but I think I chose to build a life with my husband and we've built something amazing. I think I could be with other people but I don't know that I'd be this happy and secure. This is what I decided to build, you know?

      Our sex life has had it's ups and downs... and I've so considering that Maca.

  11. I honestly think the concept of "the one" is super depressing and weird. I believe that I could have found many other men with whom I could have spent my life happily because so person is perfect in and of themselves, and therefore no one person is perfect for you. But my husband gets me, and we love each other, and we are weird in the same way. Remember what Dr. Seuss said: “We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.”

    Do you feel 100% yourself with him? Go for it. Marriage is TOTALLY a leap of faith (anyone who says it's not is delusional) You have no idea what will happen 20 years down the line, much less 1 year down the line. You can't predict the future and say for sure that you'll grow old together. But if you'd like to do that, then do it.

  12. couples. therapy. stat.

    it doesn't mean there's anything wrong. no one knows how to do EVERYTHING and getting a professional for a few months to help you sort out your life under the covers could be all you need. you already have "a relationship well founded in trust and support;" THAT'S the hardest part, and you've got it down.

    good luck, sweet thing. your relationship sounds really lovely.

  13. I've always thought Tim Minchin's take on the concept of 'the one' is pretty spot-on:

    'And look, I'm not undervaluing what we've got when I say
    That given the role chaos inevitably plays in the inherently flawed notion of "fate"
    It's obtuse to deduce that I've found my soulmate at the age of seventeen
    It's just mathematically unlikely that at a university in Perth
    I happened to stumble on the one girl on Earth specifically designed for me'

  14. Great to hear so many sane commenters here.
    Yes to that Tim Minchin song.

  15. I don't know about THE one, because I think it's potentially possible to feel that right with more than one person.

    For me, I was in a long relationship and had a lot of doubts that I suppressed. I finally couldn't do it and ended it. I knew after that experience that for me, personally, I had to feel absolutely certain.

    When I met my husband, I 'just knew.' That doesn't mean I wasn't nervous right before we got officially engaged (we had decided to get married very early on, but it was just between us for a while) and it doesn't mean I don't still have what have I done moments when the magnitude of marriage hits me when we are in a rough spot. It does mean, though, that I am deeply certain that I want to be with him. I am madly in love with him, as he is with me and that's the foundation that our marriage is built on.

    I guess what I'm saying is, relationships are always going to have their ups and downs, but only you know if it's what you want at its core.

  16. I think that the whole idea of the one is completely nuts. There is no way I believe that there's only one perfect person for me. My husband is my "the one" only because I've decided it, not because the universe decided for me.

    Sure, some people do "just know" they're meant to be together, but you know what? They're not always right. I'm reminded of a coworker who told me she "just knew" that she and her fiance (whom she had been dating very briefly) were meant for each other; a month later, it was over.

    That said, if you are having serious doubts, listen to them. But if it's just wondering...take the leap of faith. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  17. I don't think there is necessarily a "one." But I can heartily echo ESB, marriage, in my experience only amplifies problems. I relate pretty strongly to what you mentioned, living together for a long time, being seemingly compatible in every way. That was me and my husband. Our divorce was finalized a month ago.

    I realized only too late that I focused on how compatible we were, at least on paper (similar backgrounds, career choices, political and ethical leanings) because I wanted to avoid thinking of the very real problems between us. I wanted them to be less significant, less important. I never thought he was the one, and I thought that concept was implausible

    I still don't think there is a "one" but are you more happy with him than without him? Do you share things? Is it just the sex, or is that the only problem that you've been able to articulate? I was lonelier in the three years of my marriage than I can explain, more than I like to think about. So while I lack the wit or insight of many who have already commented, I would ask you, are you lonely when you're together? Because that's very hard to live with.

    1. Just want to echo these very wise words
      "Are you lonely when you're together? Because that's very hard to live with."

  18. I felt this with my husband too. I wonder if the common theme here is how much longer people are in their relationships before getting married? We were together eight years before getting married and for me it was a decision based on being happier together than apart rather than a heady, passionate "he's the one" moment. Maybe I'm cynical but I call BS when a couple is super sure that they are soulmates or meant for each other.

  19. In some cases, feeling 100% sure has less to do with your relationship and more to do with your personality. I'm an anxious person who overthinks everything and I'm never 100% sure on anything. I try to go with my gut feeling, which is useful, but I can almost always imagine every side of a situation, so I come up with a lot of "what ifs" and I can get stuck. Sometimes you have to stop thinking, figure out what you're feeling and then decide whether there is any rational basis for that feeling or if it's just free floating anxiety.

    (Not saying that you are an anxious person who agonizes over big decisions, just weighing in on one side of the "THE ONE" debate - I have zero doubts about my partner and I still found making the decision to get married very difficult)

  20. I can relate to Rachel - I am an anxious person who over-thinks everything. Right now, I'm over-thinking the decision to get married versus staying just "together" indefinitely... even though we've already been engaged for several months! I will say that I thought my fiance was "the one" early on. But I now believe strongly that there's no such thing as "the one." You have to choose to make your partner "the one," every day. And I prefer it that way. I know I'm supposed to be with my fiance because I'm the best version of myself when I'm around him, because our good moments far outweigh the bad, and because I consider him the most amazing person I know. Do I sometimes fantasize about women? yes. Do I sometimes get annoyed by him? yes. Do I wish our sex life had the passion it had 4 years ago? yes. But I can't imagine life without him and happily (most days) choose him every day.

    1. Yes, yes yes yes yes yes. Completely. This is about choosing, and probably also very much about how you make decisions in your life and feel about your choices. I almost never believe myself or what I feel, and so of course I wasn't going to have some instinctual feeling about this, either, or, really, trust the one I did have.

  21. Holy FUCK
    This is quite possibly the most intense esb comments thread ever.

    @op - Fuck "the one.." If you've found a solid partner, awesome. If you don't feel like yourself with him.. maybe call it quits.. Also -couples therapy, stat. if sex is a dealbreaker.. some couples aren't as concerned with sex as with other forms of husbandry/pertnership/&c

    @all the lesbians up there, get down with your bad selves and be honest and open about your sexuality with your loved ones ASAP. <3

  22. I just have this gut feeling that you don't know how good you have it. What you describe sounds pretty special.

  23. After I got engaged, I sat around for a few months after the blissfully happy months of excitement and wondered if I was doing the right thing. Overwhelmed by expectant pressure, I would often find myself questioning our engagement and if my fiancé was The One. Our sex life too, had dwindled somewhat due to his work demands and me still being a student, working midnight shifts and being on prac. We rarely did it (I'm talking maybe once every two weeks) and we're both tired and exhausted and then suddenly, I have this beautiful ring on my finger. I stupidly asked my older sister for advice (being married for 7 years with two children) who had been with her husband for 10 years who told me that 'He was the best I would ever get, lie over and move on. Sex isn't all about enjoyment'.

    My fiancé had a fight, a huge colossal fight not long after where my anxiety and doubt had finally come out and our disappearing sex life. And when I ran out of the house and jumped into my car to drive god knows where (I'm all about leaving confrontation) I found that he had boxed me in and I couldn't get out of the driveway. He followed me out, sat in the passenger side with me and told me he had felt the same at times, but after our fight, he knew we were both on the same page. I sat and thought about this amidst all of the tears and realized he was right. It was there I realized he was The One. He understood where I stood and how I felt and knew that things had to change. There wasn't that lightbulb moment and I didn't hear music or birds flying around my head but every time I look into his face, I think 'Yes, this is right'. And kudos to The Collector - you don't know how good you have it.

    P.S.: After our huge fight, it finally dawned on me and perhaps half of our friends that we were all in the same boat (sex wise). One of my friends hadn't had sex in over a month. So my fiancé and I have been working on's been fun!

  24. Can we now have a discussion about "meh" sex lives and what's "normal" and how to deal with sex expectations (I refuse to Carrie Bradshaw that and call them sexpectations) vs. reality?

    1. This. Yes, please. For one: I'm so tired of seeing TV shows where the "old" married couple is made fun of for not having sex 7 days a week, and then the storyline turns into how they must not love each other and they are headed for divorce.

      And for two: no one ever talks about this stuff.

    2. Agree. The natural evolution of this blog could be something like, "Thanks ESB for helping me find that geometric 100% cotton dress two years ago, but now about this real life shit..."

  25. I think "the one" means different things for different people... Like many of the commenters above, I've never subscribed to the belief that there is ONLY one single person you could ever be happy with. However, I am grateful to the universe and fate and circumstance that put my husband and I in each others' paths.. I'm not going to go so far as to say it was a higher power, but it's pretty damn special that we met in the first place, and that we became "us" through all the ups and downs we've weathered as a couple.

    I think it's less important to find "the one" as it is to find "the us" - I'm in the relationship I want to be in, I'm living the life I want to live, I'm enjoying sharing all these experiences (good and bad) in this partnership. Maybe shift your focus a bit to find your answer.

    I find sex crucially important to a relationship, but our sex life has had highs and lows. Valuing sex doesn't necessarily mean it's always your #1 priority or it always is what you want - it means (to me) that you evolve and work on different things, and make it a priority from time to time when it needs to be... It sounds like you and your partner have no problems addressing your sex life openly/honestly, which leads me to believe you have plenty of potential to have a fulfilling sex life if that's something you want to put your energy towards.

  26. First time commenter because I love this discussion and the OP is feeling so much how I felt/feel (now 4 months into our marriage, and very happy). This quote helped me take the leap: "[marriage] is an expression of optimism rather than any great declaration of certainty."

    You can also try this thought experiment, which again I found quite convincing. Consider you do break-up and go your separate ways. Then instead of picturing your life with a grass-is-greener hunk who is totally sexually compatible and awesome in all ways, picture your partner's future life. Think about him getting married to some cool girl, having someone else's babies, spending the rest of his life with someone not you. If this makes you die a little inside, then you are not as apathetic as you think, and you might have your answer.

    I also think it is a very very good sign that you and your partner have been so open with each other about this. I also shared my doubts and fears with my other half, and his reaction (calm understanding and reassurance) was exactly what I needed and made me realize how good he was for me and how we would figure this stuff out as we went along. Keep communicating, and it will all work out...