We’ve all seen that couple who are sickeningly sweet to each other and seem to have no problems whatsoever. The truth of the matter is that most relationships, whether they’re between cougars and cubs or more conventional relationships, require real work. When it comes to how we attracted we are to someone, we need to look at our own perceptions of beauty.
After all, the way that we view our appearance and others’ is heavily influenced by the media around us. We are bombarded with unrealistic ideals of beauty that can’t be found outside of a computer, and while most of us realize this, it can impact our perception of ourselves and how we see those around us.
A study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at 100 couples over three weeks. The biggest factor was not being nice to each other, but rather how responsive they were to their partner’s needs outside of the bedroom. It’s important not to discount the mental connection when it comes to sexual attraction. According to the study, people had more sexual desire for their partner if they felt their own emotional needs were acknowledged and met.
If you’re trying to revive your relationship, or you want prevent this trap from snapping at your heels, also consider the following:
1. Remember it’s a two-way street.
If you feel that your cougar or cub isn’t as attractive as they were when you first started dating them, you need to stop and take a look in the mirror. Typically when couples tend to let themselves go, it’s something that both of them do together. If you notice that you’ve been letting yourself slip as well, then try suggesting that you two start going to a gym together. It doesn’t have to be a chore, you can start running, hiking, biking, or even yoga together to get in some physical activity. Make it an activity that both of you are doing rather than something just one of you has to suffer through.
If you take the emphasis off of them and ask for some support in getting back in shape, they’ll be more likely to respond positively. Especially if it’s a fun activity that you can do together.
According to Psychology Today, the features most linked to attractiveness are also the ones most within our control—markers of health and fitness. “Because these features can change with our health over time, however, this also means that the most attractive features are those most under our control to manage, too.”
2. Figure out what you’re finding unattractive.
Generally when we start to find someone unattractive, it’s usually one or two small things that start getting under our skin. Maybe your cougar has a bad habit or perhaps your cub has stopped shaving. Whatever the issue is, be sure to voice it, but be just as sure to make sure that your cougar or cub knows that it’s your opinion. You don’t want to sound accusatory, so try to find ways to soften the blow as people can be incredibly sensitive about their appearance and criticisms to it.
Saying something like, “I loved your smooth chin,” voices how you feel about it. However, be ready for them to take your opinion into account but decide to ignore it.
There are some things that you need to overcome in relationships, and this is called compromise. If it’s a deal-breaker, then you absolutely need to voice it. If it’s a trivial thing, get over it and spare their feelings.
3. Don’t be afraid to dress up.
Once you settle into a relationship, it’s normal for the two of you to get more intimate, and more comfortable. Part of this intimacy means letting someone else see you at your worst, but it’s also good to remind them how you look at your best. It’s all too easy to stay in and cuddle up with some Netflix, but even if it’s just once a month, find a reason to dress up and have a good time together.
The two of you will be glad for the reminder and it will help to keep the relationship alive by surprising your partner with how smooth you can look when you do actually try. Date nights are a healthy part of any relationship, so make sure to try and schedule these into your busy schedule to keep that spark and excitement alive. Dating doesn’t stop after you’ve met your cougar or cub in real life, remember the excitement you felt when you came across their profile on CougarLife.com and reenact that moment in your dating life.
4. Don’t stay silent and let resentment build.
Sometimes when we’re mad, we hold in our temper so as not to hurt the person we’re with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cougar who is living the high life or a Cub who is just really frustrated, we don’t need to say what comes into our heads all the time. It’s good to have a filter, but when you start noticing that it’s the same things that are making you upset each time, it’s probably time to speak up.
When you keep these resentments that repeat themselves to yourself, it becomes blown out of proportion. If the thing that you’ve noticed is an unattractive trait that keeps bothering you and you’re unable to ignore it, then you’re going to have to say something. Keep it calm and civil, but make sure that the other person knows that this is an issue. Who knows? Maybe after you get it off your chest, you’ll feel better about it, and your partner will be willing to fix the problem that you’re having. Be ready to hear something that they may have noticed about you, however. Have a conversation about these things, and then work on fixing them.
However you deal with the situation, acknowledging that your attraction is waning and taking the steps to fix it show real emotional maturity. By working together, you can keep the flame alive and maybe even be that sickeningly sweet couple whom everyone else envies.