Are you too comfortable in your relationship?

My husband mentors a group of twenty-something guys courageously trying to do dating different.  Fortunately in God’s economy, as much as Tim pours into dater dudes, they in turn flood our lives with uproarious laughter through daily text updates on their awesome dating adventures/catastrophes.  I adore these guys and I love how they make my husband light up like a Christmas tree.

So, I was talking to one of the dater guys at church the other day debating over how much looks should be a part of the process of his dating selection.  And as the conversation heated up, I felt myself getting agitated by his blatant bias towards beauty. Just as I began to climb up onto my soapbox and really lay into him- I got the nudge.

From the Holy Spirit that is.

And a vision of my own shallowness in the dating realm nipped at my toes.

“Really Jesus? Now?  I’m chewing him out so well.”

Yep.  Now is a good time Sam.

Right.  Deep breath.

So I fessed up.  I admitted I used to be a sucker for ripped abs and Tim had me at six-pack.

Dater guy looked at me with a puzzled expression.

Here I am busting his balls for dating hot chicks and yet one of the reasons I (initially) liked my guy was because he made me weak in the knees.

Dater guy looked at me weird.   “Pastor Tim?  Pastor Tim was fierce?”

Tim walked up then.  He rolled his eyes. “Is she telling you about how fabulous my abs used to be?”

Dater guy nodded his head yes.

And then Tim ratted me out.  “She isn’t exactly the same woman I married either.”


Ok, maybe I’ve let myself slide a little.  Ok, a lot. 

“Isn’t the fact that I used to be hot, enough dear?”

We laughed on the way home, because we love each other deeply and for way more than just the looks department.

But it made me think about how once we got married and oh so comfortable; we began to let ourselves go –one mystic tan and protein shake at a time.   I guess, since we already bagged the love of our life, it was a relief to stop the madness of trying so hard to be uber attractive.  It’s much more fun to relax on the sofa holding hands with a bag of Doritos and some Girl Scout Cookies.

But how far is too far?  Have I gone too far?  Clearly…I might need to shower more because exhausted mommy with baby poop on her isn’t doing it for my man.  (This was revealed to me on the way home)

So what is a good balance between apathy and relational confidence?  Between showing your spouse you care enough to be attractive and yet not overdoing it to get outside attention?

So I came up with a test. 

1. Do you shower most days?

a. Yes  +10  b. No -15  c. Define most?  -5

2. Is alcohol or chocolate one of your food groups?

a.  Yes  -10  b.  No  +10  c.  Does chocolate covered bacon count?  -5

3.  Do you wear clean underwear? 

a. Yes  +20  b.  No -50  c. Are you talking about the days I shower?  -25

4.  Do your pajamas have sock monkeys on them?

a.  a. Yes  -10  b. No  +10   c. The sock monkey is in the pajamas  +25 

5.  Ok Ladies…Are you within 10 lbs of your honeymoon weight?

a.  Yes  +10  b. No  -10  c.  Does my honeymoon weight include my wedding dress?  -25

6.  Hey Dudes?  Are you still sporting a mullet?

a.  Yes  -10  b.  No  +10  c.  I’d love to have a mullet because it would mean I had hair!  -25

7.  Have you had a pedicure in the last six months?

a.  Yes  +10  b.  No  -10  c.  Is it a problem if I rip sheets with my toe-nails?  -25

8.  Is lingerie a foreign word in your marriage?

a.  Yes  -10  b.  No  +10  c.  Does my husband’s V-neck t-shirt with pit stains count?  -25

9.  Is your idea of a hot date going to Costco and eating samples for dinner?

a.  Yes  -25  b.  No  +25  c.  Splurged on the ice-cream on the way out  +10

10.  Do you get moderate exercise?

a.  Yes  +50  b.  No  -25  c.  Men-if your primary wardrobe consists of sweet muscle shirts and you drive your Camaro to the gym twice a day  -50  Ladies-does Gymboree with my toddler count?  -25


Below 0=You might need a marriage makeover

1-80 = Soft in the middle…but on your way.

81 + = Keep Rocking it!

*Sidenote*  Sam got +75 and Tim got -25   (must have been the Camaro that took him out)




  1. I agree with a lot of what you said. Too often we can forget about taking care of ourselves and our relationship. I think we can set ourselves up for this “failure” by how we act while we are dating. In my experience, I spent my college years and early 20’s at the gym daily late at night, eating half meals(if having time to eat much at all), and most of my attention went toward looking good to get dates, keeping my boyfriends eyes off others and looking amazing at my wedding/on my honeymoon. I set myself and my spouse up with an unmaintainable standard after we got married, cooked real meals, worked full-time and had kids. It was important to stay healthy and week-groomed, but the person that I was when I was dating and got married set my spouse up with expectations that wouldn’t be met. I learned a lot from it, and though physical attraction is very important, I’ll ask myself if I will be okay with this man when he is 50 pounds overweight and bald because life happens.

    • Expectations do make a big difference, but hopefully the beauty of love trancends the process of aging and getting comfortable. Despite the fact that I generally shower every other day (due to the demands of three children), I am confidant my husband loves me more now than ever. And his cuddly middle is far more appealing to me than any rock hard abs because it represents time spent with me and the kids and not at the gym.
      The truth is I could try harder to spice up our marriage in some areas. I really love my sock monkey jammies and lingerie is so uncomfortable. I think my point is in writing this, beyond making you laugh is that we are all selfish (on some level) and it’s good to occasionally move beyond what’s comfortable and do some of the things our beloved finds appealing simply as a gift to strengthen our relationship. But trying to maintain our old way of life before kids is just unrealistic. You are correct.
      The truth is the heart is far more important than the physical, but it doesn’t mean there still isn’t a place for being attractive (in a balanced way) to be appealing to your spouse.
      My grandma used to say, “A little lipstick on the mouth when he comes home for dinner is just the ticket.”
      I think she was on to something…

  2. Hi, I found your blog through Gretchen’s tag. You’re a great writer and that was a fabulous and insightful story. I think it’s very challenging to put aside physical attraction and just go for inner beauty. I know I picked my husband because I thought he was the best looking boy in the school! That was just a starting point though!

  3. Heather McCool says:

    Hi Sam!

    I just found your blog and I’m having fun reading through all of your posts. My marriage has had it’s ups and downs. We have three kids under three and five years of marriage under our belt – and our fair share of stress and reasons to let ourselves go! But when we were dating I would dress just for him. And for a short while I traded that in for dressing like a ‘Christian mom’ and yea, he didn’t marry a ‘Christian mom’. And over the last 6 months to a year I’ve started dressing for him again. And although I feel kind of funny walking into our cute little baptist church with four inch heels and tight jeans – well our marriage is better than it was, partly do to the fact that we sort of ‘date’ any chance we get.
    I don’t know why I’m gushing about this – maybe it’s because I’m naturally thin even after three littles and in person I get the ‘you don’t even have to try look’ (which is a fat lie! No makeup and ratty hair and thin or not my husband wouldn’t be glowing with me on his arm!) ANYWAYS. Thanks for writing this. There are so many who preach the ‘don’t tempt others’ and ‘dress modestly’ into the ground and I’m storing this little post of yours away in my ‘yea, but how does your husband feel about that’ file 🙂

    Hope your day is awesome – you’ve inspired me to put a dress and some lipstick before my husband arrives home today, so I know mine will at least end awesome!


    • Hi Heather!
      Ok I bought the mom clothes too when I first became a mommy. This was thirteen years ago and they were AWFUL! Like Geranimals for ladies. It took me a long time to figure out how to find my own expression of style, still be sexy to my husband, but not be enticing to other men. I love dressing up for Tim when we go on vacation. I pull out the heels and my cute sundresses and take the time to do my hair and makeup (and even the bikini if we are a thousand miles away from everyone). It’s so important for our guys to know we care about their hearts. We are in effect entrusting all of their sexual desires to us for the rest of their life. And I’m sure my hubby occassionally get’s bummed it comes wrapped in flannel pajamas.

      Many blessings,

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