How Sex Lives Change After the Engagement

Continued (page 2 of 3)

Sure, this can be simple commitment fear. Or he may feel like he’s lost the thrill of the chase. “I’ve seen men who’ve had their desire go down after getting engaged, and it’s because they’re conflicted about what they might have to give up,” says Dr. Zoldbrod. It’s not just the prospect of not sleeping with other women. “Inwardly, they’re afraid they may be forced to relinquish a dream, like having to be a financial planner when they wanted to be an artist.” Also, several men (and women) Dr. Zoldbrod has counseled with a post-engagement drop in libido have divorced parents, she notes; there may be some underlying fear they’ll face the same fate. Discussing these issues compassionately can help diffuse them, and they may also fade once he enjoys the undeniable perks of committed coupledom.

Sex Can Be Spontaneous.
For couples who move in together once engaged, the newfound convenience of hanging out without having to plan dates can give their sex life a boost. Sex now can happen at any moment.

“Instead of seeing each other twice a week, Charlotte and I were now seeing each other every day,” says Joe Singer, of York, PA. “Sex got better because we didn’t have to try to fit as much stuff in during a date.” There was more freedom, too, without Joe’s roommate around. “On moving day,” he says, “when there were nothing but boxes in the place, we made love on the bedroom floor.”

He’s Got Your Enthusiasm.
Your post-engagement high may be contagious. “Monica is very excited about getting married, and it’s made her less inhibited,” says William Vanyo, of Las Vegas, who proposed in February 2007. “She’s much more descriptive about what she wants, and our sex life now involves several purple sex toys,” he reveals.

Also, William notes, she’s started teasing him in public. “She’ll brush her breasts against my arm when we’re in a bookshop,” he says. “It’s very erotic.”

You Both Feel More Open About Sharing Fantasies.
Popping the question last Christmas day made Scott Packard, of Altoona, PA, comfortable enough to take the lead romantically. Alison loved the change. When Scott suggested that they hop in the shower together one evening, she was thrilled. Soon she proposed that they watch a risqué DVD. “I was like, ‘Yeah!’” he says. Trekking to the adult store together to choose some toys, however, beat all. “It made me feel like we had a close connection,” Scott says. “Maybe we became even more comfortable about our sexuality, knowing we’re going to spend our lives together.”

His Tension Has Dissipated.
The period just before the engagement takes place can be difficult for a couple, even if they’ve picked out the ring together. As time passes, questions can multiply in a woman’s mind. “Why hasn’t it happened? Is it ever going to?” If he senses this impatience, “He may feel pressured and think, ‘She’s not going to rush me on this,’” says Foley. This tension can put a damper on sexual energy. Once the proposal occurs, breaking out of this conflict and ambiguity can be freeing. “You’ve picked your path and made a decision,” she says—and the clarity and focus that comes with this can make you both feel energized and elated.

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