Currently based in Chicago, IL, Unsolicited AF is a blog by Zarina Mendoza. Her posts take on dating problems your shitty friends are probably giving you the wrong advice on.

Getting Too Comfortable Can Cost You Your Relationship

Getting Too Comfortable Can Cost You Your Relationship

Getting comfortable whether you’re just starting a relationship or have been in it for the long haul is a hell of an attraction killer. And this goes for both men and women.

Why your friends are shitty

Some friends will say:

The person you’re dating should accept you for who you are.
Personality is what matters most.
You know you’ve found the one when you feel comfortable together.
He/she loves you, it doesn’t matter.

Yes, these things are true but one thing most of your friends will forget to mention is that those statements do not include how you present yourself. Just because you’ve met someone doesn’t mean they’ll stay attracted to you and remember what you looked like the first day. No, you can’t wear whatever you want, start packing on weight, and stop trying because you met someone.

You need to keep the flame burning no matter what stage you are in your relationship.

when you’re first starting to date

You agree that you only ever approach someone solely based on looks, correct? Correct. And after you’ve had the initial conversation and agree to see each other again… what if that gorgeous man or woman showed up on the first date looking busted? Maybe she didn’t bother to put on heels or do her hair and he showed up without showering and an inside-out shirt. It’s a turn off and like magic, the attraction to that person is immediately diminished.

I remember dating a guy who dressed up nice AF on our first date. It was towards the latter end of winter in mid-February. When I met up with him right after work, he was in a nice peacoat, dress shoes, dress pants, the works — and I was like ohhhkayyyy this guy knows how to show up to a first date, points for him. But after the initial date, things went downhill for him real quick.

Second date was an impromptu coffee break because our offices were actually in the same building. He still looked fine, but he definitely wasn’t as dressed up as his work outfit two days prior. He was wearing an old fleece sweater and an interesting choice of jeans. Maybe it was casual Friday? I never asked.

For our third date, he wanted to take me to dinner after my workout. I warned him I would be sweaty because I don’t typically show up to dates in my workout attire (even though I still looked good) but he insisted. So, I told him we should go to this casual sports bar near my gym. He meets me first so we could walk over together but when he hopped out of his car, he was legit in sweats. And they weren’t nice sweats that you can get away with going out in, they were literally sweats that might’ve been 3x bigger than his actual size with clear stains that I could see from the dim lighting of the streets. They were like the sweats that you throw on when you have to do laundry and they’re the last pair you’ve got. So, being me, I just asked him why he was wearing sweats. He said he had just come from the gym too and it was okay because I was also in workout clothes. Man, my workout clothes are not raggedy though, my shit was still on point or else I would have just called off the date. Anyways, I let it go because it was just one time.

Now, let’s talk about the fourth date. It was a brunch date — which I love — so I took my time and got all dressed up. I had to run a few errands before we met up so we chose a spot in the middle to meet before heading to brunch. When we finally met up, you would not believe wtf he was wearing.. THOSE SAME DAMN RAGGEDY STAIN FILLED SWEATS HE SHOWED UP IN JUST A FEW DAYS AGO. Are you kidding me dude? This date went horribly. I suggested one of my favorite brunch spots and when we show up, he says, “I’m not dressed up enough for this place.” No shit, Sherlock. This muhfugga was not dressed up enough to even head to the local 7-Eleven. So predictably, he asked if we could leave to go to a dive bar where guess what? He was still not dressed up enough. Point is, dude felt uncomfortable the entire time and he realized he should have dressed up.

I handled this situation by ending it (along with other things, I’m not that shallow, guys) because I was not feeling him anymore. He went from “Oh heyyyy” to “please don’t stand next to me.” And hell yes, I told him exactly why I didn’t want to see him anymore. I explained that the way he presented himself was that he didn’t care about impressing me and that showing up in sweats was one of the many clear indicators.

when you’ve been dating for MONTHS

So, you two are months into dating each other. You’re supposed to be at the point of realizing you’re falling for each other but one of you just loses interest. Sure, it can be that you just weren’t for each other but couldn’t it also be you stopped trying to look good for one another?

Three months is a good amount of time to see if this person you’ve been seeing is still putting in the same effort as he/she was in the beginning. It truly shows if the girl you thought you were falling for with the outfits you just wanted to rip off her body is still dressing up for you. Or if the man you’ve been seeing’s permanent outfit becomes bball shorts everywhere you two go. Because if you’re not trying to stay sexy for each other this early in the game already, just imagine how it might be further down the road.

Feeling comfortable with one another is awesome. Getting comfortable with the relationship is not.

We’ve all heard this from friends before:

We don’t go out on dates anymore.
Why doesn’t he/she dress up for me anymore?
We’re always just at home.
We always order take-out.
We always go to that restaurant.

Whatever it may be, this is how a love interest ends before it even begins. You both stop suggesting fun dates, you both agree to stay home, and one day one of you realizes you haven’t been out on a date with each other in a month. That’s because you stopped requiring it of each other and got too comfortable chilling at home.

when you’ve been dating for YEARS

So, you’ve made it this far in the relationship. You’ve done good up until now and what I was just describing in the months of dating stage is happening to you. Yes, you could have that same problem but when you’re years in, it matters even more to keep the attraction alive. It’s all about acknowledging what’s wrong and making the effort on both sides.

When I was with my ex of three years, it lasted so long because we were almost always doing something new. From our very first mini golf date, to paintball, the gun range, wineries in Sonoma, horseback riding in Malibu, to riding ATV’s in Palm Springs, we were always thinking of what we can do next. And we both contributed.

Attraction wise, we simply always went to the gym together and stayed looking good. I always dressed up for him and the roses and fresh flowers kept coming from him even years in. And at one point when he was getting too comfortable chilling at the crib, I told him that we couldn’t keep doing that every weekend.

So from my experience, I think the solution to maintaining a relationship is to always keep each other in check and communicating about it in a way that doesn’t attack each other. I learned that the hard way but I know now that it’s just a conversation you sometimes have to have.

Whatever stage the relationship is in, if you’re stuck in a rut with how to keep the attraction alive, here are some of the things I’ve done and suggest:

  • You don’t have to wait on the other person to suggest a date, you suggest something! I’m a big fan of Groupon’s couple activities. I’ve definitely gotten a handful of couple massages for the low-low $$$ on there when I was still with my ex.

  • Get a new outfit for yourself and tell your S.O. you want to go somewhere nice so you can show it off. I’ve done this trick with a new guy I was dating and he matched my same level and showed up dressed to the T.

  • Even when you’re just hanging at the crib, take the extra step and still look good. It doesn’t matter if you’re going out anywhere, if you say you just want to look good for him/her, they will appreciate it.

  • Small surprises are awesome. I love getting surprised with thoughtful little gifts on random ass days so if I want him to continue doing that I surprise him too. One time I was dating this Batman fanatic and I happened to walk past a comic book store. So I went in and saw an ice cube tray shaped as the Bat-Signal. I surprised him with it and he went ape shit crazy and loved it.

  • For women specifically, try out role reversal. When I’m actually really into a guy and we’ve been dating for awhile, I’ll treat him to a date to show him how much I appreciate him. And yes, I do pay for it from how we get there to until we get home. And every time I’ve done this, it has put huge smiles on their faces.

In conclusion, don’t be lazy in your relationship. It’s hard enough to find someone you actually like so don’t screw it up by getting in a spot where you feel so comfortable that you don’t think you have to put in effort anymore. Everyone has to put in effort.

If You're Not Happy With Yourself, Don't Date

If You're Not Happy With Yourself, Don't Date

If You Go On A Date & Don't Like It, Literally Leave

If You Go On A Date & Don't Like It, Literally Leave