Should you look good for love?

There's a generalization that when people get married, they tend to 'let themselves go.'

For whatever reason, some people get comfortable, settle into married life and no longer feel the need to 'try' as hard when it comes to courtship or impressing their partner physically.

I know a number of people, both men and women, who have done this, putting on weight after their first year or two of marriage, paying a little less attention to what they wear and feeling like it's okay to eat out a couple more times a week while hitting the gym a little less.

But why? Because they've legally landed their man/woman so there's no longer a need to impress that person? That doesn't seem fair.

I see it a lot, but that doesn't mean I understand it, especially in today's world when you'd think competition is high, even in a marriage, as temptation from other people is everywhere with modern technology and the internet.

It bothers me, not only because I feel a person's self-worth and health shouldn't diminish with marriage, but also because it seems unfair to your partner on a few levels to 'let yourself go.' Of course your partner should love you for you, that goes unsaid, but attraction remains a huge player in the game of love and its longevity, and a marriage certificate shouldn't be a contract that ends that.

Personally relationships have always had the opposite effect on me. When I'm with someone, I want to look good for them. I want my partner to be attracted to me and I want to feel attractive for them, so I actually try harder. It feels good to feel sexy and be sexy for someone you love, and we all know that confidence goes a long way in any relationship.

As a newlywed, I feel more driven to get into better shape than I ever have. I'm even feeling the need to try to be more beautiful, even if it's the little things like getting my nails done regularly and curling my hair every now and then.

That's the part that's new to me - the desire to look more feminine. As a bit of a jock, I've never felt the need to be a bit more girly until now, and the best part is there's no pressure to look that way; I actually want to for my husband, and a bonus is that I'm enjoying it -- I'm enjoying it because I'm doing it for myself too.

So should you look good for love?

The best answer is probably that you should do it for yourself first and your relationship second. You should eat well and stay active for your own body and health, and you should feel beautiful because you deserve to.

You should feel sexy to boost your confidence and self-esteem, and that in turn will benefit your partner, who will undoubtedly appreciate it physically and emotionally, and that will strengthen your relationship.

Really there's no negative impact from being healthy and attractive in your own right, but if you start to ignore both it's a slippery slope and can endanger not only your health, but your relationship.

Let's face it; as shallow as it can be, attraction is a basic human feeling, and without it, even the strongest bond between two people can weaken or break, especially if there's competition or temptation in the mix.

It's important to remember that any relationship requires a lot of work, and that mutual attraction takes even more of it, so get to work!

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