It is not uncommon for married couples and those in long-term relationships to encounter a dry spell where there is a lack of intimacy, both physically and emotionally. This is often a result of situational circumstances and life transitions such as having children, long days at work, death in the family and stress. The kids, family, and career are all important but the relationship must remain a priority in order to keep that zest alive.
We can often get too comfortable or uncomfortable in our relationships and stop putting in the effort to 'show up' for our partners and we allow the romance to dissipate. The relationship can grow stagnant and along with it the sexual thirst you once had for one another. When this happens relationships can become more like roommates than lovers. The great news is you can absolutely go from disengagement to passion. You can build desire up!
Let's start by laying down the foundations of a good relationship: dedication, trust and comfort. These forces help create a bond that can give life to an active, sustainable and long-term sex life in a marriage. And the key to creating these bonds, including attraction, is being attuned. The golden rule of being attuned with your partner is to pay attention and respond with action. Being attuned is the base of this triage. You show your partner that you care to satisfy them and are able to treat them the way they prefer - without them having to ask.
The interesting thing is…If you’re not feeling attracted to your partner it’s because you are not responding to your partner. You would think it would be the opposite. “I’m not attracted to my partner because they don’t pay attention to me” But research tells us that it’s actually the opposite, the person who is not feeling desire is the same person that is messing up. They’re the party that is tuned out, disengaged or clueless to their partner’s needs. They’re missing the signs. Does your partner need attention, affection, are they feeling sad?
Learn to connect. Learn to be your partner’s safe haven.
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Here are some tangible ways to connect to your partner and spice up your marriage:
A Recent study in the journal of Hormones and Behavior suggests that Oxytocin, the love molecule can be released during positive social interactions such as cooking. Oxytocin is the bonding chemical, it’s the mechanism responsible for falling in love and keeping us together. We CAN foster the inner molecules of love and keep our relationships fresh.
Cooking together also creates opportunities for touch. Even for a person who "never feels like having fun " and "acts cold, " … It doesn't matter where or how, one simple touch on an arm is enough to release Oxytocin.
Bonding over the stove also enhances relationships by strengthening communication skills, from picking out recipes to putting together a grocery list to the actual preparation of the meal…it’s team work!
Make a date night out of it. Cook foods that are known aphrodisiacs, like shrimp, oysters, cacao, maca, celery, asparagus, avocado, chilli peppers, watermelon, etc. light some candles for a little mood lighting, and enjoy the fruits of your joint effort with a glass of wine. Infuse the wine with Damiana herb for a little extra fun.
Having a special at-home date night where the two of you cook the meal together can become a weekly or monthly ritual that you can both look forward to. Having that special time to look forward to helps keep good feelings in your relationship at a high level.
It doesn't matter if you have been married 1 year or 40 years. You absolutely must continue to date your partner. Vibrant marriages take work and commitment but they are also full of fun and play. When you first met, you bonded over sharing experiences together and having a blast together. Set time aside minimally once a month to plan a date that is mutually exciting. Get dressed up for one another- remind your partner how great you look together. Prioritizing 'couple time' cultivates happiness and passion in the relationship.
This could be anything from taking taking on a new hobby to cooking a new recipe. There are lots of great hobbies for couples. Having fun together is essential to remain close. Consider cycling, archery, traveling, tennis, zip-lining, couples massage and let's not forget about sexual pursuits. Sex is imperative in happy, romantic relationships. Make the time for it!
Try new positions and have sex places other than the bedroom- Under the stars in the backyard, the car, the kitchen, etc. Create new moments and memories through exploration- variety is the spice of life.
People fall in love with those who make them feel good about themselves. Compliment your partner and verbalize the ways in which you appreciate them and 'see' them. This also activates your partner to start thinking about all the things they like about you. Grab their hand when walking together. Cuddle on the couch while watching a movie. Small gestures go a long way in maintaining intimacy. Displaying affection is a simple way to feel closer to your partner. Learn what your partner's love language is so that you are showing them love in a way that they are able to understand and truly feel.
At the base of every relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. Be sure to be filling up your own cup daily with nourishing foods, movement and activities that light you up. When you feel good, you are confident, loving and have much more value to add to your relationship. You will feel more attractive and happy and these traits will shine through making you more attractive to your partner.
Think about encouraging your partner to work out and eat clean with you. 'Couples that sweat together, stay together'.
Speaking to a relationship coach, either as a couple or individually, is a great way to figure out if there is any relationship issues that need to be resolved in order to attain that emotional closeness and sexual attraction once again.
Relationships are one of the most important areas of life, they affect our health and overall well-being. High quality relationships do require work, but the result of that effort is ability to experience vast amounts of joy!