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Keep The Passion In Your Relationship

Remember a time when you couldn’t keep your hands off your partner? When with one look, one touch, you’d spend all day glowing in what felt like an all-consuming passion?

You used to have endless energy and time for romance and lovemaking, but now that you’ve been together a while, things have changed. Your days are filled with to-do lists and social obligations rather than steamy all-nighters and love notes. When your partner caresses you, you might get sleepy rather than turned on. A nap or watching TV might sound better than sex. You love your partner, but maybe you’re just not “feeling it” anymore.

When we first fall in love, the romantic thrill happens effortlessly because pleasure-boosting hormones create a neuro-chemical cocktail that drive us toward greater intimacy. Nothing is more important than being with that one person who makes you feel like you’re on fire. It certainly didn’t take planning or feel like work to keep the flames of lust burning and your interest in one another growing.

Unfortunately, this euphoria rarely last forever, especially when the demands and responsibilities of real life take over. Suddenly, there’s precious little time or energy left over in your day for an affectionate caress, an intimate conversation or a night of romance.

It isn’t long before your partner seems more like a roommate than a lover. You lay down each night next to a person who feels miles away from you. You begin to wonder if you even know each other anymore. When this emotional disconnect starts to happen, you’re entering the danger zone.

For monogamous couples, is it just a matter of time before the romance is dead and the relationship begins to drift apart?

Not necessarily. It depends on the little things you do on a daily basis that can mean the difference between a passionate, thriving relationship and one that’s on a slow death walk towards infidelityor divorce.

Is it really possible to keep the passion and romance alive after 5, 10, 20 years together?

Absolutely. Giving each other a daily dose of what I call the 3 A’s — attention, appreciation and affection — are the critical factors in keeping any relationship alive with interest and desire.

If taking a nap, watching TV, being on Facebook or chatting with friends sounds better than making love to you, here are six strategies to immediately apply to get the enthusiasm and closeness back in your relationship, pronto!

1. Show your love in small ways.

Try this: Leave a love note on your partner’s pillow or stuck in their purse, briefcase or the book they’re reading. Bring home a special treat you know your partner will love. Text, call or email them to say “I’m thinking of you.” Write a list of all the reasons you love and appreciate them and whisper each one into their ear. Sometimes it’s the little gestures that make the biggest impression.
2. Shake things up.

Break through the ho-hum, “I’m so bored” barrier that often plagues long-term relationships by learning something or doing something new together. Sharing activities of mutual interest is the glue that makes relationship work and creates happiness. Go ice skating, take a salsa lesson, rent rollerblades, go for a full moon hike, rent a bicycle built for two or celebrate a milestone other than your anniversary — like the anniversary of the first day you made love. It’s amazing what getting out of your normal routine and pushing your comfort boundaries will do for your love life.
3. Be generous with praise

What you focus your attention on, grows. Say “thank you,” offer a hug, pay your partner a compliment — anything that communicates you acknowledge and value how important they are to you and that you appreciate them.Accentuating the positive and what is good in each other and in the relationship is a win/win for both partners. When you feel grateful for the good things in your life, you attract more of those good things to you.
4. Touch and embrace often

So many couples hold back kissing, touching or holding each other until they have time or the desire to have sex. Researchers have found thatholding hands may relieve stress and affectionate touch boosts the body’s feel-good hormones. Let’s face it, touch is a fundamental part of our existence since we were born. So even a simple hug each day is actually good for your health and well-being. Hold hands. Stroke your partner’s arm or shoulder softly as you walk by. Give your partner a 20-second kiss when they walk in the door or are leaving for the day. Affection is the way to make love all day outside of the bedroom.
5. Create intimate time

Nothing says “I love you” like spending quality alone time together. Before rushing out the door in a frenzy in the morning, get up one hour earlier and share breakfast in bed, read an inspirational passage aloud or go for an early morning walk. At the end of the day, instead of plunking down in front of the TV or computer, give each other a massage, take a shower together or do something novel like reading erotic literature out loud or telling each other steamy stories before turning in for the night. Carving out time during the day to be intimate and present to your partner strengthens your bond and builds the desire for affection, setting the stage for great lovemaking.
6. Communicate clearly, honestly and frequently
Talking is the main tools we use to connect with each other. When we extend ourselves and let our partner know who we are, what we need and how we feel, we open the doors to greater intimacy. Take at least 30 minutes and put out your ‘do not disturb sign’ to the world. Turn off the phone, close the door and tell the kids not to even think about knocking unless there is an emergency. Then sit down and take a few minutes to breathe and settle in with each other. Ask your partner what he or she needs from you. Take turns. Openness and honesty are essential. The goal is to show more and see more of each other, rather than defend the status quo. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth it.
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Are We Having Fun Yet?

We’ve never taken each other too seriously and maybe that’s why we get along so well. Not being uptight makes life more enjoyable and satisfying, and it also helps to combat those stressful days where things don’t seem to go right. Whether it’s work or home life, one of our main strategies for a healthy and happy relationship has been about putting the fun into everything we can.

Here are some of our tips for having more fun in your relationship that we have found have worked for us and might be something that could freshen up your romance:

LAUGH MORE, COMPLAIN LESS

Happy people create fun. Fun lightens relationships, and healthy relationships lead to more productive lives. It’s all intertwined. Whatever it takes to laugh — whether it is reminiscing about something funny, telling jokes or pulling faces with each other — is essential to happiness. You’ll be so busy laughing that you will forget what was stressing you out or causing you anxiety. It will also remind you why you fell in love with each other.

THREATEN TO TICKLE YOUR PARTNER

Just the thought of this can start the laughter rolling. The anticipation can be hysterical. Many times you may need to follow through with the actual tickle threat to create an air of fun. So often, we forget to touch each other and be playful. This again is a way to show love and affection while lightening the mood.

PUT FUN TIME ON THE SCHEDULE

Whether it is happy hour and a snack after work or a tee time on the weekend or a day at the amusement park with the kids, plan ahead and put some fun activities on the calendar. This provides some relief from work because you can think about something fun coming up that you will be doing with your spouse or with the whole family. The anticipation goes a long way to helping alleviate the current stress you might have at work.

SURPRISE YOUR SPOUSE

Even if they tell you they don’t like surprises, they really do. It doesn’t have to be anything big like a new car with a bow on it. Think personal and be creative. Of course, if you need help, “just because” flowers delivered to work or a special homemade dinner consisting of your spouse’s favorite dishes are two ideas that always do the trick!

BE SPONTANEOUS

While it is important to schedule and plan for fun, there is a lot to be said for throwing out the plan and going with the moment. Think of a quick weekend road trip or last-minute seats to a concert. Even picking up and leaving work early for the day to spend time with the family is a great spontaneous way to show your love.

Being too serious leads to forgetting what is really important. And, that is the love and support you have in your partner and in your family. They are there to be enjoyed and for you to bring them joy. Have fun and save the seriousness for your next work meeting or conference call!

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