Passion comes easily to people who have just met, but it’s much harder to maintain after years together. Early on, lust is on your side, and you have the thrill of getting to know someone who, not too long ago, was a stranger. You may even have trouble concentrating on anything that’s not the brand new focus of your attention. It’s most likely that your partner didn’t suddenly get more boring than they were just a few months or years ago; rather, your brain adapted to your familiarity with them. Unfortunately, the feeling of thrill subsides unless you work at sustaining it. However, if you’re both willing to put in the effort, you can still find each other irresistible, no matter how long you’ve been together.
It’s part of human nature that the unknown is always what is most fascinating. Since you’re aware that your partner didn’t become boring, all you have to do to see them as interesting as they once were to you is to gain some new perspective. In order to get a fresh perspective in a relationship, you just need a bit of space. After all, you can’t be curious about someone if you believe you know everything about them. So, if you’re spending too much time together to have a sense of intrigue, carve out some personal time to be yourselves separately. When you and your partner have healthy experiences that don’t include each other, curiosity grows—and the sense that you two are roommates diminishes.
To create thrill in your long-term relationship, you also need the ability to be present and mindful with your partner during your time together. Carving out space during date night can help with this. Rather than continuing the conversation you started during the day—about home renovations, childcare, or other household stuff—try to steer the conversation away from dull topics. Instead, ask your partner a question about their sexual fantasies, or plan a vacation. Keeping date nights sexy is critical to renewing the excitement in a long-term relationship.
Supporting Your Connection
Connection is an essential element of regaining the thrill in your relationship. To maintain intimacy, you must have good processes in place for dealing with disagreements. This is a necessity because if a conflict is on your mind, you won’t be able to focus on your partner and on the excitement of getting to connect with them sexually. Cultivate a healthy friendship, and maintaining the connection will be easier.
Making Sex a Priority
You may have heard this advice many times before, but that’s because it’s true and it works: you have to schedule sex. Putting sex on the calendar may not seem spontaneous and sexy, but making sex a priority is hot. People who have high levels of arousal tend to have sex on their minds frequently, and having a sex date on the calendar can help you look forward to sensual time with your partner. The best part is, you can still have spontaneous sex whenever you want—the scheduled sex will merely ensure that it is part of your regular plan.
Once you have sex on the calendar, the focus can shift to becoming aroused together. Arousal typically takes two components: mental and physical. Mental arousal often takes the form of desire. The mental component can be built up throughout the day, with sexy texts, lingering kisses, and showing excitement for your upcoming sex date. If you don’t know what turns you on mentally, chances are, your partner doesn’t either.
Make an effort to increase physical arousal, too. Physical arousal is when your body tells you you’re ready to have sex. Sometimes, courtesy of constant misrepresentation in our culture, people are expected to be physically aroused at any moment without any stimulation. But this isn’t realistic. Asking your partner for oral sex is important, especially for women, who typically do not have orgasms through penetrative sex alone.
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Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform. Click here to download the 101 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Hot checklist. Download her new ebook, How to Increase Your Libido – For Women, here.