A popular inquiry I get from many of my clients is “how to keep passion alive in a long-term relationship.” Dr. Cheryl Fraser is emphatic that it can be done. She points out that even though it is possible, the majority of long-term couples don’t do a good job of keeping passion alive. It takes effort and energy and you must proceed with intentionality.
Most of us have experienced those early days of falling in love or lust and, during this time, it’s pretty easy to have a lot of passion. However, the biochemistry of this phase is not sustainable and, therefore, this lust stage has a time limit. This early part of a relationship is a lot like a roller coaster, and it eventually ends. Read on to find out how to keep that roller coaster-like excitement alive.
How to Re-Ignite Passion
You must make your love life a priority. Relevant biochemistry, psychology, and priorities have all shifted from those early days, but you can recreate a sense of novelty. Dr. Fraser explains that you have to “bring your head to bed.” She points out that once you’ve reached the point in your relationship that you’ve become bored with your mate, it’s important to recognize that your mate isn’t boring. The boredom doesn’t lie in your mate, it lies in your mind. However, this is sort of the normal cycle of a relationship, but it doesn’t mean passion can’t be rekindled.
Dr. Fraser relies on “three keys to passion” to keep the spark alive. Dr. Fraser likens the three keys to passion to a triangle since they are all equally important. These keys include thrill, intimacy, and sensuality.
Three Keys to Passion
- First, the thrill side of the triangle is that sense of excitement and intrigue that comes easily in the early days of the relationship. Dr. Fraser explains that your spouse of 20 years is a fascinating person, if you choose to see it. She provides a compelling illustration by comparing your spouse to a piece of chocolate. Even though you’ve had hundreds of pieces of chocolate, you choose to appreciate that piece of chocolate every time, as you should with your spouse. The thrill still exists, you simply have to show up, be mindful, and be present with the experience.
- The second side of the triangle is intimacy. By intimacy, Dr. Fraser is referring to the actual relationship or the friendship; the psychological and spiritual connection you share with your significant other. Effective communication and the ability to manage conflict is crucial to this aspect of the triangle. She points out that if there’s a lot of bickering and negativity between you and your partner, it’s much harder to garner passion. Therefore, it’s important to cultivate an intimate, warm, and friendly connection in order to maintain passion.
- The third key to passion is sensuality. Sensuality is all-encompassing to include anything erotic, sexual, or sensual, from holding hands when you go for a walk to the deepest, most raw animalistic sex, and everything in between. Dr. Fraser has found that this is the prong that people have to work the hardest to cultivate. Think of sex as a hobby and focus on creating a sense of thrill and excitement. Make your sex life a priority, even if you have to plan for it. And maybe scheduling sex isn’t romantic; however, it’s much more romantic than not having sex at all!
The bottom line is that it’s completely normal to get bored in a long-term relationship and for the passion to fade. However, it’s completely possible to re-ignite that flame, if you choose to make it a priority. Dr. Cheryl Fraser provides a great tool to help improve the romance- her three keys to passion: thrill, intimacy, and sensuality. And don’t be afraid to schedule sex. Think of it like going to the gym: we schedule it, we do it because we know it’s good for us, and afterwards, we’re always glad we did it! Listen to episode 113 of my Sexology Podcast for even more practical and helpful tips from Dr. Fraser to re-ignite passion in your bedroom.
Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a sex therapy counselor in Torrance, California. She hosts a weekly podcast series called Sexology. Her clinical approach comes from a place of education, training, skills, intuition and most importantly tailored to her clients’ needs. Her office is located in Torrance, serving the greater Los Angeles area including Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, South Bay and surrounding areas.