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, 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 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!
Responsiveness is at the heart of attraction. The golden rule here is to pay attention.
Let’s look at what makes a good relationship– dedication, trust and comfort- meaning being in a partnership with someone who you feel comfortable with and whom you can laugh with. Responsiveness is the base of this triage.
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 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.
Here are some tangible ways to connect to your partner and spice up your marriage:
1. Take the relationship to the kitchen
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.
Schedule a date night out of cooking. 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 arranging the grocery, to the meal preparation – the whole exercise substantiates the team spirit.
Shrimp, oysters, cacao, maca, celery, asparagus, avocado, chilli peppers, watermelon, etc. are food items popularly referred to as aphrodisiacs. Cook them together for a more intimate experience.
Light some aromatic candles for a little mood elevation, and enjoy the fruits of your mutual culinary efforts with a glass of sparkling wine.
Make a ritual out of this special at-home date night where both of you cook the meal together.
Mark it as a weekly or monthly ritual that you can both excitedly look forward to. Waiting for this special time with great anticipation will foster warmth in your relationship at a high level.
2. Don’t stop dating each other
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.
3. Engage in new activities and tasks together
This could be anything from 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.
4. Show verbal and physical affection
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.
5. Nourish yourself
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.
6. Seek professional guidance
Speaking to a relationship coach, either as a couple or individually, is a great way to figure out if there are 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 the ability to experience vast amounts of joy!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.