In the movie, “Hope Springs” a middle aged couple struggles to ignite some passion into their stale marriage.
The movie accomplished more than critical praise – it got people talking about how to avoid losing romance and sex in a long-term relationship.
Sex is an integral piece of any romance. It is part of the glue that keeps a marriage going strong year after year. And, it’s the one thing that unequivocally separates friendship from love. It’s important to have sex, and even better to have good sex. It helps you feel more connected to your partner, it makes you feel cared for and comforted, and, it’s fun!
However, as anyone who is married knows, keeping a marriage, let alone a sexual connection, strong and vibrant can be a challenge. Over time, people change both physically and psychologically, and life regularly throws us plenty of curve balls. But, believe it or not, even with the inevitable hardships we all experience in and outside of our relationships, it is entirely possible to keep the spark alive.
A big mistake many couples make is to believe that the natural attraction and sexual energy they enjoyed during early phases of their relationship will inevitably carry over, without any effort, throughout their marriage. This is simply a myth. Sex and passion, like anything else in life, has the potential to die out unless it is both honored and nurtured by both parties in a couple.
As neuroscientific research has proven, when you are in a new relationship, during the first six to 18 months, our brain throws out a variety of neurochemicals, which helps to expedite our biological mating dance. Our brains are aglow in serotonin and dopamine, which keeps passion alive and kicking with little endeavor from us. Then, as magically as these mating neurochemicals arrive, they recede. When that happens, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and put a bit more effort into our sex lives.
So, if you want to keep your sexual relationship going strong, you need to commit to making it a priority.
You can keep your passionate spark alive through regular and productive (no blaming, shaming, or complaining, please) communication with your partner about sex.
Be sure to discuss the following:
- Make a commitment to sustain your sexual connection through good times and, especially, the more challenging ones. By the way, sex is a great stress relief!
- Regularly discuss what sex means to each of you. I also suggest talking about fantasies and turn-ons.
- If you lead a busy life (and who doesn’t) it’s perfectly OK to put sex dates on the calendar. Don’t worry that scheduling may become too “formulaic” – looking forward to sex is a very good thing.
- Shake it up. Experiment with lingerie, sex toys, and sexy novels to get the creative juices flowing.
- Worried that you won’t be “in the mood”? Allow yourself to enjoy a “transitional experience”. If sex is on the calendar tonight (or if you’d like it to be) – prepare yourself earlier in the day. Send you partner a sexy text or a suggestive photo. Take a warm bath and allow the day’s stressors to slide off. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, set the mood.
It is entirely possible to keep the spark alive in your marriage. So relax, enjoy, and please have fun tonight!