Remember that first date with your partner? The excitement of getting to know someone new, your interest in learning all about him or her, your curiosity about what you had in common (and how you were different), your emotional desire to discover his or her deepest thoughts and feelings?
Remember the erotic attraction? The first kiss, your skin tingling to his or her touch, the sexual longing, the first time you made love, the afterglow, looking forward to lovemaking again?
Nature provides us, in the beginning, with the emotional and sexual drives to bond—without having to put forth much effort. The developing connections have a momentum of their own.
As the years go by, emotional and erotic attractions may begin to fade unless couples consciously work to nurture and stoke them. Sometimes partners emotionally drift but stay connected sexually. More often, we see couples let go of their sexual and erotic relationship. Stress, kids, fatigue, overworking, and building a career take their toll.
The belief that you shouldn’t have to “work” on a relationship may also wreak havoc on your partnership. Why is it that we don’t expect our kids to grow or our careers to blossom without “work,” yet many people seem unaware that in order for a relationship to succeed, it, too, takes work, care, and nurturing. As therapists, we passionately believe that you and your partner can maintain, strengthen, and deepen your intimate connection for a lifetime.
Here are four suggestions to begin the process of recharging, revitalizing, and renewing your connection to keep the emotional and erotic fires burning:
- Shine the spotlight on your connection. Have a frank discussion about how you feel about your relationship, what’s working, and what’s not.
- Discuss the specific ways you would like to have a deeper connection. Some examples would be: Have more conversation each day, give and receive more affection, spend more quality time together, and explore ways to spice up your sex life.
- Create steps to put your ideas into action. For example, plan to spend 20 minutes each night talking about your day, create new habits of affection such as cuddling in bed every night, plan day trips for the next three to six months so they are on the calendar, or go on a date to Victoria’s Secret or a sex-toy shop.
- Repeat these steps once per quarter. Focusing on the quality of the relationship four times a year will keep the partnership front and center, where it belongs.
Don’t wait another moment. Share this article with your loved one and get started today!
© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Lori Hollander LCSW-C, BCD, Relationships & Marriage Topic Expert Contributor
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