Relationships are tricky. In the beginning it’s all fireworks, and even normal things like eating and sleeping can become a challenge amidst the raging hormones. After a while – the fire tends to fizzle, and it’s normal to start looking for ways to keep a relationship alive.
If you want to take your relationship from lack-luster to lustrous, you’re in the right place! This is exactly what I help couples do on a regular basis through online sex therapy.
Just because things aren’t as exciting as they used to be, it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong or your relationship is doomed. By using the, slightly unconventional, tips outlined in this blog post, you’ll soon be well on your way to rekindling a bit of that magic!
One of the ways to keep a relationship alive is based on scientific research showing that attraction more easily occurs among strangers when they’re already physiologically aroused.
This doesn’t mean you need to be turned on for attraction to happen (I don’t think we need research to convince us of that one!).
It means both people need their bodies to be in an aroused state – hearts beating fast or adrenaline coursing through their veins.
A prime example of this in action can be seen on multiple dating tv-shows. Getting the contestants to Bungy jump or go rock climbing together is a sure-fire way to elevate their heart levels – and thus increase the likelihood of attraction occurring.
Researchers believe we feel attracted to the other person because we misattribute what our beating heart means. How we understand our bodies has a large effect on what and how we feel.
For example, for some, a faster heart rate could be understood as the onset of an anxiety attack, whereas for others, it could mean they’re sexually excited or – attracted to someone.
Now you know why attraction can occur when we’re physiologically aroused, you might be wondering how this nugget of information can be used in your long-term relationship.
This could perhaps be down to the commitment we show when we plan something together with our significant other.
When we prioritize our relationship and come up with ideas of things to do together, we reinforce the commitment we once pledged to each other, which can have a romance-boosting effect.
Examples of ways to combine the two are:
Going to the gym together
Watching a horror movie
My free resource The Desire Test helps you take that first step towards an increased sex drive, by understanding your decreased desire.
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When we think about ways to keep a relationship alive we usually end up honing in on ideas of how to spend more time together.
Let’s face it – with to-do lists galore and never-ending piles of laundry – most of us could probably do with a little more quality time together.
However, if you want to keep things interesting in the long run, there’s another way to do this that most of us never even consider: time away from each other.
Esther Perel, a famous psychotherapist, often talks about the importance of cultivating your own identity within a twosome.
In order for attraction and desire to be sustained over time, we need to be individuals.
This is something Perel has seen time and again in her practice as a therapist and the same sentiment is echoed by others in the field. I, myself, have seen this among my clients too.
However, it’s all a balancing act, meaning that if you have absolutely no time together you’re probably better off spending the little time you do have – with one another. Otherwise you risk growing apart, and feeling disconnected is one of the common causes of low libido in women and causes of low libido in men.
If you do everything together or can’t remember the last time you were out and about without your partner – making space for alone time could a good idea.
Examples of how to do this could be:
Going for a long walk
Hanging out with a friend
Practicing a hobbie
If you want to give this a go, it’s a good idea to first talk about it with your partner. If you don’t, chances are your partner might take your sudden urge to hang out without him/her as a sign that’s something’s off(!).
Bringing this up can be tricky, but by following the tips in my blog post on communication and relationships, you’ll be in a great position to have the conversation without setting off any alarm bells.
Even if the two surprising ways to keep a relationship alive might seem unconventional and unnatural, trying something new might just be what you’ve needed all along — both you — and your relationship!
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With 11 years of experience in the helping profession - Leigh helps her clients create stress-free, shame-free, pressure-free sex lives, through her unique combination of sexological science, & psychotherapeutic & coaching tools.
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