Attraction that’s once been lost can be gained. If you’re looking of ways of how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship, it’s, however, important to know this: you need to work at it and you need to be sure you want to continue investing in the relationship.
We have many expectations surrounding attraction, just as we do around sexual desire.
One of the most common ideas is that we believe attraction is constant over time.
Regardless of whether we have time for each other in our relationships, or what’s going on in our lives in general, we’re meant to find our partner as irresistible as we did at the beginning. And, god, wouldn’t that be great?
The thing is – this isn’t how attraction, sexual desire or sexual arousal works for most of us.
If you’re wondering how to rebuild attraction in a relationship, one thing you need to start doing is working on your expectations – of the relationship, yourself and your partner.
This is something I talk about a lot with my clients as a clinical sexologist, and it’s something that you need to practice over and over again in order to be aware of the expectations that are negatively affecting your relationship. That way, you can create healthy relationship expectations, that nourish your connection.
If you want to know how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship, this can be done in several ways.
Esther Perel, a well-known psychotherapist and sex therapist, is of the opinion that an important aspect of keeping sexual desire and attraction alive is to continue being individuals – even if you’re in a loving relationship.
This reasoning is built, among other things, on her experience from client sessions over the years, where she’s found that many feel their partner is most attractive as seen from a distance.
And this isn’t as depressing as it may sound!
Examples of this phenomenon are that:
you see your partner talking to someone else,
that your partner’s doing something they’re good at
you notice someone else is romantically interested in your partner
When we notice someone thinking our partner is attractive, it may remind us of what we fell for in the first place. Distance also adds to a sense of mystique, which, according to Esther Perel, is important for attraction and sexual desire.
Continuing to be separate individuals is also about not doing everything together. Even if it feels good and we may want to be with our partner as much as possible, a bit of time apart may be useful.
This can be done by engaging in separate friendships or spending a weekend doing our own thing – doing something just for you, and not for your partner or your joint family.
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Meet a friend on your own
Do something just for yourself
Plan an evening where you both do something on your own – and then meet up at the end of the evening.
What did you use to think was attractive about your partner? Is it still there?
What do other people think is attractive about your partner? Do you agree?
Think of an occasion when you felt strongly attracted to your partner. What do you think made you feel that way? How could you experience your partner in the same or a similar way now?
At the end of every day you may make a mental note of three positive things about your partner – it could be things that only have to do with attraction, but it could also be about practical matters. Keep doing this for at least one month to see if it has any effect.
How do you think you ought to feel every day?
Why do you think you ought to feel that way?
Are your expectations of attraction reasonable? Or could they be scaled down somewhat?
Expectations play a significant role in how you can rebuild attraction in a relationship. By shifting what we expect from our relationship, ourselves and our partners, we can regain that intimacy and desire that we once shared with our partner. It truly is possible to regain attraction that once has been lost. If you’re looking to feel more attracted to your partner, completing the four exercises listed above will help you get back on track. Good luck!
First published on my Swedish website, Sexologkliniken.
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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.