Can you relate to some of the things couples regularly come into our office telling us:
- I feel like I’ve fallen out of love. I love and care about my partner, but I’m not in love.
- Our passion has faded, and I wish we could get that spark back.
- I just don’t feel sexy anymore.
- I don’t feel attracted to my beloved anymore.
When you first met, passion may have come readily and taken little effort (and if the sparks didn’t fly from the get-go, this month’s blog will be very helpful for you too!). It was probably an inspiring, enlivening, and really fun time of your life.
Months or years later, perhaps you see your sweetheart differently — more like a best friend, a housemate, or a co-parent. While these roles aren’t bad ones to add over time, if they have replaced the role of also seeing each other as lovers, this month’s blog includes 4 key tips for nurturing attraction beyond the initial lust of first getting together.
For most couples, passion and attraction in a relationship are flames that must be stoked — they do not consistently burn on their own without fuel.
Now you may be thinking — who has time for stoking?! We get it. Lives are busy. Your bandwidths are probably overloaded. But when there is negative sexual conflict, a lack of attraction, or dissatisfaction for at least one partner, it can easily create friction that leads to a breakdown in communication and connection and a couple seeing themselves as incompatible. Who has time for that?!
In most relationships, sexuality is an essential ingredient in the glue that keeps the bond strong and increases resilience to the daily stressors we all experience. On the upside, sexuality can be “medicinal” and, in a matter of moments, turn you from adversaries into allies and teammates. Keeping attraction and passion alive can actually save you time and make the journey much more enjoyable.
KEY TO KEEPING ATTRACTION ALIVE – TIP #1
Keep a healthy mind, body, heart, and spirit.
As you can imagine, finding a healthy partner is a natural part of mate selection. If we wanted to ensure the survival of our species, we would likely pass over the unhealthy individuals and look around for those who radiate vitality.
Although you may not be conscious of doing this, it is a hard-wired part of who you are. When your beloved is taking great care of themselves, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well, don’t you find them more attractive?
Vamping up your self-care so that you are nourishing your body and mind, managing stress, and radiating healthfulness, is a surefire way to boost attraction. Simultaneously, when we are tending to our own well-being, it boosts self confidence and self-love, other highly attractive qualities.
We want to be clear. This is not about the size of your body, your weight, or the amount of muscle you have. It’s about emanating an energy of healthfulness!
KEY TO KEEPING ATTRACTION ALIVE – TIP #2
Have varied experiences.
What’s so exciting when first falling in love? The adventure, the newness, the intrigue!
Over time, if we always watch the same shows, go to the same restaurants, drive down the same roads, have the same kinds of conversations, wear the same clothes, and have sex at the same time, in the same place, in the same way, it doesn’t exactly facilitate erotic energy.
The comforts of routine can be a wonderful part of longtime love. In order to prevent boredom and stagnancy, it’s just so important that this isn’t all you are together.
One of the greatest ways to keep attraction and passion alive is to create new experiences together. Go on different outings. Wear something special. Have adventures. Spice things up. Keep things interesting.
KEY TO KEEPING ATTRACTION ALIVE – TIP #3
Let each other be different.
If you are:
- stuck in a dynamic that resembles more of a parent/child relationship
- in a pattern of controlling, criticizing, and nitpicking your partner
- overly opinionated about what your beloved does or doesn’t do
…then you’ve probably fallen into a pattern of what’s called enmeshment, and it’s not sexy, to say the least. The opposite of this is differentiation.
Psychologist Dr. David Schnarch suggests that differentiation is the cornerstone of a passionate marriage, and he refers to it as the ability to balance and maintain humankind’s two most fundamental drives: our urge to be connected with other people and the urge to be free and autonomous and direct the course of our life.
We invite you to make this notion a constant in your life, especially if you are prone to things like controlling your beloved: differentiate. Let them be unique from you and to have different perspectives, preferences, feelings, passions, and ideas. This can actually be quite liberating, and it is certainly essential if you want to be more attracted to them and be more attractive.
KEY TO KEEPING ATTRACTION ALIVE – TIP #4
Keep communication open and ongoing.
When we were first introduced to the idea of “erotic mapping,” we instantly loved it this concept! You can think of your erotic map as the complex blueprint for what you uniquely find attractive and what turns you on. It is your one-of-a-kind erotic wiring and reveals the most effective pathways for your arousal and being attracted to your mate.
Every single one of us has our own distinct erotic map. It consists of genetics, hormones, physiology, neurology, early sexual imprints, needs, and desires. As we go through life, these erotic maps can change and evolve, and it’s so very important that we get to know our own erotic maps and that we get to know one another’s.
It’s really important to know what turns you both on (and they may be very different things!). Below, we’ve listed some questions to ask one another. Let there be no wrong answers, and put down your defenses.
Instead, get passionately curious about each other’s responses, and offer lots of empathy, curiosity, and appreciation along the way. Create an incredibly safe space for one another to openly share without either of you feeling judged, shamed, or pressured.
- What kinds of conversations do you find attractive?
- What kinds of outfits and/or lingerie do you find attractive?
- What scents are attractive to you?
- Are there any sweet, thoughtful, or romantic gestures you find attractive?
- Do you find it attractive when I am engaged in something I am passionate about? If so, tell me more.
- Do you find it attractive when I am confident? If so, say more.
- What kinds of dates foster attraction for you?
- What kinds of vacations foster attraction for you?
- Is cleanliness and grooming an important part of attraction for you? If so, I’d love to hear more.
- What moods of mine do you find most attractive?
- How does healthiness affect attraction for you?
- What kind of physical affection is most attractive for you?
- What kinds of texts, emails, messages, etc. are most attractive to you?
- What are other things I say or do (or could say or do) that you find attractive?
If you both apply these tips — by nurturing your mental, emotional, and physical health, trying new things and having adventures together, giving each other the space and freedom to be different from one another, and keeping the conversation going about each of your unique erotic maps — we’re confident it will help keep the spark alive and growing!
Want lots more guidance on this important topic? Be sure to check out our 6 Weeks to a Thriving Sex Life eCourse HERE.
And if you’d like some individualized support when it comes to navigating attraction and sexuality in your relationship, we would be honored to help. We find that these things don’t come naturally for most people and yet, once you get a little support and guidance, it all starts to make so much sense and transform before your eyes, no matter how disconnected you feel right now. Learn more about sessions here >>> CenterThrive.com/counseling
Passion is a fire that needs your continual tending — may you do something to stoke it today!
Wishing you an abundance of loving blessings, and we are always so grateful and honored to be on this incredible relationship journey with you!
Infinite Love and Joy,
Getting relationship and marriage help has never been easier, and we’re here for you with all our hearts. Learn more about our couples and marriage therapy and counseling, Thriving Relationship Coach Certification training, weekend couples retreats, workshops, and getaways, online relationship course and group coaching, virtual sexuality program, and premarital counseling.
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Whether you want to breakthrough certain issues, are in a really tough spot right now and want to save your marriage and stop divorce, are recovering from infidelity, are hungry to renew your connection and fall in love again, want to improve your communication, long for a better sex life, or simply want to create lasting love and an amazing, healthy relationship, we’ve got you covered.
PS: Be sure to download our free guide on the #1 Thing You’re NOT Doing That’s Preventing You From Thriving (full of relationship advice that will make a positive difference overnight).
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