Years of being together can strip away the longing and mystery from your relationship, but there are ways to welcome them back and keep the fire burning.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 11, 2019. It has since been updated.
Sexual desire ebbs and flows in a relationship spanning years and it's normal for that to happen. There are multiple factors like children, hormones, work stress, financial concerns, and grief, that affect humans in the course of their life. Any of these things could hinder your libido and those who accept these phases as normal and talk about it have a better sex life. People who don't get alarmed the moment they realize that they haven't been having as much sex as they were having before, but talk about it, are more likely to fix it. They realize that this is not a reflection of any failure in the level of love or commitment.
When you think about why you haven't been having sex and focus on what can be done next is how sexual desire can be improved in the relationship. It happens to the best of us. While in the beginning, couples don't know how to keep their hands off each other, years take their toll. Research has indicated that it happens to women more than men. A British study, published in BBC, said that 34% women said they had lost interest in sex for three months or more in the previous year.
If you want to rekindle the sexual desire for your partner, here are six things you could do:
When you have a healthy lifestyle, it can keep your libido in check as well. If you are drinking too much alcohol, are not eating healthy food, are not exercising, or aren't sleeping well or continue to smoke, these would affect your libido. HuffPost claims that studies found exercising to increase arousal in men and women. So, you could include a morning walk or jog, more greens in your diet, and less alcohol in your life to have better sex. While you're at it, get more than seven hours of sleep and quit the smoking habit too.
In the beginning, when you just can't have enough of each other, people enjoy kissing a lot. You could spend hours just kissing and nothing more. However, that too stops or becomes infrequent or routine after a while, but don't give up on it. “Continuing to hug, kiss, cuddle is an important component of a healthy relationship,” Dr. Rachel Needle, a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist, and founder of Florida’s Whole Health Psychological Center, told Today.
Sex therapist Denise Knowles advises switching off the devices in the bedroom to increase interest in each other in the bedroom, according to HuffPost. The average UK adult spends around two hours on their phone in one day, time that can easily be invested in improving the relationship. The smartphone is not only bad for your sex life but also for your sleep, so there are more reasons to switch it off in the bedroom.
When you lose sight of yourself as an individual and only think of yourself as a couple, your sexual desire can actually dip. Psychology Today reports that there are multiple studies that say maintaining autonomy in a relationship is important to increase passion. When you give each other space, it's like creating a breathing room to actually see your partner as a person. It also helps us have thoughts and feelings different from our partners, which can lead to increased sexual satisfaction.
Adding some mystery into the bedroom and outside, can surprise each other. It is about keeping the impulsive and spontaneity alive between you. Between caring for kids, work, and chores, the relationship can fall into a predictable pattern. “Put some surprise into the relationship. Break the predictable pattern every so often,” said Needle. “This can help keep desire alive.”
Sometimes, a shared routine is also important for your sex life. If you go to bed at the same time and eat at least one meal together, it can create a feeling of being connected. Knowles recommends cooking together, planning meals together and enjoying a movie night with your partner. “Have fun with it,” Knowles adds, instead of just passing each other by without acknowledging each other.