When you and your partner met, you likely couldn’t keep your hands off each other. But that passion wanes over time as you take on more mutual responsibilities and balance life changes. Many couples believe lack of sex is part of a long-term partnership. But healthy, loving intimacy can return full force if you both commit to it, and can help provide increased sexual confidence for women.
If you find that you and your partner struggle with passion and intimacy, don’t give up! No matter how long it’s been lost, you can recreate it and discover new ways of enjoying each other physically and emotionally. The effort it takes is worth it, even if you don’t connect right away.
Here is a list of ways to bring back that loving feeling. We recommend discussing this list with your partner to decide where you want to begin. Take things slowly, and don’t force something that feels unnatural or doesn’t speak to you.
Ways To Bring Back Passion with A Long-Term Partner
Focus on the emotional connection. You may feel the need to try new sex toys or a position you read about in a magazine. But focusing on the surface level of passion (how to spice it up) will only get you so far. If you aren’t connected emotionally, no amount of lingerie will respark the bedroom fire.
Passion involves erotic play coupled with emotion. Sex loses joy when you don’t feel connected to your partner — and you end up dancing without any music, so to speak. Reconnecting emotionally requires a lot of listening and engaging before you undress. Pay attention to cues your partner gives you. If they come home tense from work, help them unwind with quiet music, candles, and gently massaging.
This connection works both ways. If you need something from your partner, it’s important to have a voice. But, on the other hand, you may be the one who needs a candlelit bath and smooth jazz to soothe you out of a rough day.
Have more sex. This sounds obvious, but stick with me. Sexual intimacy releases chemicals from the brain that create an explicit bond between you and your partner. Sex doesn’t always mean intercourse. Close physical contact of any kind excites your endocrine system, releases oxytocin and dopamine, both of which calm your brain and help you feel connected.
If you’re not quite ready to jump back into vaginal intercourse, spend time exploring each other’s bodies without the intent to penetrate. Gentle caressing, kissing, cuddling, and massage are a great way to rebuild any lost connection without feeling the pressure to perform by either party.
Get out of your routine. The longer you’re with someone, the more likely you become creatures of habit. As a result, your evening routine may look exactly as it did five years ago, which leaves little room for any excitement. Rather than your partner dozing off during the nightly news while you curl up with a book — mix up your routine for an evening.
Get out a deck of cards, pitch a blanket under the stars, or go for an evening stroll. No matter what you decide to do, make it something different. You can even try something new like taking a class together or joining an activities group.
- Schedule regular date nights. Before you committed, you dated your partner. It’s time to bring that back. Make dates romantic and outside of your normal activities. Dress up, put on some perfume, and try new places. If you or your partner is always planning, make it a rule that you take turns choosing what to do on date night. That way, it never feels like a chore, and you each get to share something new.
Loss of sexual intimacy in a long-term relationship is normal — but it doesn’t have to last forever. Talk with your partner about rekindling the fire you once had. If you feel your loss of passion extends beyond boredom and busyness, it’s important to talk with a mental healthcare provider about your concerns. Learn other tips for maintaining your intimate health on Joylux’s blog, an educational resource for all women.