There are many myths about sex and romance in long-term relationships. There are also some universal truths and contemporary theories that should inform your personal attitudes and behaviors, and your responsibilities and obligations to your beloved and your relationship.
You have no doubt longed for that "early time" in your relationship to return. So often I hear men and women say, "I want our love to be the way it was when we first met"; or "I want it to be the way it used to be"; or "I know it is possible, he was like that when we were first together."
I hear so many of you talk about the "spontaneity" that once was; the sudden inspiration or creativity that transformed dull days and nights into magical adventures.
Now hear this! The early time in your relationship was not spontaneous at allâ€”quite the contrary!!
You planned for many hours; thought about each other endlessly: what to do; where to go; what to wear; will you pick him up or meet her; include friends or family now or next timeâ€¦ You thought about each other nearly every moment, talked on the phone incessantly and talked about each other to others when you weren’t talking to each other.
It will never be the way it used to be. It is not supposed to be. The beginning is the beginning and cannot be taken into the middle or regained once you are in the middle of your relationship.
If you are a person who likes the early times in relationships, you may notice having difficulty moving into later stages of your relationships and probably end them or act out so that your partner ends them well before or around the two to three-year mark.
For many men and women the beginning of a relationship is exciting! You are just getting to know each other. He doesn’t know anything about your dark side. She is oblivious to your annoying behaviors, idiosyncrasies or eccentricities.
It’s a time when you love everything about each other. Attitudes and behaviors are easily and readily tolerated and accommodatedâ€¦at least for the first six to nine months. It’s a time when you have less ego than you will at any other time in your relationship. It’s a time of high sexual attraction and abounding sexual energy.
Fast-forward eighteen months to three years: There are no more secrets. You have bills together; dirty laundry; and every-day decisions to negotiate. You’ve been disappointed; he’s disillusioned; you’re both hurt. Your own life is challenging, stressful and busy. Sexual attraction and sexual energy are decreasing, or have just plain taken a nosedive!
What to do?
Deepening romance in your relationship requires intention, commitment and planning; and is the responsibility of each partner.
Here is Dr. Jackie’s 6-Point Plan to Take Responsibility For Creating Romance and Intimacy in Your Relationship:
- Hug your Honey when you wake up in the morning; when you leave the house; when you return; and before you go to bed. Add at least two more hugs sometime during the morning, afternoon or evening, just because.
- Compliment your Honey at least three times each day. Notice and verbally appreciate something about your partner personally or something s/he does for you. Compliments help us communicate our appreciation and valuing of others.
- Intentionally leave sweet notes in places that they will certainly be found and leave telephone messages or send emails once a day for your partner.
- Plan a special non-sexual activity for both of you to do together at least one time per week; a walk on the beach; a picnic; cocktails and special snacks on the porch as you watch the sunset; breakfast in bed; popcorn and a video.
- Plan a special sexual rendezvous at least twice each month; a massage by candlelight; a bubble bath with all the trimmings; dinner in your favorite restaurant followed by dessert and espresso at home by the fire or in the spa; or… You decide what is sexual for you. A rendezvous does not have to end in having sex. After a massage, for example, you may want to hold each other and fall asleep.
- Enjoy each other’s company for a few minutes before your day starts or for a few minutes at the end of the day. Don’t pick up emails; pick up telephone messages; or open mail. Avoid any and all distractions. Focus on each other. This is a must for all couples committed to building and maintaining intimacy.
There are no shoulds, musts or oughts. Though it is essential for couples to reconnect with each other and find their way to their own inner place of sexual energy and desire, each couple will create this time for connecting that is compatible to the nature and structure of their relationship.
I wish you well creating opportunities to deepen and enrich your love and your connection to each other!
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!