We’ve all heard the story (or maybe you’re living it right now)…the honeymoon phase is over, you’ve been together for 3 or 5 or 10 years, maybe there are some kids running around, you stop going on dates, you start living separate lives to keep everything afloat, intimacy becomes a peck on the cheek before leaving for work, conversation becomes all about what there is to get done around the house…
You find yourself wondering, “am I in a relationship or do I just share kids with my roommate?”
Date nights are sitting on opposite ends of the couch with your phone in your hand watching a Netflix show that neither of you are really that into anyways.
So how can you get back on track when the person you married feels more like a partner in business rather than a partner in life?
Intimacy is fluid. You aren’t going to have the same kind of fiery passion and intimacy you had at the beginning of a new relationship when you were carefree and making time for each other and prioritizing your dates and chats and connection – but you can unlock a new, deeper, slower kind of intimacy in a long-term relationship that can keep you just as satisfied…with a little work.
Here are some ways to get back on track when your relationship is headed down a path to talking about whose turn it is to do the dishes instead of whose turn it is to initiate some fun in the bedroom…
We often hear the same old story…that this is fate, all long-term relationships end up like this.
But that is not true. It IS possible to be in a long-term relationship that still has spark and passion and really great sex…but it is not going to happen on its own. You need to do some active work to infuse pleasure back into your relationship. But you have to know that you can. Repeat after me…
“We can find a way to bring pleasure and intimacy back to our relationship.”
A simple re-frame such as this refocuses your attention and teaches your brain to stop with the old and out-dated beliefs that all LTRs turn into friendships and puts the focus back on pleasure!
(For daily practice putting the focus back on pleasure – Join the Pleasure Mindset Bootcamp where we discuss pleasure, life and relationships so it’s always at the forefront!)
You know when you get home on a Friday night, put the kids to bed and you pull out your phone to scroll through Instagram and the next thing you know it’s time for bed? This is a numbing behaviour. A distracting, mindless task that starts out as a way to decompress and de-stress from the busy week but ends in eating up your valuable time and energy.
Give yourself and your partner 30 minutes to scroll through your phones. Set an alarm. And then put the phones away, even if you need to place them in another room. Even if you are just watching TV together to unwind, if you both aren’t wrapped up in your own phones, it becomes a shared activity rather than an individual activity.
When it comes to choosing between scrolling through Facebook or connecting with your partner…choose your partner!
Make time to connect with your partner PHYSICALLY each day. A hug, snuggling on the couch, holding hands…anything that can last more than 20 seconds is going to release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the connection hormone, is the hormone that makes us feel happy and calm and increases sexual receptivity and connectedness. When we’re first in a relationship, we are doing these things all the time – we are overflowing with oxytocin. But once we get comfortable and we stop, we need to be mindful about making it a priority.
Use your biology to hack your pleasure systems and feel connected, clam and get yourself in the headspace for intimacy!
What do you and your partner talk about? If your answers are…
You need some new conversation boundaries to promote connection and intimacy. Try a few of these topics:
It is too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, so make a plan for better conversation and deeper connection so you don’t get caught up in the whirlwind and leave your relationship as the last priority.
There is a way (and absolutely no shame) in seeking help where you need it. You may feel like couples counselling isn’t for you because you aren’t yelling and screaming at each other, and you still love each other.
What you need is a mindset shift…a change in the way you see yourself and your relationship so that you prioritize the good stuff and make it happen for you and your partner. What’s the best way to do it? Join a community of women who are doing the same thing.
You can join us here.
Let’s all be a part of the pleasure revolution and put ourselves and our relationships first!