By Joe Borders,
Marriage and Family Therapist
August 23, 2019
A while ago I wrote an article for the local Style Magazine. I thought it was a good one and figured I would share it here ^_^. The following is the unabridged version with accompanying videos.
7 Tips to Spice up Your Love Life
Everyone knows the deep, passionate love that is common in new relationships. As time goes on that passionate love tends to diminish when we get through what many people call “the honeymoon period”. This doesn’t mean that our relationships become any less valuable or meaningful, but people often talk about missing that passionate love they felt for their partner early in their relationship. Through vulnerability, open communication, and some exploration, you can reignite that passionate love. Here are seven things you can do to spice up your love life.
Don’t push sex if your partner isn’t into it
Some people have sex to feel close, while others need to feel close to have sex. If your partner is one who needs to feel good with you before they can get it on, prioritize talking about things and connecting with them on an emotional level. Neglecting this can build resentment and create distance between the two of you. Spend some time talking about how the two of you are doing with each other, maybe go to couples therapy, and/or do some of the other things on this list.
Regardless the situation, your partner may not be able to be intimate with you in a good way unless they feel safe and secure with you. Maybe you’ve had a difficult time with each other recently, or something hard happened in life. Give some time and recognition to things like this and make space for your partner to express themselves so they will feel held and connected with you.
Talk about sex!
You’d be surprised how many couples I see who have been together for years and have never talked about what works for them, what doesn’t, and what fantasies they have. Chances are your partner is into something that the two of you could explore together.
It can be awkward, but talk about it.
Plan date nights
I don’t care how busy you are or how many kids you have. Every couple needs to get some time to be alone, relax, and/or have some fun together. I’m not a doctor, but this is the most common thing I “prescribe” for my couples. I’ve been planning on writing a post about good places to go on dates in the Sacramento/Roseville area. Leave a comment below or send me an email if you have any suggestions ^_^.
Some good ideas
Surprise each other.
Learn what your love languages are and use that knowledge to surprise your loved one in the ways that are meaningful to them. If you aren’t familiar with love languages, google it and use it!…or you can check out my blog post on love languages
Look for opportunities to demonstrate empathy
Regardless of your partner’s love language, the thing that gets any person going and makes them feel loved and connected is when they can see that their partner truly gets where they’re coming from. Show your partner that you see them and you care for them. Pay attention to struggles that you might be able to help with, worries that you might be able to sooth, and stresses that you might be able to reduce. Do your best to grab onto times when you can counteract something negative you see coming down the road for them. This will make them feel held and cared for. Check out these two posts about the importance of empathy in relationships:
Assume the best about your partner
We often take personal offense to many things our partners do. Simple mistakes quickly become very upsetting. Try this exercise I use with people all the time: “If I were to assume the best about my partner then ____”, and fill in the blank with something empathic and positive.
I like to compare relationships to having a baby. Babies are messy, clumsy, and loud. Sometimes our partners are too. When a baby behaves these ways we tend to have more tolerance because we know they can’t help it. You need to employ some of that thinking in the ways you think of your partner. Maybe he had a bad day. Maybe she’s stressed about something. We put up with babies literally pooping all over our lives, but we have very little tolerance for our partners not doing the dishes.
Go to therapy
Therapy can help you open up to each other, be more vulnerable, and connect with each other on a deeper level. It is this vulnerability and connectedness that makes long term partners experience deeper love with each other. Click here to read more about couples therapy with me.
About the author
Joe Borders, MFT, is a therapist with offices in Roseville and Sacramento. He specializes in working with couples, teens, addiction, and the LGBTQ community. He is also the owner and founder of SacWellness.com: a website designed to help people find therapists in the greater Sacramento area.